My fiancée and I are living together and plan to get married in a year, but my parents say it’s still wrong. Doesn’t the fact that we are planning to get married make this okay?
God’s will for our lives
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4). God tells us that we ought not even have a hint of sexual immorality (Ephesians 5:3). God also tells us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Would we ever think of desecrating even an earthly church building? How much worse would it be to desecrate the temple where the Holy Spirit lives?
God is very clear on his will: “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers . . . will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). The heart of a believer is not a perfect one, but it is a repentant one. These passages are speaking of those who live in these sins and are not repentant. Scripture describes the unrepentant person’s viewpoint: “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
The Christian life is difficult
It might be difficult to live in a God-pleasing way immediately. However, we make situations difficult for ourselves. Now making it right may be doubly hard, but this is exactly what a believer wants to do for the one who gave everything up on the cross for him.
Jesus promised that the Christian life would be difficult: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). Deny self. That is so difficult, but this is what it comes down to: Deny yourself, or deny your Savior who gave up everything for you.
Repentance cannot be programmed
Living as husband and wife before marriage is sinful. We are the bride of Christ. When we deliberately walk away from his will, the Bible says that we are committing adultery against God. Imagine that your girlfriend has an affair with another man. You confront her about it and she says, “I’m so sorry!” You forgive her. But then she proceeds to say, “So in a year when he leaves town, this affair will be over.” Are you okay with that? Of course not, and neither is God. Since repentance is the work of God through his Word to lead us to sorrow over our sin and look to him for forgiveness, we cannot program it. We cannot say that we will be sorry in a year and turn away from a sin at that time. God loves you. He is also jealous for your love.
God wants your heart. Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37). Can you see his heart? He longs to have you back. It is the same heart that willingly paid for every one of your sins on the cross, including this one. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Author: David Scharf
Volume 108, Number 3
Issue: March 2021
- Q&A: Why is Pontius Pilate immortalized in our creeds?
- Q&A: How does remembering my baptism help with the guilt I carry?
- Q&A: Do parts of the Bible teach works righteousness?
- Q&A: How can I overcome my struggle with lust and pornography?
- Q&A: How should I help my child struggling with same-sex attraction?
- Q&A: Should Christians pray to saints?
- Q&A: Is anger sinful?
- Q&A: How can parents encourage adult children who wander from the faith?
- Q&A: Does the doxology belong in the Lord’s Prayer?
- Q&A: Is God fair?
- Q&A: When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” what are we praying for?
- Q&A: How can I better manage what God has given me this year so that I glorify him?
- Q&A: What are ways to glorify God besides singing in church?
- Q&A: I have no special gifts, and I mess up all the time. Does God really need me?
- Q&A: How do I overcome the feeling that my life has no purpose and I don’t make a difference?
- Q&A: My friend died and was not a professing Christian. What do I say to the family?
- Q&A: How can my mother and I forgive my father for being unfaithful and causing my parents to divorce?
- Q&A: Why were demon possession, gifts of healing, and gifts of tongues more prevalent in biblical times?
- Q&A: Is Christianity the only religion that gives the certainty of heaven?
- Q&A: If people go to hell, isn’t it their fault because God gave them free will and they rejected him?
- Q&A: Why are the 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension important for the disciples and for us?
- Q&A: Can you explain Jesus’ words to the wailing women he met on his way to be crucified?
- Q&A: What if spouses don’t “love” each other anymore?
- Q&A: Is it wrong to have a cross with Jesus’ body on it?
- Q&A: Is our time of grace really unchangeable?
- Q&A: I know that we are saved by grace apart from works, but how can it be that easy?
- Q&A: Are there degrees of glory in heaven as a reward for good works?
- Q&A: Do Lutherans take the Bible literally and teach millennialism?
- Q&A: Are there different interpretations of the Bible?
- Q&A: How can we be sure the Bible includes what God originally gave us?
- Q&A: Why does it seem like Christianity is so negative?
- Q&A: How can I explain how Jesus’ resurrection is possible and if the Bible is reliable?
- Q&A: Is it okay to live together if we are planning to get married?
- Q&A: How is the Bible God’s Word?
- Q&A: Were we “created to make a difference”?
- Q&A: Am I being judgmental if I point out someone’s sin?
- Q&A: Do I need to read the Bible to have a relationship with God?
- Q&A: Can a Christian vote for a political candidate who supports abortion?
- Q&A: Does God really care?
- Q&A: Does it really matter how God made the world?
- Q&A: Does God send people to hell?
- Q&A: Is death natural?
- Q&A: How can I forgive and forget?
- Q&A: Does God help those who help themselves?
- Q&A: How can we say that the Old Testament God is the same as the New Testament God?
- Q&A: Is Jesus the only way to get to heaven?
- Q&A: Doesn’t God want me to be happy?
- Light for our path: Does God hate us?
- Light for our path: What kind of comfort can you give someone when a loved one commits suicide?
- Light for our path: What does a submissive wife in a Christian marriage look like?
- Light for our path: Is it a sin to want to die from a terminal illness?
- Light for our path: What advice can you give about applauding in church?
- Light for our path: Can you please explain Matthew 5:20?
- Light for our path: What is karma?
- Light for our path: Can the devil personally be tempting me and a lot of other people at exactly the same time?
- Light for our path: Does the word Easter refer to Ishtar, the Babylonian fertility goddess?
- Light for our path: What role does emotion play in contrition?
- Light for our path: What does the white stone in Revelation 2:17 mean?
- Light for our path: Is the cross symbol now anti-Christian?
- Light for our path: Were Joseph and Mary engaged or married when Joseph learned of Mary’s pregnancy?