Stephen Goode answers the “living together and premarital intimacy question”, with a biblical framework, humor and maybe even a little “double entendre”. Why tackle such a tough question? Isn’t it obvious? You be the judge after hearing the statistics, but know that there is only one biblical correct answer.
by Stephen Goode
We all need to realize that each of us live in worlds of different sizes and scopes, shaped by the events we have both endured through and experiences. For this reason it is important that we acknowledge this in the people around us, so that we can practice consistency patience and understanding at what they are going through. The question is, how do you accomplish this in the real world, but its quite elementary.
In both marriage and dating relationships there is a very easy way to suck the life out of all fun and enjoyment. It happens when your date, or spouse senses that tone of sarcasm in your voice that immediately chokes out sincerity. It’s the tone that signals that you have no respect for your spouse, and that you wish to make them feel “less-than.’
You have left the biblical map when you become sarcastic and cynical, and the Apostle Paul spells out the offense in Ephesians.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
The reason I mentioned being worlds apart is that we need to be sensitive to the size of our friends and families worlds. What you may consider a small catastrophe could be a major one to some who have never experienced your level trials and suffering. As I have just accepted a role as a Billy Graham Rapid Response Chaplain, I know that I will be consoling people who really know what pain and sacrifice feels like, but I can’t sympathize less with others who live in a much smaller world situation.
As you enter your prayer closet today pray that God would soften your heart to your spouse, and to friends who may be experiencing lesser trials. Practice showing them the same love that you would a person who is in a much worse situation.
by Stephen Goode
There are some basic questions for a Christian man or woman to answer in a dating relationship. These questions may be overlooked on numerous occasions, which is ironic because these inquiries will impact the relationship in every conceivable way! The reasons that these questions are not addressed are largely due to the fact that the wrong answer may deem it more fitting to end the relationship before it is too late.
Reasons These Questions are Overlooked
If you are afraid that this is your last shot at even a status quo decent boyfriend or girlfriend you may be prone to compromise and drift toward the marriage path. Maybe you are so afraid of being alone that you will rationalize away much of the unbiblical behavior you have observed in your relationship. It could be that there is such a strong physical attraction that you have allowed yourself to become dangerously attached. Usually by this point you may have even allowed intimacy to enter in, which leads to a whole new level of attachment which is very hard to control. The Bible addresses this when it speaks of not letting sin reign or reside in your life because you will get to the point you will obey what t says to do. (Rom 6:12)
The Question You Need to Ask Yourself
Is this relationship that you are in honoring Christ and drawing you closer to Him?
Do you regularly have to correct your boyfriend or girlfriend about their behavior because it is not the kind of actions that are accepted by a believer in Jesus Christ?
Are you now living with your boyfriend or girlfriend because of compromise?
Do you consistently have to stop your boyfriend or girlfriend from getting you physically aroused and engaging in the kind of acts only appropriate for a married couple?
Are you the only one who initiates any kind of spiritual activity in the relationship such as praying together and attending church?
Does your boyfriend or girlfriend constantly use profane or vulgar language without any apology around you? A sure sign of having no genuine respect for you.
Does your boyfriend or girlfriend keep promising to change certain behaviors only to gravitate back to the same old habits in a matter of time?
Even if your boyfriend or girlfriend claims to be a Christian, are their actions measuring up?
One big question this all leads to is the fact that you need to be certain you are in a relationship with a believer in Jesus Christ!
Why Does it Matter
I have heard more excuses and rationalizations for staying in a relationship, but I have also dealt repeatedly with the aftermath of the wrong decision both as pastor and policeman. You see, once you have said “I Do”, the covenant has been made, and there are very few biblical reasons to leave your marriage.
It matters biblically because we are instructed to marry only believers (2 Cor 6:14). Believers handle crisis and circumstances completely different from one another. We have completely differing world views because a non-believers will have no loyalty or commitment to Christ. It impacts how you will raise children, and how you will face adversity!
It matters because a non-believing spouse will pull the believing spouse down in their walk with Christ. In some cases I have seen wive’s literally resign themselves to being one with God because it will never happen with their husbands.
If anyone is now panicked, I have good news! God loves and cares for you and you will never truly be alone. The Bible repeatedly gives us assurances that He will not leave us to our own devices if we trust in Him. Read some of God’s promises and pray that God would redirect you back into His real plan for your life. Start trusting Him once again before a ring is on your finger and it is too late. At that point you will have to adapt to your circumstances and live out the consequences of your sinful choices. If you are already at this place, God hasn’t left you! Never give up because God will never give up on you even when you sin!
Scriptures to Study
Psalm 37; Matt 14:31; Psalm 121; Psalm 46:1-2; Prov 3:5-6; Col 3:23; Eph 2:3-5; Gal 5:16