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Sunday, April 19, 2015

What Divorced Women Wish Pastors Knew

What Divorced Women 
Wish Pastors Knew

Tonight I have the pleasure of sharing a blog from a good friend who has written two books.  Janice R. Love has written One Plus One Equals Ten:  A First Lady's Survival Guide for Stepmoms and her newest book Divorced and Highly Favored will be released in May of this year.  Her blog for today provides some really wonderful insights that I wanted to share with you.  You can learn more about Janice and find out about her books at: www.janicerlove.com  Enjoy.  

The church expends a lot of energy focusing on families and building ministries to strengthen the family unit. But what about single individuals, particularly divorced women who come to church every Sunday sometimes feeling forgotten and invisible? Being single is nothing new, the Bible contains many stories of those who are single. The apostle Paul comes to mind as he encourages singles that they can better serve God by being remaining unmarried. Single women are not forgotten in the Bible, as God uses several single women to help us gain vital wisdom. Take a look at Luke 10:38 - 42 where we are introduced to single sisters Mary and Martha who were some of Jesus’ closest friends. Jesus enjoyed visiting their home. We know that Lazarus was their brother, but no husbands are mentioned.  

What about the Samaritan woman at the well?  In John 4:4-42 we learn that she had been divorced five times and was living with a man who wasn’t her husband. After meeting Jesus, this woman who was considered by many to be a sinner, was responsible for the salvation of a whole town. Just as this divorced woman's needs had gone unmet until she met Jesus, today’s churches must not forget that divorced women are members of the church with special needs that often go unmet. Women are sitting silently in the pews hoping to be ministered to where they are. Denise George wrote a book entitled “What Women Wish Pastors Knew” which helps churches to understand the hopes, hurts, needs, and dreams of women in the church. I decided to focus on divorced women and their needs.  Here are 5 things, divorced women wish pastor’s knew.  

  1. I am okay with being single. I have learned to be content in my new status and feel complete in Christ.  I do not come to church because I am looking for a new husband. I come to church to worship and be ministered to. I understand that not everyone is called to be married.
  2. I still have the same gifts and talents I had before I got divorced. I recognize the gifts God gave me to use in his service. I can still teach Sunday school or lead a ministry.  I want to feel like I am a part of the church ministry. I want to participate in ministries where I feel empowered to use my God given gifts. I want to be a blessing to others.  
  3. I don’t know where I fit it in – While I was married I was included. Families are often recognized within the church. As a single person, I don’t feel comfortable hanging out with married couples any longer. The single ministry is not a good fit for me. I want to feel like I am a part of something. I want to participate in church activities but am seldom asked.  
  4. I look nice for me. I am finally taking care of myself and am confident in who I am. I have changed my hair, my makeup or my wardrobe to celebrate the new me. My new self-confidence makes me more attractive, but I am not trying to draw attention to myself.  
  5. I want to be ministered to as a single person. I often feel left out and don’t like feeling like a second class citizen. I would like to be encouraged through sermons and bible teaching. Think about me when you make a big deal about married couples and families. Remember I am a part of the church too.
Please take the time to share these thoughts with your pastor or church leaders so that divorced women can feel at home in God's house and use their gifts to serve. I am sure there are additional thoughts that can be added to my list. What would you add to my list? Please feel free to share your thoughts.  

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