We think of her as one special lady – this young girl who became a mother and carried the Messiah. Then, after their marriage, she and Joseph birthed several more children – brothers and sisters for Jesus.
Beyond the Christmas story, we don’t see Joseph as a character in the life and ministry of his divine son. Legend and the culture of those days indicate that he was much older than Mary and probably died long before Jesus began his public ministry.
That would make Mary a widow and a single mom.
In her culture, a single woman was not revered or helped by society. It would have been a tough time for her.
Although she had the Son of God on her side, what sort of things can we learn from the life of Mary – things that might help us as we Start Over Single?
- She kept her faith strong. Whenever we meet up with Mary in the Bible, she is cheering for Jesus, supporting him, even holding him after he was lowered off the cross. She didn’t let ugly circumstances change her belief system.
- Family was important. She spent time with her children and we can imagine her as the matriarch at the table, the one who served others yet wasn’t afraid to be served.
- Her character remained strong. Mary is never depicted as a woman who complains about her life. She was almost stoned for becoming pregnant before her marriage to Joseph. She rode long miles on a sweaty donkey while she was in labor and gave birth in a dirty barn. Yet she never whined about her lot in life.
- Jesus loved her. He made sure she would be taken care of after he died, giving her into the care of his beloved disciple, John.
- Her legacy continues. Even after two thousand years, we remember Mary – especially at Christmas time. We honor her and appreciate her obedience to God. Even after all these years, the name, Mary, carries with it a special devotion.
So what are the lessons we can learn from this special woman?
- Keep our faith strong. No matter what has happened to push us into the Starting Over Single camp, we can depend on God to carry us through.
- Family is still important – our children, our extended family, even our ex-laws. Keep connected. Keep close.
- Character matters. Although our circumstances may not be exactly what we want them to be, we can continue to stay strong and not complain just because life is tough.
- Jesus loves us, too. Nothing can separate us from his love.
- We are making a legacy for our children and also for other single women. How we live now determines what our legacies will be. Hang in there. Do life well.
As we think about this Christmas season and the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, we can know we are not alone in the singles department. We can remain strong, take courage every day and know that next Christmas – we will be farther down the road toward emotional and personal growth.
©2015 Starting Over Single for GateWay of Hope