I know life as a single mom is not easy without worrying about the outcome of your children in 20 or 30 years. Some days, it is all I can do to keep up with laundry and dishes and changing diapers - but I have realized, these are such small matters! I have recently purchased the movie "Courageous" and have watched it several times. Each time I see it, I come away with something different and perplexing.
These words are not mine, but they are powerful and I believe every one of them and I hope you come away with the same profound sense of responsibility as I have.
"While so many mothers have sacrificed to help their children survive, they were never intended to carry the weight alone. We thank God for them.
Research has proven that children also desperately need a Daddy.
God desires for every father to courageously step up and do whatever it takes to be involved in the lives of his children. But more than just being there and providing for them, he is to walk with them through their young lives and be a visual representation of the character of God, their Father in Heaven.
A father should love his children and seek to win their hearts. He should protect them, discipline them, and teach them about God. He should model how to walk with integrity and treat others with respect. He should call out his children to become responsible men and women who live their lives for what matters in eternity.
Some men will hear this and mock it. Or ignore it. But I tell you that as a father, you are accountable to God for the position of influence He has given you. You can’t fall asleep at the wheel only to wake up one day and realize that your job or your hobbies have no eternal value – but the souls of your children do.
Some men will hear this and agree with it, but have no resolve to live it out. Instead they will live for themselves and waste the opportunity to leave a Godly legacy for the next generation.
But there are some men who, regardless of the mistakes we’ve made in the past, regardless of what our fathers did not do for us, will give the strength of our arms and the rest of our days to loving God with all that we are and to teach our children to do the same and whenever possible, to teach and mentor others who have no father in their lives, but who desperately need help and direction.
In my home, the decision has already been made. You don’t have to ask who will guide my family – because by God’s grace, I will. You don’t have to ask who will teach my son to follow Christ, because I will. Who will accept the responsibility of providing and protecting my family? I will. Who will ask God to break the destructive chains in my family’s history? I will. Who will pray for and bless my children to boldly do whatever God calls them to do? I will. I accept this responsibility and it is my privilege to embrace it. I want the favor of God and His blessing on my home. Any good man does. So where are you men of courage?! Where are you Fathers who fear the Lord?! It’s time to rise up and answer the call that God has given to you and say, “I will! I will!” ~ from Courageous the Movie
Obviously, we are single moms because there is not a man in our lives who is willing to step up and be all that God has called him to be. For now, we have to be the ones to guide our children. We have to be the ones to teach them to follow Christ. We have to be the ones to break the destrucive chains in our family's history. We have to pray for and bless our children to boldly do whatever God has called them to do. We must accept this responsibility. We must not take it lightly. We are shaping our children to be the men and women they will be for the rest of their lives, and it is terrifying. But, by the grace of God, we are not alone in our struggles. We are not alone in this fight. We have been called to raise up these children in their fathers' absences. If you do not stand up for your children, model integrity and respect, and bring them up in a way that is pleasing to God, who will?
If you are fearful, as I was, that you are not strong enough or are not smart enough or are not faithful enough to do what God has asked, don't be. He is there for us. All you need to do is ask.
We are big on music in our house, and I'd like to leave you with the lyrics of a song by Casting Crowns, also called "Courageous":
"We were made to be courageous, we were made to lead the way. We could be the generation to finally break the chains - We were made to be courageous!
We were warriors on the frontlines, standing unafraid. Now we're watchers on the sidelines, while our families slip away. Where are you men of courage?! You were made for so much more! May the pounding of our hearts cry "We will serve the Lord!"
We were made to be courageous and we're taking back the fight! We were made to be courageous, and it starts with us tonight! The only way we'll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands! Make us courageous, Lord make us courageous!
This is our resoulution, our answer to the call. We will love our wives and children - we refuse to let them fall. We will reignight the passions that we've burried deep inside. May the watchers become warriors, and the men of God arise!
We were made to be courageous and we're taking back the fight! We were made to be courageous and it starts with us tonight! The only way we'll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands! Make us courageous, Lord make us courageous!
Seek justice, love, mercy. Walk humbly with your God.
In the war of the mind I will make my stand. In the battle of the heart and the battle of the hand. In the war of the mind I will make my stand. In the battle of the heart and the battle of the hand ...
Seek justice, love, mercy. Walk humbly with your God." ~ Casting Crowns
Good night for now, Mamas. These words gave me hope, courage, and strength. I hope they do the same for you.