For the Single Parent: Ten Quotes From ‘God’s Grace for Every Family’

We are delighted to announce the release of a new, gospel-centered book on the topic of single-parenting by Anna Meade Harris, Rooted’s Senior Director of Content. In God’s Grace for Every Family: Biblical Encouragement for Single-Parent Families and the Churches That Seek to Love Them Well, Anna combines thoughtful biblical exposition on nine aspects of God’s character with her own personal narrative to equip single parents and their churches. Here we highlight ten quotes from the book, in hopes that you’ll read and share it.

My Family’s Story

I write because I want to encourage you just as God has encouraged us. God has made himself known to our family and remade us. Like any family, we are still broken by our fallen world and the effects of our sin. We bear scars that reveal just how wounded we are, but we don’t want to hide those scars, because they testify to God’s faithfulness and steadfast love (p.14).

God’s Courage In Our Fear

God pours out grace on all families, whether the parents are married or not. That grace is by definition a gift, unearned and undeserved. We don’t have to continue to apologize or feel guilty for sins confessed and repented. We don’t have to be better than other moms and dads because there is only one of us. We will not receive less grace than two-parent families. His grace is sufficient for all of us (2 Cor. 12:9) (p. 61).

God’s Comfort in Our Grief

My husband’s death dropped my sons and me into a parallel universe. We could never cross back into the life that was, nor did it seem that our friends, even our closest ones, could go into that new universe with us. Their closest relationships were intact. Their family was the same. Their future looked as it had before. It felt like a gulf had opened wide between us and the people we needed most, and it seemed that gap could never be bridged (p. 76). 

God’s Strength in Our Exhaustion

We can ask other people for help when we need it because we no longer have to justify ourselves by meeting every single need in our own strength, giving our children everything they want (or everything their friends have), or raising kids whose outward behavior appears to validate our parenting (p. 90).

God’s Presence in Our Loneliness

Lonely single parent, Jesus knows how you feel. He lost the one who was dearest to him. He who once lived in the eternal sunshine of the Father’s affection was banished from the Father’s presence. [On the cross] His cries went unanswered. Like those whose most intimate relationship is now firmly in the past, he had nothing but the memory of “This is my beloved Son”; he would not hear those words on the cross. No one would come to help (p.104).

God’s Protection in Our Vulnerability

We train our mouths to say and our thoughts to affirm, I trust God. He is my refuge. No job, no person, no bank account can be a refuge for me and my kids. Only God can. It’s personal: God is my God, my refuge, my fortress. And because he is for me, he is for my kids too (p.121-22).

God’s Wisdom in Our Uncertainty

Moms and dads don’t lead nations (praise God) but we do lead colicky babies, high-maintenance toddlers, and kids with special needs, health issues, and learning disabilities, not to mention rebellious teenagers. Daily, even hourly, we need wisdom for life-changing choices (Do I send my son to live with his father?) and seemingly inconsequential ones (Is it wrong to let my kids watch TV during dinner so I can have some peace?). Jehoshaphat’s prayer can be ours: We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you (p. 136).

God’s Grace in Our Shame

Once I accept that God handcrafted me for exactly the days he ordained for me to live – including the difficult days of raising children alone – and once I accept that God thinks I am wonderful [see Psalm 139], I don’t have to afraid of what God sees when he looks at me (p. 149).

The Gospel Makes Us Family

All the things that make biological families complicated can make church family complicated too. We don’t pick our biological (or adoptive) moms, dads, or siblings, and we don’t pick the folks in our local church. (Given a choice, they might not pick me either.) Because every member of that church is a sinner in need of grace, you will cause each other a lot of trouble. Your church family will annoy you, frustrate you, undermine you, leave you out, and hurt your feelings. You will fail them, let them down, talk behind their backs, ignore their suffering, and wear them out. This is what life in any family looks like, and we can’t be surprised when sin separates us (p. 168).

God’s Grace is Sufficient

God’s strength sustains us to endure what we think might kill us and transforms us into men and women full of long-suffering love for our children and for his church. His strength makes us into generous givers of the grace we have received. His strength is the power that raised Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19-20). We need not fear his strength will fail. God graciously meets our needs in a million ways, large and small, but this is a promise you can build your family on: God’s grace is enough.

Join us October 24-26 for Rooted 2024, a conference for parents and youth pastors, held this year in Dallas Texas!