Many times born again Believers find themselves accepting the ways of society instead of the ways of God. The temptation to do this is tricky and in many cases has become the norm. You can simply pick up a magazine or turn on the TV, and instantly, you are exposed to compromising lifestyles. We must remember, however, that just because an idea, concept or way of life seems acceptable doesn’t mean it is right in God’s eyes. Popular shows display people living “cheerfully” in a manner that opposes God and His Word. A prime example of this is the cohabitation of unmarried couples.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:12 (AMP) that “Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.” Although certain lifestyles are not necessarily against the law, they may not be acceptable by God’s standards. Some Christian couples think that living together may be a way to save money before they get married or they tell themselves that it is okay, because they are not having sex. Though this way may seem right, God’s perspective is the only one that matters. The Bible tells us to avoid even the appearance of evil. Cohabitation places a tremendous strain on two people who are trying to live holy and opens the door to temptation.
In addition, a major misconception among Believers is that it is okay to have sex with their partners if they are engaged. The mentality many people have is, We’re going to get married anyway. The Bible teaches us that fornication, which is sex without a marriage license, is wrong! God has not changed his mind about this, and He will not bend His own rules because Believers have decided not to take His Word seriously. He didn’t create His statutes to spoil your fun but to protect you from harm. Sex outside of marriage can blur your judgment, stifle your growth and prevent you from developing a healthy relationship with the opposite sex. It can make you vulnerable to getting your heart broken when your expectations go unfulfilled, and it stunts the type of emotional growth you need as a couple.
A sexual relationship outside of marriage is usually full of an emotional type of love. It can cause people to fantasize about a “perfect” life with a “perfect” person. It encourages the illusion of love that is often portrayed in movies; but relationships based on emotional love will soon die out. Lasting relationships are maintained with constant communication, commitment and agapé love, which is the God—kind of love.
God does not want us to wander around with an empty void inside—looking for someone to fill it. Our heavenly Father created us all, and He knows that only He can fill the voids within. Other people can’t do that. In fact, it is unfair to place that burden on anyone.
If you truly love someone, you will be willing to wait, let true love grow and pay the price for marital privileges such as sex and cohabitation. We should not selfishly take from others to satisfy our own desires. Strive to love the people in your life with agapé love. And remember that love is a decision. Decide today to view relationships as God sees them—opportunities to operate in unconditional love. When you make a decision to walk in this kind of love, you will know that doing things God’s way is the best way.
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