This is the second lesson of the tools for single mom series that was taught at the Ladies’ Day event at our church. These are my own life lessons that the Lord showed me. You can see the first post in this series, “Single Mom Lesson – Foundation in Christ.” Some of these lessons might seem basic to some of you. I pray that you can pass this on to a friend or be reminded of how to be a source of encouraging support to a single mom in your life.
Here are three things I learned to guard:
1. GUARD MY HOME
The Bible says that we are to be “chaste keepers of the home,” which means that we are entrusted with the powerful role of protecting our home. Often times, single moms are responsible for provision as well as the practical protection of the home. Don’t be afraid to set clear rules, even if you’re the only one doing it. We need to guard our kids and ourselves from unhelpful influences. Maybe we need to be clear about the media we welcome into the home. Maybe our kids won’t go to all the birthday parties. Whatever the Holy Spirit stirs in you in the area of giving that extra shade of caution, let this post be your permission to do it.
The cost of not following our intuition of protecting our home is too high. It is very okay to leave a lot of things out, if we want to maintain a strong, loving, safe and sanctified Christian home. By the way, if you notice that viewing other people’s lives online causes you to question if you’re having enough “fun” in your life, then you might want to take a short break from those websites. Cherish your home by being real. “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27 (KJV)
2. GUARD MY HEALTH
I learned this lesson first-hand. See the doctor! Early detection saved my life.
We get so busy that we tend to put off the doctor’s appointments, the dentist check-up, the eye appointment. We wait until the summer, when school’s out. If we don’t get to it, then we say we’ll wait until school’s in because then the kids are in school. The truth is that there is never a really convenient time. But I encourage you to go to the yearly check-ups, even if it’s to get test results that are negative – Amen?
Also, I learned the value of rest. And it wasn’t going to be given to me. I had to claim it for myself!
Some days, we come home and feel like we just want to take a nap. Do it! Most of us reading this post wouldn’t let our kids wander aimlessly in the streets or not feed them dinner for an evening. So set aside their food or peek at their homework. Then GO TO BED. Otherwise, the rest of the world around you has to deal with SLEEPY, CRANKY you who might not be thinking clearly because of lack of sleep. Your body is the only body you have and it’ s important for us to see you take care of it, especially since you’re the Captain of the home. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:20 (KJV)
3. GUARD MY HEART
For this lesson, the two areas involving the heart are dating and boundaries.
Dating: If you’re in a season to date, that’s wonderful! If you choose not to date, then allow the Lord to bless your channels of connection and intimacy (close relationships, not necessarily sexual) in other ways. But remember that the loving rules of purity still apply to you, as they do to single women in their twenties or older women in their golden years. This is why it’s so important for you to grow your relationship with the Lord by reading His Word to continually feed your heart with wisdom and allowing His Love Letter to speak to you. If you haven’t dated in a long time, be aware that there might be some things that are different than what they were when you were previously single. Take the time to EDUCATE yourself with Christian books, websites and godly counsel to keep you accountable and clear in your dating strategies.
Boundaries: Guard your heart by setting boundaries with other people in your life that might feel entitled to have a say in how you run your home. Make sure you set the boundaries clearly and from a place of wanting to honor the Lord, instead of an intentional withholding of your affection or influence. Maybe it’s boundaries with the other parent or absent parent. Maybe it’s with family and friends that keep telling you what to do. Maybe it’s with working late hours that is taking you away from church and family time. The Holy Spirit will nudge you in the area that needs your attention and your action.
Just to note that the boundaries are meant to keep us WITHIN the protective limits that we can enjoy in CHRIST, and not to necessarily pull us away from genuine fellowship with other people. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 I pray that this was helpful and that you are encouraged to make loving choices on how to guard your HOME, how to guard and tend to your HEALTH, and how to protect and nurture your HEART.
Stay tuned for the third lesson in this series!