After my first marriage ended in divorce from an affair and I found myself as a single mom to an 18-month-old little girl, I decided I wouldn’t even consider dating until she had graduated from high school. At one point, I mistrusted all men and had no desire to let down my guard to go through pain like that again. I also wanted to protect my daughter from potentially gaining something only to lose it later if a second relationship didn’t work out.
However, less than two years later, I was once again at the alter saying “I do” to my now husband of eighteen years. So much for my resolve!
A Change Of Heart
What made me change my mind about dating again? Well, I quickly realized two things. First and foremost, parenting on my own was tough. And since my first husband was nowhere to be found, I also wanted my daughter to have an example of what a godly marriage looked like.
After a marriage is dissolved, either by the loss of a spouse or divorce, many single-again parents start to see that there are different ways to view the future. There are two basic perspectives on the topic: remain single until the children are grown or start dating to find a potential new spouse.
Many singles choose to follow the first perspective and fly solo until their children are grown. This is caused by a few different scenarios. Often, single parents find that their level of trust for the opposite sex is at an all-time low due to hurts from the pain and loss that the dissolution of the marriage brought. Even if the breakup was agreed upon and amicable, that kind of loss is hard to overcome.
Another reason single parents remain single is that they are attempting to protect their offspring from further damage by avoiding another relationship. After all, many kids in step-families find themselves wondering if a second marriage will work when Mom and Dad’s didn’t. The family changes that result from the breakup can cause great grief to children of all ages. When a parent finds him or herself alone raising children, they not only guard their own hearts, but they are fiercely protective of their children.
Finally, some may feel that they are being called by God to remain single for the rest of their lives. The Apostle Paul was called to remain single and he was able to accomplish much for the kingdom because of it.
Getting Back In The Game
On the other hand, there are plenty of single parents who decide to go the other route and start dating again to potentially find a new spouse. While many may balk at this idea, there’s a good reason behind it. After all, how are children of divorce supposed to learn what a godly marriage looks if they do not see it modeled for them?
Not only does a Christian remarriage offer a view of God’s design for a marriage, it also offers insight into God’s design for a family. When children are able to have a front row seat to watch two married adults achieve goals together, communicate effectively and solve problems in a positive way, they gain an understanding of how marriage is supposed to work.
Putting God First
The biggest thing to remember is to keep God at the forefront of your life. If you choose to remain single, remember that God needs to be your first priority, then your children, then others. However, if you remarry (regardless of the age of your children), the priorities change: God, new spouse, children and then others.
There is not a wrong or right way to proceed post-divorce in regards to dating and remarriage. Whether you choose to remain single or start dating again, as long as God is at the center of your life, you will succeed in the plans He has for you.