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!
I am inspired by the man Timothy turned out to be. How he served the kingdom and lived a life to honor God. Knowing that his mother and grandmother poured the gospel into him and spent countless hours bathing him in prayer to have their prayers answered as he walked with God is inspiring. I am encouraged that they were able to see the fruit of their labor and hope that my prayers will avail much as I spend time bringing my boys before the throne in prayer and teaching them the truth.
I loved learning this about Timothy’s mother and grandmother, too! Pretty cool…:)
Thank you so much for adding your thoughts, Brittainy!
I got a lot out of this chapter. Even just being home everyday with 3 boys (homeschool) all day is such a challenge and pushes me to the edge sometimes. What really spoke to me was the questions about sacrifice and then when she said, “She had the hearts of her sons until the day she died, and I think one of the ways she made that happen was by laying down her life for theirs”. I love the picture of Christ she showed to her sons through her “laying down of her life”. That encouraged me to want to continue to make sacrifices for my boys and that even though I don’t see the fruit, that maybe later it will cause a heart change for them. That they will remember, that I put them first during the day, that I put away my phone, I didn’t take a shower ever (haha), I could have answered the phone but didn’t, I could be sending them to school and we need the extra income, but I don’t, because I know for us, it’s what our boys need… =)
I agree, Lindsey. I loved the correlation between Jesus’ sacrifice for us to the very little in comparison sacrifices we make for our children.
I have sacrificed much indeed and yet I think there are areas I could sacrifice more. There were some convicting moments there, for sure.
And I’m totally with you – who knew showers would be such a luxury???
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!!
Timothy’s childhood really hits home. My son sees my love for Christ in everything that I do. When I am struggling with something, he asks me if I need to pray or listen to “church”. This was an intentional teaching from infancy. I want my son to see my love for the Lord, I want him to see me serve the Lord. My husband has more of a private relationship with Christ, and does not openly reveal it.
I will continue to seek Christ, and seek in front on my son. As much as I desire for my son to have a love for the Lord, I know that this is not my choice. However, I can continue to demonstrate every way that I know how to live a godly life.
Dreams…we right them all down! I want us to set goals for now and for the future. I want to teach him that he can make his dreams come true, as long as he has two things. #1 Christ, #2 faith and strength. “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
what a great idea to write dreams down! I am going to start doing that! =) Thanks!
This chapter was very motivating for me to press in. What stuck out to me the most was the part about always protecting your children. It made me so grateful for the endless prayers of protection my spiritually single, now single, mom prayed over me. Her faith and obedience to listen to the Holy Spirit provides me a great example to follow. So thankful for her and for her sacrifice that was evident to me. I can now see the fruit of her prayers and she helps me be a better mom through her example. To pray the blood of Jesus over my sons, to listen to that still, small voice and protect them through prayer and obedience. (I should probably write this in her mothers day card lol
I think we can encourage our boys to dream big dreams by paying attention and being their biggest cheerleader. It’s so easy to be shortsighted when you’re on the inside looking out. But, we are on the outside looking in with our boys and we can see their gifts and their talents even when they can’t if we’ll only pay attention to them and encourage them in those things. We can show them the potential they can’t see in themselves and cheer them on every step of the way. I also think it’s important to help them realize that God sometimes has very different plans in store for us than we have for ourselves. During the “praying for heart change” chapter today, I was convicted by the 4th prayer “May my son’s heart cry be, ‘Not my will, but yours be done’.” I have major struggles with giving myself over to God’s will and I want to be able to model this for my little guy, so this is something I’ll be praying for myself as well..
The whole section on helping them to dream really spoke to me. I feel like I fail at that so much, that I’m focusing on the present (and more on behavior) more than I am the future and their hearts. I obviously don’t want to do this, but it’s where I find myself in the every day. This question really cut to the quick for me “Do you call out the gifts in your son’s life, helping him to grow into his God-given passions and callings?” I need to be more intentional about this. I need to give both my sons new perspectives on life and help them dream God’s dreams for their lives.
I loved this chapter so much. Cack’s life and determination inspired me so much. And I’ve said this many times before, single mothers are my heroes!
What caught my attention in this chapter is the need for me to model a relationship with Christ. As a raging introvert who doesn’t speak much, keeps things to self, and is a recovering “perfect house” addict the increased interaction needed goes against my natural style of relating.