|Guest Blogger Brittany Harris. Check out her blog! |
When Angel asked me to write a blog, a thousand things went through my head. OMG there are so many things to say. Quick back story. When I was a little girl, I used to pray that I would be able to have children! I dreamed of having a family, complete with a husband and 2.5 kids. I dreamed of everything working perfect, “Cosby Show” like. Fast forward about 10 years. I got pregnant at age 18. By age 20, all my childhood dreams had come crashing down and I was a single mom. Never ever would have imagined this would be my life. My daughter is now 8 and it’s been just she and I for 6 ½ years.
So as I racked my brain and asked God what to say, a few things came to me that I really want to share.
- Your Child is Your First Ministry- When I leave church, when I leave work, when I leave social media, I am a mother above all else. It is my job to build her up, to minister to her needs, to show her the love of Christ (Love is patient! God is still working on me in that area). Allow God to give you grace in motherhood. The same grace that saved you is the grace that you tap into by faith to do all the things that a mother is supposed to do. Pray for your child constantly. As a mother, it is your job to cover your child. Pray for their safety, pray that they follow Christ, pray for their future. Constantly pray.
- Above All Else, Teach Your Child to Love God- As a single mom, I am solely in charge of setting the atmosphere in the home, I am solely in charge of my daughter’s spiritual development. I invite my daughter into my quiet time and I encourage her to have her own. I have taught her how to pray. I demonstrated God’s mercy (She did something wrong and instead of the consequence that she deserved, I taught her that God gives us mercy and doesn’t always give us what we deserve.) I have noticed, and have heard her say, that her love for Christ is growing daily. If she never learns anything else, I have done my job with her.
- Allow God to Lead You and Be Your Covering- In a traditional (Dad, Mom, Children) family situation, the role of the father is to be the provider, covering, sounding board, etc. Single moms don’t have that. I had to learn to allow God to be that for me. He is the father in my home. I turn to Him whenever I need help or advice or I need Him to make a way. It doesn’t just apply to me but also my child because she is a part of my life.
- Be Gentle in All You Say and Do- Your child’s father may not be the best. But I guarantee that if you allow God to work a gentle spirit in you, it will work better. My daughter’s father and I had an AWFUL relationship. Just horrible. I would always pray that God would change Him. God revealed to me that I was the issue. Although I was correct in what I said, it was how I said it that made the difference. When I learned to have a gentle spirit, our relationship changed. He didn’t necessarily change, but by changing the way I approached and responded to him, that created an entirely different dynamic. And while I’m at it, RESPECT YOUR CHILD’S FATHER! Yeah I said it. He may not be saved (my daughter’s father is not) but what are you demonstrating for your child? Men crave respect. ALL men. Don’t roll your eyes/neck/fingers at him while popping off at the mouth and wonder why your relationship is a hot, steaming mess. Show him respect, even if you don’t think he deserves it. God gives you plenty of things you don’t deserve. The way you interact with your child’s father may end up be a witness to him and bring him to salvation.
- If Your Child’s Father Isn’t Involved, Teach Your Child to Turn to God As Their Father- One of the best things I ever heard from another single mom (well it may have been a movie, but it applies either way) is that she taught her child to turn to God as their father. Do you realize how much that would have helped me as a child if I actually understood that? Teach your child to go to God for help with any and everything!
- Last Thing: Support System- My support system has been my biggest blessing being a single mom. It is important to have people you can rely on for help and emotional support. If you don’t have anyone, GET SOMEBODY. You are a person too. Just because you are a single mom doesn’t mean your life has ended. I firmly believe in “Me-Time”. It keeps me sane and level headed. You need that too. It is great to be able to recharge and clear your head and heart so you can be the best mom you can be. They also say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Don’t be afraid to trust people with your child. Your child won’t break lol.
BONUS: When you don’t know what to do, ask God for help. He made your little person and He has plans for them just like He has for you. Make sure you are always seeking Him for guidance.
-Brittany C. Harris