Should We Live Together? part 3
Hebrews 13:4 (ESV) Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
One of my roles as a Pastor/Shepherd is to lead people to green pastures. That is to counsel people to accept God’s very best for their lives and live in a manner that will produce spiritual fruit and give them the best path for spiritual growth and Kingdom living. In regards to marriage, without a doubt, God’s best equals a high and sacred view of marriage which seeks to save the acts of marriage – sexual intimacy, living as one, rearing children – until a covenant commitment has been made. These acts of marriage thrive and flourish (and research shows are most enjoyed) where godliness and committment exists. To live outside of God’s standard is to accept second best and risk damaging the relationship (see part 2), your testimony as a Christian, and your growth in godliness. The reasons that I hear for this decision are pathetic when you think of the risk and the better alternative that God desires. Here’s the three I hear most often:
1) “Our arrangement just makes things so much easier” – This attitude is a product of our low commitment, convenience driven culture. God never promises easy in regards to obedience to his ways (See Matthew 7:13-14, Hebrews 12:1-3). As a matter of fact, it was Satan that offered the easy way to Jesus in Matthew 4:1-13. The tempter offered Jesus shortcuts to fulfill his needs, shortcuts to gain glory from people, and a way out of God’s will, which was that He die for the sins of the world. In a sense he was saying, “You don’t have to die to recieve glory and honor. I’ll give it to you now.” Jesus overcame the temptation of what was easy by remembering God’s word.
God’s word presents to us His best for our lives. There’s no clause on any of His commands that says, “If you find an easier way, you should do that.” God knows there are no easier ways in light of eternity. His way is best no matter how inconvenient it may seem to modern culture.
2) “Living together makes sense for us financially” – Without a doubt, housing cost are tremendous in every part of the United States and it makes sense to share housing with a compatible roomate. But as Christians who desire to obey God and accept His best for our lives we must draw the line on living with someone with whom we are romantically involved. It will be too costly for the relationship, for your testimony, and for your relationship with God. It is my belief that God will provide for and bless those who honor His Word and live according to His standards of righteousness. I like what David says in Psalm 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.”
You may save money by living with a boyfriend or girlfriend, but can you bank on God’s financial blessings when you live contrary to His Word.
3) “Marriage is just a piece of paper” – If there is one statement that accomplishes the opposite of Hebrews 13:4 (“Marriage should be honored among all”) this is it. For some, unfortunately this is true. Their marriages are no more than a disposable piece of paper and they treat their spouses the same way. However, the Christian should view marriage as a lifetime commitment that is once and forever. Those that want the acts of marriage without the commitment reveal their priorities and their view of God’s word. If it’s just a piece of paper, why don’t you sign your name on it? It’s because you don’t want a relationship that’s forever. You don’t want a commitment that you can’t unconditionally escape when it becomes inconvenient. You want to selfishly enjoy what God has provided for married partners, but without God’s boundaries that are best for your relationship and your life.
Why not honor marriage and receive God’s best for your life?