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Posts Tagged ‘Judging’

I’ve talked to a few single moms lately who shared that they feel a little left out now that they’re single moms.  It’s like when people you grew up with or went to college with find out that you’re now a single mom, they seem to translate this information the same as if you’d just announced that you have Leprosy.  Even sometimes new friends you make learn that you’re a single mom and they begin treating you differently. 

I took this information in, and decided to do some of my own research to see what the general public’s perspective is on single moms.  I turned to the internet since most of the people who post things on the internet do so with a screen name, and don’t reveal their identity.  People seem to not be as shy about stating their opinions when they do it under a screen name, so I felt I’d find out some good information this way.  So, do you know what I found?  I found that a lot of the people who posted comments about single moms said that it didn’t bother them if someone they knew was a single mom, but some people left comments like:

  • Single moms are obviously bad judges of character if they were with someone who was a jerk.
  • Single moms are a drain on society because we (taxpayers) pay for them and their children.
  • One blog entry I read actually listed 13 reasons to AVOID single moms.

I was a little bit surprised to find such judgemental and uneducated comments posted about single moms.  Let me address the comments one at a time…….

#1 Single moms are obviously bad judges of character if they were with someone who was a jerk.
-Could it be that the jerk they were with was a really good actor and was on his best behavior until they were engaged or married?  Could it be that the relationship for some reason just didn’t work?  Could it be that the person they were with lied and had another family?  Could it be that they were raped? Could it be that the person they were with died?

#2 Single moms are a drain on society because we (taxpayers) pay for them and their children.
-A statement like this is stereotyping single moms.  I know several single moms who do not receive public assistance, and I know two married couples that make three times more money than I do who receive WIC benefits because they have their child on state medical insurance.  (In our state, if your child receives a medical coupon, you automatically qualify for WIC until the child is 5.)

I was on public assistance for five months, (two months before Grace was born, and three months after she was born.)  I started working when she was three months old, called my case worker the same day I got a job and canceled my cash assistance and she said that she wanted me to transition off of food stamps for the next five months since formula and baby food are expensive.  But, I’ve also worked and paid taxes for nearly TEN years, so I don’t really think that being on public assistance for a few months when there was absolutely no other way we could have made it is a drain on society.

I believe that public assistance is there for when you REALLY need help, but it’s not there to live off of for generations and generations, that’s when it drains society.  I made the decision to end public assistance as quickly as possible after Grace was born, and not sign up for WIC benefits, (even though we still quailfy for them since I buy Grace’s health insurance from the State.) because there are so many other people out there who NEED the assistance.  If I applied for public assistance and qualified for it, but we didn’t need the assistance, that would be a drain on society.

#3 One blog entry I read actually listed 13 reasons to AVOID single moms.
 -The entire blog entry showed how uneducated the author is on a variety of subjects, so I’m not even going to make statements about this one.

Really, what I’m getting at here is that you can’t judge someone for what has happened in their life.  You also can’t steryotype people.  What happened happened, and they can’t go back and change it.  Another thing that most people don’t even think about is that single moms are not taking the “easy way out”  they chose to give life to their child, and that’s a life long commitment.   Sometimes, I think that people need to step out of their “comfort zone” and get to know people who’s life situations are different from their own so they can be a little bit more open-minded.

No matter what situation someone is in, single parenting, divorce, getting out of prison, recovering from addicitons, or any other situation you may know someone in, remember that you don’t know, nor do you need to know all of the details.  What happened happened, and no matter how much they’d like to, they can’t go back in time and change what happened.  What they need is your friendship, your support (including them on activities, prayer, I’m not talking about financial support.) and your encouragement.

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When you look at other people, what do you think?  Do you accept them for who they are?  Do you look at them and see their faults?  This is a tough subject.  How can we look at other people and accept them and love them for who they are?  It’s so hard to do. 

God commands us to love people no matter who they are or what they’ve done.  We run into people all the time who do not measure up to our standard.  Maybe it’s a person who’s been on drugs.  Maybe it’s a person who’s been divorced.  Maybe it’s a single mom.  Maybe it’s a person who has stopped trusting God.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not up to ME to judge other people.  My duty is to pray for them, and to show them Christ’s love.  We do not know all of the details of another person’s life.  We don’t know exactly what happened or why it happened. We all make poor choices at times, and none of us are any better than the other in God’s eyes. Sometimes people make a  poor choice that has life long effects.  Sometimes people make poor choices and we don’t know about it because the consequences for their choices are not as obvious as the consequences for other people’s choices.  The real question here to ask ourselves is how do I measure up to God’s standards, not how do other people measure up to my  standards. 

What is your first thought when you see a single mom?  What is your first reaction when you see a single mom come to your church?  I’m very blessed that I have many people in my life who are supportive of Grace and I, however I’ve run into a few people in the last two years who were always putting me down because I’m a single mom.  They found numerous things to judge me for.  They didn’t like my parenting style.  They didn’t like it that I’m not currently married.  They didn’t like it that I’m not looking for a husband.  They didn’t like it that Grace isn’t potty trained yet……and the list goes on and on.  Very petty things in my mind (and things that are really none of anyone else’s business.) 

I learned a long time ago that just because things are “different” than what I like or the way that I would do it, does NOT mean they are “wrong.” 

So, how do you stop judging people and loving them as God would love them?  Well, it doesn’t happen over night, but here are a few things that I’ve learned in this area:

  • Pray for them…..ask God to give you His love for them. (That’s really hard to do sometimes.)
  • Get to KNOW them.  A lot of times, we don’t like a person because we don’t KNOW them.
  • Try to be a blessing to them.  When you bless other people, it blesses you too.
  • Remember that they are accountable to God for their actions, not to you.
  • Just because it’s “different” doesn’t mean it’s “wrong”……is it “wrong” that I’m not married?  No, I don’t think so.  I would rather be a single mom with a peaceful life and a very happy little girl than be married to someone who is verbally, mentally, physically, and sexually abusive…..now that is wrong.
  • When you find yourself judging someone or not liking them, take a look at your attitude.  My philosopy is that if I don’t like a person, it’s not their problem, it’s MY  problem and I need to adjust my attitude about that person.

There are people all around us who are going through trials.  People who have been through worse things than we have been through.  People who are hurting and have no hope.  Don’t judge them……..love them.

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