But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I will start my contribution to this discussion on being a single Mother of boys by saying, that it is an almost impossible task. Without full reliance on the Holy Spirit through the power of God, one will make many, many mistakes.
I am thankful for the cross as it provided me with praying sisters who were my burden bearers, prior to becoming a single mother. My three prayer partners fasted with me, particularly over many situations I faced. As a group we were committed to praying every Saturday morning and once a month we prayed together over the phone for all of our requests. Our children were well covered, and we are all reaping the benefit of those prayers today, Hallelujah.
On a more personal level I would say a vital part of our communication was using our family devotion to discuss all aspects of our lives. As soon as I became a single, on the departure of the boys’ father, I used this forum to take my sons to God and to allow Him to become their Father. We shared testimonies, discussed challenges and they received spiritual guidance from the word through me. God has truly proven Himself faithful.
I would say because of my tenacity and my eagerness to want to build up and train my boys in the things of the Lord. I look back now and can really appreciate how invaluable those moments really were and still are. Family devotion with my 28 and 24 year old Men, is a way of life that like I say, even now as old as they are, I still try to make sure that as a family we still Honour God together(when everyone’s schedules allow it).
One of the areas I feel I tried and failed is definitely the area of communication. Many times, I had my own agenda and while one of my sons once said to his after-school club worker “at least my mother listens to me” I know now I could have done better. I should have learnt to use communication as a tool, to get close to my children and not one to block them out. When I told them that they were not allowed to date while they were still at school, they challenged me and I said that it was ‘my preference, end of’. Well they went and dated, and I could do nothing to stop it as they did not discuss it with me and now only one of the two does so openly. The one that doesn’t blame my non-negotiable stance, which is what I inherited as an African.
The second area of being a single mum that I believe is invaluable to raising boys, is primarily one’s witness. It is crucial that we maintain a godly witness in our dealing with boys at young ages and in general life. These boys are watching!!!. While in some areas I failed in this stance, to one son, I appeared godly but to the other I appeared to be a hypocrite. They were both right as these characteristics described me due to circumstances with the second.
I now watch a 4-year-old boy, (my second chance) and by God’s grace I am learning from past mistakes, and we talk about a lot more than when I was younger and raising my own boys. One son has commented on the difference in my approach and once said “mum you really have changed, just from watching how you are now, I can really see the difference”.
Let your boys’ interests, ideas and strength lead, and you gently follow, guiding not preventing, helping not controlling and championing without patronising.
I have chosen to discuss mainly the area of communication as I believe this is such a crucial element of our relationship. One that lasts a lifetime. There are others, but I will leave that for readers to explore personally.
I would strongly advise the mother of young boys to read books like Cheri Fuller’s ‘What A Son needs from His Mom’or Zac Poonen’s ‘Hear O My Sons’ for those whose sons maybe older.
May the grace of God partner with all single mothers as they play their role in raising sons of the most High God. God bless