Several years ago, I used to listen faithfully to Dr. Laura Schlesinger on the radio, who had a unique way of describing the situation of a couple who chose to “live together.” What a nice and sanitized way to put it, “live together.” Taken on its own, it lends itself to an understanding of two individuals who have chosen to “live” only to do it “together.” There is an implied bond of mutual respect and admiration. We are “living together,” as two oxen might be “yoked together,” or two co-workers “working together.” There is no longer any moral sting with “living together.” Dr. Laura had it right. There is nothing holy or sacred or even special about “living together.” Call it what she called it, “shackin’ up.” Or call it what the Bible calls it, “fornication,” or worse, “adultery.”
You shall not commit adultery. (Ex. 20:14)
If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. (Ex 22:16)
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality [in some trans., “fornication”], that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God. (1 Th 4:3)
Sexual immorality (defined simply as any sexually pleasurable activity outside the context of marriage, Clinton was no exception) is not the will of God and earmarked for certain judgment (Jude 1:7). I am aghast at the number of people who feel no shame, and even feel comfortable taking this particular fire into their bosom, imagining it will not burn them. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” (Gal 6:7) What is the deception? That they know better than God. Did God, as a cosmic killjoy, decide one day that he wanted to take away fun and made it a rule to only have sex with one woman for a lifetime, and only then when you have made a formal commitment to one another? Do you honestly think God is like that? This from the same God who made the sunsets, the starlight, sex, and a host of other fun things. Can God be both the maker of fun things and the cosmic killjoy?
Oh I know the arguments. There’s the “let’s see if we like each other well enough to get married” argument. What a load of bull****. If you didn’t like each other, you wouldn’t have decided to fornicate in the first place. And the question isn’t, “Can I live with her the rest of my life?”, but “Can I live without her the rest of my life?” Couples who fornicate are statistically much more likely to split up or divorce than a couple that first marries and then lives together because marriage is the safety net. It is the commitment that is the fall-back position. When people get to a point where they can’t stand each other, marriage says, “work it out.” People who are not married don’t “work it out,” or at the least don’t feel compelled to, and kids or not, they will split. Married people do, and they draw deeper together for their labor. Marriage is work, don’t let anyone fool you. But the work is what makes marriage stronger, and it will always be stronger than fornication. In marriage, you don’t have to pretend, so the other person “won’t leave.” Marriage allows for openness and honesty in a way fornication never can for its nature. Fornication just can’t compete with real marriage.
Then there is argument that “Mom and Dad never got along. I don’t want to live like that” argument. Live like what? If your parent’s marriage was so poor, answer the following questions: Did you ever see them in love? Did you ever see them spend time together just talking? Did you ever see them struggle together, rather than apart? Did your parents solve their problems together, or use things like alcohol to get them through? Your parents’ marriage broke down because of them, not because of you. Your marriage will work because you will avoid their mistakes. You will work on marriage, because you will have a church in your community that will support you. You will have a God that promises to support you and uphold you when times are tough. You will have a great marriage if you care for your spouse like you say you do.
Then some might say, “I just want to have sex, (sow my wild oats) before I settle down.” Those oats have a way of sprouting inconveniently. Sex without responsibility? Yeah right! People who just want to “have sex” end up being parents. You have to ask yourself the question, is the person I want to have sex with the same person I want to look across the courtroom at when we are in a custody hearing? TV and Movies depict sex without consequences. That’s a lie. Even married people will tell you that. Sex always has consequences. It brings children into a world that is either not prepared for them (unwed mother) or doesn’t want them (ending in either abortion (child murder), or regular child abuse). Unmarried sex does hurt other people. God weeps for those children. These precious innocents that by His miraculous power have been brought into the world enter a world of heartache, of grandparents fighting over custody, or parents who pass off their kids to anyone who wants them (even child molesters). Drug-addicted moms selling their five-year olds over the internet for drug money???!!! THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!!!!!
This isn’t a problem of other people. Our neighbors have this problem. There are households in our community of people dwelling in the same house without the benefit of marriage. I place the offer before you, since I am empowered to do something about it. Stop the fornication. Stop the Sin. I will happily perform a ceremony of marriage for any unmarried couple in this community, and I will even do it for FREE if money is the problem. But you must have the marriage license in hand. Either that, or MOVE OUT!
Let us end this problem in our community. Let us return the stigma to fornication that it deserves. “Living together” is not acceptable in decent society. “Living together” is fornication. It is sexual immorality. It is certain pain and confusion for the innocents born into them and the grandparents who must stand by and watch, like watching a train wreck. It is a challenge against God and His Word, and God will not stand for it. “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked.”