What’s the biblical instruction for a single mother who met the Lord during pregnancy? I feel I’m not called to be single, but have not dated for over 11 years, as I was dedicated to mothering.
From a biblical perspective, should I seek marriage or seek singleness?
There’s a phrase, Kol HaKavod, used in Israel when someone has done something exceptional. It literally means “all the honor [to you],” and is a way of acknowledging actions that go above and beyond the norm. We say to you: Kol HaKavod.
Firstly, you changed the path of your life, and that of your child, by findng the Lord during your pregnancy. Since then, you devoted yourself to being a mother and, we assume, making a fulfilling life for yourself. By not dating, you focused on the relationship already in your life, with your child. When a single mother dates it frequently introduces emotional, psychological and often physical, instability into a child’s life.
In our view, the question you are asking, suggests that you are ready, not to date, but to court. The difference is that dating is an activity in itself while courting is purposeful. In your case, marriage means a commitment to both you and your child, and will strengthen the foundation you have already built. Since you are not looking for a spouse out of desperation, we feel you have every chance of meeting a man worthy of you.
Courting, and then marriage, will be a major upheaval in your lives. Upheaval is challenging, but it can also lead to a better future. Becoming a wife and providing your child with a father can make the coming years richer and healthier.
We couldn’t help noticing that you phrased your question in terms of ‘seeking’ singleness or marriage. We don’t think that’s really the choice you face. You are not at a crossroads at which, in order to proceed, you must now make a decision to choose A or B. Your real choice is between doing nothing; just continuing down the road you’ve been on, and embarking on a major challenge—deliberately and purposefully seeking marriage. The first choice would be the easier though the latter would be more fulfilling. But not easy.
We would recommend beginning the process by letting trusted friends and mentors know of your decision. Rather than going out with someone randomly, you should only meet those men who clearly share your faith, values and outlook.
A delicate balance is needed between being honest and open with your child and not burdening him or her with too much information. It might be helpful to talk to others who have preceded you on this path.
We have three resources on dating/courtship and marriage and hope they might prove helpful to you (Madam, I’m Adam; Hands Off: This May Be Love, and I Only Want to Get Married Once). You can see them here. Look in the Family, Friendship and Society section.
Wishing you a bright future,
Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin