Being a mother is a very important role that the Lord chooses to give to many women. A Christian mother is told to love her children (Titus 2:4-5), in part so that she does not bring reproach on the Lord and on the Saviour whose Name she bears.

Children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3-5). In Titus 2:4, the Greek word philoteknos appears in reference to mothers loving their children. This word represents a special kind of “mother love.” The idea that flows out of this word is that of caring for our children, nurturing them, affectionately embracing them, meeting their needs, and tenderly befriending each one as a unique gift from the Hand of God. Several things are commanded of Christian mothers in God’s Word:

Motherhood isn’t for everyone
The Bible never states that every woman should be a mother. However, it does say that those whom the Lord blesses to be mothers should take the responsibility seriously. Mothers have a unique and crucial role in the lives of their children. Motherhood is not a chore or unpleasant task. Just as a mother bears a child during pregnancy, and just as a mother feeds and cares for a child during infancy, so mothers also play an ongoing role in the lives of their children, whether they are adolescents, teenagers, young adults, or even adults with children of their own. While the role of motherhood must change and develop, the love, care, nurture, and encouragement a mother gives should never cease. 

What does God to say to single mothers?
The Bible does not directly address single mothers, but there are many examples of God’s gentle interaction with women, mothers, widows, and their children. These examples, and God’s gentleness, apply whether a mother is single or married or widowed or divorced. God knows each person intimately and knows her situation completely. The Bible warns that sex outside of marriage is sinful and dangerous and will bring troubles, one of which is that a woman might have to raise a child by herself, which is undoubtedly difficult. And if it is her own sin that has resulted in single motherhood, our gracious God is still just as willing to bring help and comfort. And what’s better is that He offers forgiveness for those sins through Jesus Christ and the eternal comfort of Heaven for the mother who accepts Him, the children who accept Him, and even the estranged husband who accepts Him!

But often a woman finds herself alone and raising children through no fault of her own. Sadly, women are often innocent victims of a world wracked by war and terrorism. Husbands go off to war and never return, selflessly giving their lives for their countries. If a husband’s death has left a woman single with children, there is no doubt that God will help and comfort that woman.

God cares about families
God cares about families. But He is more concerned that each person, no matter what her family looks like, repenting of sin and coming into a relationship with Him. He wants us to know Him, because His creatures knowing Him brings us joy and brings Him glory. We get bound up in the details of our lives, worrying what other people will think of us and whether the church will accept us and whether we have ruined things entirely. But God calls the Christian to the joy of being above the weight of worry. He has said that we should cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He wants to carry the burden and forgive our sins and then forget about our sins and help us to move on. All He asks us to do is know Him, delight in Him, and trust Him. Single mothers are often very responsible people, and sometimes it can be hard to just “set aside” worries and cares. A single mother might feel guilty just thinking about it! But God commands us to do it anyway, to spend a little time each day to focus on Him, and trust (during the rest of the day) that He will provide for us, both physically and emotionally as we lean on Him. 

Set aside time for God
What this might look like for a single mom is setting aside time to read the Bible and pray. She might think, “I just don’t have time for that between working and raising a child and taking care of the house and everything else.” But if even for half an hour when her child is sleeping or being watched by a relative or friend, she can set aside time to talk to God in prayer and listen to His voice in Scripture, even if it means not cleaning that pile of dishes, she will find His amazing strength and comforting presence will be with her for the rest of the day. Memorising verses like “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6or “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) will help provide tangible reminders of His love and protection when things get tough or stressful.

God is calling you to seek Him
So, what does God have to say to single mothers? The same thing He has to say to everyone else. Repent of sin, trust in Christ for forgiveness, communicate with God through prayer, listen to His voice through Scripture, lean on God for strength in trials, and put your hope in the amazing eternal life with Him that He has planned. “For no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived the wonderful things that God has prepared for those that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Are children always a blessing from God?
The Scriptures are very clear that God is present in the creation of every human life. The most vivid depiction of this is seen in Psalm 139:13-18. The fact that God sovereignly superintended David’s creation caused him to praise God. David also pointed out the fact that God had the details of his life planned before eternity. In Jeremiah 29:11 God confirms David’s thoughts: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Of course, this brings up a very good question. What about those conceived out of rape or illegitimacy? The parent or parents that are responsible for that child may not “feel” as though that child is a blessing from God, but how that child was conceived does not mean that God did not sovereignly superintend its formation in the womb as David speaks of. God has a plan and purpose for every person born regardless of how that birth came about. If this were not so then the Scripture would not have said so. In the New Testament, we read that God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16).

There is no end to God’s love for us
This love is the same love that compelled the Saviour to teach the disciples God’s Word and to demonstrate God’s love for us through His death and resurrection (1 John 4:7-8). There is no end to how much God loves us and desires to bless us. The intention of God in the creation of man was to have fellowship with Him. First John 4 tells us that once we recognise this, it enables us to love others. Whether we view every child as a blessing from God depends on how much we see that child as God sees him. When we look at each child through the eyes of God, there is no question that every one is a blessing from Him. If we look at that child through the eyes of sin, then we would doubt that blessing because we focus on the creature and not the Creator.

God’s thoughts for you are innumerable
It is God’s plan and desire that each child be born according to His plan for us and that is through marriage. When that does not happen, it does not exclude the fact of God’s love and care for the child. David concluded in Psalm 139:17 that God’s thoughts for His people were indeed precious and innumerable. The most practical application of this is seen in the lineage of Christ in Matthew 1. All through the names, we recognise those who failed in life in some way and see those who were born of illegitimacy and sin. This did not disrupt the fact that God’s Word was fulfilled and brought the blessing of salvation to man.

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