Whether Christian or not, some have asked us, “Is dating allowed during marriage separation?” 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 during separation. 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. 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? How would you answer the question of “Should dating be allowed during marriage separation?”