Shortly after publishing my last post What’s a Single Mom to Do?, I thought about editing it to downplay the emotions that so clearly came through. But I decided not to because I intentionally wrote the piece from a place of raw emotion and did not want to wordsmith or otherwise water it down with a clinical application of the tensions single parents feel, and in many cases, are made to feel, in the church. Nonetheless, I probably came off a bit harsh on the church, which is a bit unfair. There are some congregations that do demonstrate care for the realities of single parents and avoid the careless cliche-ish ways that singles, and particularly, single parents are sometimes treated.
I came across this post by Ed Cyzewski, The Church was Super Lucky to Have Me as an On-line Consultant. I confess that was somewhat convicted having just posted a criticism of how the church handles single parent, fatherless households. Ed rightly notes that there is a substantial amount of on-line energy devoted to rebuking the church for her woes, as if she is beholden to our virtual criticism. Instead he exhorts,
I’m just wondering if we could spent a bit more time writing about what’s working, what’s good, what’s out of the ordinary and unexpectedly good and authentic.
These aren’t always the most controversial or clickable topics. Frankly, they’re often hard to find, and unbearably ordinary without the flash and flare of big personalities. Perhaps that’s why it’s hard to write about all of the things that make church wonderful. It looks like a friend who offers to bail you out of a hard time, families who bring over meals when you’re struggling, single moms who support your wife through the tumult of a newborn, pastors who share openly about the burdens on their minds, elders who listen to the congregation, and leaders who are wholly invested in making church the best experience possible for the children who show up.
There are stories of hope out there, and I’ll be honest, I need them. I need to know that some good things are happening. It’s not all celebrity preachers building mansions out there.
On that vein, I thought it would be good and encouraging to talk about some positive experiences that I’ve had, where people have reached out and cared about our situation. Continue reading