Common-law relationships seem to be common for couples nowadays. What should Christian singles know about a relationship that isn’t God’s plans for His children? Dr. Jim gives his simple but Biblically-supported view of this, and sex outside of marriage.
Is God with us when we are in a common-law relationship?
Dear Jim: I have a unique situation in that God is with us as we live together outside of marriage (common law relationship). I would like to know what to say to other Christians who ask for my advice in wanting to do the same thing? I know why it is wrong from a moral and biblical realm. But, I know that God accepts us, and where we are at.
I have no desire to be judgmental, while at the same time I am “confused” with your position. You ask for my “comments and thoughts”. Allow me to share some with you. It is my prayer that God will use me, as He desires to speak to you.
1. You stated, “I know why it is wrong from a moral and biblical realm”. That is quite a statement. The Bible shares that if we love Him, we are to keep His commandments. John 14:15 ‘If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments’. God speaks clearly about not having sex outside of marriage (he calls it fornication). 1Cor. 6:18 ‘Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body”.
2. I note that you also said that “I know that God accepts us, and where we are at”. This is most certainly true, but I get the feeling that you think He condones what you are doing? Accepting you is not condoning your actions! As a parent, I told my children that I always loved them and would be there for them, but there were times when I was not able to accept a behavior. There is a difference. Yes, God is with you because you are His child. Heb 12:6 ‘For whom the Lord loves he chastens, And scourges every son whom he receives’.
God doesn’t want you living in denial.
3. It appears to me that you are living in some form of denial. I invite you to think about who the “God/god” is that you have described. Very often we find ourselves defining “God” according to our own needs/desires. From what you have shared (and I do say this in love), you are serving the god of pleasure. I am reminded of Satan’s words to Eve and how he got her off course. Somewhere another voice has slipped into your world and I do not believe that it is God’s.
4. God is not inconsistent! He does not state one thing in His Word (Bible) and then His Spirit lead you in a different direction. When one has a “peace” about something, it does not mean that the conclusion is a good one or based on good principles. I wrote an article recently about this “peace”. Being in a common-law relationship is not this.
5. I “understand” the reasoning used to get here. There was a time in my life, even though a Christian AND a Pastor, I chose to take a route that was most destructive. God was always there, but He certainly did not condone my actions. He also loved me so much that He disciplined me for years for my arrogant ways. I do not wish this for you.
Don’t take God’s love for granted.
6. Do not presume on God! He is loving and gracious, but He is also one of justice. He will not allow His children to rebuke Him for an extended period of time. AND, if He sees you trying to justify your actions to other of His children and encouraging them to take the same course, I do not believe that He will sit by without lovingly disciplining you.
7. Finally (you asked for my thoughts), I find your words the same ones that I have heard from others who were chasing their own addiction. I have sat with a drug addict, a sex addict, etc. and heard them say how they found God so near when they were practicing their God of Pleasure. It was and is a false god and I have too often seen this “god” at work.
8. What is keeping you from marrying? If this is such a perfect union, why are you not marrying now and still living in a common-law relationship? I am not saying that you should, I just ask you to ponder the question. There is such a difference in the dynamics when two people do not “play” at being committed and are not afraid to embrace whatever for the sake of a commitment. EVERYONE has issues to work through before marriage if they are being open and honest with each other. A good Christian counsellor can share many insights with you that the two of you likely have not even considered.
We’ve other blog post about common law relationships, please see:
Satan and his lies.
I have been very forward with my words because I am deeply concerned for whatever has taken place in you to cause you to “think” that your actions are okay. I speak against the “liar/Satan” who has built this up in your mind.
Be sure that I am praying for you – asking God to reveal His will and words and not mine. His is a much better way and I earnestly encourage you to think more about what you are choosing to do. Please see your Pastor or a good Christian counsellor for more specific guidance in your case.
May God guide, bless and protect you from evil.