Reader Question: Divorce and dating

Dear For His Glory,

I was hoping you could help me with this. Can someone date and get married after divorcing? Can you send me the scripture to support your response?

I've found in the Old Testament where it states when a man who divorces his wife through no fault of her own that allows her to remarry. But then Jesus said no, remarrying after a divorce causes your new spouse to sin and become an adulterer. Can you tell me what you thoughts?

Dear Reader,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer this question. I want to let you know I didn't have an "immediate" answer for you so my husband and I took some time yesterday to look at the Scriptures and come up with our answer. As with anybody, I would encourage you to read what we have said and take it before the Lord to see where/how it settles in your spirit.

The OT laws do address marriage and divorce. When reading the OT we need to recognize that what we read was not only addressing a spiritual state but it was also addressing how the Jewish culture should operate to "set itself apart." To me the OT is like a cars' operating manual. It would do well to read and abide by as much as possible to have your life operate in the best manner. In addition whenever we read the OT we need to view through the cross too... Which brings us to the NT where Jesus, himself, specifically addresses the issue of divorce.

Matthew 5:32 But I tell you, whoever divorces
his wife except on the grounds of unfaithfulness
(sexual immorality) causes her to commit adultery.

According to Jesus in this verse the act of divorce itself causes adultery. Jesus is addressing the Pharisees when he says this and we need to note Jesus is always after the intentions of the heart. The Pharisees were ALWAYS looking for loopholes. They wanted to be right with God based on their merit. This is precisely why Jesus says, the only reason Moses allowed for divorce in the first place was because their hearts were hard (Matthew 19:8). So just like Jesus says anger is the same as murder; the act of divorce itself is the same as adultery. The point being God designed marriage for life; divorce is not part of God's original design plan.

Since you are already divorced we came up with 3 different scenarios that would address the situation of dating after divorce:

Scenario 1: You were both non-Christians at the time of the divorce. You were not a Christian at the time so you did not know God expected from you. You cannot fix the past so I believe as a Christian now you would be free to enter into dating and marriage.

Scenario 2: He was a non-Christian, you were a Christian and he chose to leave you. I Corinthians 7:15 says, "But if the unbelieving partner leaves; let him do so; in such cases you are not morally bound." Our understanding of this is you are not under moral obligation to remain unmarried and if you so desire you could seek to be married again.

Scenario 3: He was a non-Christian or you were both Christians and you chose to leave him: I Corinthians 7:10-11 A wife is not to separate from her husband but if she does let her remain single or be reconciled to her husband. If you chose to divorce as a Christian, knowing God's heart is for marriage, you should remain single or seek reconciliation.

In conclusion, the Lord looks at the heart. What I take away from everything that I read in Scripture is that marriage is very serious before the Lord.
Malachi 2:15-16
Has not the LORD made them one?
In flesh and spirit they are His.
And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring.
So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
"I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel.

Our society doesn't understand this. It is true that now you aren't able to fix or change the past. As a result, the accuser would like to hold "divorce" over you head as a failure on your life and something you should feel guilty about. But as you know, Jesus has paid the price in full: there is therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

So instead of getting caught up on the past, I would encourage you instead to "count the cost" of the future and make your decision to move forward based upon that. You now know how serious marriage is in the sight of God. If you would choose to date I would be very careful:
  • First and foremost do not date non-Christians (2 Corinthians 6:14) because we are not to marry non-Christians so there is no point in dating them.
  • Secondly, I would not recommend "dating just to date." The Bible says, "to guard your heart because it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23)." The way our society does "dating" does not guard your heart. I personally would encourage you not to "date" someone unless you could see yourself considering marriage with them. By dating, I mean giving your time, thoughts and affections to that person on a regular basis.
  • If you have children, I wouldn't enter into dating without discussing it with them first and coming up with protections for them. You need to guard their hearts too.
  • Finally, marriage is for life, so before you enter into to dating know what you want and go forward with high expectations.
In Christ,


  1. I totally agree Jaime. I believe the OT "rules" were put there as a guide-not something to get caught up on.

  2. Awesome insights! I love your answer!!!

  3. Jaime, you have been given a beautiful gift of heavenly wisdom. I saw love and mercy in your reply, as well as a good foundational base (the Word). Do you counsel people on a regular basis? I would feel very comfortable asking for your guidance. You are blessed!


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