Dating and the Single Parent is a book five star book, because Deal has done a marvelous job presenting useful steps for single parents who are divorced and is thinking of re-entering back into a dating relationship, or even remarrying. The book is divided into sections of dating to present a sequential sequence of steps to determine whether the single parent is ready, and what right decisions they need to make if they have children. The book is honest, and practical when it comes to addressing situations that every single parent goes through while trying to reenter the dating life. The book presented questions along with real life realties of dating when there are children involved in the mix. Deals admiration how the book as written from a strong biblical perspective. Deals main goal in this book is to motivate its readers to do the necessary work of a relationship building.
The Appendix 2 of the book begins with a sample purity pledge. This section of the book organized activities for dating couples to involve in, such as flirtation and hugging, without having to be sexual involved with one another. Section one of the book focuses on dating with kids and dating willingness. Before an individual is ready to date the individual must have a goal in dating. Deals helps single parents determine whether or not they are ready to re-enter back into the dating world. Some single parents are single due to previous marriages that failed, which lead to divorce. Deal describes divorce as a traumatic experience. Yet some single parents never really get over the horrifying experience of divorce and remain single. But Deal has puts together a checklist to help single parents determine whether or not they are ready for the dating world Deal presents biblical principle throughout the book reminding single parents to always put God first in any relationship decision they decide to make.
The part that stood out to me the most in this section was the discussion on when children are involved, how dating gets complicated. Ron Deal gives excellent advice on how to determine if kids are ready for dating, what to expect when dating a single parent, and things to consider before getting engaged, and growing the family into a step-family. Section two gives people supportive advice on right places to capture love. The section is split up into chapters labeled as “yellow light,” “red light, “and “green light.” Deal provides warning signs that people should take into consideration when trying to date the opposite sex. Signs that single parents should take into consideration is “how will this person influence the kids?” “Is the man willing to date the person and their kids?” Last section Ron Deal provides readers with valuable guidance on marriage commitment, and step families. Deal’s has developed an interesting perception on step-families.
Throughout schooling many people have been taught that blended families were made up of step-families. But Deal argues that step-families should not be looked upon as blended families. Deal encourages single parents to take their time on dating and to trust in God for pursing a health Christian based relationship. Dating and the Single Parent Book so remarkable, because often time’s single parents suffer with trying to regain love, along with trying to find someone to accept their children. Deal offers awesome pointers to finding a relationship with kids, dating, and finding long lasting love. Discipline should always be done with love and with God’s approval, but not to make the children angry Ephesians 6:4(King James Version).
Potential Use for Premarital Christian Couples
The book, Dating and the Single parent does an excellent job at studying the difficult process of finding love in the center of having children and trying to date. Ron Deal does a marvelous job at citing biblical principles for single parent to follow while dating. I believe it’s unique that Deal offers biblical insight throughout the book. For example Deal refers to Christianity and faith in god when discussing learn all you can about stepfamily living. For example I’ve personally herd family members and friends say that stepfamilies are not Gods ideal for the Christian house hold. Many people believe this tale because they feel as though stepfamily ministry lessen to what God intended. I believe that Deal presents valuable content to premarital couples in the church, since church is the place where all types of families meet to hear spiritual teachings. Deal encourages couples to lean all you can about how stepfamilies function, operate best, and why they have the unique complexities that they can do. Blended step families seems to be a growing trend in the United States of America. In fact blended families have been around since Christ created earth.
Remarkable fact Jesus Christ was a part of a blended family. Remember Mary and Joseph were in a commitment when she told Joseph she was pregnant. Mary and Joseph had not been sexually intimate when Mary told Joseph she was with child. At times Joseph thought about leaving Mary, but did not. Joseph chose to sick by his pregnant fiancée, who he thought had betrayed him. Joseph was willing to go through the battle of scorn and believed in God. Joseph accepted Gods calling for him to love and care for Mary and Jesus. Ironically when you look at family dynamics point of view you can recognize that Christ, Joseph, and Mary were a blended family, a non-traditional unit. It’s very interesting to study that Christ came into the world experiencing a blended- family.
In addition, Deal discusses how it is important for singles to take a good look at themselves in the mirror before trying to date again. When self is able to look, examine them they are able to piece together their motivations for dating, fears, loneliness, and unresolved hurt. In order for an individual to move forward in a healthy relationship one must be able to trust God when making future dating decisions and choices during dating process. Ron Deal teachings in his book presented challenges that face today’s modern Christian blended families. Deal presents awesome techniques to help strength relationships. Ron deal helps single parents and those who are dating understand unique family dynamics. Ron Deal help parents recognize that their families are lobed and favored by God. Critique
As a future professional counselor, and friend to others, professional counselors should recommend this book to any person who is single with children, and or someone who is dating an individual who has children. Ron Deal has developed a straightforward spiritual guidebook for Christian single dating. The book Dating and the Single Parent opened up my eyes about the truths of relationship and family compatibility, by presenting scenarios to help me make decision.. It was great the way the author Ron Deal incorporated biblical teachings. Like Ron Deal teaches when a single parent is dating or thinking about remarrying someone, they should choose someone who involves setting a godly example for children and blessing them as God blessed us. Deal suggest all throughout the book for single parents whom are dating to “trust in God to manage the relationship.”
Building a family after being single for so many years takes courage, perseverance, tough skin, and determination. As mentioned earlier the bible presents many teachings of blended families, like Christ family with Joseph being Christ stepparent. I believe that Ron Deal book goes into great deal about giving guidelines for Christian families experiencing dating, and second marriages, while following biblical principles As Christian stepparents, it is important that they love children who are involved in the family unconditionally. Ministry teaches that it’s important that you don’t marginalize your step kids. It is important that the family that it is forming has some kind of respect and acceptance form one another in the family. As a new parent (step) entering the family they must submit themselves to the children with their heart.
Another important principle that Deal discusses is educating oneself on stepfamilies. When single parents blend to create stepfamilies, sometimes the progress is not so successful. Many children do not want change and will become angry and frustrated with new family members. Even though remarriage is supposed to be a wonderful joy, many kids are often not as excited as parent and new stepparent. Deal has put together foundations for building a stepfamily. Deal suggests that single parent should take their time, and give everyone a chance to get to know one another and get use to the idea of marriage.
Overall Dating and the Single Parent is a great read for single parents who are dating or who are thinking about entering the dating world. The book focuses on dating, and stepfamily relations. Deal sets forth approaches towards building romantic relationships on a Christian basis.
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Sweeney, M. M. (2010). Remarriage and stepfamilies. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3), 667-684.