Imagine a couple who has been married for years. They sit down with a pastor because their marriage is in trouble. Instead of starting with questions about their issues or their spiritual journey, he now starts with this question:

“Are either one of you dating anyone else?

Or if this marriage doesn’t work out, do you know who you will be dating?”

Pastor Ted Cunningham of Woodland Hills Church has posed this question in recent years. He is passionate about marriage and family and addresses the trend of divorcing while dating in his book, The Power of Home.

Many are starting to date someone new before the ink is dry on their divorce papers – even in the church. Ted describes how the typical scenario plays out.

“The divorce papers maybe haven’t even been started yet, but they’re separated. And a week or two later there’s a new profile picture on Facebook with the new boyfriend or the new girlfriend.

That hits me kind of hard.

But what shatters me is when members of our church who have sat under sound biblical teaching start hitting the ‘like’ button on that new picture… Slow down. Think about the children. Think about the family and friends.

Please don’t ask me to celebrate your new marriage or your new relationship while I’m still mourning the death of your last one.”

Divorce is death.

“Having a new relationship within weeks of the old one is like bringing a date to your spouse’s funeral.  Think about your children. Don’t come walking in holding hands with another woman or another man while we’re mourning the death of your spouse.

I have the same thing with your marriage – please do not ask us to start celebrating and hitting the ‘like’ button on social media of a new relationship when you’re still married.”

Ted references a troubling new trend known as the “divorce selfie,” where a couple who is just leaving the courthouse pauses to take a picture together to post on social media. In an upside-down culture, divorce is a cause for joy and celebration. This mindset has found its way into the modern American church, to our detriment.

Ted has a word for those who are in the midst of the “dating while divorcing” trend.

“The happiness you’re experiencing in the new relationship is more than possible in the [old] relationship. In the marriage that legally is still binding.”

Key Scriptures: Song of Songs 1:4; Ephesians 6:1-4

Featured Songs: What a Savior by Laura Story; Grace Wins by Matthew West; Here I Am by Jeremy Camp

Highlight : Dating while divorcing?

6 trends that are changing the family

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