Share by E-Mail Editor's Note: You also need to consider how well you all may be able to form a healthy stepfamily together. Realize the significance of your dating decisions. The decisions you make now are about much more than just whether or not you and your date have a good time together.
Your dating choices will have spiritual, emotional, and psychological impact for many years to come, so take them seriously. Ask God every day to give you the wisdom you need to make the very best dating decisions, and choose to follow the guidance God gives you, even when doing so is difficult.
Date with the right purposes and goals. Rushing into dating or marriage can harm your romantic and family relationships. You must take all the time necessary to truly get to know a potential spouse and his or her family thoroughly before making decisions that will significantly affect the lives of everyone concerned.
Rather than looking for the right person, become the right person. Instead of looking for the right person to date, first focus on becoming the spiritually and emotionally healthy person that God wants you to be before entering into another romantic relationship. Keep in mind that the loss of your previous marriage has permanently changed you and your kids, but those changes can result in you all growing to become stronger people who are more like Jesus. Surrender your own will for your dating life to God and trust Him to lead you as you consider new dating relationships.
Since fear is incompatible with love it prevents you from doing what love leads you to do , you need to identify your fears and pray for God to help you overcome them in order to enjoy a successful dating relationship. Some common fears for single parents who are dating are: Confess whatever your own fears are to God and ask for His help to move beyond them, through the power of love.
Help your kids overcome their fears. Engage in conversations about how your lives may change in the future, and listen to the thoughts and feelings they express. Acknowledge and label their fears. Date only people who have strong character and are emotionally stable. Refuse to date others, since they will only damage your relationships with God and your children.
Look for traits like these: Pay attention to caution and stop signals. Noticing certain issues in your dating relationship should get your attention. You should proceed with caution and thoroughly check out issues such as pornography use, a short temper, or other character issues that concern you. Getting to the Heart of the Matter Make a wise decision about marriage.
Ask God to help you decide whether or not to marry if you reach a point where: If not, have the courage to end your dating relationship and move on, to best serve yourself and your family. Ron is a licensed marriage and family therapist who frequently appears in the national media, including FamilyLife Today, Focus on the Family, and The Club.
Ron and his wife, Nan, and their sons live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.