Should Christians be living together without marriage?

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Q. I would like to find some biblical passages to read on 1)living together without marriage, and 2)the FACT that God will provide for us (providing we do our part). I am presently living with my boyfriend for financial reasons.

Your situation is quite common today. Unfortunately, our government will help people who are less than honest, and penalize those who want to live with integrity.

There are several Biblical concepts which you have properly identified which relate to your circumstances.

You will reap what you sow:

Galatians 6:7-9 (NASB '95)

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Romans 6:11-14

11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Romans 6:16

16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

Your situation is serious. You are sowing to the flesh. When you do that, you become a "slave" to sin as Romans 6:11-14, and Romans 6:16 reveals. The longer one lives in a state of sin, the more difficult it becomes to break away. Sin makes you its slave. However, you can break away:

Galatians 6:16

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

To "walk by the Spirit," one must allow the Word of God to give them direction. One must truly put God first, and obey His Word. Jesus said:

Matthew 6:33

33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The "all these things" Jesus speaks of in the context of Matthew six includes food, clothing and shelter. God will provide all our needs (not wants) when we are obedient to him.

Living together without the benefit of marriage is sin. It is called "immorality" or "fornication" or "adultery" in the Bible. The reason it is considered "immoral" is because God is the one who has determined the parameters for sexual relationships, and he has designated marriage as the place where sexual relationship are sanctified in His eyes. It makes no difference what society establishes as a standard, or accepts. We must be governed by higher standards. We must be governed by the Word of God.

Matthew 19:4-6

4 And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,

5 and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'?

6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

Notice very carefully what Jesus says. God's intention "from the beginning" has been that one man, and one woman unite to become "one flesh." A man leaves "his father and mother" to be "joined" (by God) to his wife. This is the covenant of marriage. To step outside of God's design, and live together without marriage is sin. It is immoral. It is condemned throughout the Bible.

Galatians 5:17

17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

When you live for the "flesh" (our sinful desires) you do not carry out the desire of the "Spirit" (those things that are taught by the Scriptures). Notice in the next passage that "immorality" is considered a "deed of the flesh."

Galatians 5:19-21

19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,

20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,

21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:8

8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

These passages are clear. "Immoral" behavior (such as living together) will condemn us to hell. This is serious stuff. You may believe that you have lots of time to make a decision, but one never knows how much time is left. Life is short. If you do the right thing, you will be blessed.

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