Finances-Finally, money is nearly always an
issue in single-parent homes. The standard of living for a single
mother declines by an average of 45 percent after a divorce. In
addition to offering tangible benevolent support such as food,
clothing, and cash gifts, consider supplementing the cost of
activities for children. If possible, make arrangements for partial
scholarships to activities to help minimize the cost for
single-parent families. Your church can also offer financial
planning and counseling services to strengthen a family's long-term
Do all these needs add up to a drain on church resources? Gary
Sprague answers with a resounding no!
"The healing of brokenness leads to great contribution in the
body," Gary says. "One church I know did a study on the percentage
of single- parent contributions in relation to their total income
and discovered that [single parents'] giving was significantly
higher than the giving among the rest of the congregation."
In fact, one of the ways to validate a single-parent family is
to help its members participate in the church with a full range of
gifts and talents.
The Church's Needs
In addition to bringing talents and gifts into your church, Gary
points out that single-parent families offer your church the
opportunity to meet at least two important Scriptural mandates:
"Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is
this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to
keep oneself from being polluted by the world"-James 1:27.