I had my life all planned out by the time I was 10. I’d go to college and get a great job, marry an amazing, godly man, have a bunch of kids, and buy a house with a white picket fence. We’d sit on the front row in church every Sunday, volunteer in the soup kitchen, and read the Bible together every night.
But that’s not exactly how it turned out.
It wasn’t long before our perfect little family met incredible adversity. Just 6 weeks into my fourth pregnancy, my husband met another woman and moved out. Without any warning or choice, I had suddenly become a single mom. I had a lot of unanswered questions about homeschooling, faith, and even my identity. But one of my greatest fears was for my boys.
How could I raise these boys to become godly men when there was no male influence in our home? Or more practically, how would I teach them to shave, tie a necktie, or stand up while going to the bathroom? I felt lost, alone, and completely unequipped.
But I quickly learned that I wasn’t. There are many moms (single or not) who face both these practical questions and those with deep spiritual impact. There are many moms who go to bed at night crying out in desperation over the lack of godly influence in the lives of their boys.
If you don’t read anything else in this post, please get this…
Desperation is a feeling that the enemy uses to
hijack our hearts and paralyze our ministry to our kids.
While I don’t believe God wants broken marriages and families, the promise of redemption and provision remains. God is always the same. God doesn’t play catch-up. He isn’t sitting up in heaven right now thinking, “Hmm…what on earth am I going to do about this?” He always has a plan and it’s always a very good plan.
Which means that moms can indeed successfully parent boys who grow to be godly men, even when that godly male influence is missing from the home. I’d love to share with you a few ways to do this.
5 ways to raise godly men regardless of circumstances
I know it sounds cliche, but I can’t leave this out. We’ve got to fervently pray for our boys. When there is godly influence lacking in the home, there is no time to throw up our hands in frustration. We can pray and ask God to fill in the gaps, to change the heart of dad (unless widowed), and to guide us as we make decisions regarding the influence of our boys.
The Bible promises that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). We can trust God to keep this promise.
Focus on your influence
Often we focus on what we lack, but that isn’t the correct posture for success. As moms, we have tremendous influence in the lives of our boys through the way we live, what we teach, and how we handle trials. A godly influence transcends the gender gap.
In 2 Timothy 1:5, we see a beautiful picture of this influence through the mother and grandmother of Timothy. The Bible tells us that their faith influenced him to be the godly man he became. Although I don’t believe Timothy’s mother was a single mom, we do know for certain that his father was a Greek and not a Christian (Acts 16:1-3).
Two ways that I focus on my influence is through discussing the sermons we hear at church and encouraging my boys to have a daily quiet time. These FREE printable resources for sermon notes and quiet time are so helpful to me.
I also make sure that I am deeply grounded in Scripture so I can impart those truths to them when the timing is right. I keep my favorite Scriptures on cards for easy access (download a free set of Scripture cards here).
Pick your friends wisely
I have made a commitment to surround myself with godly families. The truth is, I have more in common with married people than singles, anyway. And my kids need friends who aren’t struggling as much as they need those who are. It’s hard to be the odd person out sometimes, but it is worth it in the long run.
The added benefit of having friends who are married is that your kids see godly men living out life. They watch their friends’ dads at picnics and church events. This is influence, and it’s making an impact on our kids, even when negative influences surround them.
Ask people to invest in your kids
Most moms are waiting for men to step up and be role models for their sons. Stop that. In today’s society, people are afraid to get involved because so many moms are defensive and uninterested in help. Don’t be afraid to ask. When my boys are promoted to a new grade level, I call and talk to each of their Sunday School teachers and tell them that I really want them to be firm with the boys and to be the godly influence they need.
The teachers always welcome this conversation and often thank me for making it clear to them where the boundaries are. I express similar things to the husbands of my friends. They appreciate the invitation to help without worrying about offending. They have even offered to take my boys on camping trips and other church functions because they know that they have authority to do so safely and enjoy the responsibility of making a difference in the lives of others.
Get them involved
Seek out Christian activities that your boys can become involved in. One of my sons takes horseback riding lessons at a ranch that focuses on Christian leadership and discipleship. He is surrounded by godly men and teens who are serving. As he gets old enough, I will make it a priority to get him out there to serve alongside these men.
Another opportunity in our town is a local Christian theater. But your town is going to be different. You’ll need to talk to people at your church and see what kinds of things are available. Often, churches and Christian groups have sports teams that are largely focused on discipleship.
If you can’t find any of these types of opportunities, keep searching and praying. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it will come.
Be encouraged. You’re not in this alone. God is constantly equipping and providing for you and your children.
(By the way…if your husband is in the home, but has checked out or is not a godly example, let me encourage you to continue to give that to God. Please pray about these suggestions and how they may work without causing your husband to feel disrespected or unworthy. It may be that #1 and #2 will be your only options. Don’t feel like that’s not enough. Remember Timothy!)
So what will you do about this issue of raising godly men? Leave a comment and tell me what one thing you will pursue this week.
Kim Sorgius, author and creator of Not Consumed Blog, is a single homeschooling mom of 2 boys and 2 girls. She earned her M. Ed. in Early Childhood and Curriculum Development from USF and spent 10 years in the public school system before taking on her biggest challenge and blessing, motherhood. She feels honored to help Christian moms build victorious families with practical resources for homeschooling, daily life, and faith. Kim has written many best-selling Bible studies, as well as parenting resources Not A Statistic and Single Mom Homeschooling.
Exactly what I needed today! My ex is also an ex youth pastor, who left us and the ministry and ran off with an 18 year old. He is still in the kids lives, but has renounced his faith and his worldview couldn’t be more polar opposite than mine. I struggle so much with anxiety and worry over his influence on my three sons. But not only is God bigger than either of us, He cares infinitely more about my kids. Thank you so much for this encouragement!
Thx for the reminder that God has a plan for my twin boys, 12 years old. My marriage is unequally yoked. My boys used to love church, sunday school, boys club etc. They’re growing up and starting to take on their own beliefs. One loves church centered activities, one not so much. Prayer is my greatest tool in my circumstances. Thanks for this article and understanding my trial♡ Blessings on your 4 sons.
Thankyou so much for this article. My husband of 24 years was unfaithful and left me and our 4 children. I have 2 boys and 2 girls. i am one of the many moms who “go to bed at night crying out in desperation over the lack of godly influence in the lives of their.” Thankyou for encouraging me that I can indeed successfully parent boys who grow to be godly men, even when that godly male influence is missing from the home. God is so faithful even when others are not.