Can I date and possibly marry a divorced person?

Divorce tops the list of symptoms in the spiritual vacuum of today's culture. Few if any families escape its devastating effects. Convenience and selfishness, not conviction, are of primary importance in our society and that has crippled the marriage commitment.

Let me first caution that the effect of divorce is seldom final. A man and woman may get unmarried legally, but may never fully separate emotionally. The pain of divorce may fade, but will never fully disappear, particularly when children are involved. If you are involved in a second marriage, be prepared to deal with this.

God's plan for a husband and wife is to be one flesh for life. Scripture does permit divorce for adultery; however, this is not mandatory and should be a last resort after all efforts at reconciliation have been exhausted.

Remarrying the innocent victim in such a case seems to be allowed by Scripture (Matthew 5:30). Therefore, as for dating, one should not date a person who would not be a fit candidate for marriage.

Regardless of whether a potential spouse has been divorced, certain standards apply. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says that a believer in Christ should not marry - or date - an unbeliever. If Christ is not the first priority in both lives, then self-satisfaction will be.

If you go into marriage expecting your spouse to meet all your needs, you are destined for disappointment. Only Jesus can do that. Patiently and fervently pray before considering marriage, because it's better to wish you were married than to wish you weren't.

Taken from Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column. Used by permission. 2001, The Commercial Appeal.