Brian Stone, Singles Pastor at Kingsland Baptist Church recently posted an article for single parents that I think is excellent. If you are a single parent I think you will find this very encouraging.
For Single Parents by Brian Stone
Being a single parent can be a tough responsibility. Of all the things you try to pass on to your children, nurturing them to have a sincere faith in Christ can be the most concerning. I know this especially concerns single moms with young boys. Being the primary faith trainer to a child of the opposite sex presents many challenges, but as always, God does not allow challenges to come into our lives that we cannot handle in a way that brings Him glory (1 Co. 10:13).
One thing we emphasize in our ministry to single parents is that a single parent home does not have to be a broken home. Many single parent families feel that are in fact not a family. They feel they are not able to have a healthy home life. They feel they cannot effectively nurture their children to be godly.
I want to encourage you to know that a single parent can have a healthy home life and an effective ministry to their children. Although this is not the biblical model we do have biblical examples. One of the clearest is seen is Paul’s letter to young Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:5
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.
The verse previous to this one states that Paul remembers Timothy in his prayers and with tears of joy as he reflects on the faith of young Timothy. Notice that Paul contributes the faithfulness of his young disciple to his mom and grandmother. They were faithful Jewish believers (Acts 16:1). His dad was not a part of his faith training. He was a Greek Gentile and probably an unbeliever, the very reason he is not mentioned here.So we see that single parents and specifically a single mom with boys can nurture a sincere faith in their child. You can be an effective faith trainer to your child as a single parent, even to the point of producing tears of joy on looking believers.
How did this single parent succeeded as the primary faith trainer through childhood?
2 Timothy 3:14-17 tells us:
14You [Timothy], however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Paul built upon the foundation laid by Timothy’s mom. Notice that she taught him “sacred writings”. Paul is referring to the scripture; this is plain from the verses 16-17. Scripture is what gives us “wisdom that leads to salvation and faith” and ultimately to a life with Jesus Christ. If you want to effectively pass on your faith to your children you have to make known to them the word of God. The scripture must be the focus, the authority, the guide. It must have priority over every other source of counsel or consideration when making decisions or developing our way of thinking. The scripture is the most profitable source of teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training one to live righteously in the sight of God. We want the next generation to be men and women who have been sanctified by the word of truth (John 17:17) and taught to think like the scripture because the scripture is what makes one “adequate, equipped for every good work”.
This is a great example of a single parent having a healthy home, passing on faith, and rearing children to love God, love others, and live out his Life in Christ. If you want to have a healthy single parent home, if you want to effectively pass on the faith to your children, if you want children who live righteously and are equipped for what God has planned for them, you must nurture them in the word and pour it into their life. You must make the commitment to “teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Duet. 6:7). This is what defines a healthy home for parents, a home where children are taught the word of God by a parent who lives as their primary faith trainer by modeling and teaching them the Scripture.