What Every Divorced Parent Needs to Know About Starting Over

1475930_10151986499839931_1256494743_nTwo years ago I made a life changing announcement.

Two years post-divorce, I announced I would commit to a year of no dating; a sabbatical, if you will.

“WHY?” you ask. Why on earth would you take yourself off the market? I guess the best answer I can give is I wasn’t really my best self, and I wanted to become my best self.

Andy Stanley, author, speaker and pastor at North Point Church in Alpharetta, GA, did an amazing sermon series entitled Love, Sex and Dating. The main point of the series can be summed up, “Are you who the person you are looking for, is looking for?”

I really had to stop and think:

Do I allow myself to be treated like a commodity, like something that can be used and traded out for something better if he gets bored with me?

Have I ever had an experience with someone that left me feeling dishonored, indecent or disrespected?

Have I shown a lack of self-control on more than one occasion that I regret?

Worse yet:

Have I been someone else’s regret?

What about you? Do these experiences resonate with you?

I have had a rocky couple of years where self-control and relationships are concerned. I want to believe I’m a pretty good girl. I don’t go to the bar, drink too much or engage in one night stands. But I’ve also put myself in situations with men where I’ve wanted to say “No,” but it’s gone just far enough that I feel dishonored and regretful the next day. I’ve been wrestling with the issue of wanting physical affection (cuddling and hugging) but choosing a man who doesn’t honor the boundaries I have in place. I’ve wrestled also with not having the self-worth to uphold my own boundaries.

I recently took a test on a dating website that included questions about self-control. The result of the test revealed I have very low self-control, and the blinders I’ve been wearing were ripped right off. If I have low self-control, I’m probably attracted to and attracting men who also have low self-control.

This is not the kind of man I want to marry.

I want to marry a man who practices self-control, through which he will honor me and our family. Self-control is more than just saying no in the moment of temptation. A healthy level of self-control determines a path and a pattern of behavior.

Lack of self-control has led me down the path of being a commodity.

And therein lies the answer to Pastor Stanley’s questions:

I am NOT the person who I am looking, for is looking for…

But I want to be.

Therefore, I declare this The Year of Becoming! Instead of spending this time looking for the right person – thinking the discovery of the right man will make everything better and my life closer to perfect – I am spending this year becoming the right person.

I will start by practicing self-control in other areas of my life:

Watching my tongue, time management and health.

Next – learning about love the way God intended it:

Love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy, does not boast, LOVE DOES NOT DISHONOR OTHERS, love is NOT self-seeking.

Third on my list of to do’s:

Stop being a commodity! Something is broken in my heart that allows me to believe it’s okay to be used – traded away for something more shiny and fun.

God has an amazing way of healing that kind of hurt, and I’m going to allow him to do it with no distractions.

My dear single friends, would you consider taking a heartfelt look at who you are becoming and who you are attracting? If you aren’t happy with the people you are dating, perhaps I can suggest you let God reveal who HE wants you to become. Take this year off with me, let’s see what amazing things God can do with us, through us and for our families.  Here’s to BECOMING!

#theyearofbecoming

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