single mom done being single I am new to this board… just looking for a bit of advice or any thoughts. I am single mom of 4 children. Divorced. I have been single mom for about 5 years now. I can look back and see very definitely the mistakes I made in my life that led to the bad relationships and how I have ended up in this boat & now just hope to be wiser in the future. I guess I am a bit discouraged about relationships in general. I have read through many of the posts here and many who have commented about having a harder time in relationships with proclaimed “Christians” than nonbelievers. In my own experience I would have to agree. The fathers of my children are both proclaimed “Christians” In both cases the men love the idea of a quiet, submissive, subservient wife – and that nothing should be expected of the man, while the woman should be like a saint. In both cases I left the relationship due to adultery on the man’s part. In both cases the men did not put forth the effort to support our family or to help with the kids so I could support our family and I really believe they saw me as more something they “owned” as they knew I would follow God’s word and would not break our vows. Not as an actual person and a partner to love…. I guess the infidelity was just the last straw, or grounds that I could be released from what was already very unhealthy. Essentially, I feel like to this day neither one of them has changed, and what help I have from them with the children has had to be forced through court orders and they do the bare minimum to save face so they can maintain “appearances”. That’s all it seems to boil down to is that they want to “appear” to be good men. As a believer I feel very strongly about certain things and I believe God has put it on my heart to feel the way I do. I do look around in our society today and see many behaviors as being directly responsible for the state our country is in and do not want to contribute to the mess although I know I already have by the fact that I am divorced. I cannot control the world but I can do what is right in my home & my life & teach my kids right. From my observation and experience most of the Christian men I have met and observed do not seem to take their role or responsibility seriously – or else seem to think that “forgiveness” will cover it all and there should be no real consequences. I have met many non believers who actually LIVE RIGHT – they seem to have a greater sense of right / wrong, common sense, understand natural consequences and take accountability for their shortcomings and when they are in the wrong – actually repent in the true sense that they TURN FROM what they were doing wrong and correct their ways. I am determined to continue doing what I know is right and teach my children the same. Unfortunately, I believe many of the problems plaguing the world today are being ignored by the churches and many Christians – as if we are released from being responsible for our families, environment, etc. When in reality the Bible commands us to be good stewards of what God has created and given us. The attitude I have witnessed is one of “being entitled” and taking for granted and I do not agree with it. The Bible makes many references to Nature and the ways of Nature and it’s relation to God and how He works…. In nature things work together and each has it’s part – or else the unit dies. Is this not what is happening to our families today? To our country? I do not mean to sound harsh, but I see so many single parents out there working to their fullest for their families – and too many deadbeats who think life is all about themselves & having a good time, trying to “look” the part without doing their part. I met a man a couple years ago who became my “friend” and I have been seeing him for over a year now. This man is not a Christian but his actions speak loudly for who he is. Here I had limited myself to “Christian” men and ended up alone, tired, overworked, overwhelmed, put down, guilt tripped over every little thing and made to feel like no matter what I did I was doing something wrong…. and of course they still feel they are the “victims” and I am a mean and terrible woman for not being more patient and just “forgiving and forgetting”. And now I meet a man who is not a proclaimed “Christian” but he LIVES RIGHT. The Bible says if we hear these things or say them and do not do them then what good is it? And now I see why. This man never expects me to “put up” with being cheated on, treated badly, etc. He takes care of his daughter without complaint and works hard to be a good friend, neighbor, etc in his community. He does not think he is exempt from consequences but is quite humble and careful in his ways so that he does not bring suffering on his household. He lives a simple life as I do and we have much in common in how we live – neither of us are interested in the fancier things in life but are very practical. We actually talk about things and I can talk about my feelings and he genuinely cares about me. I guess what I am saying is that from what I have observed – what the Bible says and what is going on in our families, churches and country today seem to be two completely different things. And that there is RIGHT and WRONG. If I wanted to bake a cake and I sat on the couch talking about it – I would not have a cake. If I got off my behind and mixed all the ingredients together then left it in a bowl on the counter – I would not have a cake. I’m only going to get my cake when I actually DO what it takes. This is how everything is nature works as well. As I am studying to become a nurse this becomes even more evident. Imagine if your kidneys “listened” to the messages the brain was sending but did not RESPOND with an appropriate action? Most likely – YOU WOULD DIE. Or if your liver decided to stop functioning properly and said “it’s okay – I’m forgiven and I can do what I want” – THE BODY WOULD DIE. This is what is happening to our families. Rather than two parents taking things seriously and functioning as a unit we have selfishness, laziness and people with a general attitude that they should be able to contribute nothing but junk to the family / relationship and still get their “cake” because they are “entitled” to it. I heard a saying once that “love is like an ointment – it doesn’t work unless it’s applied”. Love in action = results. Faith in action = results. I am just tired of all the talk. Maybe being single a few years with the kids has done that to me. I know in my heart I have been trying to do the best I can with what I have – maybe I am just at my wits end. Basically all I have learned is that I can get up each day doing all I can and there will always be a bunch of people there to tell me I could do better, do more, be this or that or whatever. And… that as far as relationships, parenting and family is concerned – it is not the person who says they love Jesus but the person who lives like He taught us who actually makes the difference. There actually is a “recipe” for having healthy families, communities, churches, etc… and just like baking a cake, we actually have to do things a certain way to get the desired outcome. Overextending credit, going into debt, refusing to work, refusal to care for our children and set the example for them, cheating on spouses, lying, alcoholism and drug addiction… these are not the ingredients for a happy marriage or family and yet in my experience there are way too many who do these things and seriously seem confused about why they didn’t get their cake. What is going on in our churches that nobody is telling them the truth? I do believe there is still a lot of good in the world – I just don’t believe it’s limited to church or Christians anymore. I have gone on being tired and alone for quite a while now and I love the man I have being seeing very much – I enjoy our time together. And yes, I know “a man” does not solve all of life’s problems – I am not looking for that, but love and companionship and after a long road I believe I may have found it even though it is not with a “Christian” man. Any advice or thoughts on this? So far all the Christian advice I get is that I need to keep “waiting” for a Christian man…. And yes, I am still young, 31, attractive, and very much still alive…. Wasting away most of these years that I really feel should be spent in partnership with a man. Or – should I settle on a “Christian” man who’s morals and lifestyle do not match my own? Just for the sake of what? So people won’t tell me I’m wrong and everything will look good on the outside? I used to believe that I had to find another Christian to have a successful marriage but in reality I have discovered it takes a lot more than that - relationships do require work and effort on both parts and it doesn't stop at "I do". My mother was a Christian and my Dad is still not and they remained married over 20 years until Mom passed away. To this day, my Dad and my brothers are some of the best examples of husbands, fathers I have seen - and they are not believers. My mother was allowed to focus her efforts on nurturing the family and never had to take on a masculine role, neither has my sister in law. In neither case have the woman ever been expected to tolerate adultery or childish irresponsibility on the part of the man. I am the first generation single parent family. I am a believer and I do not mean to say that there are not any good Christian men out there - I just don't think being a "godly" man is limited to Christians - looking at the actions of individual people. Has anybody else noticed the same thing or had similar experience? I am just wondering if I am way off track here.