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Well-meant but ignorant comments about single moms can really sting. I’m thankful God doesn’t leave us there. His word heals us.
"So then each of us will give an account of himself to God" Romans 14:12 tells us (ESV). When judgmental comments sting we can turn to God, the righteous Judge, to whom everyone will ultimately answer. In Christ, God does not condemn us. He understands what we go through. He knows the truth about our situation, how much is our responsibility and how much was done to us by others. He offers forgiveness when we fail, and he believes in us. Thoughtless comments prompt us to live by God’s grace.
Unless a woman has been a single mom, she cannot understand what a single mom goes through. It helps to remember that the same is true for many life situations. Raising an autistic child, living with an incurable disease, dealing with racial prejudice, surviving a natural disaster, and many other life traumas can put us in a lonely corner, where others just don’t get what we’re going through. Ironically, feeling alone in our trials is a common life experience.
Feeling isolated makes us vulnerable to doubt and fear. We imagine no one else has suffered the same way, and perhaps this is a new brand of catastrophe that even God can’t handle.
But we are not alone. The Bible tells us that when we suffer we can stand firm in our faith, “knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by (our) brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:9 ESV). Right now, single moms are overcoming the same struggles we face, by faith. They’re asking God to guide their children into truth, open doors of opportunity, provide their needs, and give them courage. God is bringing them through, and he will do the same for us.
Thoughtless Comments Are an Invitation to Grow
Instead of resenting those who speak thoughtlessly, we can deliver grace. “Put on then… compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another… as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And… put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14 ESV).
When we respond with grace, by God’s enabling, we act like Jesus. This has a powerful, positive influence on our children, and positions us for deeper love in our friendships. We’re doing our part to “preserve the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3 ESV).
Hebrews 5:8 tells us that even Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered” (ESV). Choosing to overlook hurtful comments develops noble, Christ-like character. Anyone can spew sarcastic anger. It takes real grit and character to forgive and extend grace.
Do you think these truths will help you deal with problem input from friends? I’d love to hear your thoughts!