Dear Young Christian Guys: Love Her Like a Man

An open letter to Christian teens living together before marriage: Hey, Guys, Love her like a Man!
As I speak around the country and talk to young people, one thing that really disturbs me is the cavalier attitude so many Christians have about living together before marriage. And I think of a few young men that I know in various geographical areas right now who are in this type of relationship.

Today I’d like to write an open letter to these young Christian guys–guys who may be involved in relationships that are heading down the wrong path. It is not that I think the girls have no part to play in the destructive relationship that they’ve developed, or that the girls shouldn’t make better choices. I’ve written to girls many times before about not sleeping together before they’re married, too. I would simply like to say something to the guys, because in several specific cases I’m thinking about, the guys are the stronger Christians, yet they’re still choosing to cohabitate. And here is what I’d like to say:

You guys know God.

I know that the church hasn’t always been kind and accepting of you the way you would want, and I know that people like me, who seem to have it all together, are part of the problem. I’m sorry for that.

I also know that you really love your girlfriends.

You’ve been searching for love, and you think you’ve found it. You’re with someone who makes you feel alive. You’re with someone who looks up to you, and that’s special, because you’ve often felt like everyone else wanted you to get your life together, but you’ve never really been able to do that.

I don’t doubt your love. I don’t doubt your sincerity.

But love is not only feelings.

And if you REALLY loved your girlfriend, then perhaps you’d consider these things:

She’s still young. She desperately, desperately yearns to be loved, probably even more than you do. Girls are like that, you know. They dream of their weddings. They dream of their Prince Charmings. And you come along and you make her feel loved.

But do you know what girls need even more?

They want to feel safe.

It is a scary world out there for a girl. And most girls will never really grow emotionally, and will never really mature, until they do feel safe. When they’re safe, they can look seriously at their options and decide what to do with their careers, or with kids, or with where they want to live. But when they’re not entirely safe, their emotional energy is spent trying to get safe.

And for them, you seem like the safest option.

But are you?

Safety means that you’re cherished. That you know that you’re loved for a lifetime. That you’re loved for who you are, not just for what you can give someone.

You may have given her those words, and she may have eaten them up.

But have you given her your actions?

If you truly love her, you will love her like a man does. And what does a man do? A man accepts responsibility. A man makes commitments. A man exercises self-control.

To me, that means that if you truly love her, you should be ready to commit to her. Marry the girl, for pity’s sake! And if you’re not in a position to marry her, then don’t say, “well, we can’t get married now, but that’s not our fault. So we’re married in our hearts, and we can act like we’re married anyway.”

No, you can’t. You’re taking the short cut. What kind of a man takes a short cut? If you’re not ready to get married right now, then you’re not married. Instead of just moving in with her and sleeping with her and treating her as if you’re married without actually promising her anything THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS (and not just your words), why don’t you put your energy into making yourself ready for marriage? Look for a good job. Upgrade your education. Work your hardest to be able to support her. That’s what she needs–safety. She needs to feel as if she has a safety net. Right now she’s clinging to you, because you’re living with her and you’re promising everything. But you’re not acting on those promises.

If you’re not married, then make yourself ready to get married.

And a man exercises self-control, too. I know it’s hard to wait for marriage to have sex, and I know you likely feel there’s no point now, since you’ve already slept with her anyway. But here’s what you’ve told her through your actions:

I like being with you, and I like sleeping with you.

That’s really it. How have you shown her that you love her? Moving in with her simply shows her that you like being with her, and that you enjoy sleeping with her on a regular basis, and you’d like to make that more convenient. So once again, you’re showing her that you love her for what she can do for you, not just for her.

If you really loved her, you would move out. You would stop sleeping with her and show her that you love her just for her. So many girls are broken inside because of what has been done to them in the past. Their fathers have walked out. They haven’t had stable childhoods. They haven’t had unconditional love. And so they’ll grasp at anything that looks like love. If you really love her, demonstrate real love.

Stop sleeping with her and get yourself ready to support her.

Because if you love her, and you want to be with her forever, then you should also want to get that relationship off on the right foot. And if you live with her first, you’re 70% more likely to divorce after you marry. Get yourself sorted out first, and the relationship is far more likely to succeed.

I know you feel all kinds of things for her. But please, step outside of yourself for a moment and ask yourself this,

what is best for her?”

If you really love her, you’ll be honest. And you know that what is best for her is if she is in a stable relationship with someone who can show that he loves her unconditionally and is prepared to look after her. With the way you are acting right now, you are really showing the exact opposite, no matter what she may say.

She’s afraid of losing you. You’re afraid of losing her. You want to feel close and cement the relationship, which is why you chose to sleep together in the first place. But you’re not assuaging any fears; you’re just clinging to the relationship without building it up.

Can you imagine what a transformational thing it would be in her life if you were to say to her,

I love you so much. In fact, I love you so much that I am going to treat you like a lady. I’m going to get myself ready to support you. I’m going to aim to commit to you for life. I’m going to not demand that you fulfill my sexual needs, but I’m going to wait for that until we’re both more mature and ready to handle it.”

She may not take that well, because she’s likely afraid, at heart, that if she stops sleeping with you she’ll lose the hold she has over you. And she probably enjoys sleeping with you, too! But honestly, if you keep with her over the next few months, spending time with her, talking with her, showing her that you’re interested in HER and not just her body, you’ll see a change in her. She’ll become more confident. She’ll become less self-destructive. She’ll become a better person. Isn’t that what you want for her?

There is a reason God tells us to wait for marriage. God wants the best for us, and God wants us to experience real love, not conditional love.

You want this relationship to work? You love her?

Then step up to the plate and love her like a man.

UPDATE: A commenter pointed out that I missed a huge point: how about REPENT BEFORE GOD? So true. The reason I left it out is because that’s ALL many of these guys have heard: what you’re doing is wrong, and you need to turn away from it because it’s sin. I completely agree, but that message hasn’t touched their hearts. So I’m trying this one instead. But I still should have mentioned it, because it absolutely is true!

Comments

  1. What about repentance before God for sinning against Him and His commands? How can we call ourselves Christians and completely ignore God?

    • So true, Greg. So true. My only issue is that these guys I’m talking to have been told that–and only that. I think it has to go further. They’ve ignored the “what you’re doing is wrong” message. Still, you’re right that I should have mentioned this, and so I’m going to put it in an update. Thanks!

      • I see what you mean–yes, they do need the practical applications too! It’s just that those externals mean little if there isn’t genuine confession and heart change before God. Thanks for another good post!

        • The other thing I’ve found in a lot of these relationships is justifying themselves, saying that “we really are married in God’s eyes because to God, sex is being married”. So to tell them to repent doesn’t really cut it because in their minds, they haven’t done anything wrong. I find it rather sad and disconcerting how much we can all justify bad behaviour.

          • van Rooinek says:

            The other thing I’ve found in a lot of these relationships is justifying themselves, saying that “we really are married in God’s eyes…”.

            If they are still together 50 years from now, I’ll believe it.

            But I’d bet a lot of money that they’ll break up. And then, we need to hold them to the standard, that since they were “married in God’s eyes” – by their own profession — then, upon separation, they are now “DIVORCED in God’s eyes” — and they are never allowed to marry anyone else as long as their first partner lives.

            I suspect that they will universally wish to regard themselves as “single” (not “divorced”) when the causal shackup ends…. but if they are “single”, then they weren’t married in God’s eyes, were they?

            Throw THAT at them and see how they react.

            And, again, apply this to both the guys and the girls, because the girls are equally, identically guilty.

          • That’s a great point about being “divorced in God’s eyes”. I’ll have to remember that one!

  2. This reminds me something I overheard a man who was celebrating his 50th anniversary say with a fair amount of fire in his eyes: “Back when I was a young buck, a man worked until he could buy a house. Then he bought furniture. Then he put money in savings. ONLY THEN did he go speak to a girl’s father: when he could provide for her and care for her.

    I realize there are plenty of “back when” beliefs and attitudes that we’re happy to have let go. And buying a house and furniture aren’t necessary to have a safe home. When Daniel and I married 24 years ago, we rented and made do with hand-me-down furniture for many years.

    But I remember how good I felt, during our engagement, when he took out a life insurance policy. And saved up a couple thousand dollars so we had a little bit to start with.

    Too many of my students shack up with “Mr. Right” right out of high school, glow about their perfect love (via Facebook) for a few months, then find themselves pregnant and on food stamps lamenting (via Facebook) how betrayed they’ve been.

    It kills me that so many have to learn the hard way.
    Cheri Gregory recently posted…The Perfect(ionism) CrimeMy Profile

    • I have seen so many girls do exactly that, Cheri. And it is really sad–especially for the babies born in the midst of it.

    • van Rooinek says:

      Back when I was a young buck, a man worked until he could buy a house. Then he bought furniture. Then he put money in savings. ONLY THEN did he go speak to a girl’s father: when he could provide for her and care for her.

      In today’s economy, this effectively prohibits most men from marrying until well into their 30′s. Also…. from what I’ve heard about the old days, that isn’t even the whole truth. Young lovers often would marry with nothing, and build their lives TOGETHER. Nowadays most women won’t even talk to a guy til he’s “made it” financially on his own… again, for most men, that’s well into their 30s.

      Delaying marriage til past 30 is a recipe for sociosexual disaster. Most don’t have the strength to be celibate that long, and those who do hold out end up very messed up in the head from it (speaking from personal experience). Extending the age of singleness that long, constitutes a massive “occasion of sin”, as the Catholics call it, for many people who would be more than happy to save it for marriage if they had a reasonable hope of marrying around 21 or so.

      Too many of my students shack up with “Mr. Right” right out of high school, glow about their perfect love (via Facebook) for a few months, then find themselves pregnant and on food stamps lamenting (via Facebook) how betrayed they’ve been.

      Following God’s law — no sex til marriage — solves this problem quite nicely. And you are correct to scold men for violating that. BUT…. where is the woman’s agency here? They are not being raped, are they? If not, the women share IDENTICAL levels of blame. As a single, II had “”Christian” women try to seduce me on occasion, and I know of other guys that had similar issues.

  3. Tessa W says:

    I have been told by some of these people that they are married in their hearts. So why not get married for real then?
    Something that I think runs along these same lines: So many people are willing to buy a house with someone so now they’re made a 25 year financial commitment to eachother but still won’t make the marriage commitment. Or they raise a child together and say they are fully committed to that child for life but aren’t willing to commit to eachother for life. It is a sad world we live in when marriage has lost that sacredness!

  4. Patricia says:

    This is so true and even true for some of us that have been married (legally) for 25+ years. I still have those feelings/needs and my man needs to hear this too.

  5. learning is fun! says:

    I’ve also heard many argue that ‘they’re married in God’s eyes, why should we spend a whole bunch of money for a wedding, yadda yadda yadda…’ As Cheri pointed out above, co-habiting couples don’t seem to have a problem making a financial commitment like a marriage, but for some reason, there is zero importance placed on the commitment to each other, including the importance of witnesses, and they consider the point of marriage to simply be ‘getting a piece of paper that says we’re married.’

    At our own wedding ceremony, the pastor spoke about the origins of having families seated according to bride and groom’s families, and how, in Old Testament times, an animal was sacrificed, and cut in two. The significance of this was to show that the couple being married is making themselves accountable to their families, to the point that, if one of them breaks their vows, they should face the same fate as the animal that was sacrificed. Cohabitation carries none of that accountability; rather, the feeling seems to be ‘well, if it doesn’t work out, no biggie – except for the broken lives left as a result.

  6. I just wish there was a thumbs up for so many of these comments. I have been married to the love of my life for twenty-two years. Commitment to each other and our marriage is vital.

  7. I just got done reading a wonderful book called Mondays with My Old Pastor and wrote a blog about it @ http://www.tidbitsofexperience.com. However, one of the many wonderful pieces of advise that I gained from this book was that there are two types of love. “Love because” and “love although”, and love because is loving someone “because” they do this or that for you; whereas, “love although” is to love someone “although” they are not perfect.

    I’m also giving this book away free to the 35th person to comment on this blog. :)

    I LOVE your blog posts!! I’m an avid fan of yours and have wrote a blog about your website as well. :)
    Crystal Green recently posted…Mondays With My Old Pastor-Book Review–GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  8. Love, love, love this, Sheila! I have seen what a difference doing things God’s way makes, DUH! Keep up your marvelous work!
    M
    M at A Marriage Restored recently posted…The Truth will set you free- Marriage editionMy Profile

  9. Wow Sheila, well said yet again! Thanks for taking the time and the chance!
    Beth Cranford recently posted…Freedom Requires ActionMy Profile

  10. Love your points, Sheila. I would also ask Christian men how they can stand before the girlfriend’s early and heavenly fathers and say that they “present her…without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27) when they slept with her before marriage. Even before we take those marriage vows, we owe it to our spouse to put their reputation and purity far ahead of our own pleasure. So a hearty Amen here.
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…More on Wife’s Low Sex DriveMy Profile

  11. WOW, this made me cry. For the girl I once was long ago. For so many, so many, young people who need to hear this message. So well written, thank you. I am going to share with my teen daughters

  12. Heather P says:

    I have to admit I only skimmed the article since I am a female. I just wondered if the side effects of “cohabiting” could influence the marriage. Honestly, my husband and I did live together for about a month before we got married. Today is our anniversary and I am living in a home where I am not considered his wife. I want to change it, but am unable. That is God’s job. Any suggestions or insights?

    • Heather, I’m just wondering what you mean by “not considered his wife”. By him or by others? Is he treating you badly?

      In general, the research shows that if you move in after you are already engaged, the chance of divorce does go up but not too substantially. But if you move in together before you were engaged, and then get married later, the chance of divorce is a lot higher.

      In addition, in general people have better sex when they’re married the less sex they had before they were married.

      But you absolutely can’t change any of these things now, so I think Leah’s advice is bang on: confess, repent, and then trust that God will make the marriage godly.

      If your husband has checked out of the relationship, I’d really recommend getting a female marriage mentor that you can talk to in real life to support you and pray your way through it. And then do what you can to make the marriage better. You can’t force him to treat you well, but you can still do the right thing, even in the midst of pain. And I do believe that God rewards that.

      • Heather P says:

        Thanks for the comments Sheila! In answer to your question, he had basically checked out of the relationship and is staying for our special needs daughter. I am praying daily (at least twice daily) and have been a part of a ladies group at church where things are confidential. So I am on the right path, just not seeing results yet. Would really appreciate all prayers I can get!!

  13. Love this article! We have a young christian couple who came to church, were convicted of their sin of living together, moved out, and have now been courting for about 3 years while he finishes school. Sooo proud of them! It IS possible.

    For Heather P: if you lived together before marriage, confess your sin to someone you trust at church and repent of that sin. Have a contrite heart before God. Ask Him to make your marriage godly. And then trust that the Lord will do so.

    • Heather P says:

      Thanks Leah! We both have already done that. It just seems that the more I seek to live my Christian life, he has checked out of my life.

  14. One of the things I have noticed is that for a seemingly increasing number of Christians, there is little to distinguish them from the world around them. (I speak to myself on this as well as God is showing me areas where I have accepted the world’s thinking)

    Purity, self-control, self-discipline, and true love have been slowly given over to lust, desire, greed, and a tarnished version of “love”.

    My husband & I had very little as far as possessions when we got married. And we did many things I wish we had saved for our wedding night. (not actual intercourse, but practically everything leading up to it!) In my husband’s job, the accepted way of thinking was that a guy would get married. He’d divorce in a couple of years, figure out what went wrong, and when he remarried he would live happily ever after. And most of those guys ended up being divorced in a couple of years. My husband & I went into marriage with one mind – death would be the only thing to cause one of us to leave. Being in the military, death was a very real possibility. Even though there were (are) hard times, we will be celebrating 15 years of marriage next week.

    In a world where you can replace practically anything with a newer model, there is something very special about formally committing to experience life with one person.
    sheridan recently posted…My Soul to SaveMy Profile

  15. Interesting that a woman wants to be “loved for who you are, not just for what you can give someone,” and then demand a whole lot of stuff be given to her: “a good job. Upgrade your education. Work your hardest to be able to support her. That’s what she needs–safety.” Even more interesting, I see no similar demands placed on the woman. Sounds kind of like a woman is entitled to being loved for herself without needing to give anything but a man has to give a lot and is to be shamed if he wants the same.

    Sex outside of marriage is wrong and should not be rationalized or pursued by Christians. However, apart from the sinfulness of these situations, how is the guy taking from the girl? Sex is not just for men, it’s for women too. This truth has been repeatedly stressed. The guy wants monogamous relationship from the girl and is giving it to her himself. A man should commit to the woman he loves, as should the woman. But how many women are truly committing to their men? Women file 70% of divorces, something like only 20% for abuse or infidelity. How many women get that commitment they want then withhold sexually from their husbands? Seems a lot of women do a lot of the taking.

    • I agree, J, which is why I stated that I have written a ton of similar advice for women. But it’s only recently occurred to me how many men read this blog, and so I wanted to write one specifically for men. That’s why I had the caveat that I’ve already written these things for women, too.

  16. “They want to feel safe.” In my 38 years if life, love, pets, marriage, divorce, and many deaths, I don’t know that I’ve even known “safety”or felt “safe”? You give me much to think about and perhaps a new look on my life (and relationships, if or when). Thank you.

  17. What a great article. I’ve shared it on FB and Twitter. Thanks, Phyllis
    Phyllis Sather recently posted…Are you Ready for a New Puppy?My Profile

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I’m wondering where you got the statistic you mentioned here:

    “And if you live with her first, you’re 70% more likely to divorce after you marry.”

    I’d like to be able to cite it. Thanks… this was an interesting read!

    • I have been told (because I’m divorced) that the University of Minnesota has done a lot of research on the topic. Maybe you can find stats with them? Good luck!

  19. As a woman from a relationship like this I just want to add my two sense.

    My high school sweetheart and I decided to move in together after a few years of long distance after high school ended.
    This was a very difficult decision for the both of us, and our parents. My father was worried for me, and his father, a pastor, was completely against it.
    We had a sit down dinner with his parents to talk about it. They asked us why we wouldn’t get married first. We replied that we are both not yet financially ready, or emotionally ready to have a wedding. In fact, the idea of marriage at that point in our lives was absurd to us because we did not yet know if we would be able to get through the day to day physical things that are introduced when you live with someone.

    What the two of us believed we needed to do was to spend more time with each other, and get to know each other better on this personal level. This could not be achieved living long distance as we were. We had already been together for 3 years, and thought we knew everything about each other. (this of course, being naive).

    So, we moved in together. We lived in a student house together, renting a bedroom. I was home sick and it was a very real test to whether or not our relationship could function in a tight space, and under the pressures of both being students, and working part time. Life got hard, and we both learned a lot about ourselves individually and within our relationship.

    We spent a year and a half together living in a few different student houses. It was his last year of university and things were changing. The future was coming very fast. Our relationship had stood the test of so many things including the anger from his parents. On Christmas eve, knowing full well of himself, he asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes. We had a crazy six months of planning and got married in the fall.

    It has been a year since, we had a lovely anniversary. I have the most amazing marriage and my husband and I are so incredibly happy together. I can honestly say that he is my soul mate, the person who I was meant to be with. Having been in a long distance relationship for that few years really took a toll on us though, and I know now that it was in fact the right thing to do to move in together before marriage, that it brought us closer together, and helped us learn what we needed to know about each other before we jumped into marriage.

    I feel as though there are too many young Christians now jumping into marriage with someone they’ve just met. I know way too many people my age who come out of bible college and marry right away, or even whilst in college to someone they have just met because they feel temptations that they refuse to allow themselves to feel before marriage.

    An example of this is a friend who wanted to have sex with his girlfriend after six months of dating, so he proposed. They got married within three months. All for lust. He has only now found out after three years of marriage that she does not want to have children after all, and is contemplating divorce.

    Maybe my husband and I are the exception, but we would have never come to this point in our lives if we hadn’t seen what living together would be before we got married.

    Ps. For those who comment back stating: “Well what if it didn’t work out when you were living together” My answer is this, I would have been grateful to have saved the 20,000$ I spent on a wedding, and many emotionally unstable years.

    God doesn’t give you the name of your soul mate, so you have to make certain that the person that is standing beside you is your soul mate, and not the person you meet the day after your wedding.
    Emily Goode recently posted…Great Christian Blogs for Men on MarriageMy Profile

    • Emily, I think you bring about great points. Thank you for bravely sharing your story.

    • Butterflywings says:

      Sorry Emily I think you miss the point about marriage. Marriage is about sticking in there no matter what. If your friend is contemplating divorce because his wife won’t have kids, then that is also a poor example of christianity – contemplating divorce for anything other than adultery, abuse or abandonment is unchristian, immoral and wrong.

      What you did was take a huge gamble and you got lucky. You say “For those who comment back stating: “Well what if it didn’t work out when you were living together” My answer is this, I would have been grateful to have saved the 20,000$ I spent on a wedding, and many emotionally unstable years.” but the point is, someone who takes marriage seriously, divorce isn’t an option (except for the adultery, abuse and abandonment reasons). There is no “what if it didn’t work” with your marriage — because you make it work! You went into a sexual relationship knowing full well you weren’t 100% committed – you allowed yourself an “out” if living together hadn’t worked out.

      I understand all too well your situation – my husband and I also endured a three year long distance relationship but we were committed to obeying God and not having sex outside of marriage. Our wedding and our wedding night were amazing and special and what God wanted for us. And yes, it takes time to adjust to living together, but since we are married and believe in the commitment of marriage, we work through those issues. We could have easily chosen to live together before marriage, and it would have made the year before our marriage much more comfortable but our comfort wasn’t worth disobeying God just to make our lives a bit more comfortable for a while.

      And regardless of how long you live together, the resounding common factor of all the people I’ve met who have lived together (and/or had sex) before marriage, is their comments about how no matter how long they had lived together, their spouse changed after marriage. You can live together for no time at all, for a year, for ten years, for 20 years – but when do you get marriage, you and your spouse will change. And it has been backed up by proper research too – things such as division of household chores, child rearing, financial decision making, etc, in the majority of couples changes after marriage. Living together before marriage will never prepare you fully for what it’s like to live together after marriage.

      The argument for living together before marriage to “get to know your partner” doesn’t hold water because they WILL change after you get married. And no amount of living together before marriage will help you truly know your partner.

      So yes, you and your hubby are the exception. You gambled and won. Personally I prefer not to gamble with something so important as marriage and sexual purity, especially when God has made his opinions on marriage and sexual purity so very clear in the bible.

  20. Hi there,

    While I agree that there is a certain amount of growing up that has to occur before marriage, and I completely agree that it sends the wrong message when you live together without a full-on commitment, there is one thing I would like to point out.

    I feel this article makes young Christian women seem awfully weak. Not all young women need a man to fulfill their emotional needs. Not all young women feel unsafe or unloved without a man. Assuming these relationships are between men and women of the same age, it seems unfair to make the woman seem less prepared or less responsible than the man.

    I have not read your other articles addressing young women, and I’m sure they are quite positive. I just wanted to make a note of this for future articles. As an independent young woman with a bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences, it seemed a little condescending that I, personally (or my younger self for that matter), would be considered less responsible for my emotions based only on my gender. Just something to think about.

    • Lottie,

      I guess what I would say is that in many of the relationships that I’m talking about, they women ARE weak. The guys are the stronger Christians, and the girls are really tenuous, and they are just looking for some safety and security and love.

      No, not all women are weak; but there is lots of this dynamic going on. And I do think that we need to be telling our boys that grow up in the church and that say they know God that they are to act properly towards any girl that they date–even if that girl is willing to move in with them, etc.

  21. I have noticed a trend of “not being able to afford to get married”. Too much emphasis is put on the wedding, and the cost can be astronomical! My husband and I got married almost 16 years ago. We planned a beautiful wedding in three months, with over 200 guests and a cost of around $4000. Cheap by today’s standards, and we paid for it ourselves! Even so, if I had it to do over again, I’m not sure we would go as “all out” as we did. It’s about the marriage, not the wedding! Yet young people are basing decisions relating to their own relationships with God and each other on whether or not they can afford the wedding of their dreams! I have to say, I believe two points in here are especially dead on : “If you truly love her, you will love her like a man does. And what does a man do? A man accepts responsibility. A man makes commitments. A man exercises self-control.” and “being divorced in God’s eyes”. I have never thought about it this way, and I bet most who say they were married in God’s eyes haven’t either!
    Kelli recently posted…Creation Debate – Who Won?My Profile

  22. This is one of the most frustrating topics for me. As a mother of young adults (all 3 in college), I’m constantly aware of their peers who are either living with someone, having children outside of marriage, hooking up and proudly open about being promiscuous. It is heartbreaking!
    So often these are the same people who will post Biblical quotes or self-righteous comments on Facebook/Twitter and also whine and complain about their “situations” when things are all a mess on FB/Twitter.
    I catch myself feeling angry at the blatant disregard for the HOLINESS of God that these people display. It’s a bit ironic for a couple who have lived together, already had kids and openly lived sinful….to make a huge deal of planning a big wedding. I can’t help but feel, WHY BOTHER?

    As a Christian, I cannot feel comfortable “celebrating” with or for them.

    Marriage is special. Those who treat it any other way….will never know of its sacred honor. No matter HOW SPECIAL they claim their relationship is…..it will never know the blessing that comes with obeying God in the area of their own personal holiness. I’ve seen it time and again, choosing to gratify self without following the Biblical standard always ends in sadness. The marriage either doesn’t work, the couple never have full joy & peace (and can’t figure out why) or they just don’t make it and move on to another superficial relationship.

    I don’t think this phenom is ever going to go away. Matter of fact, society only seems to be more accepting of living however one chooses. The watering down of what is right & wrong or twisting truth to fit lifestyle is going to be a big surprise for many, someday. God does & will hold each of us accountable for our choices.

    • Butterflywings says:

      I totally understand how you feel, but I choose to celebrate in those circumstances because of the old saying of “he’s making an honest woman of her”. The way I see it, they can’t undo having had sex with each other – even if they stop immediately, they have still given each other a part of themselves. It is better that they get married than to continue to live in sin. I celebrate the fact that they are no longer living in sin and are finally making a real commitment to each other.

      Even if they already have kids, it is better for the kids to see that commitment their parents have to each other. I don’t have any links at the moment, but I’ve read several research articles that have found kids do better if their parents end up marrying each other. While there is obviously the much higher divorce rates, as long as the parents don’t divorce, it is better for the kids if the parents get married. They don’t quite catch up with the outcomes for kids of parents who were married before they were born, but they leap ahead of the outcomes for kids of parents who cohabitate and are not married. And while the divorce rates are higher for those who live together before marriage, if you take into account relationship breakdown, defacto couples separate far more often than married couples (even those who lived together before marriage).

      The best situation is to marry before having sex and living together, but if couples make the mistake of having sex and/or live together marriage, it is still far better for them to marry than to stay living in sin or split up.

      So while it’s totally ok to not celebrate their living in sin, it is ok to be happy for their decision to stop living in sin.

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