A Large number of college students I mentor struggle with the idea of living together before marriage. It's no surprise. After the November 18 USA Today article that referenced 40% of 18-29 year olds believe marriage is obsolete (Click Here For the Full Article) it's hard to fault kids who are wondering, "What's the Purpose of Marriage?"
They've seen a generation go through awful divorce settlements.
They've lived in a world where sexual gratification is instant.
They're wandering through life connected to each other with no more than Facebook or Twitter.
So I guess the question on the table is legitimate.
Why in the world would anyone want to get married today?
Isn't living together a viable option?
ANSWER: Not according to a Biblical Worldview.
As the world might make it sound viable, most all societies are totally against the idea. In a recent report from the Raleigh News Observer (Click Here for the Full Article) Christians were only behind the Buddhists when asked if living together was a good idea. The Buddhist claim they only want to be free from suffering so "as long as your not hurting anyone" then there's no objection. The Christians say in word "we don't judge anyone who wants to live however they want" but in reality the taboo is there, and a close look at God's view of marriage is the dim reality of our relationship with Him. Why would we compromise that?
The Muslims are vehemently opposed to any boy/girl interaction before marriage.
The Hindus, the same.
Interestingly enough, even though culturally acceptable, even some Christians tend to look the other way in this matter. But I can't seem to reconcile the image of marriage as one of the sacred metaphors used in describing the relationship God chooses to use with us, and the idea that living together in a committed relationship can be normal.
It's God's choice to use the sacred institution of marriage to show dimly the beauty of His relationship with us. He could have chose another, but He used the marriage relationship to draw close our understanding of what He wants our lives to model. The idea of Jesus as the Bride Groom and the Church as His Bride is found all throughout the Bible.
So How in the world might we compromise the institution of marriage or regulate it to something different than what is set up for God to reveal Himself to us?
I saw this sermon yesterday. John Piper is one of my all time favorite teachers. His view on Jesus as a bridegroom helps to solidify my position that if we truly are interested in God's will being done "on earth as it is in heaven." It's a bit long, so you can watch a few snippets at the beginning, or if you have time, just let it play through your work today.
I would love to get your response. What do you think? As I embark on this adventure to teach teenagers about dating and sexuality, marriage is one of the institutions used most to help them develop healthy relationships. I'd love to know how you teach your students to deal with one another pre-marriage, so they might have a successful future relationship with a spouse. Any ideas?