After going through a divorce, you may be tempted to find a new relationship and bask in the attention of someone who finds you attractive and important. This is only natural because divorce is rejection on many levels and you want to fill the void you feel. After enduring the pain, suffering and loneliness that goes with the loss of a marriage, it can seem like dating or finding a new relationship is what will “fix” the brokenness you feel and most people would agree with you; that since you are now “free” from your former spouse, that there’s nothing stopping you from finding a new relationship that will make you feel loved and loveable.
The teachings of the Church instruct that you must go through the annulment process and receive a decree of nullity before a new relationship is formed and many people believe this is a standard that is too difficult to abide by. They believe their freedoms are being taken away by these “strict rules.” But allow me to offer you an explanation to help, an analogy that puts this into perspective.
Imagine an elementary school that has it’s playground along a busy city street. If the playground has no fence, the potential for disaster is eminent. All kinds of bad situations can and would happen. But if the playground has a fence, then traffic flows and children play freely without accidents or disasters. This is precisely the role the teachings of the Church play in life… giving you parameters that keep you safe and allow you to live freely without the potential for disaster. And these parameters are not limited to divorced men and women, they are for everyone regardless of their state in life. Chastity, fidelity, honesty… these are the boundaries we are all called to abide by. Living within these boundaries is what protects us from harm and sets us free to live life to the fullest with the greatest potential for happiness and peace.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – 2 Corinthians 3:17