I read Barbara Curtis' "Mommy Life" blog nearly every day (although I rarely comment there or anywhere lately). This week she wrote a post about a divorced mom with five kids.
This mom says that she's been a "baby Christian" for fifteen years and had seen little or no growth in her life. The letter that Barbara posted from the mom said that she's Roman Catholic, but did not say if she had been in that church her entire Christian life. Her youngest child is four years old and her husband abandoned her when she was pregnant with that child.
Barbara's advice included looking outside the Roman Catholic church for food and roots.
I would join her in that advice (I'd love it if that single mom were to find this post and contact this single mom).
The reason is simple - support for single moms.
If a divorce person came to me and asked about churches, I would not recommend a church that condemns all divorce. This divorced mom has had a rough walk already and it's going to get tougher. It doesn't sound as though she had a husband who "washed her in the Word" (a Godly husband leading her).
I certainly would not recommend being (staying or finding) a church (any church) that will hold a divorce against her for the rest of her life.
The Roman Catholic church is not the only church that holds a "divorce debt" against a person for life. This is not about the Roman Catholic church and whether they have right or wrong doctrine. This is about divorced parents (or divorced non-parents) looking for forgiveness in a church (and there are many churches) that holds that debt against them.
Part of a research paper I wrote included, "How the Church Sees Singles". It can be HARD for a single person to find a church where they fit in. I would offer this advice to single people: Don't be afraid to look for a church that will accept you and support you where your life has put you.
For the single mom that wrote this letter to Barbara Curtis - she's divorced. Strike one. If she dates, strike two. If she finds her "someone", well...the church that she is currently in will not (I believe) marry that couple. In the church that she is in, she has no hope...NO HOPE...to find love and her "happily ever after".
After fifteen years of "no growth", this single mom needs to find a church where she will not only grow, she needs a place where she (and her children) can flourish - be accepted, loved and cared for. Why would anybody discourage this?
Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor, is quoted in a speech to President Ronald Reagan:
I have learned the danger of indifference, the crime of indifference. For the opposite of love, I have learned is not hate, but indifference. Jews were killed by the enemy but betrayed by their so-called allies, who found political reasons to justify their indifference or passivity. What have I learned? When there is obvious injustice and principles are violated – when human lives and dignity are at stake – when your allies find reasons to justify their silence or indifference, neutrality is a sin.
There are too many churches who are either indifferent towards divorced moms, or worse. If a single mom is in one of these churches, I'd encourage her to get out. It doesn't matter what denomination we're talking about.