Is Dating While Separated Ok?

Is Dating While Separated Ok?

dating while separatedWhether Christian or not, some have asked us, “Is dating allowed during marriage separation?” Or “Is dating during separation adultery?” Of course, I always tell them it’s none of my business. However, I also realize the issue of dating during a marriage separation is a hot-button issue,  and so needs to be talked about in the church in an honest, biblical, and open way. As both a family court mediator and minister, I’m just gonna shoot from the heart and let it fly.

What the Bible Says About Dating During a Marriage Separation

Nothing.  That’s right, the Bible has zilch to say about dating while separated. Of course, the Bible has absolutely nothing to say about dating at all because dating is really a 20th-century phenomenon.

The closest Scripture we can find that’s even remotely related to dating while separated occurs in 1 Corinthians 7:10-19: “A wife must not leave her husband. But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not leave his wife.”

The above Scripture is pretty clear here that separation is allowed but not desired.  God also appears to teach by implication that if the person who leaves is to remain single, he or she should not be in a romantic relationship (ie: dating) with any other person other than their spouse. And in the 21st Century, the purpose of Christian dating should expressly be to find a Christian wife or husband, right?

Let’s face it, separation is a sad but sometimes necessary action needed to protect the physical/emotional well-being of the person who leaves and/or the children involved. For example, if a husband is physically violent against his wife or kids, the person in this abusive relationship should seek assistance and remove themselves from that dangerous situation.

Putting whatever the Scriptures have to say on the subject aside for a moment, in Family Court we teach there are many other practical reasons and pitfalls why “singles to be” should avoid dating during marital separation, not the least of these the a. Many of these are similar to those going through the process of dating after divorce, or being a single again person dating with kids.

So where do you stand on the issue of dating while separated? How would you answer the question of “Should dating be allowed during marriage separation?

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    • Lorna

      I just want to comment on the passage you used to state that separation is “allowed”. In the passage it clearly says “must not leave”. There is no allowance there for separating. It further explains that if they should chose to, although the scripture clearly says “must not leave”, then, this is what should ensue. Marriages are falling apart – people claiming mental emotional abuse. Not to say that these scenarios don’t happen, but instead of turning them to separation, turn them to the One and only healer – the One who has already gotten the victory. North American culture is all about self preservation. How is it that the Christian being persecuted in China for their faith is to be honored – but in the same breath, we are willing to say that someone suffering emotional abuse (possibly due to their faith) should “get out”. Let’s give them the only real “relief” for their souls – Jesus Christ. He has called us to be living sacrifices – to love our enemies – that He “hates” divorce….how much clearer does it need to be? Let’s start backing up our “advice” with scripture – and everytime, God calls us to lay down our own agendas, our own wills and sometimes, our own lives. Look at Abraham and Isaac? Did not God ask him to lay his own son on the altar?…..if he had not obeyed, He would have never experienced God’s deliverance and blessing……Let’s operate out of obedience to the Word of God and not well meaning advice.

      • Robert

        Amen sister that is exactly what the Bible says.

        Many people cling onto the exception clause “except it be for fornication ” to escape a marriage.

        If you go back to the old testament you can clearly see that Jesus was talking about a women that was not a virgin and pretending to be one. This was a deception and is the only reason for a divorce. This was the reason that Joseph wanted to put away Mary as it was the law.

        What jesus was trying to say is marriage was for life and if one partner divorced they were causing the otherone to commit adultery when they go and marry someone else.

        I have been married for 30 years to the same woman and have had extreme testing during this period. As my wife thinks that sex is just something for men pleasure and when she does participate she is doing it for my sake. Sometimes I go for over 6 months without sex and I know how frustrating it is for others that are having problems with their partners.

        Jesus said to his disciples that not everyone would be able to receive the truth of the scripture regarding a relationship for life. That is why the disciples said that it was good not to get married when they understood what he meant.

        So don’t deceive yourselves, if you want to go with someone else that is up to you but is not what God wants.

        Paul said that they that separates from their partner let them remain unmarried and if they cannot bear being alone then let them come back together again.

        Things are extremely hard in these last days but the word of God cannot be changed for our benefit.

        • Divorcing

          After 25 years of marriage, I have finally filed for divorce. I have been a faithful wife, deeply in love with my husband, and enjoyed our sexual relationship 3-5 times each week.

          I have discovered my husband is a slick and smooth pathological liar with a sex addiction that has taken him to the arms of countless prostitutes and strippers. He has stolen marital funds in order to feed his disgusting habit, and lied to 2 marriage therapists, friends and family in an attempt to keep his fake positive image. In addition, he has “thrown me under the bus,” in this effort to protect himself by speaking false statements regarding my behavior… Character assault. The psychological, emotional and physical damage upon my being has been profoundly destructive.

          My faith is strong, and I don’t believe for a minute that my God wants me to live in such turmoil and deceit. Instead I see Him bringing a true Christian husband by my side in the future. A man worthy of my love, honesty, faithfulness and loyalty. There is no doubt in my mind that staying in my marriage would result in such destructive harm, that premature death would be in my future… Hopefully it’s not too late already. By the way, my husband calls himself a Christian… Since 1990. I see now it was just another lie and a tool used to manipulate me.

          • Clare

            My husband left suddenly when we were in the middle of being counseled by our church. He took half of our small savings, and left a pile of debt. I am 64 years old and unemployed. He claims to be a Christian, but was verbally and financially abusive, and involved himself in strip clubs, drugs and alcohol. My life is in ruins. If I hear another religious leader tell me it is not Ok to date, and just hang out with Jesus for several more, I want to tell them to go through what I have experienced and then wait around for several more years until I am to old to find someone to remarry. Please!

            • anne

              I am born again.I believe purely in the word of God and the voice of the Holy spirit.I know for a fact, that if a marriage is not as God intended it to be, get out of it.God is not of double standards. For I ask, what is the point of pretending to be married white in your hearts you have detached from each other?is that a marriage pleasing unto the Lord.And haven’t we also heard that two cannot walk tighter lest they agree?

              • Jo

                Going thru a separation. Christian lady here. When you know it’s against God amd the other one is blind but still doing that sinful act and destoring his marriage. Gods not letting me except him thru this. Praying I make the right decision for my soul and life.

                • VJ

                  To those that have faced the pain of separation/Divorce, I, too find myself with you in the pain that comes with 24 years of marriage. We counseled 1 1/2 years prior to marriage. He never once spoke of his sex addiction. If he had told me, I would have made a decision based on truth not lies. Those who judge when someone is going through this, have no idea of the suffering. Be gracious to those who already suffer. God knows the heart of man.

                  • Joe Seawell

                    I am a newly separated male, age 61. After 33 years of marriage, wife told me 5 weeks ago that she no longer wanted to ‘do this any more’. She asked me to move out. If I refused, she said she would tell our owner we were breaking our lease if I didn’t move out. I have. She knows I want a therapeutic separation she doesn’t. Instead she wants to divorce after 6 mos.

                    Our marriage has been very difficult. Instead of building our marriage around Christ, we focused on our differences and grew increasingly bitter. Several years ago I learned to be happy I had to take my eyes off of my wife and focus on Christ and change myself. However my wife hasn’t forgiven me for 33 years of mistakes. She has withdrawn herself emotionally for many years. I
                    have tried to love her in her ‘service’ language but my underemployed status and temper when voicing my frustrations has hardened her heart. I have been faithful to her and there is no abuse or addictions.

                    I’ve taken our relationship to the session of our church. My wife now goes to another church and I
                    await their advice.

                    I will be praying for my wife and would be willing
                    to re-build our relationship if there was some contriteness on her part. If not, I want to remarry to a Christian woman who won’t focus on just changing me but will accept me as I am and that together we may grow in Christ. I’d like for her to enjoy sex where we may celebrate or love.

                    Scripturally I pray this is possible. I did make a covenant with my wife before God and friends. However, I feel she has broken it by her withdrawal and giving up on the marriage.

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