Across the board, statistics are showing that children growing up in two parent households, or at least with involved fathers, thrive on a much greater level than those absent of a father or father-figure. From a spiritual standpoint, Valerie King wrote in her article The Influence of Religion on a Father’s Relationships with Their Children that “Religiously involved fathers are more likely to maintain personal relationships with their young children. Even after controlling for demographic differences, fathers who put more emphasis on religion…reported better relationships…and greater emotional support than fathers with less religious emphasis.” So single dads, PLEASE take your children to church with you and bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4). The long-term and eternal dividends are just too great for us to ignore.
Single moms: don’t get discouraged by this, because I want to show you a great example of how a faith-filled mom can make a huge impact in the Kingdom of God. All we have to do is take a look at the life of Paul’s young protégé, Timothy:
When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. -2Tim 1:5 (NKJV)
Despite Timothy having an unbelieving father (Acts 16:1), the women in his family were strong in their faith and brought him up sound in the Scriptures (2Tim 3:15)- thus making him able to be used in a mighty way by the apostle Paul. Timothy went on to oversee multiple churches and was a key component in the model set forth by him and Paul to this day.
Having been a single parent for nearly a decade myself, I am sure it is safe to say that many of us do not necessarily view ourselves as qualified to do God’s work at times, let alone worthy of His grace. The sacrifice Christ made on the cross eliminates any false identity of being unworthy that we may experience; and our salvation in Him is all we need to change generations by bringing our children up in the Lord. Eunice’s and Paul’s spiritual parenting over Timothy are trustworthy examples of how no matter what sort of earthly circumstances we may find ourselves involved in, God is sovereign. Only He has the power to not only help us survive the times, but to change the times through His infallible Word.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. –Deut 7:9 (NIV)