My mom was both mother and father. She was the one who got up with us as night. She was the one who cooked for us, cleaned the house, and helped us with homework. She was the one who went to the drug store at 8pm at night to get the poster board paper you needed for project due the next day. She was there to pick me up from school when I got sick. She attended all the school events such as plays, concerts and sports. She was the one who kept our home from falling apart but learning to fix things. She was the one who made a dollar stretch way beyond what it was meant to. She was also the one that listened to my cries, my fears and my joys. She was the one who would kneel beside me to pray at night. My birth father would not be there for most of my childhood. I was literally raised by a single mom.
I recently read an article [http://www.wral.com/news/political/story/6506863/] about the huge divorce rate among the military. How the stress of the war and the separation of husbands and wives are killing the family. I totally understand as it killed ours. The long absences would lead my father to commit adultery many times on my mother. Unlike my father, my mother would stay committed as she had to raise four children the best way she could. Unlike my father, she thought of us first.
But is there hope for the military marriages? Is there hope for those wanting to get married but see these horrible numbers? The article would go on to say "programs run by chaplains, mental health officials and family services agencies provide service members access to retreats, couples' counseling, workshops and other programs aimed at easing the strain of separation." Of course, we all know that with Christ all things are possible. When we allow the Lord to lead us, we can get through anything. As we put Christ first, marriage becomes the second major focus. With Christ, a marriage can make it.
By also like the article says, no matter what, parents are going home to deal with kids alone. And it's hard to be both parents. Even with the Lord to help and guide you. So what is our part? As a singles ministry, we can help better prepare young and single adults for marriage. We need to continue to have programs/bible studies/counseling for those wanting to date and get married. We need to encourage personal growth in our walks with the Lord. We need to be sensitive to those who are divorced by offering divorce recovery ministry so that they have the support they need. As a church, we need to be aware of our military families (and any family where the husband or wife is gone due to work) so that we can step in and be a support for that single parent. Maybe its offering to babysit, financial assistance, or emotional support. Maybe its simply prayer and that you are there for them. But also, what are you doing for the men and women who are absent due to work. Are we trying to stay connected to them too? As a traveler myself, my home connections are critical to my own sanity.
Start praying for what you can do to help these families, whether they are married or not. Start praying for your part.
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Kris Swiatocho, Director
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