Raise your hand if you think a church would be a good place for a single-mom and her kids to get help to deal with the ups and downs of daily life, as well as the larger eternal questions. But what's the experience?
If you read the Bible and look at what it says about how the church and its people need to serve widows and orphans, it should be a no-brainer that you would direct single-moms and their kids to a local church. The Word of God is filled with examples of how Jesus Christ showed love and compassion to people at all levels of need.
Growing up at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bay City, Michigan, I found a lot of really nice people, but I saw and experienced little more than talk when it came to showing the love of Jesus to my mom and me. As I grew, I felt more and more that there were the regular acceptable people at the church where there was a father and mother with their kids and then there were people like my mom and me who were in a mutant family arrangement.
Why am I mentioning this?
As I progress in sharing my story and how it was influenced by the disappearance of my dad, I want to use my experiences to help various anybody involved on either end of the fatherless child equation, single-moms, their kids, grandparents, pastors, teachers, errant dads, and friends.
Fatherless kids and their single-parents abound in today's culture and they face obstacles where they can use help, lots of help and the church is on the frontlines and needs understanding and encouragement to be involved.
The seeds of my faith in God sprouted in church, in Sunday School and in a parochial day school. But, as I grew the church became an obstacle, rather than a conduit.
This will offend some people in the church and that's not my intent. I hope the institution and its leaders can examine its performance in this area and make whatever corrections necessary.
Pastors need to listen-up, as do elders and other leaders. This issue is tearing at our culture and taking a toll on individuals. Many who are affected don't want to talk or think about it. Somebody has to raise the issue. More to come.