“The headline caught my eye: “Is it OK to live together before marriage’”, wrote Rubel Shelly in a recent Fax of Life.
Shelly said he knew what the answer would be before he read it. So did I! The internet is filled with blogs with titles like “5 Reasons you shouldn’t say ‘I Do’ Before Living Together First.”
Talk shows, tabloids and modern movies go beyond glorifying shacking-up before marriage, they make it seem normal. It’s expected. In fact, if you don’t, you’re the one that’s abnormal.
In the article Shelly cited the female writer who said, “I want to test-drive the car before I purchase it.”
I love Rubel’s response. “I challenge both the metaphor and the motive that appears to lie behind it. They reflect a wrong-headed view of healthy human relationships.”
“First, there is the analogy between marriage and test-driving a car. It is at least a bit better than the writer’s other analogy in the same article: getting some milk for free before having to buy the cow.”
“Automobiles are machines without reason, feelings, or commitments. They serve an owner’s ends. They are tools for their user’s purposes. Are we admitting to that sort of utilitarian view of people? Kant said the ultimate evil in human life is to treat a human being as a means to an end. Jesus said the way to view another person is to see him or her as worthy of the treatment you want for yourself.”
“Maybe my thinking is all messed up, but I can’t really imagine that anyone wants to be test-driven, milked, or otherwise used and then discarded to the junkyard or returned to the lot as a ‘clunker.’”
“Second, Kant (philosophy) and Jesus (faith) aside, the sheer decision-by-statistics method argues against cohabitation as either substitute for or prelude to marriage. Multiple studies have documented lower levels of marital satisfaction and higher vulnerabilities to divorce by cohabiters who ultimately do get married.”
While there is some disagreement among the “experts” about the higher instance of divorce among cohabiters, there can be no disagreement that all such living arrangements fall under the condemnation of fornication. At least, if you believe the Bible.
Our post-modernistic, humanistic culture scoffs at Biblical principles of virtue, chastity and sexual purity. They shout that such notions are old-fashioned, outdated, and unrealistic. Ironically, Christianity was born in an extremely perverse and sexually immoral era in the world’s history. These Bible commands must have sounded strange to that corrupt culture.
“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints” (Eph 5:3)
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” (I Cor. 6:19-20)
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness.” (Gal. 5:19).
Truth hasn’t changed. God’s wisdom in marriage has stood the test of time, It is the only safe and spiritually right way to enjoy sexual relationships. God’s plan is simple. One man for one woman for life.
Rubel was right, “Loving relationships are about giving oneself to another, not sampling to one’s own taste. Maybe that exposes the root of such poor advice: selfishness”.
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb 13:4)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman