Good Example Of Book Critique Of Dating And The Single Parent Book Review

Published: 2021-06-29 21:30:04
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Category: Love, Family, Children, Parents, Relationships, Marriage, Christians, Dating

Type of paper: Essay

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Summary
Ron Deal in his book dating and the single parent (2012) identifies dating as a complex matter for single parents when children are involved. Dating requires consideration of its effects on children. A single parent or the dating partner must be ready to meet the challenges both emotionally and relationally. Deal (2012) provides single parents with solutions from a view of an expert that can help them prepare for dating. His book encourages single parents to consider different perspectives before starting to date. These considerations include whether the dating is beneficial for both children and the single parent at the time and how to determine the right time to begin dating as a single parent. Deal’s book incorporates spiritual guidance, which is essential for discerning the truth about single parent dating. It differentiates fantasies and reality.
Single parents strive to share romance and find love, especially when the experience is confusing and depressing. In most cases, single parents are not sure whether their children are ready to make the transition and whether the dating partner is ready to accept the children and become a part of the family. The fear of making a wrong impression on the children makes most single parents strive for love. Considering the role of a stepparent restrains most partners of single parents from establishing relationships that lead to marriage. Children and the partner of a single parent tend to compete for the possibility of a family relationship. Both the partner and the single parent must prepare to understand this situation in order to deal with the challenges successfully. The challenges are naturally tough for anyone (Deal, 2012).
Recognizing the Truth
The first step in preparing for dating as a single parent is embracing the truth about the expectations of engaging in dating. Relationships in biological families naturally support and synergize each other, but when it comes to blended families the scenario is extremely different. Blended families naturally compete with emotional affections that followed the new marriage. Some single parents find partners to complete the life of their children of having both parents. Such parents need to understand that bringing a new parent into the lives of their children can extremely destabilize them. Recognizing this truth makes single parents aware of possible frustrations and confusion during dating. It also helps them make decisions on whether dating is worth at the expense of their children wellbeing.
Discerning Fantasy and Reality
Fantasy in dating means allowing the influence of lust and adulterous enticements. Reality in dating is the ability to provide sound judgment regarding a relationship. Discerning fantasy and reality also involves the single parent identifying whether the children are ready for dating. Single parents must be able to differentiate whether they are interested in pursuing passions of the moment and quick fixes of infatuation or they want to settle in a marriage and help their children have both parents. Cases where biological parents have split the best option is to reconcile and not to remarry. There are cases where remarriage and blended families become successful, but they are few. When reconciliation is not an option, bringing up the children in a single parent home is best for children compared to a blended family. The decision to remarry has an impact for next generations emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually and should not be taken lightly. Reality helps single parents involve in dating that is out of love. This love helps in building a healthy blended family.
Having a Plan and Purpose in Dating
Single parent dating is tough with children, the extended family, ex spouses, and friends involved. Single parents must create a plan and understand the purpose of dating in their lives. Single parents are then able to remove the fear of dating from their children, family members, and friends. This also prevents single parents from wasting a lot time moving from one relationship to another which comes with much heartbreak in the process. Dating is complex when it comes to choosing a partner from the crowd. Whitbeck, Simons, & Meei-Ying (1994) add that single parents have to consider the feelings and perception of their children before engaging in a remarriage. This makes most single parents confused on what to consider when choosing a partner that will become the step parent of their children.
Single parents have a difficult time because they have to fulfill their needs and that of their children when dating. They also cannot date different people in search of the best partner because of the image they create in their children. The best solution in this case, is to know oneself and to trust in God. God has the power to choose what is best even in cases of family life. If the most important intention in mind is to engage in dating then it is the right thing to do at the time but when it is not then it is not the right time to engage in dating. Dating in this case is the one that leads to marriage. Dating that does not lead to marriage should have the other partner understand the limits of the relationship, which in this case exempts children.
Potential use for Christian Premarital Couples
Deal (2012) aim is to help single parents navigate on the potential challenges involved in dating as single parents. Christians live with principles that provide human dignity and security. He offers Christians with teachings on how to adapt to change and the power and wisdom of taking advantage of the opportunities that change creates. Marriage is a unique relationship that involves loving one another. Deal (2012) defines dating as a single parent from the perspective of putting the spiritual good of others above personal desires. Christian premarital couples should incorporate love in dating. Love to Christians means not harming the other person and honoring the other person. This means that Christian premarital couples should consider the children and how dating can impact on their lives before dating.
Dating is about feelings, interpersonal acceptance, expectations, openness, boundaries, and emotional security (Whitbeck, Simons, & Meei-Ying, 1994). This is why it is important to prepare a framework for developing successful strategies for parents and children during the time of transition. Self sacrifice is more important than self interest when it comes to dating for single parents. Christian premarital couples need this teaching to make wise decisions about dating. The dating behavior of single parents has an immense impact on children emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. This is why is so important to understand Deal’s teachings to help make the right decision that will not affect the children (Ferguson & Dickson, 1995).
Critique
Manokaran (2011) identified that the teachings of the Bible about divorce leave Christians with many questions about dating as a single parent. The bible forbids Christians from remarrying during the lifetime of a divorced partner. There have been a high number of divorces and second marriages in the recent past leading to even more questions including every family and church. The teachings of Deal do not in depth consider the Christian belief on dating as a single parent. He does not address the questions in a comprehensive and balanced manner. The theology of marriage and singleness examines the passages of old and New Testament to help embrace the scriptural norm of marriage and associate with God’s assigned responsibilities.
Spiritual norms help create a clear communication, joy, restraint, and wisdom that is necessary to help in choosing a partner. Single parents should seek to raise a generation that values the favor of God more than life itself and to understand the love of God. This means that single parents should strictly follow the biblical teachings on remarriage and this will help them associate better with their children and new partners. This leaves single parents with one choice, which is to engage in dating when their ex spouse is no longer a live. Until then is when children, families, and friends become naturally ready to support dating (Whitbeck, Simons, & Meei-Ying, 1994).
References
Deal, R. (2012). Dating and the single parent. New York, NY: Baker Books.
Ferguson, S., & Dickson, F. C. (1995). Children's expectations of their single parents' dating behaviors: A preliminary investigation of emergent themes relevant to single parent dating. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 23(4), 308-324.
Manokaran, J. (2011). Christ and families: strong families for global transformation. New York, NY: Centre for contemporary Christianity.
Whitbeck, L. B., Simons, R. L., & Meei-Ying, K. (1994). The effects of divorced mothers' dating behaviors and sexual attitudes on the sexual attitudes and behaviors of their adolescent children. Journal of Marriage & Family, 56(3), 615-621.

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