Originally published Sunday, 22 January 2017.
January is National Sanctity of Life Month. President Ronald Reagan declared National Sanctity of Life Day back in 1984 in commemoration of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Ruling, declared in the same month 11 years earlier. As a result, the National Sanctity of Life Month commenced and has been celebrated ever since. National traction for the pro-life movement has taken place, as a result of the declaration, including local and national venues that host rallies, events, and the like. Consequently, millions of babies’ lives have now been saved.
I am a supporter of the pro-life movement. Every child has value, and God’s plan for his life is that of a future and hope. Our babies are the leaders of tomorrow, the hope of bright futures, and the evidence of God’s miraculous works. So to all of you involved in the pro-life movement in an impactful way, I say “yes” and “amen”.
However, there is a big problem with this movement. It isn’t enough. The local church, for years and years….and years, has had no problem advocating for the right to life for the unborn in our country. But sadly, the church hasn’t been as vocal about ministry to single mothers and their children, after they choose life. We fund pregnancy crisis clinics and right to life rallies to encourage mothers to choose life for those precious babies. And again, to all that, I say “yes” and “amen”. But why do we stop there? Why do we struggle to find ministry opportunities for single mothers who often drown in the parenting and financial responsibilities necessary to raise these children well?
Overwhelmingly, one of the biggest reasons women choose abortion is because they do not think they can parent alone. It seems an overwhelming feat that many can’t comprehend, so abortion seems like a reasonable option for them. Could it be because we, as Christians, haven’t opened our loving arms to welcome those precious babies and mothers into our pews? Is it possible that we have done a phenomenal job of saving millions of babies from abortion, but failed them miserably, as we ignore the staggering statistics single mothers face in raising their children alone?
I’ve been doing single parent ministry for over a decade, and frankly, I’ve heard some of the most ridiculous arguments against establishing a single mom’s ministry. Such arguments include accusations that single moms’ ministries somehow advocate unbiblical behavior. Let me stop for a moment and be clear. No, I don’t advocate for single parenting, divorce, or pre-marital sex. But drug recovery programs are never accused of advocating for drug use. They simply minister to people, where they are. Church, that is all a single mom’s ministry does -- ministers to moms where they are. Single mom’s ministries see the overlooked, minister to the broken hearts of failed dreams, and provide fellowship for women who often need a sisterhood of women surrounding them.
Single moms arrive at single parenthood in a variety of ways, including death, fostering, unwed birth, and many others. These mothers are drowning. They are falling away from the churches in droves, as they don’t see us (the body of believers) as a viable option for hope. Consequently, their children fall away, also. They’re seen as judgmental, finger-pointers who want to shove the Bible down their throat. And Satan does a masterful job of convincing them that lie is true.
Let us embrace compassion, grace, and hope. Let us show Jesus to those who desperately need a loving, friendly face. What are you doing to minister to the 25 million children who live in single-parent homes in the United States? What are you doing to radically transform the lives of the 15 million single moms who live here? Does your church have a single mom’s ministry? Do you have a formal outreach plan? Two out of three single moms are not attending church nationally. What are you doing about it?
Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker, whose personal journey through homelessness, abuse, and multiple teen pregnancies is leaving audiences around the globe riveted. At 19, Maggio was pregnant for the fourth time, living in government housing on food stamps and welfare. She shares with great openness, her pain, mistakes, and journey to find hope in Christ. She ultimately became an 11-time Circle of Excellence winner in Corporate America. While a vocal advocate for abstinence, and sustaining today’s marriages, Maggio recognizes that single parenthood exists and is passionate about seeing these parents thrive. She left her corporate successes behind to launch a global initiative to see single moms living a life of total freedom from financial failures, parenting woes, and emotional issues. Her passion is contagious, and her story has been used to inspire thousands around the globe. Today, Jennifer works to ensure that no single mom walks alone as the founder of the national profit, The Life of a Single Mom. For more information and resources, visit the website HERE.