Seven Nonreligious Reasons to NOT Live Together Before You Say “I Do”

24 02 2020

“In a nationwide survey conducted in 2001 by the National Marriage Project, then at Rutgers and now at the University of Virginia, nearly half of 20-somethings agreed with the statement, “You would only marry someone if he or she agreed to live together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along.” About two-thirds said they believed that moving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce.” *

 

Let’s face it, there are lots of Biblical reasons to not live together before marriage, not the least of these being something called fornication.  But are there other, more or less “nonreligious” reasons to not live together before marriage?

 

Here are seven:

1. You will totally rob yourself of the honeymoon phase of marriage. You have lived together which also, most likely, means you have been intimate.  You just lost any surprise for the wedding night and a very different, wonderful and intriguing honeymoon.

 

2. You will not feel like newlyweds once you are married. You lived together and all of that newness will be completely missing.

 

3. By living together before marriage, there is still a, “This is mine; that is yours.” Why?  Because you are not one, you have not committed to “ours.” Further, living together provokes selfishness. How?  You have not committed the remainder of your life to this person and you have not spoken any vow of promise, therefore; you are free to live as a single person lives without commitment.

 

4. You still have a huge, unlocked and open back door to this relationship.  Without a ring and a date, what are you working toward?  Why hang in there when it gets extraordinarily difficult?

 

5. It is said that no one should buy a car before test driving it. That is almost laughable.  A car is not a major life relationship, it’s a thing.  Marriage is so much more than a test drive or a thing or a material item one makes use of.

 

  1. What will you tell and what will you pass on to your children someday? Will you desire something different for them or will you recommend this arrangement?  I have never talked to anyone who desires to pass this news onto their children and/or will encourage them to do the same.

 

7. “Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect. Researchers originally attributed the cohabitation effect to selection, or the idea that cohabiters were less conventional about marriage and thus more open to divorce. As cohabitation has become a norm, however, studies have shown that the effect is not entirely explained by individual characteristics like religion, education or politics. Research suggests that at least some of the risks may lie in cohabitation itself.”   (*New York Times: The Downside of Cohabitating Before Marriage)

 

Marriage is a commitment to a covenant whether one believes in God or not.  Marriage is God’s original design and idea, not someone’s good idea or a government idea for society.  Ultimately, one does not disobey something God created for mankind and feel good about it.

 

I am sure there are more reasons, but I hope something of these seven spoke to you if you are thinking about giving yourself to a cohabitation arrangement, please know that you are worth far more!





Oh, the Choices We Make

17 02 2020

How many choices do you think you make in a day?  Choices like: what time we’ll get up from our warm and cozy beds, how much coffee we’ll drink, whether or not we’ll engage in a devotional time and so on.  Those examples are pretty common or simple, but there are more difficult choices we make quite frequently as well.

 

We engage in more difficult choices like: how many hours we will spend at work versus time with our spouse or family, how much alcohol will we drink at the party, whether we will run that next red light because we’re late for an appointment.  We make choices about our health, the food we eat, yes, even the sin we’re participating in.  We are making choices every hour of every day and it puts every one of us at a certain crossroad.

 

The crossroad is that we make our choices out of our personal value and belief systems.  We make choices based on our thoughts, correct or incorrect.  You see, WE make the choices and WE are responsible for those choices made.  While we’re good at blaming others like Eve blamed Adam and Adam blamed the serpent in the book of Genesis, at the end of the day, they remain our choices.

 

A wife obtains her own credit card without her husband’s knowledge and then max’s that credit card out – a choice.

 

A husband gets up in the middle of the night to watch pornography – a choice.

 

A teenager decides to send text messages while driving – a choice.

 

Our choices affect our present and our future, meaning if you desire to have a better future, make better choices today.

 

Here is some really good advice from the scriptures concerning our choices:

 

A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8,9)

 

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  (I Corinthians 10:31)

 

See also: Luke 14:28; Proverbs 3:5,6; 16:9; 19:21; Colossians 3:17 and James 1:5





A Lemon Law for Your Marriage

10 02 2020

Being a used car dealer on the side since 1996, I am familiar with the well-known Lemon Law in our country, the USA.  Basically, if you have repeated issues noted by your new car dealer over a certain period of time you are able to claim Lemon Law status and turn the car back in to the dealer.  It’s a bit more complicated, but you get the idea.

 

A car is a thing, a liability really.  It has no life of its own.  It cannot argue or complain, but it can be a complete headache or nightmare, depending on its reliability.  A car is an object of use, but truthfully, we must maintain it in order to sustain that ongoing use.  You must change the oil, rotate the tires, change the filters and have systems checked for a fully functional automobile.  And since their invention, they have become extremely complicated with computers and automated technology.

 

Marriage can be complicated as well.  Everyone has their own quirks, misfires and needed maintenance.  Marriage may not make it if it’s completely neglected.  As quickly as some couples divorce, I can only imagine they are enacting a, so to speak, marriage Lemon Law of their own creation, saying, “I have tried over and over and it just keeps breaking down.”  And then the proverbial, “I need to return it for a new one, a replacement.”

 

There is no Lemon Law for marriage and I am not proposing there should be one either.  In fact, I think just the opposite.  I believe we can enlist help for our own growth and then the growth of our marriage.  After years of marriage counseling and hearing couple after couple state that their marriage is failing miserably, I have come to realize another truth.  It is never the marriage in and of itself; it is the two persons in the marriage.

 

So, rather than enacting the Lemon Law for your marriage, why don’t you seek advice, counsel and input for your life.  Perhaps it’s not the marriage or your marriage partner, perhaps it’s you…?





A Crisis of Faith

3 02 2020

I have been encountering more and more people who are listing their top excuse for walking away from an active relationship with God as a personal “crisis of faith.”  A crisis of faith typically follows a disappointment with God.  In some form or fashion, God did not show up for them, or so they think.

 

Perhaps the truth is more closely related to the fact that God did not show up in the way they had projected Him to or believed He would.  Multiply this a few times over and our feelings take over our spirit, while disappointment overshadows any sense of Biblical truth.

 

I heard about a college professor who asked his students to respond to two questions on the first day of class.  Question number one was, “Who is God to you?”  Question number two was, “Who are you?”  His observation was to repeatedly discover his students answers to be the same for both questions.  The point becomes that we tend to humanize God and see Him as we see ourselves within our own limitations.

 

But here’s the funny thing to me.  How come no one ever has a crisis of faith when all kinds of good is happening in their lives?  I never heard anyone say, “I walked away from God because life was just too good, too easy.”  Somehow, in our finite minds, we connect God to all the bad that happens to us, all the loss and all the difficulties in life.  But isn’t that exactly when we really do need an active faith?  Jesus told us that it was the sick who needed a doctor, not the well person.

 

Would you be willing to take another look at your view of God and exactly who He is in your life?  Perhaps the better question to meditate on is how does God feel about you, not how do you feel about God.  It seems with that former question we choose the “I think He likes me” button and in effect, we can totally miss Him.

 

Exodus chapter 34 excites me when it comes to this One named Yahweh:

 

Yahweh! The Lord!  The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.  I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.  I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.

 

And check this out, “He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.”  (Psalms 103:10)

 

Does that describe the God you know?  If you’re experiencing some form of faith crisis, then consider whether or not your beliefs line up with who God is and how much He loves you.








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