How I met my husband and a critique of online “Christian” dating in mid-life

Fall in love for all the right reasons. Find God’s match for you. Dating sites beckoned me with hope-filled slogans like these from eHarmony and Christian Mingle. As clouds of doubt about remarriage after divorce rolled away, I pondered a new question: As a Christian, is the internet an appropriate venue for seeking a mate? Would it be forcing things, a sort of manipulation or control by my own will and desires? After all, if it’s God’s will for me to have a new husband, He could easily plop one on my doorstep, right? Where could I possibly meet this man, or, how could this elusive godly man find me?

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

I thought it would be nothing short of a miracle to remarry. Dating (hate that concept- perhaps another blog post) and falling in love (I hate that phrase, too) is for the young. Mid-life dating is hard. God intended mating for youth. He designed it that way. Young people are at their physical peak with sharp minds, boundless energy and hormones flowing. Cruising profiles when you’re over forty and beyond is quite a gamble. You are bidding on a used, worn, scarred wretch. There’s a paunch you didn’t participate in. Gray hair that happened without your assistance. A history you did not share. What can possibly spark a relationship?

Never mind physical attributes. I wanted a man after God’s own heart – a tall order. I dabbled in various sites for several years while hope waned.

This is just a sampling of “Christian” dating sites I tried.

  • eHarmony– The ultimate psychobabble dating site! There were tests to take and personality analyses. How could this go wrong? I just loved the Must Haves and Must Have Nots. Yet my matches on here proved to be So Wrong and Do Not Want.
  • Christian Cafe – Pour me a latte! This site sounded so inviting. I had dozens of conversations here while having a cuppa joe or maybe some vino. Unfortunately, this is mainly an Arminian Cafe. I’ll take it further and say it’s a Charismatic Cafe. I wanted a date, not a debate.
  • Christian Mingle –  Here, I was mingling under a very large Christian umbrella. Okay, there were a few nice men. But beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. After a phone conversation, I knew one man was definitely not for me. He gave subtle hints of being unsaved. When he wanted to meet in person, I wrote him a nice email explaining that I didn’t feel we were a good match. He wrote me back and said he didn’t bleep need me because he went out with a bleep bleep younger woman last night and had great bleep so much that he bleep bleep couldn’t care less about me and then he insulted my physical attributes. Honestly, I was terrorized. So much for mingling with Christians in name only.

    Wolves came knocking!
    Wolves came knocking!

The witless discussion about soul mates common to these dating sites was pure silliness.  Marriage between two believers makes them soul mates. William Gouge, in A Holy Vision for a Happy Marriage (part of the Building a Godly Home series) states that husbands and wives have a mutual duty: to seek the good of one another’s soul and help “forward the growth of grace in each other”. God creates soul mates when we enter into a covenant marriage with Him.

Furthermore, egalitarianism was blatantly evident in these dating sites. Both male and female are equal in God’s sight, but they have very different roles. Bible believing Christians should remember God created woman for man. She is designed to be his helpmeet. As I studied marriage the way God intended, I prayed in a different way. My prayers gradually morphed from selfish whining to asking if there was a godly man who needed me. Then I discovered a Reformed Christian dating site. It wasn’t long after, my prayer was answered. Continue reading

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Can two divorced people remarry? My struggles with that question and John Piper’s answer

Divorce is worse than death. When a spouse dies, a wife or husband has left the other unwillingly. Perhaps the death was preceded by tearful good-byes on a sickbed. In divorce, a spouse leaves willingly. Pain of loss is hard enough, but the anguish that comes from betrayal and rejection is gut-wrenching. It took me years to recover and I still have days that I’m not sure if I’m completely healed. I heard talk about ‘the gift of singleness’ but for me, singleness was more of a trial. While deep loneliness prevailed I wondered, does God allow remarriage after divorce? Were there truly Biblical grounds for my divorce? Will I commit a more heinous sin by seeking a new mate? I googled for answers. To my dismay, I discovered John Piper’s view that forbids remarriage after divorce no matter what the circumstance. Here is his position paper on the subject:

Divorce & Remarriage: A Position Paper

Shock, rage and despair filled my confused brain as I read. Yes, I had to pay the piper after the sin of divorce. But did I have to listen to this Piper? I’d heard of John Piper and thought he was pretty solid in the Reformed camp. I myself was a mere babe in that camp. I didn’t even attend a Reformed church yet. Let me backtrack a bit:

I was brought up in a Pentecostal church. As a teenager, I began to question Pentecostal obsession with tongues, emotionalism and whether the sign gifts had ceased. At age 23, I thought I married a believer. We were both professing Christians. He had left the Roman Catholic Church and began attending a mega non-denominational church with me. There is no such thing as non-denominational. These churches hide behind that title but are still largely practicing Pentecostalism or ‘charismania’.  Digging through church history in search of a true church, I read about the Reformation. Like Charlie Brown in a light-bulb moment, I said, ‘that’s it! Martin Luther got it right!’  The Lutheran Church close to home was our choice and we attended there with our three children for about ten years. Sadly, mainstream Lutheranism is a far cry from what Martin Luther intended. My husband and I later realized its liberalism, and we did some church-hopping toward the end of the marriage but never agreed on a church. Hungry for truth, I supplemented my spiritual diet with Christian radio. There I heard James Montgomery Boice and Alistair Begg. This preaching fed me for some years. It was the meat of the Gospel that I longed for. I began studying election and other tenets of the Reformed faith. It was a gradual awakening. I considered myself ‘saved’ as a child, but who can actually tell when they’ve been quickened by the Holy Spirit? I was learning about the sovereignty of God and realized that He himself had plucked me out of places I shouldn’t have been. No one forced me. He compelled me.  Meanwhile, my husband sounded more and more like the world. He no longer had an interest in attending any church.  When he left me, I discovered an ongoing infidelity of ten years. Was God now allowing me to be released from this marriage? I gave my husband time, told him I was willing to forgive him, and filed for a legal separation for financial protection. He never repented, decided he wanted a divorce, and never came back. Continue reading

About this blog…

You may already have aDSCN3604 clue about this blog’s subject matter, but I think I need to explain. My blog theme is almost an oxymoron. There are many in Reformed Christian circles who believe that remarriage after divorce is absolutely forbidden, no matter what the divorce circumstances were. I am a Reformed remarried divorcee. A divorced and remarried Reformed Christian. No matter how you put it, it doesn’t sound good. I hate the D word. This blog is not aiming to balk at denominations that are strict in their convictions. I’m with them and most of all I’m with Jesus: He hates divorce and I hate it, too. I will attempt to share the anguish, anxieties, and apprehension that preceded our marriage. Besides the difficulty of a second marriage, my husband and I are middle-aged with grown children. Thus, there will be posts about other issues that make second marriages difficult. I’d like to open up discussion on remarriage after a so-called ‘Biblical divorce’ — caused by infidelity or abandonment (or in my case, both!) There must be more people like us sitting in those Reformed pews. You can imagine there will be an infinite amount of subjects to tackle on these pages, including the many blessings of a new marriage. I’m excited. Let’s dig in…