Single Mom Fears Boyfriend Isn’t Good Father-Figure

As a single mother of a preschooler, should I continue a relationship with a man who doesn't strike me as having the potential to be a good dad? I've met a man at church who is a solid Christian, and we've developed strong feelings for one another, but I just don't know whether he would be the kind of father-figure my son needs. What should I do?

It’s our belief that when men and women become parents, their number one priority – apart from their relationship with God – needs to be the care of their children. As moms and dads, we’ve been given the awesome responsibility of protecting our kids, looking after their welfare, and raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. That means that their needs always take precedence over our own desires.

The implications should be obvious. Your longing for love, security, and intimacy is legitimate, but because you made a decision to bring a child into the world you may need to put it on the back burner for the time being. Your child’s well-being is more important. Besides, if you have reasons for suspecting that your boyfriend isn’t suited to be a good father-figure, perhaps there are equally good reasons for supposing that he won’t make a good marriage partner.

This is a question you need to consider very carefully. You mention that this man is a strong Christian, but some of your other comments cause us to wonder whether his Christianity is more a matter of intellectual assent and religious allegiance than of a genuinely changed heart and transformed life. We’d strongly encourage you to ask yourself why you’re attracted to him. Is it simply a question of his charm, good looks, or sense of humor? Does he possess the character qualities that God says are important – qualities like patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23)? These characteristics are vital to any successful relationship, especially marriage. If he doesn’t have them, there’s a very real possibility that life with him could prove extremely unhappy and might even lead to divorce. You need to remember that your child is already at a disadvantage because he is fatherless. It’s important to consider how marrying this person could impact his life in even more negative ways.

In the meantime, if you feel it would be helpful to discuss your concerns at greater length, call our Counseling department.


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