A single parent has to live with the reality of the first Christmas without the kids. The glow of the Christmas lights from the tree is the only warmth that fills the room. What started out years ago as a joyous holiday morning filled with traditions has disintegrated into court documents dictating where kids will spend the holidays. The fridge is empty as there is no need for a great feast and delivered pizza is left over from the night before.
A silent night is full of joy, a silent morning full of sorrow.
Single parents, we understand your holidays are not Norman Rockwell paintings and yuletide cheer from singing around the fireplace. Even if you are the one with the children at the holidays, there is still something missing around the tree. Divorce is approaching 50% for America couples. This statistic means that one out of two homes on your street have this type of Christmas. Even for singles who have not experienced divorce but adopted become a parent find that missing “something” in the air on Christmas morn.
Your Church Needs to Reach Single Parents
In churches everywhere, Christmas Eve will be a candlelight service and singing to a Savior’s birth to come. But, how often do leaders stop and realize just how many people in their audience are experiencing the above-mentioned scene just hours after they leave the church? Will your Christmas Eve service have childcare provided? After all, that single parent in the pew is doing their best just to get everyone gathered to arrive that evening. What a blessing it would be if the preschool hall were open for them to have a moment with the Lord. As the kids get older they can engage in that worshipful time, but how will you minister to the younger families?
You Need to Seek Out Single Parents
Your church needs to have a plan to connect single parents into the life of the church. Singles groups are a great way to do this. Singles without children can help fill the void of a missing parent for that single mother or father that joins their singles group. Another great way to support single parents is connecting the parent to married adult families. The point is to have a way to connect single parents in every ministry in the life of your church. It is worth it! Keep in mind nearly half of the families on your street are experiencing a silent Christmas.
God Needs to be the Focus
The key to every single family is to remain focused on God. When you gather for the holidays, be cordial to one another and reflect the love of God to your children no matter how bad the situation may be with the other parent. Single parents, you know personally what it’s like to share your kids with someone else.
Treat the situation with love by remembering God sent His only Son into the world to share Him with us so that He paid the price of sin on the cross for the world. He gave His only Son through a virgin Mary. You know those emotions and need to remember and apply the love this Christmas.
Single Parents Keep Traditions Alive
A final word of encouragement–keep family traditions alive at Christmas. Even if they have to be modified or the ex may not participate, keep traditions strong. If you have adopted children, pass down your traditions and start new ones.
Everyone remembers holidays traditions growing up. Establish pleasant memories for your child. Keep the Christmas spirit alive.
Parents, we don’t promise things will be easy. Life is hard. Surround yourself in the Love of God and find His strength in those around you.
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