The Word For Today

A word for single parents

'He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother.' Psalm 113:9 NLT

Imagine the agony a single parent goes through when they are required by a court order to send their child for an extended visit with the other parent. Yes, it's necessary and it's fair, but it can be painful. One single mum described her feelings this way: 'I feel an incredible sense of loss. The loneliness immediately starts to set in, I worry constantly about their safety, but I resist the urge to call every hour to see how they're doing. And when they do call me to tell me how much fun they're having, I grieve over the fact that they're having a life completely separate from my own. My only consolation is knowing that they're coming home soon. But I'm haunted by the fear that they won't want to come home to me.'

For the single parent who identifies with this hurting mother, there's a way to get through the painful days of waiting. Instead of seeing this time alone as a period of isolation and deprivation, view it as an opportunity to recharge your batteries and reinvigorate your spirit. Spend time with friends. Read your Bible and pray. Return to a hobby you've set aside. Fill your day with things that are impossible amid the responsibility of childcare, recognising that your children will benefit when you do. They'll return to a re-energised you, instead of one coming off weeks of depression.

God says, 'My grace is all you need' (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT). Today draw on his grace.

Soulfood: Lev 1-4, Matt 27:11-26, Ps 25:1-7, Pro 9:17


Remove the label of 'impossible'

'With men it is impossible, but not with God.' Mark 10:27 NKJV

When you label something as being 'impossible', three things happen: (1) By giving in to the fear of failure you kill your own faith and motivation. (2) You risk settling for less than God wants you to have. (3) By excluding God from the equation you cut yourself off from the greatest power in the universe.

When oil prices went through the roof in the 1970s, car manufacturers were ordered to build more fuel-efficient cars. One manufacturer asked a group of senior engineers to drastically reduce the weight of the cars they were designing. They worked on the problem and searched for solutions, but they finally concluded that making lighter cars couldn't be done, would be too expensive, and would present too many safety concerns. What was the car manufacturers' solution? They gave the problem to a group of less experienced engineers, and the new group found ways to reduce the weight of the companies' cars by hundreds of pounds. Why? Because they believed solving the problem was possible - and it was.

Every time you remove the label of 'impossible' from a task and include God in it, you raise your potential from 'average' to 'off-the-charts'. George Bernard Shaw said, 'Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?"' Jesus said, 'With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible' (Mark 10:27 NKJV). In the natural world, you may not be able to accomplish it. But when you step into the realm of the supernatural, God adds his 'super' to your 'natural', and what seems impossible becomes possible.

Soulfood: Matt 21:1-16, Ps 118:19-29,


Help for unfaithfulness

'I am like a broken vessel.' Psalm 31:12 NKJV

When your spouse breaks your marriage vows, it can break your heart. And after the initial shock wears off, your driving desire can be to hurt them in return. So what should you do instead? (1) Take time to process your emotions. A quick, 'I forgive you', or just sweeping things under the rug, will sabotage any hope of rebuilding a strong relationship. (2) If your spouse is a habitual betrayer who wants to live as he or she pleases, God's Word gives you the right to be set free from them. But don't move too quickly. Ask yourself if work and family pressures may have caused you to neglect each other. Did you inadvertently open a door for the enemy?

These are hard questions - but they must be answered, because the decision you make is one you will live with for the rest of your life. You may not believe it right now, but God can make a good marriage out of a bad mess. Yes, it will take time - trust can only be rebuilt slowly. And that means: (a) Learning to be sensitive to one another. (b) Acknowledging that your spouse may need detailed accountability, and you may have to go the extra mile to rebuild the trust that was lost. But it can happen.

'The righteous cry out...the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit' (Psalm 34:17-18 NKJV). God can turn your situation around. If you'll work with him - he'll work with you.

Soulfood: 2 Thes 1-3, Matt 27:1-10, Ps 32, Pro 9:10-16

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