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I was asked to write a blog for those who have no kids but are dating single parents, and I thought it was a great suggestion because this topic is not often discussed. There are a few things I want those without children to consider before making that type of commitment, and I am definitely speaking from experience; my wife was a single parent for 12 years before we married.
When the person without children is advised by God to marry someone with children, then that relationship becomes what I refer to in this blog as a “divine assignment.” Let’s look at Joseph’s story in the Bible as an example: helping to raise Jesus, the Savior of the world, was his divine assignment. What a privilege for Joseph! But what if he had refused to take on the task because Jesus wasn’t his biological child? Know that God won’t present you with this kind of assignment out of the blue. If someone you’re dating (and really like) has a child, you must go to God in prayer about the relationship and seek His advice about what you should do. Marrying a single parent isn’t for everyone, because some people erroneously think that the marriage will work if they are in love with the parent, and not his/her children. Understand that many couples divorce once one spouse realizes that they have no control over their “step-children.” Here are some factors to consider before you get into a relationship with someone who already has children:
- If you marry a single parent, will you be okay with their child if they never call you “Mom” or “Dad” (even though you take care of them)?
- Have you met the child’s other biological parent? Is that parent slightly off their rocker? Some co-parents have no problem with their ex…until their ex gets into a relationship. Now that you’re in the picture they might want to cause a little drama. Can you handle that?
- The child might be dealing with abandonment issues from their biological parent, so they may begin to rebel and act out. If you hang with the child long enough, they might become attached to you. And if the relationship doesn’t work out, then that child is let down…again.
- Realize that if you marry this person, they are a package deal. It won’t just be you and their mom or dad, the child is included.
At the end of the day, the payoff is great! You never know who you’ll be raising; that child may be the next mega pastor or President of the United States! Will you be obedient if God has you on a divine assignment? That child just might need your love and discipline in order for them to become everything God has called them to be.