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One-parent family?

THE question asked in the title often occurred to me after I became the only adult caring for my son and daughter. During this time I maintained a full-time job, along with the other responsibilities of caring for a home--some of which looked pretty large to me, especially when it came to selling one house and purchasing another. Yet the answer to the question was always the same and always comforting, strengthening, supporting, and warm: God, our Father-Mother, is always with this family.

Christ Jesus frequently called God ``Father,'' and he referred to ``our Father'' and ``your Father.'' He made it clear that God is the true Father of all, in every place and in all ages. Clearly, the absence of a loving human father is not a desirable circumstance. Yet a child need not feel forsaken when he learns to know God as his ever-present, always loving divine Parent.

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The Bible implies that God is also our Mother. In giving the spiritual sense of the Lord's Prayer, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Sci ence, interprets the first line, ``Our Father which art in heaven''1: ``Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious.''2 And she writes in another place, ``Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.''3 Holding in thought the knowledge of our tenderly caring Father and Mother, our family was able to surmount the feeling that something was lacking. We felt that God's strength and loving care were always with us. Although there were difficulties to be faced that might not have arisen in a family with two adults, these were met through reliance on God, and my son and daughter are now able to say that the experience was ``all right,'' and that they were not hurt in any way.

But how can a woman cope with the tasks that are usually done by men? At times the challenge may seem formidable. Yet the feeling that there is a rigid division between a man's and a woman's abilities, and that each can be pretty inadequate to deal alone with needed household responsibilities, is a limitation that can be overcome with God's love and guidance. The true being of each of us, reflecting the nature of the creator, expresses the full range of divine qualities, masculine as well as feminine, and through our acceptance of this truth we can find the ability to do all we need to do.

I used to think that it was difficult for me to deal in a business capacity with builders, house painters, mechanics. I felt that other people, whose views and opinions sometimes seem to carry more weight than mine, would be more likely to gain what was required and be given a square deal. Yet I have many times proved that this need not be the case. The answer is not in being self-willed or in using psychological strategies. I've found that the way to ensure that business transactions progress effectively and honestly is to realize that divine Principle, God, is present, is in charge, and is expressed by all His children. Understanding this spiritual truth of creator and creation, we can expect to see strength, wisdom, and absolute integrity governing both sides in an agreement, whether men or women or both are involved.

Through these years, compelled by circumstances to run a house on my own, I've found the understanding of God as Father-Mother a wonderful source of strength. We haven't felt lack in our home. Instead, we've proved the constant availability of love, joy, strength, peace--all the qualities coming from the one infinite God.

1Matthew 6:9. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 16. 3Ibid., p. 256. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Matthew 6:8

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