Round 2

Approximately 10 years ago, I realized that I was in round 2 (sometimes round 3) of dating.  Meaning, a large percentage of the dating pool I am in has already been married.  And many of those people also have children.  As a result, I made the conscious decision that I was going to accept the fact that any relationship I end up in may also have kiddos.

And I have subsequently dated men who have children.

Personally, I love children.

But there is a dangerous and frustrating trend happening.

Instead of focusing on finding someone to build a relationship and life with, men are overwhelmed by single parenting, and focus more on finding a person that is willing to be a mother to their children.

Disclaimer, before you decent guys out there get your panties in a bunch: I understand that this is not ALL men.  But there are definitely men out there that fall into this category.  Trust me, I’ve dated them.

Disclaimer #2: I absolutely believe that the children in this equation are vitally important, and what is best for them should be considered.

Ok, now that we have those issues cleared up, let me get on with my point.

In any discipleship training I have been through, and relationships are truly and Biblically discussed, the order goes as such:

God.

Spouse.

Children.

Everyone else.

A wise friend (and if you tell him I called him that, I will flat out deny it) was once telling me about his explanation to his daughter on how to find an appropriate guy to date.

Find someone who loves God more than they love you, and you will never have to worry about being treated how you deserve to be treated.

This. Is. What. Everyone. Needs. To. Know.

The main issue I have personally had in dating is that I didn’t follow this rule.  Have I dated Christian men?  Absolutely.  Have I dated Christian men who followed this principle?  Absolutely not.

There is a difference.

There is a HUGE difference.

In the past, there are a couple misconceptions that I believed about dating.  First, that a man that truly loves God more than they love me doesn’t exist.  I do believe that those men are few and far between (in the dating range that I’m in, because many of those men are already married).  Second, that I didn’t deserve a man like that.

Both are false.

I know that now.

So here’s the thing…relationships are tough.  Building a relationship where children are involved are really tough.  And sometimes, the focus is out of place.  Putting children above trying to build a decent, God centered relationship is going to fail.  When you put children in place of God as the center, you are focusing on the wrong thing.

But when God is the center of your relationship, together we will build a relationship that will thrive.  And when the adults are focusing on God, and pursuing God’s path in their life, and in how they treat other people, the relationship will be solid.  And once that relationship is solid, the children won’t be an issue.  Why?  Because when a solid relationship is built with God at the center, I am going to treat you how God wants me to treat you, and I am also going to treat your children how God wants me to treat them.

Plain.  And.  Simple.

Just As Much As You Need Me

Teaching isn’t for the faint of heart.  This is absolutely a calling to be a teacher.  It certainly isn’t for the money, or the notoriety.  It isn’t something you do when you can’t be successful at something else.

Teaching is hard core.

Teaching will break your heart a million times.  And we’ll keep showing up.  Keep trying.  Keep pushing.  Trying new approaches.

All because we are absolutely called to do this.

There are days, the hard days, where I struggle to teach, because I just don’t see how I can possibly be a success.  And by a success, I mean…are my kids really getting it?  Are they going to walk out of my classroom and end up being a responsible human being?  Am I making a difference?

Because the world, TV, “parents”, video games, the news…it’s all telling our kids, teaching our kids the exact opposite of the values that we try to instill in our kids.

My heart is broken a million times.  Yet I keep pushing forward.

Because these kids need me.

And sometimes, often, the kids that break my heart at the ones that need me the most.

But sometimes, I need them too.

Because, amidst the heartbreak and the struggle…there’s that one kid…

One of the kids that I need the most, needs me the most.  The kid that struggles to learn, but wants to learn.

But that isn’t just why I need him.  Because this same kid that I sit with every single day, that kid is the one that goes out of his way to put a smile on my face.

Every.  Single.  Day.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of my kids make me smile and laugh.

But this one kid…this kid is special.