Scripture warns believers to "guard your heart" (Proverbs ).

For the single parent, this means that you will have to do some "guarding" for your children by not involving them with your suitors too soon in a relationship.

Not only does going slow give you time to heal, but it also helps you better assess those you date.

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And as with any loss, big or small, time is needed to grieve and to reassess who you are, where you've been and where God wants you to go.

Healing is also necessary to follow God's command to" do unto others what you would have them do unto you," (Matthew ).

This may mean seeking out your pastor for support, joining a Divorce Recovery group or visiting a Christian counselor.

Some divorced church-goers try to convince themselves that God's command to abstain from sex doesn't apply to them — that it's for the never-married crowd.

She was ready to date and had taken time to seek God and heal after her divorce three years earlier.

She thought her lunch date had done the same, but she quickly discovered otherwise. During their lunch, his eyes filled with tears and anguish.

However, Scripture is clear that it doesn't matter if someone has been married or not, sex with someone other than your spouse is still fornication (I Thessalonians 4:3, I Corinthians 6:9).

Don't wait to put some practical boundaries in place, such as not staying at your date's home overnight.

She suggested that he develop relationships with other Christian men for support, rather than seek out women for emotional comfort. And, until he heals, he won't be able to relax and commit his entire heart to his new partner the way God intends.

To begin healing, you'll want to seek counsel from committed Christians who are willing to walk through the grief process with you.

If you start dating prematurely, you could be hurting — rather than honoring — those you date.