Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Living in Sin?? Really?

Couple of things to clear up before I get to the real idea behind this post. First...Happy Birthday to my wife of nine years!! Last post I complained about a tooth...so I got a root canal on Thursday...that's always a good time! So this morning, I was home a little later than usual because I was making breakfast for Jennifer (bacon-cheese-onion-mushroom omelet w/ toast and coffee). Anyway, I was just about ready to leave for the office at about 8:00 when a segment on the TODAY show came on that piqued my interest about the fact that more and more couples are choosing to live together before getting married. The segment was followed by an interview with a professor from Rutgers' who has just published a study on cohabitating, non-married couples and a "relationship" counselor. Here are a couple thoughts... 1. I was amused that even though the professor stated that couples who live together prior to marriage are about twice as likely to divorce after marriage, the counselor (who was recently married after living with her partner) insisted that although she doesn't recommend that couples live together, she thinks it's a good thing that couples do live together. I was amused by the total lack of logic. Let me get this straight...studies show that if you live together your more likely to end up getting a divorce so you should probably live together before you get married in order to avoid a divorce. Am I totally missing something here? I don't get the logic at all! 2. I was saddened, that in the discussion of this issue no clergy or moral authority was present in the discussion. The issue was only one of pragmatism -- what works or doesn't work. Is it possible that there are some things that are right to do, even if they aren't necessarily pragmatic? I guess I see more and more people arguing against morality because it's not practical and convenient. 3. This issue is a growing concern for me as I move into a position where I find myself doing more and more pre-marital counseling and marriages and I find myself arguing for chastity and yet struggling with how to extend grace. I told a friend recently that one of my goals in the next couple months is to get together some people that I respect to have a theological conversation that deals with chastity, grace, and under what circumstances should a church "bless" a marriage.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree Charlie! It amazes me the excuses people come up with to live together before they are married. It makes me so sad to see people compromise on something so important.

WorshipLives said...

There is research to show that couples who live together get more divorces. I believe this is because of the commitment issue. However, I believe it's important to understand what is going on in the lives of the people involved. I was involved in a situation where the members of the small group condemned another member for thinking about marrying non-christian. All this did was to create dissension in the group and push the member farther away. What about the grace that you talk about? Why not offer to talk to the couple? Why not talk to the partner who is not a christian? A friendly Christian face might help the non-believer become a believer. Instead this couple was met with condemnation. As Charlie said in his course, the holy spirit works with people on different issues at different times. Who are we to condemn others? I would rather offer an ear to listen and then if my opinion is wanted, I can offer some suggestions as to how the couple can really try to understand God's will for them and not my will imposed on them.