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  • Writer's pictureBeverly H.

Are Widows & Divorcees Expected to Abstain from Sex While Dating?


Life took a sharp left, and now you’re dating again. The impulses are strong and clear. Sex is oh-so-tempting, and this time you know what you’re missing out on!


Does God expect previously married singles to abstain from sex while they’re dating? Is it still "pre-marital sex?" After all, you’ve already been marital...


Little Direction

I’ve not been widowed or divorced and felt that this was a message best received from peers. However, there’s next to nothing out there! Trick links, diaries, and lies were about all I could find. At least I can provide you two Biblically accurate links as well as my own direct, Bible-based answer.

Time to Grimace

It’s tempting to approach the Bible with a how-can-I-get-around-this mindset. I mean, it doesn’t directly say divorcees can’t have sex, right? But that’s the crux of it. The Bible is super simple. When it comes to abstinence, you’re either married or you’re not.


The Bible doesn’t exempt people who have previously been married from practicing abstinence (hence, the grimace). It doesn’t matter how long you were married or why your marriage ended. You are at risk, possibly even more so because you’ve been married.


If you’ve already been having premarital sex, check out, "I Messed Up- What Now?"


All for Love

We all have vulnerabilities and judgment that are clouded by sex. That’s not different now that you’ve been married. In fact, you may experience loneliness in a whole new way. You’re grieving the loss of your loved one, your marriage, or even both. That is completely normal- healthy even.

Intertwine that with dating, and those powerful emotions set you up to enter a relationship for the wrong reasons, at the wrong time, or with the wrong person. Having sex during the dating process only exacerbates these risks. God’s not stupid. He understands the suffering psyche better than we can ourselves.


Time to Smile

Even if you’re past the vortex of anger, confusion, and grief, there’s still so many reasons abstinence is in your favor, both in the short and the long term. Consider these reasons the Bible (despite being Holy and timeless) is still right about this now.

  • God’s not against sex. He is looking out for you.

  • Abstinence improves the dating process and the quality of marriage.

  • Fewer sexual partners correlates with happier, lasting marriages. (1 Cor. 7:8-9)

  • Even though you learned from a divorce, statistics are not on your side. 67% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. Stick with Him to give yourself every chance of making your next marriage a joyful and lasting one.

  • Why should your kids listen when you tell them to abstain? Just noise to deaf ears. Even if you think they don’t see someone sneak out at 5am or notice the condom wrapper hidden at the bottom of your trash can, they do. They're not stupid.

You’ve Got It Coming In a Great Way

You deserve God’s best plan for you as a parent, as a victim, as a widower, as a divorcee. While you’ve probably changed during the course of your marriage, dating hasn’t. And neither have the reasons God wants you to abstain this time around. Do you trust Him to turn over this part of your life to His Will? Our hearts, history, hormones, and partners might lead us astray, but God never will. Make Him your guide as you enter the dating world again.


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