Part 2: Being a (Single) Parent
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Last week we looked at the parent’s role in being a single parent. This week I want to look at the world’s role. Now, when I say “the world” that conjures up all type of negative imagery of Paul telling us not to conform to the world. And this is true. But look at life through the eyes of a child. The world, to them, is a place filled with wonder, excitement, and amazing things. The only world a child knows is the circle of family and friends that mommy and/or daddy has.
To a child, the world is good.
And that is the world that I want to elaborate on this week. Not the world that is filled with pornography, child abuse, and drugs.
So what can the world do to help Christian parents to raise godly children? Keep in mind, most of these are not biblical truths more than they are simple views of a single parent who is trying to raise his kids in the way of the Lord.
1) Don’t schedule games (or practices) on Sundays…or at least if you do, schedule them in the late afternoon/early evening.
Next Sunday my daughter has a soccer game, her last of the season, while church is still happening. Now I know what you are saying, why don’t you just go to a different church service? That is an option at my church, to go to an earlier service, but it is not available at every church. Smaller churches may only have one service available. Also, churches are made up of a community of Christians. You can’t be a community if you don’t fellowship together. Being involved at church requires a time commitment as well. All of this means that I had to tell my daughter that I would be missing her last game of the season.
We as parents, and especially Christian parents, understand that there is only a small window of time available for kids to play in their sports. So there is one simple solution: build more parks. Again, not a biblical truth, but a parent’s view of what is needed to help alleviate the need to schedule games during church.
Local governments take heed, this is a large constituency that you are alienating! I live in the Annapolis MD area. Assuming our 102 churches in the area are equal to the national average, then 20% of the Annapolis area goes to church! In voting numbers, that is a fairly large number.
2) Companies, don’t feel that the almighty dollar ranks above family. And for heaven’s sake, close on Sundays.
Now, you can call me a hypocrite here. I have worked on Sundays before. I have also purchased goods and services on a Sunday. So now I need to take a dose of my own medicine. Of the 314 million people in the USA today, almost 9% attend church weekly. That is a very large number, almost 27 million.
This will require a change in thinking. A shift in our own culture.
So I am throwing the challenge out there. Can you make it through a Sunday without purchasing something from a business? See what happens when you change your buying habits on Sundays. Eventually, if we can get the rest of the Christians in the USA to make this happen, perhaps less people will have to work on Sundays.
Again, this can be unpopular because people will feel it will increase unemployment or hurt low-income families, the majority of whom are the ones who find someone in the family has to work on a Sunday. But I believe the opposite will happen. If we change our buying habits to other days of the week, those sales that originally would have gone on Sunday will go on another day. That will increase the need for labor on those other days of the week. This will end in equal labor needs.
3) Christians are just like any other person. The only difference is that while everyone is a sinner, Christians are simply saved sinners.
The biggest thing my unsaved friends and colleagues tell me is that as a Christian they feel I am judging every action they make. I am not a judge. That is God’s job. I simply point out what the Bible says about our actions. Not for purpose of sending anyone to hell, but for the purpose of lifting everyone up so that we may all go to heaven one day.
This translates into how we raise our children. While even Christians disagree on how to raise kids (just ask my girlfriend and I about our own differences), it does mean that we will raise them up to see when right and wrong are happening and that we will raise them up to understand what absolute morality means and that it exists. So we understand that you will tell us to stay out of raising your kids. But please understand that we, too, have a way to raise our kids. Our way is based on Biblical principle. So if we pull our young children out of a class on evolution until we feel that they are ready to understand it, please work with us. If we pull our children out of class when you hand out condoms in sex education, please understand it has nothing against you, it is simply that we biblical believe that purity discussions on the importance of our child’s mind, body, soul, and heart are more important than telling them that having sex can get you pregnant. And if we choose to home school our children instead of subjecting them to the world’s messed up views of tolerance and relativism, then accept us. To choose your own buzz word, you should tolerate us. Not hinder us because we are different or counter-cultural.
So world, we simply ask that you let us raise our kids to understand the world as we view it. I want my kids to have a strong Christian worldview. I want them to understand truly what tolerance means. I want them to know that love and marriage are more important than sex and pleasure-highs. I want them to know that God is first and foremost, not the almighty dollar.