I was a single Pastor for 13 years, and I sometimes get asked questions that other Pastors are not asked, merely because they think that my former marital status will change my perspective on the issue. One of those issues is dating while separated. I have made the mistakes of trying to take shortcuts, and they ended up just being another trip around the mountain spinning my wheels. So as I write this article, I want to encourage you to take a deep breath, quiet your heart and emotions and listen to the still small voice of the Lord concerning this issue of dating while separated. Because it has this purpose, then it only goes to reason that both parties must be free to marry to date. Someone who is still married, even if they are separated, is not free to marry. They are bending the purpose of dating to their own emotional and possibly selfish desires.
There could be several rabbit trails within my post, such as the reasons one is divorcing as- is that, in and of itself, Biblical. In my situation, the marriage was very abusive, and resulted in immoral, deviant behaviors and an unrepentant spouse.
It would have been dangerous to myself and children to remain in the circumstances. I firmly believe I have Biblical grounds to divorce, and don't feel the need to talk through my decision to divorce, as I am at peace with it and sought Godly counsel- but am open to respond to questions. It wasn't an easy decision, especially considering some of the misguided 'spiritual' counsel I received.
It is affirming to hear that others do read Scripture the same way. That's why I asked- perhaps it is a CMA position that dating during a divorce is ok. Or perhaps this particular staff is choosing to turn a blind eye. I also know this isn't the first and only instance that the church was aware of dating, living together, etc.
How does one trust leadership when the leaders are not modeling Godly leading?
Dating during divorce christian
Sure, I can walk away, yet who holds leadership accountable? It makes me concerned what else isn't known. I have found new relationship with Jesus in the past 3 yrs that I have been going through this. I understand exactly what you're saying. And while I hope to perhaps one day have a healthy, Godly relationship, if it be His will, today that is not my focus or goal. David Carter, you commented that confrontation must always be done with caution. Can you further explain what this means If 'dating' is only defined as a sexual relationship prior to divorce, which isn't Biblically condoned before marriage anyway then we could claim any relationship as 'only friends', yet spending time and investing emotional energy into a friendship.
I believe there needs to be caution here, and do we really need to determine motive if two are seen as a couple routinely.
dating while going through divorce
In response to making the same mistake twice, and going into another destructive relationship Time and relationship with God are foundational in order to make discerning decisions about future relationships. However, we can't overlook the fact that everyone does not represent themselves to be who they truly are.
The responsibility does not only lay with one person to make the wise choice. As in my circumstances as a survivor, I never would have known or imagined my soon to be ex spouse was capable of doing what was done, or the degree of sexually deviancy that surfaced only many years into the marriage.
I gently advise to not blame one person for choosing wrong. Deception is often very charming, and manipulative. Secret sin can be well hidden from many, even leadership. There are too many current stories circulating in the past year to confirm this truth. We would do well as a church to better understand the cycle of abuse and offer hope and healing to those affected by it.
God does not expect us to submit to sin, or allow children to be caught in the crossfire of this or be exposed to deviant behaviors. Let us be proactive to protect, rather than reactive when this type of sin is known. My prayer is that God will give me the strength to use the wisdom, discernment, justice, Godly friends and counsel and be open to His leading. To answer your question, I think there is a need for caution in any confrontation of any kind of sin, sexual or otherwise, for several reasons.
Also, because the tendency of my own heart, at least, is to make assumptions before I have all the facts, I need to use caution to avoid letting mistaken assumptions steer me into the wrong kind of confrontation.
If I have been wounded by the sin and am finding myself in the position of needing to confront it, then I especially need to use caution, with regard to making sure of my motives and intent in the confrontation.
This congregation frequently behaves in what I can best characterize as an unintentionally irresponsible and presumptuous manner. I find it extremely frustrating. And when they are being disrespectful to our congregation i. But if I do that, I will not be constructive. I will more likely just go in there and use the confrontation as a pressure release for my frustration, which will probably not accomplish the purpose of working out our differences.
But, in my earlier response, when I said that "you must proceed with caution", I meant this with regard to including your church leadership in the process. If the leadership knew about the dating and did nothing to confront it, then using caution would mean that you would still speak to the leadership to let them know what you saw and tell them you thought it needed confronting, and find out if perhaps they had done something already to confront but you were not aware of it, or whether they had some specific knowledge which you don't have about the situation which has caused them not to confront.
On the other hand, if you were thinking of confronting a leader I advise caution because in 1 Tim. Verse 20 makes it clear that if the elder is guilty they must be rebuked publicly, so that others don't follow them into sin. Applying this principle to other leaders, the sins of leaders must be confronted, but we must be careful not to entertain accusations lightly that can adversly affect someone's reputation.
Many churches have a procedure for this that is stated somewhere in a policy manual or some such thing. I suggested in my former reply that the leadership might have a reason for why they were not confronting the behavior, i.
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It was not my intention to imply that I agreed with this reasoning. Even if the "dating" relationship is completely non-physical, where, as you said, the two are routinely seen together and are investing significant time and emotional energy into one another, I personally would view that as inappropriate for someone who is not yet divorced, and disingenious on the part of the other party.
Disingenious because, even if they are deceived and have been lied to about the cause of the person's impending divorce, the fact is that the divorce is not final, and therefore the party is still married. It would be completely inappropriate for me to invest lots of time and emotional energy into a close friendship with a woman other than my wife, in my opinion. At best that would have to be seen as potentially undermining my commitment to my wife.
If I ever did that, I hope someone would love me enough to call me on it in a loving way, and ask me what I was doing and where I thought it was going, and whether I thought it was hurting my wife. And if I were in denial, I hope they would love me enough to get more confrontational and give me a wake up call, and hold me accountable to correct the error of my ways and redirect my attention to my wife.
I don't check often, but will check this thread again. Marvin Harrell likes this. And to all of you who are reading, responding, praying.
There is much wisdom within your comments, which I also appreciate. However, I do still struggle with assumptions that confrontation to sin may come from a motive of pain and therefore is vindictive, even toward the sinner. There will always be pain from the fallout of any of our sins.
Some wounds heal quickly, some take a very long time. That alone does not mean that we may be vengeful in spirit. I realize you see this isn't always the case. But no where is there discussion surrounding protecting and standing for the weak and oppressed because of the sin. Lack of confrontation in many circumstances can become the sin of silence, and further wound the oppressed.
God does want each sinner's heart to be repentant and redeemed. We are all sinners! But when the blatant sin has had opportunity to repent, and chooses not to, what then. Yet we can't ignore the fallout of the choices of sinner, or focus primarily on the sinner's potential reaction if confronted. We are not responsible for the choices of others or how they may react, we are accountable to God for our own.
Do we neglect confrontation out of fear of what might happen or the turning away from God? Jesus does not model that. I would imagine everyone would not be as receiving and gracious as what you sound to be, if you did and were confronted with spending too much time with another woman other than your wife. But that doesn't relieve us of the responsibilty to confront While I agree we must guard our hearts to reacting in vengence from pain, confrontation is Biblical, as you explained very well.
In John 8, Jesus confronts both the sinner and the Pharisee's with straight forward actions, and bold, straigh forward statements. He did not tip-toe around leadership, nor did He ridicule the sinner-the woman caught in adultry. We know the Pharisee's were not fans of Jesus, but He called them out on a regular basis, regardless of their reactions or choices to follow or not follow Him. When facts are known to be true and shared, and leadership chooses to do nothing, this is what grieves me, and is a mockery before God.
It is happening repeatedly in a particular CMA church. The stories are multiple, even to the point of not reporting criminal behavior toward minors, in addition to open adultry.
It has become so invasive within the church, that a local professional told me that because of the facts, not rumors, of the current situations at this particular church, that's why he 'stays in bed on Sunday mornings'.
I know for a fact that the leadership knows many details, and is choosing to remain silent. So this piece of your question is answered. Person after person is learning the truth. What are we called to do First, I agree with you that just because someone has been hurt does not mean that the pain they feel is their motivation for confrontation.
It might be that they feel compassion for someone else who might be about to get hurt in the same way, or compassion for the sinner who hurt them and want that person's relationship with Christ restored, or any number of other positive motives. It might even be that they don't want to confront but feel the scripture says they should. All of these are good reasons to confront. I was not presuming to know your motives, just explaining why caution is necessary.
I can sometimes be deceived by my own heart, or at least blind to my own motive, so I encouraged caution.NEVER date a married man or one going through a divorce - Dating Expert - Danielle Bruce
I agree that Jesus is a good model for confrontation. Three things to remember here. He absolutely knew men's hearts and motives, so He always knew the right approach. He had absolute authority so confronting Pharisees was like the chief shepherd confronting undershepherds who were not doing their jobs.
And when He was confronting Pharisees, He was confronting prideful and blatant unbelief in Who He is, but while confronting the woman caught in adultery He was dealing with someone who was sinful no doubt, but also who was being preyed upon by those who should have been shepherding her. Jesus didn't ignore her sin, but also didn't ignore her vulnerability as a potential victim. The whole thing was a set up. Where was the man with whom she was caught?
Why wasn't he brought up on charges? But again, Jesus always knew the right approach. The real choice is between being married to your spouse or being single. Trust me I know.
I was single for 13 years. Divorce is the literal tearing of one couple into two separate entities. This is a spiritual, emotional, financial, and physical ripping apart of all that made the couple one. They seriously become wounded and needy in many ways. Damage to a person in this drastic of a manner takes a season of healing before they will be ready to marry.
Not only does it take a season of healing, but it takes a season of dealing with the issues that caused the divorce in the first place. It takes two to make a marriage, and it takes two to end a marriage. If you are dating while separated, you are not doing the things you need to be doing to heal up and deal with the issues that caused the divorce.
You are replacing one mate for another. You need to return to being single and embracing that before you ever seek a new spouse. You need to walk the process out to finality. While you are separated, there are many things up in the air. The outcome is not decided yet. The consequences of your choices may not yet be felt. You're either married or you aren't.
I would not want to date someone who wasn't legally single because if you just met the person you really don't know the whole story. Maybe they should reconcile. I wouldn't want to get in the way of that. Usually the divorce process is one more step towards healing. Starting a relationship in the midst of that can be very painful. Even after the divorce is final, you need to consider that the person may need more time healing.
I personally didn't because so much time had gone by between separation and divorce. Sep 23, 6. I agree with EBL that you just dont know if they are serious about divorcing and if they will reconcile. All else aside, while they are still legally yoked it may be better to leave it till you know for sure.
Morally, this is just one more reason I am against state licensing. One woman in my hometown was waiting on a divorce to go thru years ago and it kept her in just enough contact with her estranged husband that he was able to get hold of her and kill her on a public street with a knife.
Had the state not interfered and let her divorce WHEN she wanted to she may have been out of sight and mind before this animal went on his rampage. Sep 24, 7. I feel, in my own oppinion, that a person needs to wait until they are truly divorced until they date again. I look to the scriptures that speak of two people being married as one flesh, and also the scriptures that state that if you were to look on another, and wish to be with them, then it is sin.
When I was dating a long time ago, I wanted to be with them, not in a sinful way, but wanted to be with them as often as I could.
Personally, I am looking forward to the time when I might be able to date someone again. In fairness to them, and me, I want to be "free" from the marriage that I am in now. I had a dream that I dated someone after we were separated, and woke up feeling guilty. I guess I just want to be free from what I feel is what God's Word tells me to do.
Sep 24, 8. A divorce according to the Bible is when a man writes it up and gives it to his wife because she committed adultery. It happens in a moment then it is done. Sep 29, 9. Unfortunately, there is nowhere in Scripture that says you can or can't date while seperated. Both my new husband and I have very strong opinions about divorce, making it difficult to justify dating or getting married after I ended a marriage.
I had been seperated for two years and was counting down to the courtdate that my ex was postponing as long as possible. I was ready to be with David, but had an abusive marriage on the verge of ending and didn't know where to turn.
We were comforted in a series of verses that had to do with our unique situation, but nothing that was obvioiusly dealing with divorce and remarriage. I think earnestly seeking His will was the only thing that got us through that period. We were willing to walk away from being together if God didn't approve.
After extensive prayer and seeking His heart, we came across verses that made more sense then before. I would encourage you to do the same. Scripture alive and breathing, and God uses it to reveal Himself.
He gives uttrance of the Holy Spirit to reaveal his will through His Word. Take time to seek Him, and allow Him to show you where to draw the line with Scripture.