DEAR HARRIETTE: I enjoy reading your perspectives on various life issues, but I have something to say about your answer to "Waiting for Mr. Right" from Memphis.
I found this woman's anxiousness to be remarried within two years disconcerting, if not downright selfish. She claims she wants her young children to have a father in their lives "for stability," but she does not say where the children's biological father is or why they divorced.
Children do benefit from the attention, love and discipline of the trusted men and women in their lives. Some children develop anti-social or undesirable behaviors in single-parent households. However, if this woman is a God-fearing (Christian?) woman, then she can turn to male relatives or men in youth ministries at her church for help. She doesn't have to get remarried to provide this benefit for her children. If she doesn't belong to a church family, joining one would be a good first step toward creating stability for her children.
Also, has this woman taken her children's feelings into account? Unless they were abused by their father, they may not be so anxious to replace him with a stranger who brings his own emotional baggage into the tenuous mix. A new husband may drive a wedge between her and her children if he robs them of their mother's attention, or if his expectations regarding the girls conflict with hers.
If she does meet Mr. Right (a wishful misnomer), she should build the relationship slowly, introduce him only after the relationship grows serious (to avoid hurting the children again should they break up), and marry only after the girls have had time to develop a comfortable, trusting relationship with him. Also, she should listen to their concerns, if any, in case they contain red flags she is oblivious to. They might save her from making a serious mistake. Second marriages have a higher divorce rate than first ones, and many times they are rushed into for wrong or false reasons.
"Waiting" quoted Proverbs 18:22, but there are many verses that refer to waiting for the Lord to answer prayer (Psalm 27:14, Psalm 130:5) and the joy that results (Psalm 37:4). St. Paul also taught in 1 Corinthians 7:8 that it is good for the unmarried/widows to stay unmarried, unless they are marrying to avoid fornication. The fruit of the spirit includes patience.
Perhaps "Waiting" should seek godly guidance from a church leader or an older godly woman who has herself been through a divorce. This season of aloneness is a perfect time for "Waiting" to deepen her relationship with Christ as she prepares herself to fill the shoes of "Mrs. Right." -- Righteous, Chicago
DEAR RIGHTEOUS: Thank you for your thoughtful letter. Many people have written in, outraged by "Waiting." As I have continued to discuss her letter with others, some of the sentiments you expressed have come up. Primary among other readers' concerns is that putting time limits on finding a partner and creating a meaningful relationship is unreasonable. It would be far better to nurture her family and take her time, as you suggest.