I was devastated when my wife walked out on our marriage, leaving me on my own to raise our three young girls. It was, by far, the darkest season of my life. I found myself just trying to survive and keep things afloat.
We had been married 13 years and our girls were 9, 7 and 4. You lose so much of your world when you go from being a couple to being on your own. God made us for community and our community had been ripped apart. Now I found myself flying solo.
I turned to my church for help. Surprisingly, I found very few Christian resources available to address the loneliness and struggle that single parents face. I decided to start something within my church to help single parents. Without even a mention from the pulpit, I was amazed to see 50 people at our first meeting. It showed there’s a strong need for single parents to connect. One of the biggest things for a suddenly single person is to know they’re not alone.
I learned that single parent homes account for 34% of the nation’s households raising children. Census studies show 63% of youth suicides, 75% of chemically dependent kids, and 85% of incarcerated minors come from single parent homes.
I felt led to write a book, published by Focus on the Family, called Going Solo – Hope and Healing for the Single Mom and Dad, and started a non-profit called Solo Parent Society. We do not want single parents to feel alone. It’s critical to keep the family grounded and focused on Jesus. We provide resources, online support groups, weekly podcasts and daily audio devotions to help single parents raise healthy kids by encouraging, equipping and empowering them so they better love themselves, their family and God. We offer the tools to hope and healing but ultimately, we point that person to Jesus. He alone is the solution.
Typically, when we struggle, we try to get through that valley as soon as possible. But our relationship with Christ is usually strengthened in that wilderness experience. We help solo parents pay attention to what God is teaching them during those difficult times.
A passion for Solo Parent Society is to help local churches start a vibrant ministry for single parents within their congregation. We provide kits for churches and coach them in reaching single parents in their community and on the lessons for each week’s meeting. We work with local ministers to share information and ideas to help advance their ministries.
We are now in 18 states and have reached 159,000 people through Solo Parent Society. We see God’s hand all over this ministry and opening up amazing doors for us. An Army chaplain was looking for a way to help his soldiers since single parents are such a growing demographic in the military. He found us by doing a simple Google search. That providential search led to us co-develop a program for the entire U.S. Armed Forces.