Author Topic: engaged couples living together  (Read 14136 times)

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Offline topher

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engaged couples living together
« on: November 27, 2006, 07:48:19 PM »
is it wrong from a Biblical standpoint?

My fiance and I are worried.  I'm graduating college in a few weeks and have a possible job lead in nyc.  if i get the job, i'd have to move away and that means a long distance relationship.  Also, if i move to nyc, i most certianly wont beable to afford a place on my own.  so she and i are contemplating moving together.  Since we're already engaged and will be married by the summer, we figure it wouldnt be a bad idea.  Her dad says thats a good idea and that we should go for it , but my folks are against it.  what should we do?

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engaged couples living together
« on: November 27, 2006, 07:48:19 PM »

Offline spurly

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2006, 07:52:10 PM »
Yep.  It is wrong from a Biblical standpoint.  I would suggest just going ahead and getting married.  Find a local justice of the peace or the preacher at your church.  Then, if you want a big reception or ceremony later, go for it, but at least you will doing the right thing in the eyes of the Lord, and that is what really counts.
He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; like one from whom men hide their face; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2006, 07:52:10 PM »

Offline topher

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2006, 07:55:03 PM »
 any scripture reference?

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2006, 07:55:03 PM »

Offline topher

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2006, 11:49:42 PM »
Currently, I'm living with some friends while I finish schooling (i graduate with my BS in december).  She lives with her dad about an hour away. 

I've tried looking around to see if any friends could room with me if/when I head off to nyc, but noone wants to.  I'm all alone on that front.  And the idea of getting a complete stranger to room with me is something I will NOT go through again (when I first moved to college I had an aweful experience with roommates turning out to be either druggies, transvestites, or both). 

We are very much in love.  We met when I first started school and became instant best friends.  Through that friendship, I saw her come to Christ and we fell in love.  It has been a beautiful and harmonious relationship from the very being of our friendship to this very moment.  Sure, we've had our ups and downs, but its only made us a stronger couple.  There is no doubt in our minds that the Lord brought us together, and that He will see us through. 

Its just a matter of how the next year is going to play out. 

If I go to NYC, and somehow find a place I can afford on my own, that means we will be 3 states apart.  But its not just me that needs a job, her own career field is stationed in NYC as well, so it would make sense that we combine forces, if we both were planning on moving to NYC and need help paying rent. 

Getting married sooner isnt an option (we want it to be perfect).  I really would like some actual scripture concerning the topic, but I myslef can't find any, and noone else I talk to can either.  Any help on that would be great.

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2006, 11:49:42 PM »

Offline janine

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2006, 03:52:06 AM »
::alert:: {warning: possible sarcasm ahead} ::alert::

If you want it to be fairy-tale perfect, then do not live together before you get married.  Period.

That would not be fairy-tale perfect.

Mary and Joseph (you know, the folks who headed up Jesus' household?) were together -- traveling  together for many days and nights, at least, if not actually keeping house together -- before they were actually married with a ceremony.

But, as best as I can tell, the way folks did marriages and weddings in that time and place, her being his "espoused wife" meant she got at least some widow-priviledges if Joseph died before they got the wedding ceremony out of the way.

Remember he was thinking about "putting her away" quietly?  You can find posts on these boards discussing whether or not that phrase means the same as "divorce" -- but it certainly implies some sort of legal connection to be cut apart.

In older Bible times it looks to me like getting married was no big deal -- at least once you stole your bride or your parents convinced her family to give the woman to you -- the couple just moved in together.  Bam!, they were instantly married.  'Course here and now states have laws about what it means to be married -- versus what it means to shack up -- versus what it means to be a roommate.

So what you want is to have the benefits of being a married couple -- that is, you want to be able to share housing, expenses, etc., without anyone raising an eyebrow -- but yet you want to not have the wedding until some future date when you two have planned some sort of fancy ceremony, your very own big Hollywood/Broadway production number, with flowers and ringbearers and attendants and matching ugly bridesmaids' dresses and a big reception afterward costing all sorts of money?

My, my, you do want it all, don't you?

1 Corinthians 7:9  "But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

That's one way to handle it.  Like Spurly said, just make it legal before you move in together.  (That way, there's no "appearance of evil", as well, as mentioned above.)  That way, you won't find yourself having to spend all your spare time before the wedding NOT doing the Horizontal Dance.  And if it is not a grand passion that makes you want to marry -- if the temptation seems not all that big a deal -- why the heck are you marrying anyway?

Here's a good idea -- use a concordance and look up all the "marry" scriptures, the "husband" and "wife" scriptures, and see if you can put together a Bible support for being platonic buddy roommates with the love of your life.  Don't come to a Christian website expecting people to supply you with prooftexts that make it alright to move in together for that year then have a wedding ceremony.

Try to transfer that image of the "perfect" wedding y'all have in your dear little young minds, into the idea of a "perfect", treasuring, honoring, uplifting, special life together.   It's the MARRIAGE that you need to take such special care of, babe, it's the beginning of your two lives melding into one that needs such "perfect" status, it's the day your set foot into an apartment or a house you both lease/rent/own and set up housekeeping that needs your meticulous special care -- not the day you dress up in a tux and perform like a trained seal, answering "I do" or "I will" on command.

If I didn't care about the concept of marriage in general and if I didn't care about you two as adults trying to live a Christian life as a couple,  I would say "What do you care what people think?  Live together, go on, do it now."

But then, too -- if you guys set up house together for all those months before the wedding ceremony, will the people who come to the wedding think the special ceremony, the event, is all that "perfect"?

Or will some of them perhaps be thinking "Geez, it's about time they got married, after living together and all.  I wonder if they're still virgins?  It's kind of an anticlimax, having all this fancy wedding business after they've been living together.  Why did they bother?  I feel stupid (cheated, taken advantage of) for getting them that wedding gift.  Since they've been living together all this time they probably have that item already..."

::alert:: {end sarcasm warning} ::alert::
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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2006, 03:52:06 AM »



Offline spurly

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2006, 05:32:10 AM »
1 Thessalonians 4 would be a good place to start as well when looking for Scriptures for this topic.  Here is what it says:

"Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.  For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.  It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit."

He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; like one from whom men hide their face; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2006, 05:32:10 AM »

Offline spurly

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2006, 05:36:22 AM »
Here is something I wrote on another thread concerning this subject:

Often teenagers look at the Bible, and they see no real correlation between the methods of dating and picking a mate today, and for good reason.  Marriages then were arranged.  When they don't see wedding ceremonies followed by a honeymoon, and instead just encounter people consummating a marriage and becoming married, they get confused.

They ask questions like "if we are engaged to get married, what is wrong with us going ahead and having sex", etc.

I had to deal with that question before leaving my last ministry.  I wish I would have had this bit of insight from R.W. Orr that I read today while preparing for a lesson on Song of Solomon:

Quote
“The choosing of a suitable partner was always considered to be the responsibility of parents.  No doubt the entreaties of love-struck youth sometimes guided the process, but that was only the occasional triumph of nature over social convention.  Courtship as we know it did not exist.  An arranged marriage generally took place when the boy was in his late teens, and the girl a little younger. 

The giving of the groom's family of the “mohar” - more happily called the bride-gift rather than the bride price – and its acceptance by the bride's parents formally constituted an indissoluble alliance between the two families and their children.  This differs from modern engagement in that this was the 'point of no return' (F.F. Bruce); it awaited only the festive bringing home of the bride to make the marriage fully effective.  If we call the first stage 'betrothal', and the second 'marriage', we still have to remember that the betrothed pair were irrevocably committed to each other.  The degree of intimacy considered quite proper for them would not be appropriate for a Christian engaged couple today under our present conditions.

When we look at our customs and their, we aren't comparing apples to apples.  It's more like comparing prunes to grapefruit. 

Just thought I would share this with you.
He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; like one from whom men hide their face; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.

Offline spurly

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2006, 05:37:27 AM »
By the way, topher, getting married before you go to New York is an option.  That might just be the "perfect" way to take care of this problem. 
He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; like one from whom men hide their face; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.

Offline mandalee65

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2006, 06:07:27 AM »
Living together before you're married is kind of like eating the fruit before it's fully ripened. It leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and you never get to fully enjoy the real thing.

I think you know the right thing to do. I suspect that you're trying to rationalize the easy solution. Please believe me when I say it may be easy now, but the ramifications will eventually make you wish you hadn't.

You know what the Bible has to say about fornication, and the others have quoted verses about avoiding even the appearance of evil. Do the right thing. It may not be the easy thing, but you will be glad you did.

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2006, 06:07:27 AM »

Offline seekr

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2006, 10:45:35 AM »
Quote
"Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.  For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.  It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit."

I am sorry but this does not apply here. What is "sexual immorality"? I do not believe it is the text book version. If love is the law and they are following that then "everything is permissable". Is this about "passionate lust" or is it about love? Why do we live to please the religious? is that what God cares about? Our example to others is about showing love and that includes taking care of one another and being able to live together as this world has made it near impossible to afford other luxuries, unless we are wealthy. If they want to go ahead and look respectable so others won't get all shook up, then marry and do what others dictate that God may not necessarily say o do.

I like that Janine pointed out about Mary and Jospeh travelling together. They could not afford to live apart and ended up in a stable. I am sure others looked at them as evil as Joseph felt some shame in how it looked, not in what it was. There are always someone who wants to judge others by appearance sake. Why does a piece of paper make the difference if it is sin or not? God's love is the rule for living and their engagement may mean they are married before God already. It is His call. God's love always overrides the government regulations if they go against that love that He instilled in us. And what if they already are having sex? Are they going to live in regret the rest of their lives? I am so glad God has more mercy than the religious.

seekr

kalen

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2006, 11:46:58 AM »
My first thought was "if it was good enough for the mother and step-father of Christ (Mary and Joseph), then it's good enough for you and me."

On the other hand, we live in a different culture, one that views "live in couples" as either totally cool.... or totally sinful.  Odd mix there.

I think Spurly and janine give good advice, and if it was me, I'd just get married and blow the cash on a European honeymonn, skip the big wedding altogether.  Of couse, look who's talkin' -- I married my high-school sweetie in a whirlwind ceremony with only 14 guests and a store-bought cake, no fancy nuthin' but our love, love, love.

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2006, 01:37:02 PM »
is it wrong from a Biblical standpoint?

My fiance and I are worried.  I'm graduating college in a few weeks and have a possible job lead in nyc.  if i get the job, i'd have to move away and that means a long distance relationship.  Also, if i move to nyc, i most certianly wont beable to afford a place on my own.  so she and i are contemplating moving together.  Since we're already engaged and will be married by the summer, we figure it wouldnt be a bad idea.  Her dad says thats a good idea and that we should go for it , but my folks are against it.  what should we do?

In answer to the title question: No, and yes.

Marriage is about commitment, being joined together, not explicitly about what one's society declares marriage to be. So, committing yourselves to each other is the requirement, not "getting married." From this perspective, committing yourselves to each other is not wrong Biblically.

However, as Christians and children, we are called to 1) not look like a bunch of heathens, living our lives in as much an upright manner as possible; and 2) honor our parents. From this perspective, there may well be something unBiblical about living together.

And now to address the question at the end of your post:

Nobody on this list can answer that question for you since we don't have a clue about your real committment to each other, how much angst your parents might really have, or a host of other variables.

Having said that, some folks have made some pretty good observations about propriety, the value (or lack thereof) of living together before marriage, and a couple other points.

I think if you were my son, and you and she had dated for several years, and I was relatively certain that you were going to stay together, I'd say go ahead. However, if she were my daughter, and even if you had dated for several years, I'd question the plan and wonder why you don't just get married now - and have the blow-out ceremony next year.

So, there you have it....

Offline janine

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2006, 06:37:44 PM »
Of course my bias against big expensive blow-out fancy hair-yanking-out overdemanding bride weddings is showing...
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Offline topher

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2006, 06:53:44 PM »
i thank you all for your input.  I apologize if my posting may seem like I am attempting to justify my own desires.  I am simply trying to find out as much as I can.  I want to do the right thing.  As I said in an earlier post, I'm sure God will take care of us in the days ahead.

As far as commitment goes, we are totally committed to one another.  Our engagement has been talked about and discussed for months leading up to my actual proposal.  We live for God and our days are spent together, sharing that love.  If not for the fact that we both need to move away for our careers and cannot afford it on our own, this would not be an issue.  We want to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord, and yet, the future gives us this seemingly only option and we want to find out what the cut-and-dry verdict is.   

To clarify, some of you beleive the Bible says only marriage is the way to sinlessly live together, and some of you say the Bible shows "engaged" (using our culture's terms) couples may do so?  The conflicting ideas don't really give me much hope, however thankful I am for them.  I guess that is why I am looking for actual scripture that forbides it, since sexual impurity isnt the issue for us; that is a very clear and direct law that we follow, our minds and hearts embracing eachother is our "love-making" if you will until marrige.

Thank you all for your time and thoughts, please pray for God to open a door in our lives to figure this situation out.

Offline spurly

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Re: engaged couples living together
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2006, 06:58:31 PM »
Topher, why can't you just get married before moving to New York?  What is standing in the way of marriage?
He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; like one from whom men hide their face; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.