For the last 30 years our society has experimented with behaviors that are condemned by God. The 60's and 70's were decades in which God, the Bible, and those values and morals which Christians held, were constantly under attack. Virtually every biblical ethic was challenged. The onslaught came from every direction, including Hollywood, the Networks, Authors and Artists, the Public Schools and Colleges, the Courts and even other Churches.

In 1966, John Lennon said, 'Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that. I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now.' (According to John. Time Magazine, August 12, 1966, p. 38)

Jack Weinburg, advised the younger generation not to trust anyone over 30 years of age. Which only could mean one thing, have no respect for age or experience, follow the advice of the inexperienced and immature. Compare with what the Bible had stressed. (1 KINGS 12:8; PROVERBS 16:31; EPHESIANS 6:2 'HONOR'-to prize, revere, value.


'A proverb to lift the reader above the unfruitful attitudes of envy, impatience and contempt which the old and the young may adopt towards each other. Each age has its appointed excellence, to be respected and enjoyed in its time' (Proverbs. Derek Kidner p. 140)

Dr. Timothy Leary advised teenagers and college students to "turn on, tune in and drop out". He also advised them that the "fifth freedom" was "the right to get high". Allen Ginsberg told a group assembled at a Boston Church in 1966 that everyone over the age of 14 ought to try LSD at least once. Gloria Steinem wrote, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." She then denounced marriage as a form of prositution. (Sally Quinn, 'Feminists Have Killed Feminism', Los Angeles Times, Jan. 23, 1992; Peter Collier and David Horowitz, Deconstructing the Left: From Vietnam to the Persian Gulf. 1991 p. 18) Compare to what God had already said:

HEBREWS 13:4 'LET MARRIAGE BE HAD IN HONOR AMONG ALL'-'Marriage should be respected by everyone' (Gspd); 'Everybody should think highly of marriage' (Beck).

1 TIMOTHY 4:3-4 'FOR EVERY CREATURE (or created thing, including marriage (vs. 3) OF GOD IS GOOD, AND NOTHING IS BE TO REJECTED'.

The 60's and 70's were decades in which 'everything good' (i.e. marriage, purity, absolute truth, morality, honor, respect, faithfulness, honesty, hard work, industry) was rejected, and those things 'evil' were promoted, i.e. laziness, drugs, selfishness, disrespect, ingratitude, situation ethics, living-together arrangements. The marriage relationship that God had designed seemed to take hit after hit during these years. Mel Krantzler wrote a book entitled 'Creative Divorce', in which he stated, 'To say goodbye is to say hello..hello to a new life..a new, freer, more self-assured you. Hello to new ways of looking at the world and of relating to people. Your divorce can turn out to be the very best thing that ever happened to you'. During these times people started advocating 'living-together arrangements', and in doing so they offered all sorts of justification for them.

I.  Living together Myths:


A common view presented was that there was nothing in the Bible that condemned a couple for having physical relations prior to marriage, what is involved in most living-together situations.


'Fornication' is unlawful sexual activity of any kind. In the above verse Paul places the marriage relationship in contrast to fornication. Fornication can be avoided when you have your own spouse. Therefore, 'fornication-unlawful sexual activity' exists in a relationship in which a man and woman are physically intimate, and yet not married. And the Bible is very clear when it comes to the consequences of fornication (1 Corinthians 6:9; Gal. 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8; Hebrews 13:4). Any questions? In addition, Paul informs those that don't have the self-control to live the single life, to marry. (1 Corinthians 7:9).


(1) Fornication: The Greek word rendered 'fornication' is 'porneia', which also means prostitution, and 'porne' was the word for prostitute. God choose these words to describe and label any sexual activity outside of marriage. (1 Cor. 7:9; Matt. 19:9). Fornication is essentially the love that is bought or sold, which is not love at all. The person with whom such 'love' (lust) is gratified is not really considered a person at all, but as a thing. He or she is a mere instrument through which the demands of lust and passion are satisfied. (See: Flesh and Spirit. William Barclay p. 24) God is letting us know, to call such 'love' is false. Contrary to what Gloria Steinem said, marriage is not prostitution, living together is!

(2) True love would never seek the spiritual downfall of another. (Romans 13:10; 1 Corinthians 13:6)

During the last three decades we heard 'let's spend the night together', 'Hello, I love you won't you tell me your name', etc....Notice what such 'love?' never asked, 'Lets spend a lifetime together'. Dr. Nancy Moore Clatworthy, a sociologist at Ohio State University has been studying unmarried couples, in an interview with Seventeen Magazine she said..."I began seeing girls so uptight that they couldn't be happy..constantly fearful of their parents reactions, or the disclosure of the situation (does true love need secrecy?) or pregnancy'.


An argument echoed during the last three decades, 'We're in love with each other; we're committed to each other. We don't need a piece of paper to prove it'. One writer responded, 'The other side of that argument is: If there's no difference in your relationship, what's wrong with adding one more symbol to your total commitment?' Evidently, marriage consists of more than just a piece of paper. After all, who raises strong objections over 'just a piece of paper'? An honesty check: The people that make and have bought the above argument, would they accept the following? (a) Man to woman: 'We're committed to each other, we love each other, I don't need to buy you a ring (or anything nice) to prove that I love you'. (b) Woman to man: 'We're committed to each other, we love each other, we don't need to sleep together to prove that we love each other'. Really think how the above 'marriage is just a piece of paper argument', sounds. 'I love you..really committed to you, but not for a lifetime....I love you, but not enough to want you to be my wife...I love you, but not enough to want to wear your last name....I love you, but not enough to vow such love before God, family and friends. I love you, but not enough to enter into a relationship that brings you honor, respect and preserves your dignity.


People argue, 'I wouldn't dream of marrying someone I hadn't lived with, that's like buying a pair of shoes you haven't tried on'. For years we were told, 'A trial period is good, living- together gives a couple the chance to see if they are compatible, it helps them avoid bad marriages, it should cut down the divorce rate'. Sounds logical right? WRONG!

Long before the 60's, God had spoken on this subject:

1 CORINTHIANS 6:18 'FLEE FORNICATION'-'avoid sexual looseness like the plague' (Phi). Obviously, all arguments that sought to justify such, must have overlooked something. After three decades of living-together arrangements, we now have human observations of such relationships that only confirm that God had been right all along. Romans 3:4 'Let God be found true, but every man a liar'.

II. Why Living Together Doesn't Prepare you for Marriage:

The 'living-together arguments' rest on the assumption that living-together is a good sample of what married life is like. And if a couple gets along well while living-together, they will have a good and long-lasting marriage.

A. In the area of Communication:

Couples in such a relationship don't get down to the real issues, they don't talk about their deeply held beliefs, ideas or fears, because they both know that such a relationship is easy to dissolve, you don't have to go through the hassle and expense of a divorce. NOTE: People are not machines, people don't start living-together from a cold scientific standpoint. People don't start living-together on the basis of pure logic; 'Hum, let's talk about everything, let the chips fly, and see if we are compatible, if not one of us will move out and we will try the same experiment with others until we get it right'.

B. Decision Making:

Living-together situations allow a couple to avoid dealing with some of the JOINT DECISIONS that married couples have to make. For example, money and property tend to be either 'his' or 'hers', not 'ours'. Consequently, it isn't all that important how he or she spends his or her money. In-laws are rarely a factor; they often disapprove and stay aloof from the couple. Nor do most in-live arrangements have to adapt to children.

C. Compatibility:

Why doesn't a trial period together alter the marriage experience? For one thing, BOTH PEOPLE KNOW IT'S A TRIAL. Since it is a trial, each may be willing to put up with traits in the other that would be intolerable if a shared lifetime loomed ahead. A girl who was living with her boyfriend told a counselor, "I know he's running around. If we were married, I wouldn't put up with it". The truth is, the living-together arrangement removes all pressure from the couple to 'work things out'. (a) Both people know this is a trial period. (b) Both people know that the other person or themselves could very easily leave, there is no incentive to stay if the situation becomes uncomfortable. People forget that in the mind of every person involved in such a relationship is, 'Oh well, it's not like I've made a lifetime commitment to this person, I can always leave'. Over the years researchers have compiled statistics for such relationships. (1) Remember: The divorce rate skyrocketed during the 'living-together' years, obviously, living-together didn't prepare people for marriage! (2) In her research Dr. Clatworthy found: In every area, couples who had lived together before marriage disagreed more often than the couples who had not.

Mark Dunagan/6-13-93/Beaverton Church of Christ/644-9017

Copyright Family Guardian Fellowship

Last revision: April 03, 2009 08:30 AM
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