What The Bible Says About Single Mothers – [tweets “Hope finds me at the well. Quote from #UnseenCompanion by @MichelleLynnSen”] Hope Finds Me at the Well “I have food to eat, you know nothing.” JOHN 4:32 Have you ever read a book and felt so enamored with the story that it became less about the characters and more about you? A story so deep that it reaches into the dark spaces inside people, revealing something you’ve always known or longed for but never had the courage to say? The Gospel of John, chapter 4, provided such a moment for me and continues to be an important milestone in my journey as a single mother. At first reading, the story of “The Woman at the Well” seems to be the only story in which Jesus reveals himself as the Messiah. And as usual, Jesus spoke in confusing metaphors, giving the woman “living water” and telling his disciples that he had “food” that they did not know. But what about me as a single mother in the twenty-first century? When a woman has been married five times and lives with her husband six times, it is not clear that she herself is a mother. As I read the second and third pages of the story, I was humbled. I am also the woman at the well, dipping my bucket into the deep ground, hoping to find something to quench my soul’s thirst. And Jesus was waiting there to give me the living water. Oh Lord, give me to quench this thirst! That is the brilliance and beauty of the Bible. The author provides just enough information to help us imagine ourselves in God’s story, but conveniently leaves out details that can tear us apart from our relationship. So his story became my story. And here you are. The story moves us beyond the world-based theology of condemnation and shame by teaching two paradigm-shifting lessons: Jesus treats women with tenderness in difficult situations. To be fully God, nothing is hidden from Jesus. She is a Samaritan woman, considered impure and beyond God’s redemption – not only because of the race she was born into, but also because of the sin that pushed her out of her community. Jesus knew the intimate details of life, but He did not condemn them, nor did He humiliate or mock them. Instead, He spoke of the gentle truth, revealed the full knowledge of Him, and offered the gift of living water, refreshing eternally for their souls. “If you know the gift of God and who asks for a drink, you will ask and he will give you living water.” JOHANES 4:10 What is even more surprising is that Jesus chose this woman to be the first to know his identity as the Messiah. Jesus was able to show himself as the Messiah to the religious teachers and political leaders in that country. He can proclaim from the top of the mountain, gathering thousands of devotees at his feet. Instead, He chose an insignificant woman. Jesus not only knew them, but was known. This is Jesus who prevented a certain woman from being stoned to death. It was Jesus who allowed the sinful woman to wash her feet with tears and anoint them with perfume. He healed a woman who was bleeding and another who was crooked. He showed his love for the poor widow who gave everything for the treasure of the Great Church, and He praised Mary, who was willing to leave an important task that day to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him. And after Jesus rose from the grave, He first appeared to the sad Mary Magdalene, a woman who had been driven out by seven demons. Yes, our Savior has a tender heart for women in difficult situations. If He knew the truth about me and everything I did, He would have rejected me. If He knew how great my anger was and did not charge me money. If He knows the abuse I want to go through and the inability to stop. If He sees the sorrow, I have to raise my own children and the care and hatred I carry. If he really knew me. . . Take it easy, single mom. He knows you completely, despite the doubts and cynicism you carry right now. He waits for you at the well, not with punishment, but with living water and an invitation to know Him. Jesus offers living water to satisfy our souls. When the woman walked to the well one morning, she could not have predicted the extraordinary things that would happen. He intends to fill his vessel with water and instead leaves with a heart full of grace and truth. Like the woman at the well, we women are thirsty. We thirst not only for basic needs, but also for friendship, love, security and peace. We thirst for strength, healing, and meaning. And when our thirst becomes unbearable, we run to the resources of the world in hopes of filling our vessels with something that will sustain and sustain us. Jesus made a remarkable claim. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I will give them will never be thirsty again. Yes, the water that I will give them will be a spring of water that springs up eternal life. Yokanan 4:13-14 JAV – When Jesus realized that the woman would return to the well to draw water to nourish her body, Jesus gave her living water to nourish her soul. I know what you’re thinking. Living water sounds great in theory, but I’m struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table. I have to live in reality. Give me something practical. I see. Remember, I am a single mother walking around to open my arms and empty promises in this world, I drink from wells and cisterns, but I am thirsty. eternal thirst. When our bodies thirst for water, our souls thirst for eternity. You, Lord, are my Lord, I ask you; I miss you, I’m all looking for you, in this dry and arid land where there is no water Psalm 63:1 I live in a broken world, my love. Being a Christian does not guarantee a life free from suffering and pain, nor does it promise a life without need. But through the living water, God gives us the strength to overcome difficult situations with courage, dignity, and grace. And for those of us who need to rebuild our homes, God’s Word reveals the intrinsic relationship between living water and restoration. God will always guide you; He will meet your needs in the scorched land and will strengthen your bones. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a well-watered spring. Your people will rebuild the old ruins and rebuild the ancient foundations; You are called Broken Wall Repair, Street Restorer with shelter. Isaiah 58:11-12 Do you see that? The prophet Isaiah of the Old Testament, the man who prophesied the birth of Jesus, said that we are called “Repair Broken Walls” and “Healers of the Road with Shelter”. Through living water, God strengthens us to build foundations and repair broken walls. A comforting promise to those of us who consider our homes broken. Excerpted and adapted from The Unseen Companion-God with the Single Mother, ©2017 by Michelle Lynn Senters. Used by permission of Moody Publishers. Buy this book through our Amazon link and support us with your purchase! Be sure to check out the Notebook archives. About the Author: Michelle Lynn Senters has a message for single moms – a message forged in her own journey and deepened during her years of service to single moms. “You are not alone.” She is the founder and director of SEEN, a ministry designed to share Christ’s love with single mothers and equip churches to meet their spiritual needs. Michelle is a sought-after speaker at women’s events, Bible studies and writers’ conferences. He is the author of The Unseen Companion—God with the Single Mother. Learn more at www.michellelynnenters.com and www.seenministries.com.
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What The Bible Says About Single Mothers
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