In this discussion, we highlighted the following points. First,, single parents, their positives, and negative`s attributes. Second lessons learn from Lydia and Eunice encounters. Third, according (Howitt and Smith) feasible guidelines for single parents and its impact in the lives of a parent and child. Lastly, discover role models for children especially in a church environment. These factors will be later discussed in detail.
My Context I agree with (Howitt and Smith) they say, single parenting was not a trend in an ancient biblical world. More specifically, become postmodern phenomenon. An associate professor in economics at Stellenbosch University (Fourie, 2018) says “nearly one half of the children born in South Africa today will live in a single parent household at some point in their childhood years.” Therefore, my family and immediate community are no exception. On one hand living and growing up in rural areas and firsthand experience the hardship and difficulties, single parent endures. For instance, myself raised by my grandmother. Most of my life, I experience her challenges.
Some Statistics Clearly,, as Prof Fourie states: “of the 989 318 babies born last year in South Africa, 61.7% have no information about their father included on their birth certificate. “(Fourie, 2018) Over the years’` family structures is rapidly changing (Fourie, 2018) and that brought a new dimension to the situation.
Although the Bible names many role models, but according (Howitt and Smith) two biblical figures Lydia and Eunice became beacons of hope for single parents.
A Steadfast woman, Lydia (Acts 16:11-15 and 3:14-15) Paul`s first convert in Philippi was a wealthy businesswoman, a dealer in purple cloth. Lydia stretches that no matter the circumstances parents must support their children. She familiar herself as the breadwinner. Despite her facing many challenges, she acknowledges Jesus Christ as her lord. Also the perfect model for community caregiver. Again, her aim is to serve God by honor and acknowledge His greatness. Even though experience patriarchal elements she became a steadfast and goal oriented woman. My grandmother was not a business woman like Lydia but stood out as example for our family and community. She taught us about Biblical values. From her I have learned to be good person to others by adhere to her solid values and norms.
A Remarkable woman, Eunice (2Tim.1:5) Young Timothy`s mother set a good example especially single parents, despite the absence of his father as (Howitt and Smith) indicates, she steer the household and lead the family. She trust God and introduced God favor to her son, Timothy. In our community and especially our church more women attend church. Clearly indication men are not churchgoers anymore. If Lydia and Eunice may conquer the odds. More importantly we must do the same by carrying each other burdens. As (Howitt and Smith) noted we are part of the body of Christ, we must love you neighbor as we love yourself. Importantly single mothers or fathers facing many challenges says (Howitt and Smith) but consequently came with challenges. However, Howitt and Smith mention nine Biblical Principles which single parents can adapt to. Namely, “do not allow yourself to get caught up in a guilt-trap. Further do not continue to punish yourself for past sins also not allow, yourself harbor bitterness, live in the past ,become inward-focus ,to be pushed around, do not rush into a new marriage just for security and lastly keep your priorities biblical.” ( 2015:101) How can the church contributed. We are all people of God members of the same body. More specifically members of the same church. Obviously many churches are jam-pack with many single parents. Which cannot ignore? What (Howitt and Smith) mention, the church has to take note of the existence and difficulties?
The setup and structures involve single parents must be customize in favor of respective church members. For instance meetings, functions, outreaching, hospital and home cell visits. Also avoid having judgmental attitudes. Be supportive to single parents such as lift clubs, babysitting, do washing, do the shopping and prayer. Lastly make an effort to adopt a child of a single parent. . Join as a Sunday school teacher and make an impact in a child life. Also be supportive by visiting single parent families
- Howitt Q and Smith KG 2012. Johannesburg, SA: South African Theological Seminary Press.
- https://www.fin24.com/Finweek/Opinion/why-are-there-so-many-single-mothers-20180926 Johan Fourie is associate professor in economics at Stellenbosch University. Why are there so many single mothers? Sep 26 2018 14:42 Johan Fourie