A Note from Chris Adams: Many women today are single moms, and they long for that husband to help them deal with life and be a companion in their life journeys. This post by Dr. Deb Douglas, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA provides some great advice and guidelines for women’s ministry leaders as they support single moms.
Single moms and dating. Today, another single mom asked me if it was biblical to use an online dating service. I hear some version of this question on a regular basis from single moms who wish they weren’t single or moms who are eager to mingle and are on the lookout for a man.
Women’s ministry leaders are often asked how to find a husband, where the good husbands are, and what’s wrong with the single mom who seems to be staying single. Instead of becoming a matchmaker, which would be a full time job or ministry, we can guide moms to set dating boundaries. A preset boundary helps them avoid falling into wrong relationships or actions.
Here are a few suggested dating boundaries for single moms:
- Limit the number of dates per week. One is sufficient for most moms. Going slowly will allow them time to make wise decisions.
- Set a curfew. This sounds like a teenager’s rule, but it can keep moms from finding themselves in uncomfortable situations.
- Only date potential husbands. What does this mean? If the man isn’t an ideal future husband, do not date him.
- Introduce slowly. Refrain from introducing the boyfriend to the children until the mom has determined if he is a safe influence for the children. Suggestion: wait at least 3 months.
- Look for someone who is patiently loving. If a man is not patient, encouraging, and understanding with children, he is not husband material for a single mom.
- Follow biblical standards. Sleepovers and out of town trips are not appropriate for moms.
There are 2 kinds of single moms: the ones who are eagerly searching for a husband and the ones who have sworn off marriage. The ones who are desperate to be married may easily slip into desperate actions. Some forget they are looking for a mate and begin to settle for any available man.
What characteristics should a single mom look for in a man?
- A man who follows Christ. There’s more to this man’s Christian walk than simply being willing to say the blessing at the dinner table. This man knows how to pray without ceasing. He studies the Bible, participates in worship, and serves others. This man doesn’t just carry a big Bible, he lives out his faith in his work, his personal life, and his decisions.
- A man who balances out his mate. For example: if she’s super logical, he may be more sensitive and feeling. If she’s a little sloppy, maybe he’s a little bit of a neat freak. Or, if she’s a bit of time freak, maybe he balances her by helping her see being on time is OK, but arriving an hour early isn’t necessary.
- A man who is a hard worker. Throughout Scripture we see that we were created to work and work hard! A slothful man is not a godly man.
- A man who is a loyal friend and church member. This guy doesn’t talk ill of others but is loving and encouraging.
- A man who accepts and embraces changes. He is less stressed, more pleasant to be around, and generally more fun.
Single moms desiring to find their forever love need help and support. Consider starting a prayer group for moms/women seeking husbands. Women’s ministry leaders are not matchmakers, but we can play a part in the journey toward love for single moms!
Dr. Deb Douglas has served in women’s ministry for over 37 years. Now she spends her time working with Purchased Ministry, a ministry to women in the sex trade industry. Deb is also the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA. She was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters degree focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.