(This is the first in a series of works - a mission - to promote courtship, marriage and re-marriage within the Body of Christ. We have to fight this "Epidemic of Singleness" before the casualties continue to mount!
Therefore, please don't be offended with some of the next topics. I am going to take more chances by getting into sex, adultery, blending families, roles, finances, and more. Why? Because too many people are avoiding getting married for the wrong reasons and too many people are leaving marriages for even worse reasons!!)
Now from Guest Blogger, DAWN BEDINGFIELD, a woman of great wisdom...
Soon after I divorced, I met a great guy. We are still friends today. I had two young children, and their father was a great man, we were just not great together through no real fault of either one of us.
This man I was dating saw very soon into the relationship (we were never intimate) that I was great marriage material, but was probably not headed in the direction he was going: marriage. He approached me with his concern letting me know that he only dates in pursuit of marriage. I was just as forthright. I had just gotten out of a (what I considered long...only seven yrs) exhausting marriage and was not ready to go there again. Looking back I don't know whether this great guy would have been a great husband for me; but, I know for certain that over the span of 10 yrs, rejecting four marriage proposals, and delaying at least two more to the point of men giving up on me altogether, has been the biggest decision making mistake I have made. And it has affected every area of my life in a way I never would have desired.
Why you may ask? Because it is so much easier to get back into the flow of compromise and submission sooner after divorce than later, younger than older. When you still feel you need a mate, rather than when you have overcome so many things, good, bad, beautiful and ugly, that you know you can handle it without one.
Why you may ask? Because as the scripture you refer to in Timothy states, my dating choices and experiences went from good to bad to abominable in a span of months! My friendship and social choices became shameful. My financial world came tumbling to the ground around me in less than two years. My spiritual life defined in one phrase, "Believer behaving badly."
Why you may ask? Because an intelligent, bright, attractive woman in her late twenties who had been married all of her adult life needs to remain covered, especially when she has young children. She needs positive and clear direction of her energies and ambitions otherwise they not only get misguided, but taken advantage of. Before I looked up and gotten my head together, 10 yrs had passed, I had TWO children outside of wedlock with TWO DIFFERENT men, I'd lost a home, been homeless twice, gone through another dozen relationships, one suicide attempt, fought to keep my family together even though I eventually ended up sending the two oldest to live with my former husband...need I go on???
And as time passed, I [insanely, based on society's mantra, "I can do bad all by myself"] saw less and less need for a mate; and NO ONE encouraged me to surrender to marriage except my best friend at the time (who had betrayed me so many times and seemed so desperate for a husband I didn't trust), and ONE man I'd dated, who called me outright selfish. He was a doctor and much older, and I surely didnt see myself worthy enough for this prominent man to give my children and I the life he had. It was too late for that. I was too broken by that time and not yet re-fashioned by God, in spite of, by this time, all that I had come through, learned and achieved; but, I was getting there and this friend was the catalyst to get the ball rolling.
Today I am certainly great marriage material and have an endless list of things to bring to a relationship including knowledge and wisdom and experience and creativity. But unfortunately at this point in my life, after raising one son and daughter into adulthood, a host of personal and professional experiences that make me both wise and accomplished beyond my years (and those of most potential mates), and a busy lifestyle that leaves little to no time for social activities where I can meet potential mates, I fear that the past choices Ive made have brought me to the one sacrifice that I'd never intended: eternal singleness.
(In the next part, we'll share some of the negative impacts of singleness and divorce in our society. You DEFINITELY need to read this if you're even considering divorce!)
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