From left to right Solami , Thembi’s oldest son, Thembi, Kariboo (Thembi’s
younger son) and Milenhle (Thembi’s late niece’s son).
Thembi Myeni, co-founder of the Single Moms Raising Sons ministries, shares how the ministry was born out of love for her sons and a need for the Father to be in her son’s lives and her life.
If boys receive their strengths and wisdom from their fathers, what happens to a son who is raised by a single mother? Well, my older son, Solami, who is now 33, can best answer this question. He has become the man that I am proud of and has always said “mom, I may not have a relationship with my biological father, but I have never felt fatherless in my life growing up.” How is that so, I asked, his response will be shared in CWO’s next blog.
But today, I am sharing my life as a single mother of two boys. This role has come with many challenges in my life. I had to work harder than normal and obtained different income streams to meet the needs that I thought were important, physical needs. I missed the mark there because my sons needed emotional support and love. As a woman, who was born in a family of seven girls, and a father who worked many hours and his free time was spent indulging in alcohol, I had no male role model and therefore felt ill equipped to model good values to my sons. I do not know how to be a man; I will never know how to be one.
Being a single mother of boys added more stress and anxiety in my life, which I hid by working and travelling. I tried to cushion this blow for some years. I took my son to a boarding school, avoiding questions and being judged as a failure and let someone else deal with this rather than myself.
Yes, amid my depression, he found his Father, and he always referred to Him as a Father who has been with him since the age of 10 years and has never left him.
What about me? It took realizing that God is my Father too and I had to partner with Him to raise my boys to be Godly men. That is when I found my strength and wisdom to raise my sons.
For years, I had put my life and ambitions on hold to take on the extra responsibility of raising these boys alone. These sacrifices impacted my career, finances, and relationships which I tried to form with other people. On the other side, I felt that my sons were missing out on some blessings that God intended all children to have.
But when I learned that God is a perfect Father who treasures His children and helps them deal with the rejection they have faced from absent fathers, He brought ultimate comfort to both me and my sons.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
God is a perfect Father who is never absent, who is always available, and who allows His children to boldly approach Him with whatever they need to get off their chest.