Not Dating Divorced Women: God’s Will?


Dear Mary Beth,

I guess God knows that I choose to not want to marry anyone divorced – whether they have an annulment or not – because I don’t think that their life experiences would be a good match for mine. Also, I have always believed that my wife should be someone who didn’t spend years together with another man being sexually intimate. Even though I am not a young person anymore my beliefs have not changed related to dating divorced women.

I also think that I am doing the will of God by practicing what I believe. I think that if I didn’t have faith in God it probably wouldn’t matter if anyone I was interested in dating had religious beliefs or not or whether they were previously married or not. We all can change our future every day by what we do, how we believe, and making the right choices about our environment and people that we associate with.

Holding Out



Dear Holding,

The beautiful thing about marriage is that it is a free choice. We are – or at least we should be – free to marry or not to marry anyone we choose. (Well, I suppose that person has to be willing to marry us – so I guess we aren’t completely free.) And thus, you are perfectly within your rights to exclude any persons, or group of persons, whose life experiences you don’t believe would be a good match for yours.

Many single Catholics are reluctant to date divorced men and women who haven’t received annulments from the Church. Their reasoning isn’t about the sexual history of the person involved but is rather related to the fact that the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize civil divorce. Without an annulment, a divorced person is presumed to be validly married unless or until a Church tribunal determines otherwise. They avoid dating the divorced out of respect for the institution of marriage.

You, however, didn’t mention anything about that. Rather, you say you don’t want to marry a woman who has spent years being sexually intimate with another man.

You talk about divorced women but never mention the widowed. In reality, a widow would be in the same situation vis a vis her sexual history. In order to be consistent, those women would have to be scratched off your list as well, as would a wide variety of other women who may have repented of mistakes from their past.

As I said, you are certainly within your rights to build that list any way you’d like. And given your current mindset, I think it’s safe to say that you’re doing those women a favor by avoiding them. But whether you’re “doing the will of God by practicing what you believe” in this matter is another story.

God isn’t so much impressed with us for “practicing what we believe” as He is by our striving to conform our will to His. There are many, many people who hold beliefs that are radically contrary to the will of God. Others, like you, have a certain rigidity in your beliefs that goes beyond morality into the realm of personal preference. And it is very possible that those beliefs, while not being immoral per se, are closing you off to something wonderful that God may have planned for you.

Has it ever occurred to you that you could be missing out on spending your life with a really wonderful woman whom God has chosen for you, all because of your narrow pre-judgment about her “life experience”?  You could have children (perhaps yours, perhaps not – but either way, created in the image and likeness of God and placed under your fatherhood for His purposes). You could have a partner, someone who would love you and be at your side and support you and help you to get to heaven.

But you may be shutting all of that out because you are clinging to your “beliefs” instead of trusting God and His providence.

My one word of caution, if any of this resonates with you, would be to pray for a change of heart before you actually go out and get involved with someone who doesn’t meet that current criterion. If a woman has been married previously and is free and open to marriage again, she doesn’t need to open her heart to a man who sees her previous marriage as an obstacle, even if he’s trying to get over it.

But I would recommend that you do pray for that change of heart.  Examine your own motives and desires. Is it really her “life experience” that is getting in the way? Is there perhaps some insecurity, possessiveness or jealousy? Is it a lack of trust in His providence? Ask God to reveal that to you and to point you toward whatever resources you need to get out of it.

God loves you, and He wants great things for your life. Who knows what He may have in store for you if you just open yourself up to His plan?



  1. Gracia De D. April 9, 2014 Reply

    Interesting. I am a married lady. I shouldn’t be here, but reading makes me understand a lot of similar situations with relatives and friends. I never wanted to get married to a divorced, widow or annulment-granted guy (marriage is a life commitment and wanted to keep my probabilities of success high). And guess what, after a few dating heart breaks, I decided to pray an at least 3-month novena for the Will of the Lord to be done in my life regarding marriage. I was 30+ and still virgin. I met my now husband during that time (through a Catholic online website). It took me to change a lot in me and be closer to the Sacraments. I wanted to get married with a person of strong faith and commitment, and whose children were also mine, biologically if possible. Deep down I always knew that was God’s Will for me (at least during my 1st time and youth). We have had lots of trials (financially speaking) during our 10 years of marriage. So, understand, everything is about sacrificial love, forgiveness and offering up. The happiness part that we all are seeking, will be more complete when we finally go back to our Maker… (by then who knows what our state of life will be…and after purgatory of course, as very few of us will make it straight to Heaven). But all: singles, divorcees, widows, virgins or not, etc., please know that regardless of anyone’s way of choosing -probably inspired by the HOLY SPIRIT if this is a person of prayer–,the Lord loves you immensely, and that should be really a good source for your hope.

  2. Michael L. July 23, 2013 Reply

    Work hard on your social life as you age up. If you don’t, you may end up like me –lonely, isolated, and forgotten in middle age. Marriages don’t last forever.

  3. Michael L. July 23, 2013 Reply

    Here are statistics few people know–80% of all divorces are filed by women not men.
    Also if you are a single female aged 40 and over–you have a 1% chance of ever being married. For single men aged 40 plus, they have a 5% chance of ever being married.
    I’m 57, never married, and still a virgin! Can you believe that? I turned down a few offers of sex years ago because the person simply didn’t appeal to me.
    I’m finding there is a very limited dating market for men over 50. I see countless profiles of women 50 plus who will NOT date any men over 49. Why they picked that number I don’t know. I’ve meet several fine women in life Catholic and non-Catholic who would be great spouses. They had NO interest in me at all. As I aged up, the dating pool dried up. I find many women practice age discrimination, and then turn around and feel neglected or overlooked when they get no responses. Marriage is not for all of us. We are required to obey, love, and serve God. That may or may not include marriage on our life’s journey. For years women told me I was a “Nice guy” but they had no interest in building a relationship. I think God lets you know pretty early on if marriage is meant for you or not. If not, plan on creating your own social life and work hard at it. I didn’t, and it does get lonely as you age up. I don’t know anyplace a single 50 plus M/F can meet compatible or quality people anymore. Children, grandchildren keep lots of women off the dating market even in middle age.
    My last date was 12 yrs. ago, and it lasted 50 minutes. It was lunch, and the women didn’t even bother to thank me for taking her out. She also did not eat anything I ordered for us. Please read Save the Males by Kathleen Parker and Marry Him by Lori Gottlieb. You will find lots of witty observations about our culture in both books. Do I feel cheated God didn’t give me a partner or lover? Sometimes, and I even prayed for that. The prayer was answered with a NO. I quit looking, and my life got a whole lot easier folks. Case closed.

  4. Peter-885884 April 28, 2013 Reply

    I suspect that at it’s core, the problem here is fear. By demanding perfection of a potential mate, when none of us is perfect ourselves, this allows us to stay clear of taking chances. What underlies this demand? I believe it is a fear of going forward, taking a chance, and having one’s circumstances changed (even though this is what we we are ostensibly trying to change). It allows us to stay in our present circumstances – you know, “the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t know.” By not fully trusting in God, His will, His forgiveness of our own and others’ sins, and His providence, and building unrealistic requirements, we create a false reality and set of expectations and guarantee that we will remain “safe” by not having to venture out of our zone. We also stand of good chance of remaining, sadly, in the condition (here, singleness) that we wish to see changed.

  5. Mike-891757 November 21, 2012 Reply

    One last thing it sounds as if Mary Beth knows the father’s will. Good to know.

  6. Mike-891757 November 21, 2012 Reply

    Ridiculous response by Mary Beth. It is such a clear support for the “choice” of divorce. If more people, men and women thought as HoldingOut the world would be a better place indeed. The more shame that those thinking about divorce felt the less likely they would commit such a HEINOUS act. Of course with the ease of annulments occurring after 1958, I suppose it doesn’t matter anyway. The church has blessed divorce with subjective nullity, thus putting her stamp of approval on adultery. Keep up the fightHoldingOut. Stay away from the liberals like MaryJane or Mary Beth whatever her name is. And OBVIOUSLY HER(OR HIS) SEXUAL PAST MATTERS. Ridiculous feminist NONSENSE. Drivel. Infuriating if I let it be.,

  7. Patrick-606389 August 26, 2011 Reply

    When will this incessant brow beating of singles who have decided to date non-divorced or annulled Catholics/Christians end? Whether that pressure is subtle or blatant, the constant nagging of non-married singles’ choices seek other singles who have never been married is just beyond the pail and it is certainly not Godly. The guilt trips just never end. Unless, you are a prophet of God or are in possession of a special word from God for a specific person — and do believe that occurs, no one should be laying that ” . . .you may be missing out on something special God has for you,” slap is just out of line. Even when that slipped in ‘maybe’ the message is rather clear. Shame on you for having a desire to marry someone like you who has not been married. Shame on you that your hearts’ desire to be one with someone for whom you are their first and only as they would be to you. How is that so many Catholics critique anyone who wants someone who has not been married previously? These subtle attacks just seem seedy and unnecessary. I think it’s high time that Godly desires be honored. Now I understand that many Catholics avoid scripture because it is as i understand mostly metaphor in their view and given the inspired utterances of the Catholic Fathers apparently the Bible is all but a footnote. Fortunately my Catholic mother raised me differently about scripture. The Bible is pretty clear on the subject of just what any man or woman of God should desire. that they be married first and last to one person for the remainder of their lives. And at no time in scripture does Christ admonish anyone seeking a wife or husband — ” Well, have you considered so and so . . . they have been married and divorced? That would be a great choice.” it just does not happen, not a hint, not a slight suggestion anywhere — not by a single Apostle . . .

    Certainly it is possible to wish anyone a sincere and hardy “Godspeed,” in this endeavor. And to do without the wink and the nod as if there something amiss with people looking for their first and only choice as selected and selectee. This has no bearing on the morality or lack their of divorced singles. How often has anyone approached someone who is divorced and said, “you know you should have sought after a mate who had been previously married with children. that is God’s best.”
    What a silly proposition. It almost calls into question the purpose of marriage itself. How about this. Divorce is not God’s first choice and according to scripture (I know, I know it’s just myth, metaphor and parables), Christ himself says, “God permitted (a bill of divorcement) divorce for the hardening of your hearts.” I don’t know this man (the opening letter). So I cannot speak to his motives. But I can say Christ has no issues with his desire to be married to someone who has not been previously married. Now comments have been made about virginity. the gentleman does not say virginity. But rather a woman who has not been sexually active repeatedly with another man. The two are not synonymous. And if they were, good grief, I hate to mention it even, but the exchange of blood is exactly one reason why one should have one partner (husband or wife — man and women unions only). That said, can anyone reading his letter say that his desire is not in fact God’s plan? These comments about opening up sound just like the kinds of comments made by those who think that sexual promiscuity is normal natural God’s plan — just open yourself up to whatever. No doubt many would that they had not open themselves up to that first taste of brandy, wine, that first innocent fun tumble of harmless petting in the back some car. Sure, just open yourself up to the possibilities — see what happens. Anyone take note of the wreck of our society lately?

    I think it’s interesting to note that since the great opening of the 1960’s through today the great opening up to the possibilities has not fared our society very. And yet we are bent on exporting this freedom all around the globe. The massive influx of women was supposed to make our society better, gentler, kinder, more communicative — watch the news lately? Notice the state of the economy? How about the state of marriage? Take home any latch key children lately? How about the state of education?

    There is absolutely nothing amiss with people have been divorced and they are certainly entitled to all that God has for them. and remarriage in accordance with God’s instruction — absolutely. If they burn and their divorce in accordance with scripture, excuse the Bible reference bad habit of mine. Goodness there are many reasons for divorce and God’s love and grace covers them all . . . is available to heal all ” . . . as far as the east is from the west,” and in him as though it never was. Whether this man chooses to open himself up to a woman who is divorced is his God given choice, if in fact, God’s guides him to make that choice. But until he does, I think we would all do well to honor his desire meet his first and be first as God himself intended.

    We know nothing about Mary Magdalene and her life before Christ. There is no indication that she was anything but a chaste woman at the time she spent with Christ. Tradition that she was a woman of ill repute. But the record makes no such suggestion. Good grief, the man does not say he wouldn’t talk to divorced women, extend common courtesies, or even deny a relationship of friendship with the same. just that he would prefer not marry a divorced woman. He is talking bout their life experiences, not merely the sexual dynamic. Is there anyone here who does not consider the life experiences of the person with whom they are in relationship with? Consider what one is asking, especially if there are children at home. To walk into previously existing family dynamic — most of the time a tall order.
    There are great and wonderful people out there who have through divorces. that doesn’t mean that some who has not been married should marry them. LOL. It’s not about narrow mindedness, or immaturity or even being an elitist. it simply a desire to be with someone who has not been with someone else. Nothing more complicated than that. Trying to alleviate the pain of divorce and it’s aftermath by hoisting some lonely soul in search of his one and only on the cross of derision is not a position supported by — uh oh there’s that word again, Christ in scripture. And I empathize self imposed humiliation and that which one feels is placed on them by the Church. But I want to honor people innocence. I wonder sometimes if our supposed maturity isn’t a cover up for bitterness of unredeemed loss.

    • JO-49090 September 2, 2011 Reply

      Thank you Patrick for your good sense. In the end, it’s all about choice. Funny how those who made their choice first time round are denying others the same thing!

  8. Derek-62507 August 4, 2011 Reply

    On a slight tangent:
    Annulment granted for even an abusive spouse is VERY questionable in terms of the decision of the Bishops/Tribunal. As far as Church Law goes, there are very few instances (can count on one hand) that a marriage can be annulled, and abusive/unfaithful spouse is definitely not one of them. Any one dating a man or a woman with extrememly questionable annullment circumstances, regardless of tribunal decisions/conclusions, should be evaluated in accordance with Church Doctrine/Law. Civil divorce is allowed and recognized by the Church as is physical separation, but a valid marriage is still binding for life. Bishops here in Texas are definitely cracking down on lax, layity pleasing decisions. I can understand a hesitancy for dating someone like this.

  9. JO-49090 August 2, 2011 Reply

    I am sorry, but I agree with this man. Think of it this way: however your married life turned out, before you got married, did you not have an idea of your own ‘perfection’? At least you had your chance!!! If a man wants his own idea of what he sees as perfection, don’t begrudge him! He may come round to your idea if he himself gets a divorce down the line. But don’t be selfish. Whatever happened to you, you took your plunge. Allow someone else their chance. He has held out for what he believes in. You have to respect that. While you had your day at your wedding, he endured many more years of loneliness. And now you have walked away from the person you made vows to (for WHATEVER REASON), you want him to pick you? Find another divorcee! Or a single man/woman who chooses you. But respect that other men/women are looking for their own ‘good thing’ just like your husband/wife had on your wedding day. Stop the selfishness and sour grapes. God loves us all. You may get your second chance, Amen! But there are those who are still looking for their ‘One and only’. Don’t be upset if they are not looking for someone who’s ‘been there, done that’. As he said, that previous life experience may not be a good match for him. He is looking for someone who, like him, is starting out on the journey of marriage for the first time. He did not say he was looking for a virgin. He may be a ‘bad boy’. That’s irrelevant here. Why is it so difficult for the divorced/annulled to understand this? This guy only wants what you too wanted, and got! Or thought you had. The widowed are not included in this..but I notice in these types of discussions there is always someone who disingenuously claims as such, thus clouding the issue.

  10. Thomas-664901 July 24, 2011 Reply

    I think Mary Beth’s response was very good. I am often puzzled why people sometimes do not fully understand that the “template” they create of the idea or perfect partner is often the reason why they continue to enter in to bad relationships or is the reason why they are alone.

    About a year ago I was somewhat incensed that the reason why someone did not think I was a proper suitor for them because I have never been married and had no children. We had many things in common and I thought we would be a good fit, but I never thought of waiting to find the right woman and not having children was ever going to be considered a “defect”. I still find that a bit strange, but that was the “template” she had create for her idea mate.

    I have had several female friends who say they want a loyal, honest, trust worthy and sincere man to date yet seem to be drawn like moths to a flame for every dark and mysterious bad boy they see. I think it is unfortunate that this gentleman some how feels that a woman is some how tainted because she is divorced. What makes it even more sad is that the reason gives is that she is not a virgin. I am not sure where I have ever seen scripture or heard of some instance where God has said that a widow or even a woman who has had an annulment is now tainted and should be an outcast. I some how believe that this is more a personal issue than God’s will.

    I hope it is God’s will that I find someone that I can share my life with, grow in love with and be able to cherish the gift of this person God has put in my life. My only template is that she is committed to her Catholic faith as much as I am. I wish this gentleman well, but some how I do not think he will ever fully appreciate the opportunities God may have planned for him.

  11. Jerry-450741 July 21, 2011 Reply

    Good job MB, BTW, On behalf of Philly, thank you for for Archbishop Chaput!

  12. Maureen-741455 July 21, 2011 Reply

    Many years ago a group of my female friends and I started a group to support each other in a life where we seek God’s plan to fulfill our desires (sexual, financial, etc.) We called it “the Woman at the Well”. Most are married but a few are divorced. I had to find support to live a chaise but single active dating life. Having children in their teens I wanted to model for them the importance of dating, forming fantastic connections and deapening friendships but not giving away the gift of passion to anyone other than a spouse.

    • Valerie-890798 April 27, 2013 Reply

      I like your approach to dating and being a good example for your children. Having a group of women friend’s for support would be wonderful. I think too many single mothers are lacking this type of support. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Karina-746850 July 21, 2011 Reply

    The law of God is not to be unhappy, it’s for our happiness. You make a choice to follow or not but to be obedient shows you love God before everything even yourself.

  14. Jim-397948 July 18, 2011 Reply

    Divorce women are beautiful..Why give up the opportunity to love someone!!!!

    • Valerie-890798 April 27, 2013 Reply

      Your comment is very true, when a women gets divorced she has made the choice to give up being loved. Having the strength to make a change rather than continuing a unhappy marriage takes a lot of courage and faith.

  15. Olivia-620462 July 16, 2011 Reply

    Wow, what a senstive topic. I want to thank to everyone who spoke in favor of divorced and with annulments women. I am one of them, and only God and I know the pain I’ve been through. Divorce was never in my mind, never a possibility, not for me who comes from a strong catholic family with high morals and values. Unfortunately, sometimes is the best thing to do. No I never thought that by 25 I would be in this situation, only God knows how much I have prayed about this, and I’m sure he is not mad at me, he wants my happiness and I’m sure one day I’ll be able to form the beautiful family I have always dreamt with. In my case my ex kept extremely important information and an addiction in the dark for several years, until few years into the marriage I found out, im sure God helped me to find the truth. After everything was uncovered I tried fir a long time to do what I could, but in a marriage it takes 2. After a lot of anguish and pain now I know my ex’s problem wasn’t my fault, and that as scary as it has been for me to go through this all by myself in another country, God is next to me and will never leave me. It’s so easy to judge… I hope this person never gets judged so harshly or rejected by something that was out of his control.

  16. Nancy-640021 July 15, 2011 Reply

    Mary Beth – what a wonderful response that will hopefully serve to broaden this individual’s view. I’m just glad to know he won’t be looking in my corner (snicker, snicker!)

  17. Paul-663898 July 15, 2011 Reply

    Some of these people’s problems are so ridiculous. Not dating a divorced/annulled woman is following God’s will? Are you serious? Sounds like religious elitism, to me. “you don’t genuflect properly, therefore I can’t be seen talking to you…”

    • Nancy-640021 July 15, 2011 Reply

      Very well said, Paul!

    • Diana-432592 July 20, 2011 Reply

      Mary Beth, thanks for taking this topic on. It stings to hear people say that divorces happen for the littlest thing. I have known many people who have been divorced including myself and rarely is it for a flippant reason. We can’t know what someone else’s experience is unless we have walked in their shoes. Only God knows that so I try to leaving the judging to him. Thanks again for presenting such a loving response to a difficult topic.

  18. Tawnya-716967 July 13, 2011 Reply

    Wow! Thank you for your article Mary Beth. I myself am divorced and waiting on the church for the annulment to happen. I was abandoned, therefore the divorce. I have 2 beautiful children and look forward to a loving Catholic husband that will also love my children. Does this make me bad as some have suggested? Unfortunately I get/see this response a lot. If you open yourself to His will rather than your own you may be pleasantly suprised.

  19. LillianTeresa-528523 July 13, 2011 Reply

    You limit yourself when you arbitrarily decide that you will only open door ‘A’ and you won’t even try to peek to see what treasure might be behind door ‘B’. A person with such a limiting attitude hurts only him or her self.

    Those who have never been married, who have been divorced, widowed, and or annulled are not so very different from one another. Everyone of us has a history. A history of friendships, familial relationships, acquaintances, intimacies, triumphs and tragedies. All of these things make us who we are… We are not Just our sexual history as the gentlemen seems to be suggesting.
    Lillian Teresa

  20. Margaret-683082 July 13, 2011 Reply

    The letter writer also did not take into account that many women do not want to be divorced. It is not their fault their husbands left them and got a divorce. There are many wonderful women out there who are love their faith and their church but are divorced even thought they did not want the divorce.

    • Nancy-640021 July 15, 2011 Reply

      Thank you, Margaret! That is exactly what happened to me. My ex divorced me and I never expected to be single again at this stage of my life. Despite my ex’s adultery, I clung to our marriage vows and would have taken him back even if he had sex with someone else! I think it’s unfair that we are judged so harshly by this individual who has no concept of the depth of anguish that we have been put through. Because of my faithfulness to God, I know He will bless me with a true man of God who can uphold the sacrament alongside me after my annulment is received.

      • Carolina-701869 July 26, 2011 Reply

        Mary Beth great reply. After reading the letter of this ‘gentleman’, I couldn’t help to shed some tears of frustration. Some of the divorced women out there didn’t want to be, some of us didn’t choose to be single mothers. And yet, there are a lot of gentlemen that hold our status against us. No matter if we are smart, independent, kind, or just plain good women of God.
        It hurts, really. Rejection is another of the things that we, the divorcees, have to deal with.
        You’re right Mary Beth, that man really needs some compassion and generosity in his heart.

  21. Margaret-683082 July 13, 2011 Reply

    The letter writer also did not take into account that many women do not want to be divorced. It is not their fault their husbands left them and got a divorce. There are many wonderful women out there who are love their faith and their church but are divorced even thought they did not want the divorce.

  22. Jonathan-612626 July 12, 2011 Reply

    God bless you Holding Out!

    • Cheryl-409772 July 20, 2011 Reply

      Woa, Jonathan, is right…you may be seeing a lonely life ahead of you…. holding out for all of the wrong reasons. I personally know women who have tried to stick it out in abusive marriages for many, many years, which shows their committment, before they finally ended it because they had to end it as the abuse didn’t stop and often even worsened, and there are situations when the men have left them too just to have a different woman. The point is you shouldn’t judge based on the status of the person…get to know them. I’m sure you have your own baggage…everyone does. Also, if you have had premarital sex consider yourself married to everyone you engaged with as that is pretty much the definition of “consumate”… I get tired of people judging the divorced even when they have an annulment but being ok with premarital sex. I would prefer they look at the person rather than the past mistakes as long as they are trying to align their will with God’s will as our author states so beautifully.

  23. Alicia-732558 July 12, 2011 Reply

    The author of the letter also only mentioned the sexual history of the women in question and not himself. What about Mary Magdelen? Should Christ have not spoken to her!? I would rather have the Church be my judge!

    • Jonathan-612626 July 12, 2011 Reply

      Alicia, our Lord wasn’t asking St. Magdelen to marry Him so that’s not the same thing. I understand where this guy is coming though, and I doubt it’s just because of conjugal experience. That a woman divorces her husband shows that she is not a faithful wife. Holy Mother Church use to condone the states right to punish women for such a sin against a Sacrament of Jesus Christ. Also let us distinguish between divorce and canonical separation for a violent or deadly spouse. Modern divorces are no such thing and people do it for the smallest of things. This is a sign of unforgiving souls, and marriage needs forgiveness greatly for it to be of God.

      • Sue-731445 July 15, 2011 Reply

        My dear Johnathon, Whoa! Because a woman divorces her husband does not in any way mean that she is unfaithful. Annulments are given for a reason. Perhaps her husband is extremely abusive or dangerous to have around her children. Were they equally yoked at the time of their marriage? There are many reasons for separation and divorce. While I feel divorce should be the last resort to difficult marriage, there are very legitimate reasons for the need for annulments. My sister-in-law would be dead if she had not chosen to separate, divorce, and later, upon becoming a Catholic, received an annulment. Her ex tried to kill her by burning her and their home. She is one of the most solid, giving, enthusiatic Catholics I know. She takes her faith seriously and has done an incredible job in raising my 5 nieces and nephew in the most Christian atmosphere and teachings of Christ that I have seen in any family. Unfaithfulness is only one possibility for divorce.

      • Nash-99036 July 27, 2011 Reply

        I have an annulment from the church. I was married 10 years and have been divorced for 11. I was a virgin before marriage and since my divorce have not had intercourse with any man. I am waiting for the right one. I strongly believe in the churches teachings about this but i would never hold someone’s past against them. Sorry, but this way of thinking is not from God. God looks at a person’s heart and whether or not they have repented. There is in the bible the story of Hosea who was asked by God to marry a prostitute. The bible also mentions not to judge as even some prostitutes and tax collectors can get to heaven before us. Our ” cultural ways” are very often not God’s ways. One IS free to marry whom ever they chose, but i would caution against binding God’s hands with narrow mindedness. There are many bible stories that illustrate how God often goes AGAINST THE GRAIN so to speak, Ester who was a Jew, was, by God’s providence, made to marry a King who was an idol worshiper ( this was God’s wish; and by doing so she saved her people).

  24. Mary-487190 July 12, 2011 Reply

    Marybeth, I’d also like to add to your comments to the gentleman, who’s to say the never married is a virgin? It is not a guarantee these days that someone has remained chaste in their dating life. Perhaps they have had a change of heart and are now but, you never know what their life was like as a never married before you met her.

  25. Mike-646924 July 11, 2011 Reply

    Very Good Reply Mary Beth Couldn’t have said it better myself! Take care Mike “peace”!!

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