Dating After Divorce
Many single Christians are confused when it comes to dating after divorce, as each church seems to have a different teaching on the subject. Before discussing dating tips for the recently divorced, let us express our simple views on what we feel the Bible teaches about divorce and remarriage.
The bottom line is God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16), and desires couples to reconcile if at all possible. However, under certain circumstances where there has been unrepentant infidelity, the offended party may divorce and remarry. Of course, no one remarries without first going through a dating or courtship process.
Finally, we believe dating should never be an end in itself, but should be part of a process that leads toward a lifelong commitment in marriage. Okay, ready to talk about some dating tips?
Take it slow
Hello? You've just experienced the death of a relationship that you thought would last forever. You NEED time to grieve and heal. What we teach folks in Family Divorce Court classes is that they should do their best to avoid a dating relationship for at least one year after their divorce. Why?Because you need to reacquaint yourself with who you are as a single person. For so long you may of thought in terms of "us", but you are now alone. It's a time for soul searching, taking stock of what went wrong and seeking the Lord for new direction in your life (Proverbs 3:5,6). Not dating during this period of adjustment will save you from making stupid, impulsive mistakes. Remember, whether you admit it or not, you are in a vulnerable, needy state, and your self esteem has taken a beating. You could be taken advantage of during this time, and hearts could be further broken. Even though you may be doubting your appeal to the opposite sex at this time, getting into rebound relationships will only delay your healing process. That's a fact. Furthermore, statistics show that the vast majority of people who date shortly after a separation and/or divorce have a difficult time remaining sexually pure, make regrettable moral choices and tend to repeat prior relationship mistakes. When you are finally ready to date again, you may want to consider the benefits of online dating. By starting online, you can proceed at your own pace in the safety of your own home.
Think of your children first
If you have children, the very worst thing you could inflict upon them is dating before you and they have properly healed and acclimated to a new way of life. Most kids dream about mommy and daddy getting back together again. That's why they need time to face reality. When the time does come to introduce the children to your dating partner, this article on single parents dating and their kids may help.
Join a support group
There are many Christian singles groups specifically designed for the newly divorced, whether they have children or not. These can be a wonderful help to you and your family. Groups like DivorceCare.com meet all over the world and offer emotional and spiritual support. Here you can also meet people in your area who are struggling with similar dating issues.
David Butler, the author of this article, has worked as a mediator to separated and divorced couples. Also a Christian minister to singles, he has an interactive website, Christian Dating Service PLUS!, which is geared toward their dating and spiritual needs.
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