By Connie Kee
Warning! This title may seem a little strange, but please read on! Father’s Day is right around the corner, and I would assume that most everyone thinks about their father during this time of the year. I know that I do, but this post is not about my father or other men in my life who are fathers (although I honor and respect each of them). No, this post is in honor of those women who are fulfilling the roles of both mother and father. These women are caring, loving, nurturing, protecting, providing, defending, and raising children without a husband around. They are selfless, fearless, confident, and determined. Their strength is demonstrated as they willingly lay down their lives for their children (or in some cases, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or friends), no matter the cost. One thing stands out: they don’t have the luxury of focusing on just being a mother, since they must also take on the responsibilities that a father would normally carry.
Fathers are called by God to train, provide, and protect their children spiritually, morally, and physically. They are also called to lead their families and provide accountability for the children (among other responsibilities). In a single mother home, these responsibilities are placed on the mother alone; yet she was never meant to carry them by herself. But because she must carry them, she does.
There’s a special place in my heart for single moms because I was one for ten years. At age 25, I lost my dad to a heart attack. A year later I became a single mother to my four year old daughter and two year old son. Our world was turned upside down, and for all practical purposes, I was both mother and father to my children. There were challenges for sure, but I wouldn’t trade anything for those years I had with my kids. All three of us went to school, moved multiple times, and experienced the good and bad that always come with life. And of course, I had to work outside the home. It was a busy time, but since I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I had the energy to do what I don’t think I could do at my current age. My children were wonderful kids, so that helped make things go more smoothly. In my eighth year as a single mom, I met Jesus Christ and was born again. My children were also saved during those years, and our lives were changed forever. Then I met Scott, a wonderful man who married all three of us. That was almost 28 years ago.
As I reflect back on that time in my life as a single mom, I remember some lonely Father’s Days. I know that they were hard days for my children, too. But I also realize that I know more today about God, my Heavenly Father, than I knew in those days. I know without a doubt that He was always watching out for us, and He was protecting and providing for us every step of the way. I also learned that:
This June, as I honor and celebrate the fathers in my life, I also honor and celebrate every woman who is serving as both mother and father to her children. May you know that a crown with many jewels is awaiting you for your sacrificial service. Your hard work is bringing much glory to God as you are truly advancing His Kingdom on Earth. Finally, take encouragement from the words of our Lord: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”