My maternal grandmother became a single mom when her husband died of cancer. She unexpectedly found herself a young mother of a 2-year-old daughter. Alone. Her world was changed forever as she stood beside that deathbed. But she was a praying woman, and her prayers anchored her through the years to her Lord–not just for herself and her child, but also for the generations that followed. Those prayers changed the trajectory of life for my children, my grandchildren, and myself.
Who had the most spiritual influence on you while growing up? Your mom? Dad? A grandparent? Have you learned to cultivate that faith for yourself and your own children?
Despite some dreams that feel out-of-reach once you find yourself on the road of single parenting, there are still many things you can have; for one, a spiritually vibrant household.
The Barna Group recently hosted an online conference in which they shared what they have found a spiritually vibrant household looks like. They polled practicing Christians, those who say they attend church monthly and who say their faith is very important to them.
#1—Spiritually vibrant households have devotions within the home.
#2—Spiritually vibrant households practice hospitality within their home. (Hospitable means hosting non-family members in your home several times a month.)
So, based on their polling conditions of practicing Christians, obtaining a spiritually vibrant household requires:
#1—Making an appearance at church monthly
#2—Ensuring your faith is very important to you
#3—Maintaining devotions within your home
#4—Entertaining non-family members in your home several times a month
But, what is most significant for single moms: Barna noticed that the nuclear family and the single parent family were both equally successful. Nuclear and single families look the same in terms of spiritual vibrancy if they were practicing the M.E.M.E. points, shared above.
This is exciting news!
Rev. Dr. Tony Cook, Vice President of Global Ministries, Lutheran Hour Ministries, noted that of those polled, the mom’s faith influenced 68 percent, dad’s faith influenced 48 percent, and a grandparent influenced 37 percent.
Hear this, moms! Mothers have a profound effect on their kids! (Deep down we already knew this, right?) They are finding that fathers don’t seem to have as much impact on their kids’ faith because they seem to be disconnected with their feelings. (Yes, I know—not all fathers are in this category—please don’t send me disgruntled emails. I’m just the messenger.)
The spiritually vibrant household sets an example, encouraging others to go to church and teaching about the Bible. They are far ahead of those that are dormant in these practices.
And, notice those four points start with the letters M.E.M.E.
A definition for meme is:
An element of a culture or system of
behavior that may be considered to be
passed from one individual to another
by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
Attending church, visibly making your faith important, maintaining devotions, and hosting people in your home combine to make a spiritually vibrant home, one that your children can imitate that will change the trajectory of their lives.
Mom and dad and 2.4 kids are no longer the “norm.” But with a little effort, we can make a spiritually vibrant household the norm for all our kids, whether from a single parent family or a nuclear family. It may not be part of our family genetics, but it can be an anchor they can rely on the rest of their lives.
Are you a single mom? Don’t miss our Single Moms Retreat, coming up on May 3-4! Find all the details here.