As a single mom, should I be thinking about marriage?

November 15th, 2017 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 4 comments

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?

Thank you!

Mka

Dear Mka,

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

Tags: , , ,

4 comments

Toby Henderson says:

My wife was a single mother while taking care of her sister and baby she went through business school at Cal Poly Pomona I met her and was studying civil engineering.

If you recall Carmen came here as a yoing girl from Mexico we were both foster youth. Now we both have Sarah 4 and David is almost 2 and we are doing relatively well in real estate. Im writing this to you from the kitchen of our new 3 plex in Clarksville. We arrived with our Lance Camper with zero water or power on site and have been sleeping in the camper during completion. All these things add value because a company would have gotten all there supplies robbed yet when people are on the site it makes it very tough to rob. Something about a a framing hammer to the fore head is most likely what would happen to a would be criminal this wouldnt be fun for them. ?
We have about 4 weeks to be done then we head down to Orlando remember I used to write to you from Orlando Rabbi well that property shot up well over a quarter million now we have to some how figure out how to put 5-10 k in super nice matireal so we can flip that son of a gun. Thats about 200k gain Rabbi am I getting Jewish enough yet or should I make 10 million first. Kidding Rabbi you know I really love you guys Sarah listens to parils of profanity on endless loop many days in the camper haha she has a new bunny she says his name is “brown” she loves him a real lot. She also loves Torah and making huge messes with her brother.
Any way once that Orlando property is flipped then we have 200k startup for Clarksville flips. I have guys that drywall so fast it would blow your mind. Its as if the lord finnally sent me people after many headaches. Any way just checking in.
Hope all is well with your wife and your health. Been keeping on that white house youtube. Very pleased with international relations now. Things could be looking brighter for our country. We just will have to see its been a year already. Not sure if hes planning to fire more federal employees yet I am praying he will fire many of them. Good day Rabbi God Bless You!!!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Toby and Carmen–
well, hearing a whole bunch of good news is surely the best way to start the day! I couldn’t be happier to hear that in both family and finance you are moving in the right direction wonderfully! Building the foundation of your ’empire’ in both Orlando and Clarksville is incredible. Keep going upwards and onwards pushing forwards each day and keep your eye on those dry-wallers and all other subs!
Cordially
RDL

Robin D Rush says:

I enjoyed reading today’s question and answer as I have been in a similar situation. I adopted two sibings and raised them alone. They are now adults with families of their own. Years ago, I was taught the dating vs courting concept. It certainly agrees with me biblically and socially. Courtship (God’s way) works when you are focused on your purpose. As a minister, this is a difficult concept to teach to young people who opposed to the thought of marriage, preferring opposite sex friendships. As I am entering my 60’s I am still open to the possibility of fulfilling courtship and marriage.

Susan Lapin says:

Dr. Robin, 60 is the new 40!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.This is a required field!

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Search Questions

Yes! I would like to receive FREE weekly teachings

Sign Up Now!

Do you love reading our Ask the Rabbi column? Now, get 101 favorite questions and answers in one delightful book.

Dear Rabbi and Susan: 101 Real Life ‘Ask the Rabbi’ Questions

Learn More | Add to Cart

X