Originally published Tuesday, 15 January 2013.
- 15 million single parents in the United States
- 50% of babies today born outside marriage
- 78% of current prison population were raised in single parent homes
- 27% of single parents live on government assistance
- Abuse is twice as likely in a single parent home
- Children of single parents are 5 times more likely to commit suicide
- Children of single parents are 10 times more likely to drop out of high school
That paints a pretty grim picture, doesn't it? These aren't debatable statistics. Simply Google and you will find these and other similar numbres.This is fact,verified and substantiated. Is that to say that there aren't successful single parents all over the country? Of course not! There are many who are successful, determined, and parenting effectively, but.....the truth is that many, many are not!
"Gosh, Jennifer, you are writing to a group of Christian brothers and sisters. Some of us are even single parents ourselves. Do we really need to hear that?!" Yes. Because who changes this? We all do!
So what do WE do? How do WE fix it? We know that the government provides financial assistance, but what about the spiritual and emotional guidance that so many single parents yearn for? What about effective parenting techniques? What about fellowship, networking, and relationships with other single parents?
There are four main areas that many single parents need assistance in at one time or another: parenting, finances, emotional stability, and spiritual growth. Many non-profits and churches provide assistance in perhaps one or two of the areas, but there are very few providing a well-rounded program in all four.
Did you know that 67% of all single parents today do not actively attend church anywhere? Many site fear of judgment as one of the reasons. You can read more about that in my highly-publicized article "The Church and the Single Mom" (published at CBN.com, the producers of The 700 Club) http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/churchandministry/Maggio_Church_Single_Mom.aspx.
I am a HUGE proponent for Single Moms Groups in the local church! Over five years ago, we began a local single moms support group in our church with only 3 single moms. We have now grown more than 1000% and host bi-weekly meetings, where moms come in and get free clothes, food, etc., as well as a meal, free childcare and a relevant teaching. We provide a place of comfort, where any single mom can form friendships, learn, and network with one another.
Since the launch of our local single moms support group, we began a global nonprofit to assist other churches in doing the same types of things. The Life of a Single Mom has helped launch more than 1000 single mom's groups in churches across the country and 18 other countries. (And it often costs the church NOTHING).
Our hope is that we can provide information to churches who will wake up and recognize that there are single moms in their churches who feel scared and want to feel like they belong or.....there are NOT single moms in your churches, because they fear they wouldn't belong.
So, here's the deal. NO ONE likes the stats I quoted. NO ONE. Everyone has a role to play. Either you support a local single parent group financially or volunteer with one. Or you get active in your church launching one. For more information on how to start or grow your single parent ministry, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author/Speaker Jennifer Maggio is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on single parents’ and mothers’ issues. She is the founder of Overwhelmed: The