Living In Sin…
Fornication: voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other. (dictionary.com)
Adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.
Old-fashioned words. Old Testament, even. Both are popular sports in America. Americans wallow in them, like the David Duchovney show Californication.
The question of “living together” vs. “marriage” is a question of sexual activity, not sharing the same dwelling. “Living together” is an extended euphemism from “sleeping together.” Call it what it is.
Is it a “right” thing to do? Will God strike a couple down, “withdraw his spirit,” any of that fundamentalist junk, if a couple has sex without being married? These are the wrong questions.
A person whose heart is focused on pleasing God and serving Jesus should ask these questions:
“Is this what is best for me and what is best for the other person?”
“What are my reasons for wanting to live with this person?”
“How will my lifestyle affect other people?”
“How will this decision affect my partner?”
“How will this decision affect my life?”
People rarely think at all when it comes to sexuality. They just jump in. They never consider the consequences. Thus: “The estimated total number of people living in the US with a viral STD/STI is over 65 million.  Every year, there are at least 19 million new cases of STDs/STIs, some of which are curable. [2,3]”
(Find this quote and plenty of other information here:
Swapping partners or “trying them on” is not a very smart thing to do. Living with—having a sexual relationship with—another person IS a commitment, papers or not. It’s giving a part of one’s life and body. It is making the most extreme connection with another that can be made. When it turns into a recreational sport it degrades both participants and shows disrespect.
Kids and teens in America have no concept of modesty, restraint, commitment, love, respect, or morality. They don’t because adults have thrown all those values out and replaced them with selfishness, rudeness, promiscuity, and greed. Then adults have the audacity to sit back and condemn 13 year old pregnant girls (never the boy who planted the seed!) or complain about kids’ attitudes, sexuality or disrespect for adults. How will “living together” affect kids? What message does it give them? The wrong message. It says, “Hey, use people, if they don’t ‘work’ for you, toss them out like the dishrag.”
Family, friends, and acquaintances these can be hurt, misled, driven into immorality by one who claims to be serving Jesus but discards moral standards for convenience. What about future partners? The saying is true: “when you have sex with someone you’re having sex with everyone they have had sex with.”
What about Christians who choose to abandon moral standards and then go all snooty when a same-sex couple want to do the same thing. Demanding that “living together” is fine for heterosexual couples and “sin” for homosexual couples is a double standard. Kids see the hypocrisy in this far better than the grownups who want to play do.
No, Jesus did not directly condemn fornicators or prostitutes… OR thieves OR crooks. His was the perfect example of love and forgiveness. It is not a servant of Jesus’ duty to point fingers. That does not mean the behavior is acceptable. There’s a big—huge—difference between being loving and accepting of those who do something immoral and participating in the same activity. Jesus set the example by not condemning and by SHOWING A BETTER WAY. The better way is to live for God and not take what you want at the expense of others.
Promiscuity, fornication, and adultery are all forbidden in many religions and condemned by mainstream Christianity for a good reason. They are temporary pleasures that lead virtually every time to someone being hurt or even destroyed, physically, spiritually, emotionally or all three. The activity is never worth the temporary pleasure one gets from it.
Anyone who studies and reveres the teaching of God and the Bible (whether as the Perfect Book or as a book of writings by men containing the wisdom of God) should recognize the importance God places on morality. The Eightfold Path of Gautama includes “Right Action” which goes like this: “And what is right action? Abstaining from taking life, from stealing, and from sexual intercourse: This is called right action.” Why put these together? Because they can all cause an equal amount of suffering.
It was Paul who said, “all things are lawful but not all things are expedient.” In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus says sin is what we make it. Sharing a person’s body frivolously is taking things from them that cannot be put back. It is an act of selfishness. Selfishness, choosing “self” over selflessness, is the opposite of what Jesus said we should do.
Is “living together,” then, “living in sin?” No, “living together” is “living in selfishness.” It is a very bad idea for all the reasons stated if the “living together” means “as man and wife,” or, having a sexual relationship. If there is no sexuality involved then sharing an apartment or whatever does not matter at all. But, realistically, couples who “try each other out” by “living together” are never talking about learning about whether or not they like the same food or have the same tastes in wallpaper. All of those can be figured out before moving into the same living space. “Living together” in America is just one more way for Americans to throw commitment out the window.
I could write a book on marriage if I wanted to take the time. Most of those fail in America and every single one of them fail because someone is selfish. There is no other reason for a marriage to fail. None.
The problem with marriage in America does not provide an excuse for couples to throw moral standards away. I would suggest that far too many people rush into relationships for all the wrong reasons. Whether they “make it right” by signing a piece of paper or performing some kind of ceremony or just share a bedroom, couples are in too much of a hurry and never take the time to get to know each other.
Most religions believe a marriage is not a marriage until there is a sexual act. Conversely, when there IS such an act the couple is considered married—no matter if it’s a back-seat romp or wedding night bliss. Sharing the same bedroom for more than a night, for a few months or years, does not matter. I, too, believe our Creator established marriage and accepts the consummation of marriage to be the physical act. A signed paper or a ceremony does not matter. In other words, I do not believe in the eyes of the Creator people CAN just “live together.”
In the end, a relationship that works is based upon giving. Compatibility in musical tastes, food, and everything else will not matter if there is not a total giving attitude from each partner to the other. No relationship will ever work if selfishness exists in the heart of either person. WHEN, after some time of non-sexual involvement both partners discover they share a deep love and are committed to each other then they should decide if the bonds are strong enough for a lifetime commitment. If it is, marry. If not, then have enough respect for each other not to give in to momentary desires at the expense of each other’s future.
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