Friday, December 23, 2016

Single Parenting - Something to be Ashamed Of

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I hope this post encourages single mothers and gets people talking openly about the struggles single mothers face in society. 

There is something about being a single parent that makes people perceive you as ugly, irresponsible and a failure, especially if you are a woman. You are considered to be an easy catch and will very often receive indecent offers from men who believe you will give it all up at the blink of an eye, and if a baby comes out of that rendezvous, you will care for that child, because you know, you are simply built for this single parenting life. Of course men do not necessarily face this type of stigma - a single father is very often a celebrated hero; a single mother on the other hand is easy prey for malicious tongue-lashing.

This explains why many women are afraid of leaving unhappy relationships and abusive marriages when children are involved. This explains why so many women feel threatened by the words "you will end up a single mother", much more than they are by the words "I will kill you if you keep annoying me." Many women would rather be pummeled to death than leave and be single parents because single parenting for the average woman is something to be ashamed of. It highlights the inability to keep a man happy; it indicates irresponsible behavior that led to an unwanted pregnancy that you were too ashamed to terminate. It has the makings of a woman who was loose and will remain so. So may malicious stereotypes held against single mothers make it difficult for many women to walk away from life-threatening relationships. 

Please understand this: there is nothing wrong with being a single parent. It is not something to ashamed of. Sure, you might have behaved irresponsibly and made a huge mistake that led to you being a single mother, but you should not let the label of irresponsibility stick. You have the power to reinvent yourself. You have the power to go before God and ask for a new beginning. You have the power to connect with your purpose in spite of previous mistakes. To those of you who are in life=-threatening abusive relationships and are scared of returning home to your parents with your kids in tow, understand that your life is more important than the malicious labels that will be thrown at you. Your life has meaning; your mistakes (including marital ones) have lessons. Your strength is important for your children and that strength is something you should celebrate even in the face of malicious labels. 

Many single parents - male and female are heroes to their children and even in their communities. Many single parents have found their purpose in God and have shed the garment of shame and error. Many single parents are pillars of their homes, leading their children to God and effectively teaching them God's word. Be the pillar God needs you to be. His grace abounds! There is no shame, only glory! 

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