By Don Wright
“Living together” as opposed to marriage is becoming more popular every day. It seems that many no longer view marriage as honorable. It is an unnecessary thing of the past in the eyes of a growing number of people. In a handful of states, unmarried couples who live together long enough are as good as married. Johfiette Duff, a Houston lawyer and author, says, “Common law essentially is a marriage. A divorce is required to dissolve the relationship.” Needless to say man’s ways are not al-ways God’s ways. God’s way is marriage. Man’s way is a cohabitation outside of marriage. The number of unmarried-couple households has grown 80% in the last 10 years. The Census Bureau tells us that there was 2.9 million unmarried couples living together in 1990, and surely the number has steadily increased.
Certainly we can see that there is still a need to preach on the sanctity of marriage, and to continue to emphasize that fornication is a sin. As parents who are Christians, let us not neglect teaching our children about God’s marriage law. God’s ways are always best. They are not just statues that God forces us to live by in order to encumber our existence. They are guidelines for our living that will bring us joy. I know that many consider the ways of God old fashioned and out dated. This is especially true regarding the commands of God concerning marriage. Some say, “It is better to live together before marriage to make sure that a couple is compatible.” But did you know according to recent studies, that married couples who once cohabited are 15% more likely to break up than those who did not? So much for the wisdom of man. No wonder Paul said, “. . . the foolishness of God is wiser than men.” Surely men, in professing to be wise, have become fools.
In the final analysis, “living together” is sinful. Sin condemns. It brings about spiritual death and destines its captives to an eternal hell. Is enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season really worth an eternity in an unquenchable fire? I think not! It is far better to simply obey God and to follow his laws. Let us never con-form to the world, regardless of how popular certain customs become. Re-member, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whore mongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4). Yes marriage is a commitment and does require a certain amount of sacrificing. There is even an element of risk involved; but obeying God is al-ways the best thing to do. And if one obeys God while married, most of the risks disappear, and all the sacrificing is well worth it.
Guardian of Truth XXXIX: No. 22, p. 13
November 16, 1995