Celibacy while dating

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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.

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.

Not only does going slow give you time to heal, but it also helps you better assess those you date.

If you have taken the time to understand yourself and the dynamics that contributed to your divorce, you are more likely to make a godly choice in choosing the second time.

Unfortunately, Branden's father abandoned him, so it's understandable that he longs for a relationship with a father figure.

Be aware that when you commit to remain celibate until you remarry, there may be some people who will try to convince you that you are being unreasonable. Instead, run the other direction and resolve to date only fellow believers who share your convictions.

The Bible is clear about this: Maintaining your sexual integrity is not optional; neither is getting romantically involved with someone who doesn't share your faith (2 Cor. Above all, God wants to come first in all you do (Matthew ). During that time, several men have come and gone from her life.

This may mean seeking out your pastor for support, joining a Divorce Recovery group or visiting a Christian counselor.

Some divorced church-goers try to convince themselves that God's command to abstain from sex doesn't apply to them — that it's for the never-married crowd.

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