One night at dinner, my son asked me to order two books, The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. I was somewhat shocked and said, “I have that last book. Where did you hear about it?” Very nonchalantly, he said, “It was recommended when I was reading about continually being in God’s presence.” That is when a single mom looks up to JESUS and says, “Thank you God he gets it! My son knows to abide in the true source of wisdom, power and strength. My job is done!!!” Chip Ingram once told me, “Brenda your only job as a parent is to get your son to obey a parent he can see, so that he can obey a God he cannot.”
As a single mom of a young male, I have been told several times from many different people:
- A woman can’t raise a boy to be a man.
- Your son is going to get into drugs and gangs because there is no man around to show him the way of men.
- Your son is going to have issues in school if you don’t get someone to father him.
My heart’s desire was to have a God fearing husband to do life with but it didn’t work out like that for me. However, that did not stop JESUS from fathering my son. Please know my heart. I’m not bragging on me but on how JESUS fills the gap, makes a way out of no way and helps you defy the odds. Let’s look at some statistics.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics reports: 44% of female teens reported having sex at least one time and 47% of men reported the same.1
The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at a sample of teens between the ages of 13 to 18. When it came to drug use, 81 percent of teens said they had the opportunity to use illicit substances, and 42.5 percent actually tried them.2
Now look at the stats in reverse: 56% of female and 53% of male teens are not having sex. Couple that with 57.5% of teens not using drugs even when given the opportunity. I would love to see these numbers higher but these stats show that NOT EVERYONE IS DOING IT. People want you to think everyone is, so why don’t you? “Mom just back off, because everyone’s doing it.” As a single parent, be informed and hold your standards above the perceived norm.
Devin carries a 4.2 GPA in his senior year at Greater Atlanta Christian School, is very astute with money and decision-making. He is 18 years old and has never tried drugs, cigarettes or alcohol, and is walking in purity until marriage. The last one (purity) was his own choice, not something I ever even discussed with him. However, he has heard me speak on the topic at several different speaking engagements. The purpose in sharing all my son’s personal business is to point to Jesus as the gap filler; not to me, not to GACS or my parenting skills because Devin is who he is, in spite of me.
Some people reading this will say, “Oh she is deceived, her son is just telling her what she wants to hear.” If you have one conversation with my son, you will quickly learn he takes after his mother when it comes to telling the raw, uncut truth with no sugar. Even better yet, those who do know him can speak to the essence of his character and resolve.
Once at my former church Free Chapel Worship, Pastor Jentezen Franklin invited a famous athlete to come speak. He said he grew up as a Christian and had never used drugs or alcohol but struggled with other sins like maintaining humility. This gave me hope as a young mother that my son could possibly walk a different path than the one his parents had chosen. I always loved Free Chapel because they were good at showing both sides of the coin. As believers, we are not perfect but perfectly loved by the One who is perfect.
Pastor Dennis Rouse recently shared his daughter’s engagement with my current congregation at Victory World Church. He told us that his college-aged daughter was a virgin and recently got engaged to a young man who was also a virgin. I turned to look at my son and his face was lit up. The light of hope, that there are people out there that are successfully walking the path he has chosen.
On the first day of 2017, I want to encourage every single parent out there, that there is hope. Even if you have screwed up there is help. God can fill the gap! God is great at rescuing our children from decisions they will later regret. However, I proclaim to you today that the same God who rescues can also keep us from needing to be rescued.
In this coming year let’s pray that God keeps our children, not just rescue them. Pray that He will show them the narrow path and help them to overcome the difficulties of walking that path. Sometimes if we never see other people do it, we sometimes think it can’t be done, OH BUT IT CAN!!! Will you stretch your faith to believe with me that this next generation will be the best one yet?
1 http://time.com/3966364/teen-sex/ Fewer Teens Are Having Sex Than in the Past by Alexandra Sifferlin July 22, 2015
2 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/survey-reveals-shocking-levels-of-teen-drinking-drug-abuse/ Survey reveals shocking levels of teen drinking, drug abuse by Michelle Castillo CBS News April 3, 2012