Homefires: Young Mothers Are Searching for Help (Vol 10, No 2 – March/April 1994)

By Matt Dabbs

By Ron Rose

Sandy’s Story

For Sandy’s mother everyday was a struggle, and an unwelcome cloud of doom seemed to hang over her days and fill her nights. Sandy recalls, “My mother and father had a difficult and financially burdened marriage. My father didn’t know how to be emotionally supportive. He thought holding my mother or trying to understand her feelings were signs of weakness. She grew depressed and isolated and hopeless. She felt trapped and alone and full of doubt.” Finally, Sandy’s mother found her own way out of the pain. One afternoon, she kissed three-year-old Sandy good-bye, found a gun, and took her own life.

Sandy’s father made an already difficult situation into an intolerable one. No one was ever allowed to mention his wife’s name again. Grief was short-circuited and aborted. Her father’s anger grew more bitter and intense.

Sandy grew up sad. “I wanted to have someone love me,” she said, “like a mother loves a child. I missed my mother. Never would i hear my mother brad about my accomplishments, like making my bed or baking cookies or riding a two-wheeler. Mom wouldn’t be there to kiss a boo-book, see me in the school play, be at my graduation from college, or to watch me get married.”

After Sandy got married, she was, for a while, unwilling to be a mother. It wasn’t just that her mother wasn’t there to teach her to sew, clean house, or cook. Most of all Sandy says, “My mother wasn’t there to teach me how to love, and I was afraid to try.”

At just the right time for Sandy, a program called Young Mothers’ Enrichment (YME) was begun at Sandy’ congregation and it changed her life. She has been involved in YME for five years now, and she will gladly tell you about it, if you’ll let her. “Now, I’m learning what mothering is all about – the joy, the frustration, and most of all, the love. I can now face motherhood without a lot of fear and resentment. I can create and be a ‘normal’ mom because God is giving me the strength I need to just be me.

Young mothers need support

People love to hear the warm and wonderful stuff about mothers, and they delight in the children – their boundless energy, their unending fascination with the simple details of daily routines. But, what do real-life mothers do with their cynicism, their guilt, and their urge to throw the dinner plates against the fence posts? Where can you find someone who is willing to talk about that kind of stuff? – at Young Mothers’ Enrichment or something like it.

One version of YME

The Young Mothers’ Enrichment Program at the Richland Hills Church of Christ is a monthly support group for mothers of young children. The older women of the church are the leaders, and they strive to give spiritual, educational, and emotional support to the young mothers who have their hands full with all the new responsibilities of motherhood.

The group meets in the morning once a month from September through May. Childcare is provided free at the church building, and they meet in the home of an older woman. They begin each meeting with thirty minutes of coffee and visiting. Then there’s a welcome time, a devotional time, and a prayer time.

Next comes the educational time. Some of the past topics discussed by local speakers have been dental care for children, spiritual growth for mothers, child disciple, self-esteem for mothers, your child’s giftedness, dealing with stress, overcoming sexual boredom in marriage, and car safety. Lunch follows the education time. Every February the meeting is changed to an evening around Valentine’s Day. The young mothers bring their husbands to this special evening, with dinner, a devotional, and fun.

Start your own version

I am confident that there are young mothers in your congregation, right now, who are in desperate need of a Young Mothers’ Enrichment program or whatever you call it. “Just knowing we are not alone serves to strengthen us,” state another of the young mothers. This type of ministry is not a luxury program for churches in the nineties, it’s a baseline program – an urgent priority.

Training young parents is a must

One concerned young mother put it this way, “I think the church has been behind in what I feel is one of it’s primary responsibilities – parent training. Whey is it that we spend thousands of dollars on Bible school curriculum and pennies on making sure parents are trained and supported and affirmed!” If you want more information about YME at Richland Hills, write Lyn Rose, 5001 Surrey Ct., Fort Worth, TX 76180.

Keep the home fires burning.

categoria commentoNo Comments dataJanuary 30th, 2017
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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1577 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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