Not too long ago, when I was just a teenager, people that lived together without the blessing of marriage were frowned upon – unaccepted by society. Not many couples did it. Now, it has become the norm.
Today, 70 – 90 % of young people will live with someone of the opposite sex (in a relationship) before they marry. It is understandable that the younger generation fears marriage when 50% (almost 60% in Florida) of them come from broken homes.
Even baby boomers, that have experienced divorce, are now moving in with their partners to live out of wedlock. Many of them have no intentions of marrying.
There is also a trend among people over seventy, who have lost spouses to death, to forego marriage and “live in sin”. They can’t afford to give up their departed spouses’ retirement and social security benefits to marry.
At one time, it was believed that living together, first, would damage your chances for a successful marriage. Now, it seems, that couples who live together and are engaged or fully committed to marriage, transition easily into marriage.
It is the couples who aren’t committed to the relationship that face problems down the road and may or may not wind up marrying and staying married. Often times couples move in together out of financial convenience or because it “feels” like the thing to do. Unfortunately, if the commitment isn’t there with any intentions of someday marrying, they have no qualms about walking out the door when the going gets tough.
Can a person truly be “happy” going from relationship to relationship, never committing to one person to face the problems with them? And what about all the baggage you carry from relationship to relationship? You won’t have peace when you hold on to garbage from your past. Every relationship will add to that baggage until you make the commitment to the one person who will be there to help you unpack.
Some people seem to enjoy moving from relationship to relationship, bed to bed. How fulfilling can it be, though, to never trust or never realize what true love is – the way God intended it? You can’t know that until you’ve been through the mountains and valleys with the one person you commit your life to. Only with that one person can you grow and learn about God’s amazing love that He intended for marriage.
There will be storms in your marriage. Don’t fear them and run from them; see them as opportunities to draw closer to your spouse and to God.
God intended for us to be monogamous creatures, together for life. I know we don’t always feel that way. I’ve had days where the constant work of marriage mixed in with life overwhelms me. But at the end of the day, after Rick takes my hand to pray, I put my head on my pillow with great peace and gratitude to God for the man that lies beside me. Oh yes, we’ve certainly been through our trials, but I’m so grateful to be on the other side of that to see how God truly intended marriage to be.