Question of the week: Can kids in single parent homes become successful contributing adults to society when they grow up?


There are a lot of negative statistics about children in divorced homes. While these stats may be true, they may lead you to conclude that the children who come from these homes are set up for failure. It doesn’t have to be that way, and in many cases, it is not.

When I first became a single mom my kids were 12 and 8 years of age. My daughter, the oldest, was at an age where she really needed the positive influence of a father. My son was only in second grade at the time.

At first I bought into all the hype about how kids from divorced homes would fail. They were going to

  • Get into drugs
  • Drop out of school
  • Be unruly and uncooperative
  • Blah, blah, blah.

My first pitiful prayer was, “Dear God please don’t let my daughter get pregnant and my son get into drugs and help them both graduate from high school.” I’m terribly embarrassed now to say that was the hope I had. As I healed and came closer to God I began to realize there was hope for my kids.

I learned that kids are self fulfilled prophecies. If that is the best projection I could have for my kids, then that is what they would become. I wanted more for my kids.

  • More than anything I wanted them to trust in a loving God.
  • They needed to have faith in God and a walk with Jesus Christ.
  • They needed to be exposed to a prayer life and learn how God truly does answer prayers.
  • They needed to be surrounded my church family.
  • They needed to be around extended family and other loving people that could contribute to their lives.

Can kids in single parent homes become successful contributing adults to society when they grow up? Absolutely they can.

I know many successful adults who were raised in a single parent family or who experienced their parent’s divorce.

In the United States there have been five presidents who were raised by single parents. There are celebrities, actors, sports champions, gold medal winners and many more successful adults who were raised in single parent families.

But what about in the church, in the religious realm, are there many ministers and others who were raised by a single mom or dad? Here are three children’s ministers that I know personally and who have shared their stories with me.

  • Brian Dollar, Children’s Minister, an author of many children’s ministry resources (and has a new book coming out this spring) and a developer of children’s curriculum such as High Voltage Kids.
  • Michael Chanley, a proud Marine who turned to the Lord in his adult life. He was a Children’s Minister before becoming Executive Director of INCM, International Children’s Ministry Network. He is the author of “Collaborate:  Family + Church” and he developed CMConnect. CMConnect is a social media for children’s ministers. Currently it has over 12,000 members. He continues to educate and train KidMin people through CMConnect.
  • Jeffery Reed, is KidsMin Director at LifeWay and a popular Kidmin blogger and speaker at many children’s ministry conferences. He is also a great musician and can play the piano like you can’t believe.

In my own church in Navarre, FL our Praise and Worship Minister, Ken Rousseau, is another successful minister, dad and loving husband who was raised by a single mom.

Remember my kids, my daughter and son who were 12 and 8 years of age when their dad moved out? They are indeed successful contributing adults to our society today.

My daughter is a Master Sargent in the Air Force. She was in Special Ops for years and has been deployed to Afghanistan. She is married and raising three of my grandsons.

My son is an Anesthesiologist in the Dallas TX area. He is married and raising two of my granddaughters and one of my grandsons.

Both love the Lord and they understand the power of prayer. They have seen prayers answered and each has a faith walk and they have a very proud mom.

There are many single parents that work hard and seem to do everything right and yet their child just doesn’t seem to get it. Please realize that children in single parent homes have outside influences including the other parent that can influence them negatively. This post is not meant to downgrade any single parents parenting but to lift, encourage and allow all children’s church leaders and single parents to see that the child of divorce has the potential to be a successful contributing adult in the next generation. 


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