Many young, unmarried couples today live (have sex) together before marriage, including many Christian ones, and think nothing is wrong with it since it is so common. We live by the commands of God, not what is acceptable in our wicked generation. God wants you free from all sexual activity before marriage for very good reasons, so don’t move in with your boyfriend no matter how much he persuades you to do so!
Once you move in with your boyfriend, he has little reason to ask you to marry him. You are already there to provide all that he needs: cook, cleaner, maybe financial benefit, and someone to have sex with him at night. Why should he have to take on all the responsibilities of marriage (commitment, provider, protector) when he can easily get the benefits of marriage (sex and a woman who helps him) for free?
The longer you two cohabitate, the more things you will share: rent/mortgage, utilities, furniture, pets, and sadly, illegitimate children. It always leads to one of two paths: marriage or separation. When your highly inevitable break up occurs, you will need to decide who keeps what and who moves out. It is hard to decide who keeps what when you have been splitting everything 50/50 for years. You can’t exactly cut your table that you both paid materials and labor into in half, or make larger decisions like how much and when to sell the home you bought.
Hopefully, you haven’t already gone as far as having sex, making children together, and moving in with your boyfriend. Even though society, family, and friends may think you two should live together while dating, DON’T DO IT! All of this is foolish behavior and will reap unhappy results. Find a godly, older person who will keep you accountable with your boyfriend. Seek purity in everything! Don’t spend too much time alone together. It’s not wise to do so.
But women say, “It’s cheaper,” or “We want to see if we want to marry each other,” or “We need to ‘try’ each other out.” Living together while dating each other is very different than married couples living together. You aren’t wondering if you paid for the movie tickets last time, or if it’s your turn to drive and buy groceries. You’ll always have in your mind that you can leave at any time since there’s no commitment which is what true love is. Plus, if you have been unfaithful before marriage, it is much easier to be unfaithful once married. There are many good reasons God commands young women to be chaste!
According to a June 2016 Barna Group study, two-thirds of Americans believe it is okay for couples to live together without the benefit of marriage. The study found:
The majority of American adults believe cohabitation is generally a good idea. Two thirds of adults (65%) either strongly or somewhat agree that it’s a good idea to live with one’s significant other before getting married, compared to one-third (35%) who either strongly or somewhat disagree.
It comes as no surprise that Millennials — mirroring the sexual revolution of their Boomer parents — are twice as likely to approve of cohabitation than their grandparents and great-grandparents:
It should also come as no surprise that religion is the primary reason people disapprove of cohabitation. Barna reports:
41 percent of Christians think cohabitation is a bad idea.
88 percent of non-religious people believe cohabitation is a good idea.
According to Barna, 57 percent of Americans have either currently or previously lived with a boyfriend/girlfriend. Again, those who are religious are less likely to shack up, but even here, a large number of Christians choose to “try the car before buying it.”
“America is well beyond the tipping point when it comes to cohabitation,” says Roxanne Stone, editor in chief at Barna Group. “Living together before marriage is no longer an exception, but instead has become an accepted and expected milestone of adulthood. Even a growing number of parents—nearly half of Gen-Xers and Boomers, and more than half of Millennials—want and expect their children to live with a significant other before getting married.
“The institution of marriage has undergone significant shifts in the last century,” continues Stone. “What was once seen as primarily an economic and procreational partnership, has become an exercise in finding your soulmate. Where once extended families lived within a handful of miles from each other, now the nuclear family often strikes out on its own. Such shifts placed a new emphasis on marriages as the core of family life and revealed fault lines in many marriages. These pressures, along with a number of other social phenomena—including women’s growing economic independence—led to unprecedented divorce rates in the second half of the twentieth century. As a result, many of today’s young people who are currently contemplating marriage, see it as a risky endeavor. They want to make sure they get it right and to avoid the heartbreak they witnessed in the lives of their parents or their friends’ parents. Living together has become a de facto way of testing the relationship before making a final commitment.
“However, religious leaders will be wise to notice that a growing number of their constituents—particularly in younger demographics—are accepting cohabitation as the norm,” concludes Stone. “As with premarital sex, the arguments against cohabitation will seem increasingly antiquated as the general culture accepts and promotes it. When everyone in their circles and everyone on television is living together, young people will begin to see it as benign. Religious leaders will need to promote the countercultural trend by celebrating the reasons to wait—rather than trying to find evidence for why it’s wrong (because such tangible, measurable evidence may not exist).
I suspect that most readers of this blog are not surprised by Barna’s findings. Boomers, Gen-exers, and Millennials alike have endured three generations of religious and political moralizing, all the while watching those screaming against “sin” do the very things they so strenuously oppose. Their message of do as we say not as we do now falls on deaf ears. Perhaps it is time for 2016 rewrite of God’s “timeless” moral code, one that reflects that women now have the freedom to use birth control and lustily fuck whomever, wherever, and however. Women are no longer subservient to the sexual whims of men. Sexual slavery, once the gospel of American Christianity, no longer plays well in Peoria. And this, dear readers, is the real problem, at least in the minds of conservative, Evangelical, and Fundamentalist clergy and political leaders. Women no longer need men or marriage to find fulfillment, and this scares the hell out of preachers and conservative politicians. As Barna admits, we are now well past the tipping point when it comes to cohabitation. Time will tell if Christian moralizers will finally admit this fact and choose to focus on matters of faith instead of what goes on behind closed bedroom doors.
James Melton is the pastor of Bible Baptist Church, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church in Sharon, Tennessee. The Christian Nightmares website made me aware of a tract written by Melton titled Safe Sex. Melton, because he can read and understand the King James version of the Bible, considers himself a “sexpert.” According to Melton, “No one is more qualified to speak on the subject of safe sex than God Himself.”
Really? What does God really know about sex or “safe” sex? Only the second person in the Trinity, Jesus, was human, so only he could have had sex. Did Jesus, an unmarried man, have sex? I am sure that Melton would say, ABSOLUTELY NOT! We do have the curious case of the Holy Spirit, a Ghost, an incorporeal entity, impregnating a virgin by the name of Mary. According to the Bible, this is the only reference to any part of the Godhead having sex. And even here, did not the Holy Spirit commit fornication, having sex with a woman he was not married to?
Melton likens having sex to buying a gun:
Picture, if you will, a man who purchases a gun. By law, this man has done nothing wrong in purchasing a gun. He is allowed to have a gun, and he is allowed to shoot the gun as long as he does so in a safe manner. However, he is not allowed to harm anyone with the gun or even threaten to do so. If he does, then he has abused his free privilege, and he will be punished. Rather than use the gun for legal purposes, he chooses to use it illegally, so he must pay for his crime. Even if the judicial system fails to punish him, people with common sense still know that he is a criminal and he deserves to be punished.
Sex works the same way. There is nothing wrong with a person enjoying sexual activity. God made us to desire sexual gratification, and He doesn’t frown upon us when we fulfill this desire His way, according to His word. However, when we ignore God’s laws and practice our own sexual preferences, we become criminals in God’s sight, and punishment will surely follow. Even when the sexperts say, “Use protection and you’ll be okay,” God never said it, and you will not be protected from His wrath. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal. 6:7)
Let’s see, why am I permitted to purchase and own a gun? State and Federal law determine whether I am permitted to buy and own a gun. If I do not meet the criteria, then it is not legal for me to purchase and own a gun. Now imagine if I went to the gun store and the dealer, as he was explaining to me what the law said about gun purchase and ownership, opened up a King James Bible and said, right here in God’s Holy Word it says __________________. Does the Bible have any authority when it comes to purchasing and owning a gun? As Pastor Melton, hypothetically said earlier, ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Melton does the equivalent when he interjects the Bible into a discussion about sex. State and Federal law determine who may legally have sex. We rightly protect children from having sex and we punish adults who manipulate teenagers so they will have sex with them. We have ages of consent and sexual assault and rape laws. At one time, we had laws criminalizing adultery, fornication, and sodomy. While some states still have these laws on their books, thanks to the Courts, such laws are not enforceable. While Melton is free to believe and practice the moral strictures of the Bible, and through strong-arm preaching get others to also do so, the Bible is no authority when it comes to sex. No one can be criminally punished or imprisoned for disobeying what the Bible says about sex.
Melton has harsh words for those who cohabit without being married:
…This is just a sinful grown-up way of “playing house.” A couple who lives together without marriage is a couple who has become habitual and irresponsible fornicators. She thinks he’s a wonderful man, yet he’s such a coward he can’t even ask her to be his wife. He thinks she’s a fine lady, yet she’s nothing more than a cheap prostitute who allows herself to be used for his sexual gratification in exchange for what seems to be a stable and secure home life. This make-believe game may fool people, but it doesn’t fool God. This is a sin, and it will be punished! God didn’t change His law just because someone started acting like married people. Either you are married or you are not married. If you are not married, yet you have sexual relations, then you are a wicked fornicator…
I am shocked by Melton’s liberal, Bible denying view. While he calls a sexually active, cohabiting, unmarried woman a cheap prostitute and the couple, wicked fornicators, he doesn’t use the word whoremonger one time. So disappointed. I love hearing a Baptist preacher using the word WHOREMONGER. Here’s my favorite Baptist preacher (25 second clip) :
IFB preachers like Melton are fighting a losing battle when it comes to sex. Far stronger than the Holy Spirit or the outrage of the preacher is the human desire for sexual intimacy. While there are certainly many good reasons for waiting to have sex, the fact is, most people don’t. Rather than shaming people for indulging their desire, Melton’s church would be better served if he taught them how to responsibly handle their sexuality. Instead of threatening punishment from God for any sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage, wouldn’t it be better to educate teenagers and young adults about birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and when it is “right” to have sex? Instead, Melton preaches the Puritanical gospel of NO!
I get it, it IS in the Bible, but we are 2,000 or more years removed from the writing of the Bible. It is NOT a timeless book of absolute moral instruction. Take, for example, masturbation. Many IFB preachers still preach against masturbation. It’s considered fornication with self. How boring, eh? We now know that masturbation is a good way to release sexual tension. It won’t make you blind nor will it make you sterile. Imagine how relieved the purity ring wearing teens in the Baptist youth group will be if they hear their pastor compassionately and honestly tell them that it is OK to masturbate. No shame, no guilt; just a wonderful THANK YOU JESUS release of sexual tension.