If you start dating prematurely, you could be hurting — rather than honoring — those you date.
When Becky was invited to lunch by a man she met at a bookstore, she was excited.
When Becky asked him how long he'd been divorced, he admitted that it wasn't final yet, that he was living in the basement of the home that he and his wife shared, and that they'd only been separated for three weeks.
Becky gently told her date that he needed to first pursue emotional and spiritual healing. But dating so soon will almost inevitably lead to heartache, since he's neither emotionally nor legally available.
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.
Jennifer's, Samantha's and John's concerns are common, because according to the U. Census Bureau, 19.3 million Americans get divorced each year, and many of them date and eventually remarry.
Perhaps you share their concerns, as you're also wondering how you can reenter the dating world after divorce — and do so according to God's standards. Divorce is the death of the dreams you had when you committed yourself "for better or for worse." As a Christian, you can't simply separate from your spouse one day and hit the dating field the next.
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 ).
Even though she has decided to wait a few years until her daughter is grown to reenter the dating scene, she's confused about how to proceed.
"When Madaline is out of the house I want to date, but I don't know how." Samantha has been divorced for only a year, but would like to start dating again even though her two boys are still in elementary school.
Like Jennifer, she needs some advice but is concerned about how she can make the transition into dating easy on her children. He'd like to date again, and some of his friends say he should start looking for a woman now — after all, he's getting divorced soon.
But John knows better because he's still married, and dating now would go against God's desires.