Thursday, June 23, 2011

Doctrine or Opinion? Living Together Before Marriage.

Past Posts:
Doctrine or Opinion? Your Thoughts...
Doctrine or Opinion? Drinking.

* Living with someone before marriage. Is it right? Is it wrong?

Today, most people do not have problems living together before they are married. The world seems to accept and support this practice with all readiness, seeing as how around 70% of couples are cohabiting before saying "I do" these days. Much of the reasoning for living together before marriage seems to stem from the following rationales:

1. Since the divorce rate is so high, I can "try out" my potential partner to see if this is going to work or not.

2. We are going to get married eventually, we just don't have the money for the big wedding I want yet.

3. If I marry him/her, this will hurt my taxes, and I won't be able to receive my governmental financial aid for college, children, etc.

4. Others simply never intend to marry.

Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Christians should recognize that the reasoning of the world should never apply to us if they contradict the Word of God. After all, the world rationalizes many things... like abortion, calling it a woman's "right to choose." The world does a good job of making sinful practices into positive things by warping the truth.

When this issue is brought up, normally the first response is: Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you can't live together before you're married.

Though it's true that the Bible does not say, "Thou shalt not share the same house before marriage," let's look closely at this topic. What DOES the Bible say?

2 Timothy 2:22 says, "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

In this verse, Paul is telling us to flee (which means to move swiftly away from) lusts. He is instructing us to run away from the "craving" or "desiring" of fleshly and unholy things and to, instead, follow (or run after) the things of God with purity. Sounds similar to another call from Paul:

1 Thessalonians 5:22 - "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

If you were honest with yourself, you would know that living together before marriage gives a stark appearance of "evil." Many argue that "nothing is going on" and they're just "sharing the house." Though that is hard to believe, it still does not change the fact that to the eyes around you, you and your significant other are committing fornication. You are committing whoredom in their eyes and, I dare say, in the eyes of God. How so? Because you are not fleeing the appearance of evil. You are not fleeing youthful lusts. If God tells you to run from sin and you instead place yourself directly in its path, then you are disobeying Almighty God.

That's serious.

So what else does God have to say about this issue?

On Fornication:
1 Corinthians 6:18 - "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." 

Hebrews 13:4 - "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."

On being a bad example for other Christians:
Romans 14:13 - "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."

1 Corinthians 8:12 - "But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ."

How many times in Scripture does the Lord command us to run from lust and to pursue purity? Quite a few.

1 Peter 2:11 - "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;"

1 John 2:16 says, - "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

Romans 6:12 says,"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." Meaning, do not allow sin any place in your life. If it has a spot in your heart or mind, then it will begin to take control. It will reign. It will rule.

Galatians 5:24 - "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

As a Christian and ambassador of Christ, we are commanded to crucify our flesh. Meaning, our fleshly desires and lusts are nailed to the cross. They are killed. Destroyed. If that be so, then it should be no question as to whether sin should be near us or in our house (both literally and spiritually).

1 Thessalonians 4:3 - "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication."

I like this verse: Romans 13:14 - "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

Make not provision for the flesh. Give no thought towards the things of the flesh. Do not make a way for the flesh to have any control of your life...because if you do, you will "fulfil the lusts thereof." Do not put yourself in temptation's path and flirt with the danger of sin. Remember what James tells us....

James 1:14-15 - "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

From the scripture, we see that there are problems in living together before marriage for Christians:

1. Sex before marriage, fornication, is a sin (1 Corinthians 6:18, Hebrews 13:4, Galatians 5:19).

2. If you do not plan to fornicate (a common rebuttal to this issue), you are willfully putting yourself in a situation of extreme temptation that could easily cause you to falter (God says to flee fornication. Not tempt yourself with it or get close to it. He says to FLEE. - 1 Corinthians 6:18).

3. Even if you are not fornicating, you might give some the impression that you are, and God says to abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22) and to not let anyone have an excuse to accuse Christians of being fornicators (Ephesians 5:3)

4. Even if you are not fornicating, setting a bad example publicly by for other Christians that might cause them to fall into sin is also a sin for you (1 Corinthians 8:12, Romans 14:13). A person might say, "Well, Susie and Charles are great Christian people, and they lived together before marriage. It must be alright." And then they fall into sin because of your example.

The world says, "Try out your potential partner."  But why would you want to walk into a relationship with someone who wants to live with you to "try it out" before marriage? Someone with this mentality is saying, "If I don't like it, I want to make it easy to quit", rather than having the mentality of commitment and working things out at all costs.

The world says, "Wait until you have the money for the wedding you desire." God says, "....for it is better to marry than to burn" (with desire or lust for one another) 1 Corinthians 7:9.

The world says, "I won't get my financial aid if I marry." Do you think God approves of cheating or lying on documents to receive aid? Not according to the scripture, he doesn't. Lying is sin (Revelation 21:8, 1 Timothy 1:10), and God encourages us to submit to governmental authorities and the rules they require, which includes taxes (Romans 13:1-7).

The world says, "Marriage is not required at all. I can have sex with my partner and live with them if I want to." Obviously, this is the attitude of a person who has no fear of God whatsoever.

The Big Picture: Living with your partner before you are married contradicts what God teaches us in His Holy Word. God knows better than we do. We cannot do it any other way than God's way if we truly desire to please Him. No compromise. No exceptions. As the Bible teaches, you will reap what you sow....

Galations 6:7-8 - "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

Let us obey His Word, shall we?

Galatians 5:16
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

Leviticus 10:10
"And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean."



Rachelle said...


Jennifer said...

First time visitor, but I enjoyed your post and how thorough you were to lay out God's word with your topic. I'll check in again sometime soon!

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