Should a Christian single mom date? What does the Bible say about marrying a single mother? And what general dating advice is there for a Christian single mom who would like to be married one day?
There is so much to say to Christian single mothers. So please know this article is not mean to be an exhaustive study on this topic and the advice offered here will not apply to all. Also, if you want to know more about out of wedlock pregnancy, click here to read an article on that specific topic. In this article I will not be addressing that part of it too much. I will just be talking about a very narrow question regarding Christian single moms and dating.
Should a Christian Single Mom Date?
The Bible does not talk about dating directly, but it does talk about marriage. There is nothing in the Bible that forbids a single mother from marrying, therefore we can conclude there is nothing in the Bible that forbids a single mother from dating. If a Christian girl got pregnant out of wedlock, premarital sex and the pregnancy are two different issues. A child is always a blessing from the Lord no matter what the relationship is between the father and the mother.
Therefore the question “Should a Christian single mom date?” is not a question of morality but rather one of circumstances, maturity, and wisdom. Having a child is never a negative and God will never punish anyone for having a child. Again, children are always blessings from the Lord. However, with a child comes certain responsibility and natural consequences that will sometimes make it more difficult for a single mom to date. But her motherhood does not disqualify her. Her life circumstances might make dating a poor decision at times and if she puts her children at risk for the sake of dating then this is a sin.
But overall, a Christian single mom should decide to date or not date just like every other Christian must decide. Am I mature enough to date right now? Is my heart in a good place with God to date right now? Am I ready to pursue marriage and not just date for fun? If a Christian single mom wants to date for godly reasons, she is free to pursue marriage just like every other Christian single is.
(For more on this, read When Should a Christian Start Dating?)
When a Christian Single Mom Wants to Date, She Should First Address Any Sins or Wounds of Her Past (Just Like All Christians Should)
If you want the best results possible in dating, this one is a must.
When a Christian single mom wants to date to find a godly husband, she should first spend the necessary time addressing the sins and wounds of her past so she can live a better future. Again, she should never regret or feel bad about having a child! But she will need to separate the gift of a child from the circumstances that lead to an out of wedlock pregnancy.
What happened that led to the sin of premarital sex? What unhealthy relationship practices are in her past? Everyone must ask questions like these before they start pursuing a godly spouse through Christian dating, not just a woman who had a child. While sins should be repented of, wounds should also be healed. What hurts are in her heart that occurred from bad relationships in her past? Or if she became a single mom because her husband died, obviously it would not be right to start dating until she was healed enough to be in a healthy relationship.
Overall, a Christian single mom is free to date, but like all Christians she should be wise and mature about this process and only seek to be in a relationship when she feels God is releasing her to do so and her heart is ready for it. Like all Christians, just because she can date doesn’t mean she should date. You have to follow God personally to answer that question.
Always Prioritize Your Kids, But Don’t Neglect Yourself and Your Desires
To stay balanced, this point is so crucial.
There are very few Christians single moms who need to be told not to sacrifice her child for a relationship. I’ve personally never met one who didn’t know this. Moms in general are one of the most loving, sacrificial people groups in the world. What most Christian single moms probably need to hear more is that while you must never put your dating life before your child, you must also not totally neglect the desires God has placed on your heart for a relationship.
From my perspective, most of the times it is not required to choose mothering or dating. Of course during certain seasons this will be true, but at some point in life most Christian single moms will be able to do both. If for a season or because of some unique circumstances you do need to choose between mothering and dating, you must choose mothering as God will hold you responsible for the health of the child he has entrusted to you. But again, there is nothing wrong with being a mom and dating as long as dating does not hurt your mothering and you are protecting your child’s emotions in the dating process.
The key word here is “prioritize.” You must prioritize your child, but you do not need to neglect yourself and your desires.Additionally, if you have to sacrifice your children to get a guy to like you, this man will expect you to always put him first even if you get married. You need to prioritize your kids and be open about this prioritization when you date so you will attract a man who wants that life.
A mom and a dad should not love their kids more than they love one another. However, they will need to prioritize their kids above one another, especially when the children are young. When I want to hang out with my wife after a long day but my 5 year old son and my 3 year old daughter are crying in their beds for their mom, we both know she needs to prioritize them over me. This doesn’t mean she loves them over me, but as parents we constantly need to sacrifice for our children. It can be hard, but it’s also one of our greatest joys in life that my wife and I share together.
You want a man with that perspective. He should expect you to love him in a special way that spouses should love each other, but a good dad knows that the kids come first in practical, day to day ways. Therefore you must not pretend your life will be anything other than this to attract a guy. You don’t want to marry a guy who thinks marrying a single mom will be the exact same as marrying a single woman who has no kids.
A single mom is just as beautiful and worthy of love and her children are not baggage. They are gifts from God. But a single mom does come with more responsibility. When you are mature enough to handle it, responsibility is a blessing. If you have no responsibility in life, it means you have no impact and influence in life. If we want to live a life of significance, we will have many responsibilities in life. If a man is not ready for the joy of serving kids and can’t handle the blessing of responsibility and real leadership, then that man is not the one God has for you. It doesn’t mean he is a bad guy, but if he is not ready for that kind of responsibility in life, then he is just not the one for you right now.
But to stay balanced here, it’s important to say again that while you must prioritize your kids over your dating, this does not mean you should not date or interact with other Christian singles socially. Dating and social activities are good and should be pursued whenever they do not hurt the health of your children. When mom is living a healthy life, this benefits the kids.
You won’t be able to do everything that people your age are doing who do not have kids, but this doesn’t mean you can’t do anything they are doing. You will need the support of loved ones to help watch your child so you can pursue social activities and dating.
I wish I could give you a concrete answer on what is too much social time and not enough mom time, but each situation is unique. The age of your child, the support system you and your child have, and the importance of certain social events and dating opportunities must be factored into each decision. You must walk with God, prioritize your child, while also not forsaking your God given desires.
When You Try to Be a Dad, You Keep Men Away
There’s so much more I want to say, but I’ll conclude with this last point because it is so important and such a common mistake.
Because you love your child, it is obviously painful to see him or her without a dad. God created us to be raised by a father and a mother. Both mom and dad play a different role in our lives growing up. So obviously a single mom wants to do what she can to remedy this problem. One mistake that often comes out of good place is when a single mom thinks she can be both mom and dad to her child.
Obviously a single mom will need to do things that she wouldn’t have to do as much if there was a dad around. She will need to discipline, for example, when it would be more ideal for a dad to do this at times. So please don’t hear me say that you are doing anything wrong by filling in for dad in certain ways. This is a must! But you can also cross the line here and start trying to act like a dad when in reality God has made you to be a mom.
When a single mom tries to be both mom and dad she ends up being neither. In an effort to fill in the gap for the absent father she ends up creating another void when she stops fulfilling the role of the mother. A single mom will never be able to replace the role of dad in her child’s life. I know that is deeply painful to hear, but I say it because it is essential. You child needs a mom and a dad. But when mom starts acting like a dad, then the kids are missing out on having a full-time mom too. They need your comfort, your love, your encouragement – in summary, your child needs your godly femininity.
If you forsake your femininity for masculinity, all you are really accomplishing is giving your child a diminished dose of both. You cannot fulfill the role of dad because God made you a mom. No matter how hard you try, you are feminine at heart and you will never have a true godly masculine identity. So as hard as it will be, you have to accept the void that the absence of dad will leave. Your child will suffer if they don’t have a father, but they will suffer more when they also lose their mom because she has forsaken her femininity.
(Note: This is not meant to be a parenting article, but the better solution is to try to offset the absence of dad with other positive male role models and father figures. Sports, church, and family members will not be able to replace dad. Your child will need to be healed later in life of the wounds the absence of dad has caused. But these other men can really help along the way and lesson the damage.)
So why am I saying all this in a dating article for single moms? Because when you start forsaking your femininity as a way of being a father figure for your kids, you end up diminishing that part about you that men find attractive. If you want to date and be married one day, you have be the woman God created you to be. When you try to fill the role of dad in your child’s life, you will compromise your ability to live from your true feminine identity in Christ. You bear the image of God as a woman, and God has made men to be attracted to you as a woman. The more you act like a man and the less feminine you become, the less appealing you will be to a strong Christian man looking for a wife.
Don’t interpret the above advice in black and white terms. Femininity and masculinity are not all or nothing ways of living. I’m not saying you need to do your hair and nails better. I’m not talking about exterior and cultural expressions of manhood and womanhood. I’m talking about you bearing the image of God differently as a woman than a man does. Your child needs your feminine heart, and if God has a man in your future, he needs your femininity too.
Christian Dating Advice for Single Moms
Single mothers are special. The love of God is expressed so clearly through their lives and sacrifices for their children. If you are single mother and you want to date and find a godly man one day, I hope this advice helped a bit. Take what helps, leave what doesn’t, but more than anything pursue Jesus Christ above all things. Jesus is the ultimate need we all have, and only he can truly fill our hearts.
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