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If you are living with your fiance due to complications and financial necessity and it's for a short period of time (6 -8 months) and you are engaged and have a wedding date set and are in the process of making wedding arrangements (e.g wedding invitations have been sent); would it still be viewed as living in sin although the commitment has been made and the intent is serious?


If you stole bread from a store because you left your wallet at home, and you really need bread for dinner tonight, but you have every intention of paying for it and you do have enough money in the bank, but you just didn't happen to have it on you, and you left an "I.O.U." on the shelf; would it still be a sin although you seriously intended to pay for the bread in the future?

What I'm hoping to get you to see is that intentions and excuses don't change whether a particular action is right or wrong. Such thinking is the product of "situation ethics" where the belief is that there is not fixed standard, but that situations can change rights into wrongs and wrongs into rights. "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:20-21). The heart of the problem with trying to modify sin into righteousness by our excuses is that it makes the individual the judge of what is right or wrong. God is bumped out of the judgment seat and the individual installs himself. But who makes a better judge? The Almighty Eternal One who created the entire universe or a frail mortal man? "O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps" (Jeremiah 10:23).

The Scriptures are quite clear that having sex before marriage is wrong. If it is true that "complications and financial necessity" required you to move in together, then you should have gone down to the justice of the peace and had gotten married. You then could have your wedding celebration at a later time. But I suspect that if we sat down and discussed your complications and finances, you would have to face the fact that those complications were not as complicated as you wanted them to be and that financially you could have waited until marriage to move in together. It might have been a little tighter and a little less convenient, but it still could have been done.

So what have you really stated by your actions?

1) You have no patience. Though you admit it is only for a short period of time (less than a year), you were unable to wait before crawling into bed with this woman.

2) If you can find some reason to sin in the future, you will do so. You have declared to the world that so long as you can justify your actions in your own mind, it doesn't matter to you what God or even society might think about your choices.

3) Covenants aren't that important to you. Marriage is established by covenant (Malachi 2:14), yet you took all the perks that come with marriage without bothering with making a covenant. Tell me, what meaning is left to your marriage vows? If you later find a new woman with whom to have sex, what will stop you? What kind of faith will your wife have in you knowing that vows aren't important to you?

4) Sex is more important to you than God. This is really the issue. Right and wrong doesn't matter. Sacred promises to another doesn't matter. What comes first in your life is what is between your legs. How are you better than an animal who solely acts on instinct?

Now, think for a moment and ask yourself, what kind of husband will you make? Not your intentions, but what you are at this moment. "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit" (Matthew 7:16-17). You have words saying you are committed, but in what way have you demonstrated commitment in your actions? I see only commitment to your desires. Where is the commitment to God? Where is the commitment to the ideals of marriage? And what the lady in your bed should be asking herself is can you truly make a commitment to something greater than yourself.

Imagine yourself twenty years down the road and your eighteen year old daughter tells you that she is moving in with her stud because they are in love? Will you be happy or upset? If you would be upset, as I hope you would be, then why are you applying a double standard between the actions of someone else and your own actions?

In the Old Testament there is the story of a young lady named Dinah. "Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. His soul was strongly attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the young woman and spoke kindly to the young woman. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, "Get me this young woman as a wife." And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter. Now his sons were with his livestock in the field; so Jacob held his peace until they came. Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved and very angry, because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter, a thing which ought not to be done" (Genesis 34:1-7). The word translated "violated" in the New King James Version quoted here is the Hebrew word 'anah, which literally means to humble another person. Many scholars and translators assume that in this particular passage Shechem had raped Dinah, but it is reading in something that is not stated. It is possible that a rape did occur, but it is also possible that the sexual act was consensual. Whichever way doesn't make a great deal of difference. The main point is that after having sex with Dinah, Shechem fell in love with her.

This is usually surprising to women. Shechem didn't love Dinah when he had sex with her. The reality is that men are able to have sex without feelings toward the woman. Women are not built in this fashion. To most women sex is an expression of love and love is the relationship with another person. Because Shechem had sex with Dinah, she was humbled; that is, her social status was lowered because she was no longer a virgin. To Shechem that wasn't important. He wanted to marry Dinah and asked his father to arrange a marriage.

Instead of being happy that Dinah found a husband, her family was upset. Why? "Because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter, a thing which ought not to be done" (Genesis 34:7).Shechem's actions were disgraceful because he approached the matter the wrong way. He should have married Dinah before he laid with her. His very offer of marriage after the fact, and even his offer to pay a handsome bride price, showed her family that he was man who was more concerned about sex than anything else. His offer was no different than a man who lays with a prostitute and then pays for the sex. "But they said, "Should he treat our sister like a harlot?"" (Genesis 34:31).

I'm mentioning this story to ask you the same question. In what way are you treating the woman you plan to marry in an honorable fashion? At the moment, how is she more than a live-in prostitute? I know you intent to marry, but unexpected things do happen. What if one of you die before the wedding? Then what?

One of the commands to a husband is to treat his wife with honor. "Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered" (I Peter 3:7). But before the wedding you are treating her as a source of free sex.

You are off on the wrong foot and your future marriage will suffer as a result. It is not that these problems can't be fixed or overcome, but you have dug yourself a hole and it has to be filled in before you can start building your mountain in marriage. For many couples, the damage is too much and the marriage doesn't last. It begins with no foundation for trust and that foundation is difficult to build after the fact.


See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Sexual Relations
Questions and Answers regarding Dating
Questions and Answers regarding Marriage