She’s done. She walks away from her husband, children, and home. No more racing from work to the ball field, dashing through a drive-thru for dinner, and then home to homework and bath time. She walks away and begins a new life. She’s a runaway mom.
Talk to any women’s ministry leader about challenges she is facing in her church, and she will eventually share her heartbreak over a runaway mom. There is a growing epidemic of moms who find themselves overwhelmed and walk away from their lives and family.
What’s going through the women’s minister’s mind when a woman runs away?
- What caused the mom to run away?
- How did we miss the signs of her distress?
- What could we have been doing to prevent her from being so overwhelmed that she ran away?
- How do we minister to her after she runs?
The answers to the questions vary. Running away from life is a personal choice. We as women’s minsters do not need to beat ourselves up for not seeing the signs.
Instead, let’s focus on what we can do:
- We can continue to love and minister to the mom.
- We can continue to pray for her and encourage her.
- We can pray for her family to be healed and restored.
- We can reach out to the father and the children with practical help and prayer.
Each runaway mom is a reminder of the importance of prayer. Being a mom in today’s world is hard. At some point, every mom is tempted to run. The answer is prayer.
- Pray for protection from feelings of being overwhelmed and from the temptation to run.
- Pray for marriages to stay strong and healthy.
- Pray for moms to be free from unrealistic expectations.
Developing ways to encourage prayer for moms and families needs to be bumped to the top of our priority list. Call on the church to pray together for families. Our families are in desperate need of prayer!
Dr. Deb Douglas has served in women’s ministry for over 37 years. Now she spends her time working with Purchased Ministry, a ministry to women in the sex trade industry. Deb is also the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA. She was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters degree focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.