After a divorce many Christians are afraid to date again as they are not sure if they are following God’s laws about divorce. Dr. Jim points out what God requests from us and what divorced Christians should expect or do to make sure they are doing the right thing in the Bible.
Dear Jim: Is it too early for me to start dating again, and can I ever marry again or is that against God’s will?
This question is often received from a recently divorced person. It is good to be asking questions as one builds toward a new life – one filled with joy, peace and good health.
There are two major areas that come to mind when considering when to date and marry again:
1. Even though the courts of man have said that you are divorced, has God said so? There are only a couple of grounds for divorce according to the Bible. In summary, these are:
a. Matthew 5:32 – If the other spouse committed adultery
b. 1 Corinthians 7:15 – If the other spouse is not a believer and chooses to leave
2. It is my opinion, that unless there is a ‘Biblical’ divorce, you are not to date again but remain faithful to your spouse. Pray for them and live your life so that God can have a chance to restore the marriage.
3. IF the divorced spouse chooses to marry again, then I believe that this fits the criteria in Matthew 5 and then you are released to date and consider marriage – IF God leads you to do so.
1. The steps that lead up to a divorce leaves all parties involved in a very unhealthy condition. It is very important, let me say again – VERY IMPORTANT that you become as healthy as you can in all areas of your life before you consider dating.
2. My personal experience, and after relating to hundreds of singles in similar situations, I strongly encourage you to spend an extended time with a good Christian counsellor. You are likely unaware of the many things that now influence your decision making – both good and bad. If you do not come to understand the forces at play within your life, you will likely repeat bad cycles and make poor choices.
3. 70% of second marriages end up in divorce I am told. Do you wish to hurry to more pain?
4. Set out to build a GREAT buddy system. Building strong relationships with members of your own gender is an essential part of a healthy life. These should be Christians who are a positive influence on your life, as you are to theirs. Enjoy doing things together as well as building accountability to guide you through challenging times. Also read advice about Dating With Children
You can entertain dating again after you process these two areas and find the complete release from God and other counsellors in your life. Is this a ‘tall’ order? Yes, but one that greatly ensures your moving toward healthier and more fulfilling days.