By God’s design, a marriage should be the most intimate and close-knit of all human relationships. Notice that the relationship begins before going to the altar, etc. and getting a marriage license. Yes, it should be a covenant between two people, just like God made a covenant between Him and those that follow Him (Genesis 6:18, et al.).
Elaborating on what Genesis 2:24-25 says: Two people become one flesh, united in their relationship and promise to each other by sharing their life with one another; to have the greatest degree of intimacy, passion and commitment; this marriage relationship should supercede all others – second only to our relationship with God; being totally open and honest with each other in every sense of the words; and feeling no shame (in essence feeling comfortable with each other. This is not to say you shouldn’t continue having other relationships, or that they are unimportant.
There has to be a triad between both people and God as Christians, or it’s bound to fail and/or falter. Remember the 2 greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-40). Hence, they should supercede all of the other instructions God gave us. It is because these are not revered enough that we have an approximate divorce rate of 50%. However, it doesn’t mean the rest of Scripture isn’t useful – it is – much of it tells us how to attain awesome love. He gave us these not to hinder our happiness, rather the contrary – to live a life of abundant love. Note: Money, houses, cars, material possessions, etc. aren’t included in the fruits of the spirit, in the “love passage,” or in loving one another (Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 13 & Matthew 22:37-40). This isn’t to say they’re not important, however.
Now consider the following argument:
Argument: ‘Certain things shouldn’t happen in a relationship unless two people are married, like sex and co-habitation.’
Counter-argument: ‘True, God isn’t for that. But if that’s the case, then how come so many people have gotten divorced that didn’t do those things before they got married?’
Argument: ‘Because there are consequences of not doing things God’s way, and that might be one of them.’
Counter-argument: ‘Possibly. But after they get married, they may not be doing things God’s way in other areas, and those things will contribute to the demise of their relationship. There are married couples that lived together and had sex before they got married, and they’re still going strong and have great relationships.’
Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding. The emphasis should be on a strong, close relationship that involves love. Both people should explore what that love can and should entail. While there are common principles applicable to each couple that afford mutual fulfillment and longevity in a relationship, there are unique, variable intricacies across couples as well.
It should be STRESSED that God’s way is perfect. But how many people are perfect? None (Romans 3:23). Christ also said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15) So in essence, loving God is shown by keeping His commands – written on your heart and doing it. In no way is this article advising people to go out and have sex and live together before they’re married. Ultimately, that is between the individual/couple and God.
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