Why Dating is Wrong when Separated from Your Spouse
*The following transcript has been slightly edited from the original audio text for readability purposes. All speakers’ original intent has been maintained to the best of our ability.
Kathy, we want to deal with a letter today that came in from Lisa. I've got to be honest with you, when I read her letter, I just had to sit there and go "Hello!" Lisa is separated from her husband, and she has a boyfriend. What are the issues here?
I can relate to this. I did the same thing. Her husband is in sexual sin, and unrepentant sexual sin at that. She separated from him, which is fine. But I think what happened to her is she really became distraught. because when you're separated from your husband there's a huge emotional, gaping hole in your heart. And I think she did what a lot of women do, they look for someone to fill the hole; and that's what she's doing. She said in her letter that she wasn't having sex with him, and somehow that justifies it in her mind that she can have a relationship outside of marriage with another man.
Now guys are hearing that and going "...right...yeah..."
Yeah, well I've read that and I'm going "...yeah, right..." You're too vulnerable, you know. If she at that point had not had sex, I'm sure if she stayed in that relationship then she eventually did because you're so weak and you're so vulnerable.
Even though that may not be what she was looking for - the guy is going to expect it.
It's part-and-parcel, yeah. It goes with the territory and any woman that is on the rebound like that is more than likely going to end up compromising sexually. I did it. I left Steve; I filed for divorce - the whole thing - and I ran off with another man I barely knew. It was so easy for me to justify. In fact, my attitude was: I was so distraught, so upset, so broken, so hurt, so...all of the emotions that a woman goes through...that I actually believed that God brought this guy into my life because he made me laugh, he showed me a good time, he was gentle, he was kind, he was all the things that we'd always hoped our husbands would be. I associated the "feel-goods" of this guy with the goodness of God. I confused those two horribly and was in adultery.
So you've really answered the question here. Instead of turning where you should have turned, which should have been to the Lord of your comfort, you turned to another human being. I would imagine that different women do different things. Perhaps one will turn to a career - or all kinds of things they can turn to - but really the issue is that you needed to turn to the Lord.
Right, that is the obvious answer. I think all women that have been in that situation - whether they've committed sexual sin or not, is really to me not even an issue. If you're with another person. You have opted for the lesser or the least. God has his best for us. We often, because of our weakness - just naturally speaking - will opt for the easiest, most convenient way to make these bad feelings go away, what I had to learn the hard way. We read these verses so glibly. We don't really understand what we're saying when we say them until our faith is tested, but your Maker is your Husband. The Holy One of Israel is your Beloved and that isn't real to you until you pass through these sorts of fires. I had to find out the hard way that this other man wasn't the answer to my problem. He filled the hole temporarily, but there was still something inside of me that only Jesus could take care of and I learned how to cry out to God. Even when I got back with Steve and the marriage was being patched up, I still had to find that Jesus was my all-in-all, literally, those aren't just words. He had to become that to me because even with the restored marriage Steve could not fill the whole.
It's an issue - as all of these issues end up being - of the heart, the place where God wants to reside and where He wants to be on the throne.
Yeah, and I want to just give a short testimony here. I've been married - it will be twenty-nine years in January of this year - and my husband and I have as near perfect a marriage as I think a person can have. I don't say that because we're floating on flowery clouds and billowy clouds and wafting on whatever. But I will say that it's a very, very healthy relationship. We have each other in our proper place. I don't expect Steve Gallagher to be God. I just don't. I know his limitations, I know his frailty, and vice versa; and we accept that about each other and we understand that about each other. Where he's weak, I try to build him up. Where I'm weak, he tries to build me up. We don't lay heavy expectations on one another and we really do try to daily live out preferring the other has better than ourselves.
More importantly, not only do you have each other in the proper place, but you have God in His proper place.
Right, and that's where I was headed. The relationship that we have has only been born out of our right relationship to Christ. We both knew back in the early 80's when it was all coming apart - I filed for divorce, but God put us back together - we have always known we can't do this. Steve and Kathy Gallagher cannot do this on their own. They will fail at it. We can't do it, but God can do it.
Well Kathy, I hope that will be an encouragement to women who are dealing with an empty hole in their heart whatever their circumstances may be that there is One who wants to fill it, and he's faithful to do so.
That's good. Amen.
I thank Kathy Gallagher so much.
Kathy Gallagher is the Co-Founder and Senior Administrator of Pure Life Ministries. She has been ministering to Christian women for over 20 years and has a deep desire to see them living a fulfilled life in Christ.
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