I have a dear friend who went through a divorce. They were converts to the church and did well for years. Then the husband’s old demons reappeared and he began drinking. It didn’t take long for the marriage to become abusive. Their children were all teenagers when it finally blew apart. After the divorce my friend didn’t date for a year. She was working hard on being the sole support to her family. Then she had a temple recommend interview with her Bishop and Stake President. They both strongly recommended she attend Single Adult activites and begin dating. One of them even gave her money from their own pocket so she could attend a regional activity for singles in another state. She went along with it because she wanted to follow their inspiration.

It didn’t take long for her (she is skinny and cute) to find a new man. Within a few months they got married in the temple (she got a temple divorce from her previous husband) and now it looks rocky. Her still -at -home teenage kids are having a hard time with a new Dad, probably made worse by the fact he is late 40′s, never married, no kids. (That alone is suspicous to me.) Apparently conflict with the kids is the number one problem. I hope they get couple and family counseling so the kids don’t have to go through another divorce.

When my friend told me about her Priesthood leaders pushing her to date, I have to admit I was skeptical. It seemed to make more sense to wait until the kids grew up before introducing another man. My jaded self thought , “They want her to get married so her new husband can deal with her life, instead of putting that burden on Home Teachers and other Priesthood leaders.”

Am I too cynical for my own good? Do church leaders recommend marriage to reduce the rolls of single mothers who drain the resources of the ward?