I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded, now lives in you also. – 2 Timothy 1:5, NIV
Timothy was a young man that Paul mentored and discipled as a follower of Christ and also as a church leader. There is no mention of Timothy’s father in Scripture. It is assumed by many Bible commentators that he was a Greek/Gentile and was not a follower of Christ. Evidently, Timothy’s faith was nurtured and grown through his mother and grandmother, the two most influential women in any young person’s life.
I don’t know the kind of struggles that Timothy’s mother may have faced in raising Timothy, but as a military family, dad’s regular absences to serve his country gives me just a hint of it. At times, it was overwhelming and discouraging. At least Eunice had Lois, but my family was anywhere from being in the next state to across the ocean. Perhaps there are some moms out there whose children’s fathers are absent, whether physically or spiritually, occasionally or always, for whatever reason, and can relate to this experience.
The greatest lesson I learned from that season is that I’m not really alone. Parenting was never intended to be done single. I’ll admit that at times, it was hard asking for help. It was hard accepting help, too. But reaching out, both to give and receive, results in such blessings for everyone involved. Here are three ways that single moms can find encouragement:
- Reach out to fellow moms in similar situations and help each other out. Create your own support network. It was a tremendous blessing to us when our neighbors practically adopted our daughter. In fact, our neighborhood of about four families were available to lend a hand to each other whenever needed.
- If you know of a single mom, let her know when you are available to babysit. If kids aren’t your thing, then give her words of encouragement on a regular basis. Maybe she has a babysitter but would like a night out with adult women and adult conversation. Include her.
- Finally, adopt grandchildren or a grandmother. My daughter and I adopted two elderly ladies who couldn’t drive and needed a ride to church. They adopted her and she has fond memories of Ms. Lois and Ms. Shirley loving her. Not only that, but she witnessed and experienced the hands and feet of Jesus in action as we ministered to them.
Hands down the greatest gift we can give our children is a legacy of faith. Giving and receiving the hands and love of Christ is a wonderful way to ensure that legacy. In the pursuit of it, everything else will fall into place. Your kids will see that.
Perhaps there are some single moms out there with more suggestions. Feel free to share them with us.