It was nearly a year after I became a single mother before I agreed to let a man take me out for dinner. I met him on a flight from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City during a work trip. He smelled wonderful, made fantastic small talk, and tempted me to break my don’t-date-for-two-years rule when he casually mentioned he was a writer for the LA Times. Although some women like an expensive car or a man in uniform, I happen to enjoy a man who can effortlessly spin a tapestry of words. So I let him buy me dinner.
I don’t know if it was the “single” or the “mom” part of parenting children alone that caused me to abandon good judgment from time to time, but it happened. I was no different than anyone who just wanted to escape the macaroni-and-cheese routine with children and let a man make a fuss over me. However, it only took one date to confirm he wasn’t God’s best for me.
Are you dating a man who isn’t right for you? Don’t waste your time on another date! It’s simply not worth it. Here are five destructive dating habits to watch out for.
- Selling yourself short. Ladies, you are a prize to be won. Never let a man lead you to believe you’re “less than.” Leave behind unhealthy past relationships and learn to see yourself as God sees you. You are created in His image, which means you are a treasure. Don’t buy the lie that says you have nothing to offer. If you’re dating a man who makes you feel inferior, see him to the door.
- Overlooking obvious differences. This is where I made a critical mistake, even for one date. My mystery airplane man wasn’t a believer, and yet I made it a non-issue. If you’re dating a man who is not following Christ, don’t try to pretend it doesn’t matter. God’s best for you is someone who is following Jesus. Don’t settle. If your guy doesn’t have a heart for God, don’t give him yours.
- Parenting your boyfriend. Avoid dating a man who really just needs a mother. Does he ask you for money? Do your children behave more responsibly than he does? Don’t get caught in the trap of taking on another dependent just to have someone to spend Friday evenings with. Your life is full enough parenting your awesome kids. You don’t need more parenting responsibilities.
- Forgetting what is important. What is important? Your children. In this season of life, your children are your first priority. You are the protector, the provider, and the shepherd of their hearts. This means you not only need to ask what’s God’s best for you, but you must also ask what’s God’s best for your children.If Prince Charming doesn’t have the same dreams and desires to be a godly parent, write him out of your fairytale. You loved your children first. Protect what you love.
- Acting married. I saved this for last so you’d keep reading. If you’re not married, sexual activity is sin. This isn’t an ancient idea crafted to spoil a modern relationship; it’s the best plan for a God-honoring dating life. Unhealthy soul ties form when we engage in sex outside of marriage, and it makes separation more difficult when a break up occurs. Sexual sin always complicates a relationship. Say no to overnights and say yes to a God-honoring romance.
Have you experienced any of these in your current relationship? If so, it may be time to re-evaluate and realign your will with God’s desires for you. Our heart always wins when Jesus is the lover of our souls.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” —Psalm 37:4
About Kim Heinecke
Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. As a former single mom she’s been encouraging women using her life experiences in parenting, growing in the Word of God and everything in between. When she’s not negotiating with a teenager or wrestling a pre-schooler, you can find her camping in the family RV or pretending to understand sports with her husband and four sons. Read more from Kim at www.TheMomExperiment.com.