MARRIAGE VS LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE
1. God’s Word provides only two options, marriage or celibate singleness. There is no third option of commitment to a long term relationship.
2. A long term relationship of two people cohabiting and/or having sex outside of marriage is sexual immorality or fornication. It is a sin.
”Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.“ 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.
3. We are the body of Christ and when we engage in sex outside of God’s will, which is sex outside marriage, we are forcing Christ to be a participant in our sexual sin. Forcing Him to have sex outside His will is rape.
“Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ Himself? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!” 1 Corinthians 6:15.
4. The biblical pattern laid out in Genesis is: First, Adam got to know Eve (Genesis 2:23). Second, Adam married Eve (Genesis 2:24 ). Third, Adam and Eve had a sexual relationship (Genesis 4:1). The pattern is, first get to know the other person, second, get married, and then, third, you can have sex.
5. God is infinitely holy. Everyone who comes in contact with God cries out spontaneously, “holy, holy, holy!” If our holy and righteous God lives in you, by His Spirit, and He does if you are a Christian, how could you take him to bed with someone You are not married to?
6. Cohabiting or long term relationship with sex, is outside the will of God. Everything done outside the will of God is going to cause hurt for us and for others. This is why God tells us not to do this, for our own good and protection.
7. Marriage is God’s design. Every child of God is worthy of all the benefits, blessings and responsibilities of marriage.
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord" (Proverbs 18:22).
8. God’s word is clear, He's against fornication, and says clearly that sex outside of marriage is sin. But He created sex and gives us a way to enjoy that pleasure within marriage, and He tells us that if we cannot commit to celibate singleness, then we should get married so as not to sin.
"Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." 1 Corinthians 7:8-9.
1. The Bible is the inspired word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 states that, “All Scripture is God-breathed” and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, word of God, and it's supernatural power is demonstrated daily by changed lives.
2. Believing something doesn’t make it true. People believe a lie all the time, but it doesn’t make it true. Believing in the tooth fairy doesn’t make her true. Conversely, not believing the truth doesn’t change its veracity or absolve us from its impact. You may choose not to believe in gravity, but that doesn’t stop the law of gravity from operating. If you jump from a 5 story building, you will discover the law of gravity.
3. People choose “beliefs” that support the lifestyle they want. They are in essence trying to make a God in their own image, one that agrees with their lifestyle choices. But that God doesn’t exist. Other people are actually sincere in their beliefs that sex outside of marriage is okay, but they are sincerely wrong. God created human beings and sex, and He has stated clearly that sex outside of marriage is destructive. You can choose to believe differently, but that doesn’t change the truth.
4. We cannot elevate our opinions to the status of truth. Our opinions and feelings are not the truth. The word of God is the truth. One of the major deceptions in the world today is that there are all kinds of “truth” – your truth, my truth, and everybody’s truth. The word of God is the truth. We can choose to reject the truth and choose our own way, but we will give account to God for the choices we make.
5. We can know the truth. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. Ignorance of the truth is not bliss or an excuse. Ignorance of the truth of the word of God is deadly. Hosea 4:6 says, my people perish for lack of knowledge. Even if you were taught a lie, you can learn the truth by studying the Bible.
6. Jesus said, in Revelation 22:12-15: “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.”
NOTABLE QUOTES FROM “SAVED SINGLES” GROUP DISCUSSION
“All it does is enable people who are afraid of being committed and accepting responsibility. Had always been predominantly a male characteristic but now evident in both sexes. It’s also a way to delay growing up. If a woman has feelings for a man and is intimate with him, she very likely won’t appreciate him delaying marriage indefinitely. The two can satisfy their sexual desires and the man can withhold responsibility and commitment. Then again, older women, especially ones who have never been married, and who are afraid of being intimate and being emotionally vulnerable, sometimes like collecting platonic “male buddies”. The woman can have a man who is willing to commit and desires to meet their emotional needs and the woman doesn’t have to marry him because that would involve meeting the man’s emotional needs and sexual desires. So, she can just have a male friend.” (Guy comment).
“Think it comes down to .. are you having sex? These few verses really helped my relationships with the opposite sex. Gen 2:23 (Adam got to know Eve). Gen 2:24 (Adam married Eve). Gen 4:1 (Adam and Eve had sexual relationship). 1st get to know, 2nd marriage, 3rd sex. Now, after coming to Christ, I had sex with women, I thought it was okay if we were both in Christ and she was okay with it. Then someone at a singles Bible Study pointed out this verse and ruined my fun . 1 Cor 7:1-2 . Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 1 Cor 7:1-2 didn't really ruin my fun, my relationships are better and when the right lady comes along, I'll get married and have physical relations.” (Guy comment).
“I've been there and did that... the physical relationships without marriage, as I'm sure most of us on here have done, and it never ended well.” (Lady comment).
“We now have the choice, our free will, do you live pleasing to Him and do His will, or to choose to live gratifying our flesh, a life displeasing to the Lord. “(Lady comment).
“Men that drag romantic relationships out for years and years without marriage usually have trouble keeping things pure anyway. At a certain point, stop hoping he’ll marry you some day and move on and meet someone who is better able to deal with commitment, i.e. a “grown up” man.” (Guy comment).
“I’ve done the long term relationship… but I was hoping for marriage...and I feel like I’m worthy of all the benefits and blessings of marriage and I’m now willing to put in the work for marriage…Besides I’m too old for committed long term anyway. I’m too old for a boyfriend. and I do not want to be anyone’s special friend! (Lady comment).”
“A “committed long term relationship” is just a friendship or a very long courtship if you’re doing it the way that God intends. This means without sexual intimacy. I’m pretty sure anyone who is truly interested in being in a relationship with someone and is doing it the way God intends, would not want to wait years and years without getting married so that they can share that physical intimacy. If it doesn’t progress then what’s the point? If a person doesn’t do it this way then they’re not obtaining the blessing that God really wants for them.” (Lady comment)
“Well I would say marriage of course. A long-term relationship never goes anywhere. I know I was in one. And it's not honoring to God either. (Lady comment).”
“Singles groups are great because you can enjoy the company of the opposite sex with Less commitment, less vulnerability, less emotional involvement. Like the TV show “Friends”. Relationship Lite: Everything you always wanted in a relationship and “Less”” (Guy comment).
“Don't rush into marriage! Take time to get to know your future spouse.” (Lady comment).
“As a Bible Believing Christ Follower, ￼ with the Spirit of God, living in me… How could I go back into a life of fornication?” (Lady comment).
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18 NLT.
“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” Genesis 2:23 NLT.
“Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.” Isaiah 62:5 NLT.
“Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4 NLT.
“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:10-12 NLT.
”He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.“ Proverbs 18:22 NKJV