John 1:1 – 5
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
As parents, it may be very possible that we could be the first Gospel that our children ever hear! This can be especially true for single parents, as (for better or worse) we have a powerful influence on the beliefs and values that our children develop.
In most cases we are the first person to tell our children the good news of God’s love. We can do this in many ways, such as taking them to church or Sunday School, saying prayers with them at night, and telling them of Jesus’ time here with us through sharing stories of his miracles, parables and how he cared for all of the people who came to hear him preach and teach about God’s love. However, we can also tell our children about the Gospel through how we act, not only through those times when we live or faith out-loud in all that we do, but also when we fall short, for this can be an opportunity to show our children how to deal with our weaknesses and failings, by asking for forgiveness and making amends.
When we treat those around us with kindness and consideration, especially those people we don’t always feel we HAVE to be nice to (such as a restaurant worker, salesperson, Customer Service Rep, or that guy who just cut you off on the highway, our ex, etc.) as fellow children of God, then we are teaching our children the Gospel by showing them how to practice the message of Christ in our lives.
We also share the Gospel when we reach out to help those in need, from our family and friends, but to those we have never met, when we share with them our compassion, time and donations — all of which can be very valuable resources for us as single parents. When we go out of our way to volunteer to help others personally or through the church or the community, we are proclaiming the Gospel to our children, teaching them the power of God’s love in today’s world…that the Gospel is not just something that happened long ago, but is alive and active today, and continuing to grow to light the world with hope!
Whenever we are proclaiming the Gospel in our lives, sharing with our children and with those around us, we become the Word of God’s love, for we are following in the footsteps of Jesus, the Christ who was the Word made flesh!
This seems like a lot to live up to, as it is a big responsibility to act as Christ to the world, but then again, so is raising children! As single parents we are well suited to taking on responsibility, so much so that we can be very hard on ourselves when we fall short…and we will fall short, we all do, especially as parents!
We know that none of us are without faults, but this is okay, as it is part of being human and this is where the Word of God’s grace comes to us through Christ! For it is through Christ that God offers us forgiveness, wisdom and support as we deal with life on life’s terms. This Word comes to us not only through the Gospels but also through each other, as we gather together in support and care.
For when the Word is proclaimed together, we are reminded that the love we are called to share with others, is also given to us, as through sharing it, the Word of God speaks to us in our own lives, and the lives of our children! Wherever this message is shared, the light of hope grows brighter, and when this light fills the lives of our children, they too will shine on…as they will become the Word made flesh, followers of Christ, called to make his good news known in the world!
Let Us Pray:
Dear God, thank you for coming to us, right in the midst of our lives as the Word made flesh: not only through Christ, but through loved ones and strangers alike. Let us carry out the ministry of Christ in the world, and be the Word to all those around us, especially our children, as we share the gospel with them in what we say and do. Help us not to be hard on ourselves when we fall short, for this is part of the gift of being human, and how we rise up again after we have fallen is another way that your Word of love can be shared! For where this love is shared the light of your grace pushes back the darkness that can touch our lives.