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Did you know that parenting our children is one of the greatest honors given to us by God? Your children are yours to raise not to take ownership. This is regardless of you marital status. According to
Psalm 127:1-4: Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain, you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat for he grants sleep to those he loves. Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.
Raising children from a single mother’s perspective can sometimes be a bit difficult. Society already sees you as an outcast, and deems you not complete because you do not have a father figure to complete this unfinished portrait. When you incorporate dating into the scenario things can definitely become more challenging. Not just for you, but for your children as well. This is especially true when your children may have unrealistic dreams of their parents reuniting. You have to be conscious of balancing your home life, and you’re dating prospects.
When there is one parent in the home, your children are looking to you for guidance, provision, and wisdom. I also noticed my sons accepted or felt it was alright for their father to date, but had a different attitude towards the matter when it came to me. Sons normally hold their mother in such high regard, that any man that attempts to interact with her is seen as a threat. In their eyes this person is taking away time set aside for them and them alone. As a single mother I feel it is very important for my sons to see me in positive interactions with men. Even though they may never say anything, they do observe what you do, verses what you say.
Ephesians 5:15-16: Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
This can have an impact later in life on how he views himself as a man, and how he treats the women he dates, or woman he chooses to marry. If your son witnesses you in an abusive relationship whether it is verbal, emotional, mental, or physical, this will definitely altar his perception of his responsibility as a man, and how he views you compared to other women. This may also put him in a confrontational state because he feels it is his duty to protect you. His role is to enjoy the freedom of being a child and all of its wonders. He can not do that if he is put in the role of being a protector, which should be your job.
Even if he knows it is not acceptable to disrespect a woman, or place his hands on her for that matter, he will deem it alright because you showed him time and time again you were willing to accept it. Just because you meet someone and they seem genuinely interested in you, does not mean it is time to introduce them to your children. What do you know about this person other than he has a nice physique, drives a luxury car, and lives in a gated community? You are not thinking rationally, because you are looking at the outer surface. You see him as a great catch, and the sooner he meets the kids the better. How do you know he is interested in children, or even taking on the task of raising someone else’s children? Then what happens when the relationship does not work, and the children have grown attached to, yet, another person you brought into their lives too soon. This revolving door affect may put you in a negative light with your children. What they will begin to equate is every relationship you have ends in failure, so you are obliviously the one at fault. Then you may see a change in behavior or attitude towards you. So now you are viewed as the women that ran their father away, and doing the same thing with every other man that enters into your life.
As a single mother you have to makes choices that are beneficial for the entire family, not just you. This means allowing a man to pursue you, and not the other way around. If you do not set standards for yourself and the expectations you have, then you will get just what you seek superficially. Please make sure you set realistic standards. You can not realistically pray and ask God for a husband that will provide you with a filet mignon and lobster lifestyle, when you have never eaten either one, and are dining on hamburger helper. Don’t get me wrong, I happen to like hamburger helper. I am just trying to convey the importance of setting realistic expectations.
Do not let your desires put you or the children in an unhealthy environment. Just because you meet someone that is able to provide you with all the materialistic items you require, does not make for a happy home. What about the persons character, is he spiritually grounded, and what are his views regarding family? Does he stand behind the principles that God has ordained about his responsibility as a man and ultimately a father? These are just a few things to consider on your dating journey. My last statement is something that was embedded in my mind a long time ago, “the desires of the flesh will cause you make choices you would normally not agree to in your right frame of mind”.