Welcome to this section of Focus On Freedom. This lesson is intended to help you with a very important area of your life – the person you will live with in an intimate relationship. Believe it or not, the Bible does talk about this and has some very helpful insights into the truth of the matter. I am assuming that you are here because you are living with someone of the opposite sex outside of marriage in an intimate closeness. I want to interject that it is not outside of the realm of possibility that you are not happy in this relationship. Well, don’t be discouraged by that statement, because if it is true, you are not alone. Many, who find themselves in this kind of situation also find themselves unhappy. There is a reason for this and the Bible gives us several to examine. Ready?
In the Beginning
Starting from the beginning we will see that man/woman relationships were designed and created by God.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;  And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:21-24
What we can see here is that God in his wisdom decided that it was not good for a man to be alone so he made a woman from him. Man/woman relationships originated here and have continued ever since. Yet, it is important to see that it was more than just a man and a woman, it says that they were husband and wife. One thing we should remember is that there were no other people on the earth and what difference would it make if they lived together in love or if they were married in love? This is a common question concerning this subject and one that I will do my best to answer.
Question #1. In your own words can you think of a reason why marriage is important?
The Foundation of Relationships
One thing that must be looked at first is the foundation of relationships – what works and what doesn’t work. Let me just say that any kind of lasting prosperous relationship must be based upon commitment. Now, before you write me off as a straight-laced, narrow-minded person let me explain.
Anyone who works a 40 hour a week job understands the value of commitments. Usually when someone hires onto a job they are told what the relationship will involve. Often it will include health benefits, hourly wage or possibly a salary. Whatever the relationship, it is established at the first and when it is followed by both parties involved, things go great or at least they go. Have you ever started a job only to find that things were in fact different? How many of us would feel blessed to be promised something only to find that it wasn’t really going to be that way? Well, the answer is self evident. When payday comes and there is no paycheck, things can get very shaky very quickly. When you go to the doctor and are told your insurance is not in force the next step is the job classifieds, if you know what I mean. Am I still straight-laced and narrow-minded on this?
If we were to look at this concerning any kind of relationship we would quickly see that the very fabric of our society hinges on this word commitment. Some have made the case that commitment is just something which restricts our freedoms. No commitments, more freedom. More commitments, less freedom, right? Well, what if you are a salesman with a goal of making $100,000.00 per year? Would commitments from potential customers be important to you? You bet they would! Would you be able to make that much money from customers if you were not willing to fulfill your commitment to them? No way. Who would be foolish enough to pay for something they would never get? You see, anything that is stable must be based on commitments.
The stronger the commitments the stronger the relationship. The best car dealership in our area boasts that “Our commitment doesn’t end at the sale.” They have the best service in the country when it comes to their cars. Because of this they sell more cars and have happier better relationships and obviously make more money than other dealerships. Does this make sense? What if the police officers failed on their commitment to protect us? What if hospital workers decided not to do their jobs? Would you fly on an airplane in which the pilot didn’t follow through and check the fuel gauge before taking off? Get my point?
If these areas of life are totally dependent on commitments, how can we assume that our love relationships should be any different? God in his wisdom knew the only way to attain true happiness and prosperity is through solid genuine commitments.
Question #2. Can you think of any part of society that does not involve commitments of some degree?
Hooking Up With The Uncommitted
“Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” Proverbs 25:19
Many are the stories in and out of the Bible of those who trusted their future into the hands of someone who was not committed. Just when you need them the most they bail out, jump ship or just flat out leave. After all, there was no precondition of commitment anyway? One man told his live-in, I can go with any other girl and still live with you because we aren’t married.
The way of the uncommitted is lust. An unfaithful employee will steal from the company. A local bank was scandalized when it was found that a loan officer was embezzling money. Needless to say, the relationship was over. We have all heard of the Enron scandal in which all of the pensions of the company were taken away because some wanted it all for themselves. Out of one side of the mouth we decry these actions as immoral and unfaithful but out of the other side we believe that marriage is outdated and no longer important and should not involve commitment. Does this make sense?
When we look at the family in every society and generation we see that it is always the foundation of that society. If the family is the fundamental foundation of all societies then the bond of the family must come from the highest form of commitment. Marriage. In America we have seen a steady eroding of this most important union. Much of which started in the sixties and seventies with the belief in free love. Yet, the people of that generation fully understands the devastation and hurt that such a belief caused. Listen to the desires of these sixties advocates against the institution of marriage.
In “The Document” which was a declaration of feminism, it was written, “The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore, it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men…Now we know it is the institution that has failed us and we must work to destroy it…” Dr. Mary Jo Bane, associate director of Wellesley’s College’s Center for Research on Women was quoted in the Tulsa Sunday World, August 21, 1977, “ Divorce improves the quality of marriage.”
HUH? The fatal flaw in this concept is the idea that we are sufficient in ourselves and have no need of the opposite sex at all. The truth is we all need each other, whether male or female we are all intertwined into a society that buys, sells, manufactures and functions as a society. If all men were eliminated would the human race continue? What if all of the women were eradicated? The truth is that God made us to be committed to each other.
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18
Anything outside of this will lead to collapse. The question needs to be asked then, how much do we need each other? The truth is we are dependent upon each other. Living together outside of marriage is like doing a business deal without a contract. It may work for a while but there will be nothing to stop unfaithfulness. Marriage however is not just a legal contract, it goes much deeper than that and therefore is vastly more fulfilling and exciting.
Marriage is the commitment of two people who have made vows of faithfulness for life! This is the essence of true security and happiness. This is what makes for real intimacy. Marriage is not about sex it is about love. The two are different you know. That is why sex was reserved exclusively for marriage. Sex outside of marriage can and often is a very dangerous thing emotionally and physically. STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, single mothers who live in poverty, child support, legal battles over custody, disturbed and out of control children even death are the direct result of hooking up with the uncommitted. Is it worth it? The obvious answer is NO. There is a better way! Love (marriage) first, then sex.
Question #3. Do you know someone who is involved in a live together situation that has been unfaithful in the relationship? If the answer is yes, can you see why?
Short-term or Long-term?
“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you…” John 6:27
Sadly, many have fallen prey to the deception that immediate gratification and a turn on is where it’s at. Nothing could be further from the truth. Relationships were meant to be long-term, long-lasting and fulfilling. Anything that comes quickly usually doesn’t last for long. Many have tried to beat the odds and have failed miserably. The only way is through a genuine commitment of love. Jesus even ministered to a woman who tried the short-term road and ended up in a long-term cycle of failure.
“Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.  There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.” John 4:6-7
Jesus in his typical fashion approached this woman who was thirsty for real love. He asked her for a drink of water and the conversation began. He got right to the point of her life when he said,
“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:10
She tried to figure out who he was and he told her,
“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14
Her curiosity was peaked and she said back to him,
“The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.” John 4:15
Then the true story of her life was revealed.
“Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.  The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:  For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.” John 4:16-18
She was in a relationship outside of marriage and in fact had been married five times without success. What was the real answer for her, the husbands that she had married and the children she no doubt had borne? The answer was a relationship with Jesus Christ.
When we experience his love and learn to give love back to him, we can then do the same with our earthly relationships.
“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14
Jesus has a long-term experience of joy and peace. He wants you have a long-term intimate loving relationship with a husband/wife. Are you involved in a live-in situation? Getting out can be the best thing you will ever do and then begin to build a relationship on true love, respect and commitment. If he/she really loves you then they will marry you. If not it is probably doomed to failure.
Question #4 Have you been hurt in a live-in situation? If you would like personal help please feel free to leave your personal contact information and someone will be happy to help.
This concludes this lesson. I hope it has been a blessing to you. If it has tell a friend and let me know too! It would be a great source of encouragement. If you would like prayer for your (or someone you know) situation let us know, we have someone in your area that will contact you. Oh, you may be interested in the lesson titled “Finding Happiness”. Remember, happiness is not just an idea it can be a reality! Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you soon.
Focus on Freedom