Serving Single Dads

Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court” (Psalm 127:5 NIV).

How the church can do more?

According to a recent post in the DailySignal.com, one in three children live in a single-parent household. This clearly presents challenges for the parent who is raising the children. A child needs an active father and mother in their life and when one is missing or present on a limited basis, it can be difficult for the child. Men face the same challenges as women in raising children, but some churches fail to offer programs and support for single fathers.

Mark May with Caedan and Kamden

Jermaine Maberry with Trinity and Tristan

Peter Signorelli with Seth and Luke

James Haase with Sophia and Olivia

This issue is very personal for Mark May. During the day, he is the chairman and CEO of his own company. But his real job is raising his two boys, Caedan, 15, and Kamden, 13. May has been a single dad for four years, and he shares joint custody with his ex-wife.

May says that when he sees a single mom, his instinct is to offer help and assistance, but as a single dad, he doesn’t feel the same concern from others. (Perhaps they feel that men don’t need help?) Or it could be that since most pastors have not been divorced, they are at a disadvantage in relating to the needs of single dads. They don’t have the necessary experience to relate to these men who tend to be quiet and low-key. As a result, church leaders tend not to develop ministries for them … the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” theory.

A few close friends can make all the difference. May has a small circle of friends that he can meet 

Paul Murphy with Kara and Jaelyn

with immediately if he needs parenting advice or emotional support. His circle is totally comprised of married men who are caring and very good listeners. They are a valuable resource because of their availability and willingness to help with any problem.

As for the children, an active church-based youth program is critical. Mark felt blessed by a youth pastor who was engaged in his kids’ lives and made sure they always felt welcome and had a good time. Because of an open door policy, the children felt comfortable talking with him about problems such as “Why are my parents getting divorced and what does this mean for me?”

Mark is passionate about helping the next generation of single and divorced dads. He does not want them to have to go through the same hardships he did. He says he “muscled through it,” but he encourages fathers to do more than that.”

“Keep your kids involved in youth programs at church and attend church on a weekly basis,” he said. “Engage them in Bible studies at home and reinforce God’s love for them. Show them God’s love with your actions as well as your words, and get a small group of friends or an accountability group that has open, confidential and honest communication.”

Single Dads Share Their Thoughts

“ it is important to remember that we are the church, the Body of Christ, and we are called to serve each other. The church has the opportunity to help single dads raise children as effectively as a single mom. The church can provide fathers with the confidence to know they can do it alone. ” – Erik Burns, Denham Springs

“ Churches need an engaged youth program to help children understand divorce and that God’s love is greater than divorce or anything created by man. ” – Peter signorelli, Prairieville

“ i would say the biggest struggle as a single dad was feeling the void that i imagine my daughter felt from the absence of her mother. ” – Jimmy Haase, Addis

“ Single dads need help to address the needs of young girls. Women in church can advise them on a number of issues and provide a strong faith-based woman in their lives. ” – Paul Murphy, French Settlement

“ Church and society seem to believe single dads can do everything alone and tend not to provide them with the assistance that they give single moms. ” – Pastor Jermaine T. Maberry, Crowley

Prayer:  Dear God, Thank you for the blessing of children. Help us to raise them to seek Your face.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • Finding a Way Out from Temptation

    Evangelism Begins With Discernment “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). I recently ate lunch with friends at a local cafeteria.  As I walked with my tray to the cash register, I passed the desserts.  They looked really good, and I was very tempted to get one but did not.   In the...
  • Book Review: Overcoming Racial And Cultural Barriers To Disciple Men by Rev. Elmo Winters

    Book Review: Overcoming Racial And Cultural Barriers To Disciple Men by Rev. Elmo Winters “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26 KJV).Each generation faces unique challenges that historians use to define that time period or generation.  There are some challenges that seem to transcend time and linger from one generation to the next.  The issue of race is as old as the Biblical story of the Samaritan woman at the well that...
  • Healing A Broken Relationship

    Healing A Broken Relationship “If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God" (Matthew 5:23-24 NIV).One thing that is as certain as death and taxes is that others will let us down.  This can take many forms such as someone not living up to their end of an agreement, spreading gossip or taking advantage of our friendship.  It is natural to be...