Maybe you’re a single mom going it alone.
Or maybe you’re a spiritual single mom – married to an unbeliever who leaves the parenting up to you.
Or maybe you’re neither of these and just feel alone now and then. Or a lot.
While this chapter is supposed to focus on single mothers, I have to say . . . There is wisdom in this chapter for all.
For example, I didn’t realize Timothy from the Bible had an unbelieving father (Acts 16:1, 3). However, he did have a mother and grandmother who we were intense prayer warriors on his behalf (2 Timothy 1:5) . He later became the youngest apostle and was considered to be Paul’s “spiritual son” – not to mention he assisted Paul in writing six books of the Bible (2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians and Philemon).
Isn’t it encouraging to see the results of praying women committed to lifting up their son/grandson?
I don’t know about you, but there are some days, many days, when life comes at me fast.
I am not at all the mother I thought I would be. Nor am I the housekeeper, chauffeur, counselor, or wife I thought I would be.
In other words, much of my life didn’t turn out the way I had planned. Don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful for how things are. It just doesn’t look like what I thought it would look like.
If you are a single mom (physical or spiritual), I’m guessing this isn’t how you planned it either.
And yet hear me (and Brooke) on this: you are not alone. Ever. It may feel like it at times, but you’re not. Just because your son is missing an earthly father doesn’t mean he won’t thrive and become a godly man. You are a tough warrior and you can and will do this, sisters.
Brooke talks about three parts to going it alone she learned from her beloved paternal grandmother, Cack. Cack’s husband left the family and in turn, caused his wife to become a single mother to three boys and a girl. What did it take to raise three boys who grew up to become godly men?
Sacrifice, asking for help, and helping them dream.
Once we become parents, God boils our own “stuff” to the surface. There’s no better fire for refinement than that of parenthood.
I remember thinking I was a rather selfless, giving person – and then I had children and realized how incredibly untrue this really was.
There is much to sacrifice when becoming a mother . . . Alone time. Time to read. Exercise. Exhale.
Yet Brooke’s question on page 43 gave me a moment of pause: “…what will we sacrifice so our boys can have the best life we can possibly give them? Will we trade a night out with friends so we can have a night in to hear our boys’ hearts and just play with them? Will we forsake new clothes so our boys can play in the band? Will we learn how to sew to make our clothes last longer? Will we burn the midnight oil in prayer for sons, asking God to protect them, lead them, and grab hold of their hearts?”
While parenting does indeed involve sacrifice, we also have to know when enough is enough and we need help. If our boys don’t have a father figure, who could become a mentor to them?
Lastly, our boys often can’t see beyond what’s there at the moment. They need us to help them see beyond what they see. I loved the story about Cack and how she told her boys they would not just work at the local factory, they would one day be in management. They could only see working there; she offered the dream of being in higher leadership they couldn’t quite yet envision.
And that’s exactly what they did.
On page 47, Brooks asks these questions:
1. Are you helping your son dream about the bigger vision God has for his life?
2. Do you look at life for what it is, or what it can be?
3. Do you call out the gifts in your son’s life, helping him to grow into his God-given passions and callings?
In summary, here’s what we can glean from Cack’s life as a single mother:
1. Life won’t be perfect and don’t expect it to be! However, set the bar high for excellence in your life and your son’s life. Expect him to live up to it.
2. Do whatever it takes to protect your children.
So for our discussion this week, please answer at least one of the following in the comment section:
1. If you are a single mother (both physical and spiritual) what is your biggest challenge? Is there a way to alleviate this challenge?
2. How do Timothy’s mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, inspire you?
3. How can we encourage our boys to dream big dreams and not just get “stuck” in what they can only see?
4. What caught your attention in this chapter?
So now that we have some background information down . . . It’s time to start the “21 Days of Prayer for Our Sons Challenge”!
I recommend reading the “How to Use This Book” chapter but in a nutshell, we are going to pray through one attribute each day ten times. For example, today we will be praying through the first attribute – Heart Change. On pages 59 and 60, Brooke gives ten prayers to pray over our boys for heart change. This can be prayed all at once or throughout the day – however you decide to structure it is up to you.
We will discuss the first seven attributes (one each day) next Monday.
Pray on, you tough mama warriors!