There is a growing number of Believers who prefer being in long term relationships instead of getting married. I call it a relationship of CASUAL COMMITMENT.

They live in separate homes
so there's no issue with "shacking up"

They live somewhat separate lives (raising kids separately)
so there's no issue with 100% commitment

They may occasionally "slip" into sexual sin
but I John 1:9 is a wonderful bandaid for that problem (???or so they think???)

Over the years I have noticed a growing number of believers (mostly in the African American community) that are adopting this paradigm. Many of these couples have been together for double-digit years... 5 years, 8 years, 10 years, 15 years...18 years and more.

So, what do most of these couples have in common???

DIVORCE (or multiple divorces) or a history of witnessing their parents, other relatives, friends, and Christian Leaders in and out of bad relationships.

It's not that they don't believe in the sanctity of marriage...

they just don't trust another person enough to be married to them OR
they don't trust themselves in a marriage OR
they are afraid of an emotional investment that would end in anything less than "forever after".

What are your thoughts?
Is this you?
Have you witnessed this as well?

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Wow, never heard of this one. I know Believers active in christian ministry, i.e. singing in the choir, ushering who are straight out living together or homosexual Believers who marry to bear children, but lead separate lives.
What is ironic is that it is these situations that we "avoid" asking God to bless. Typically, you won't find the couples in these relationships praying for the fruitfulness or for an anointing on their relationship because they know that these types of relationships do not honor God. Why don't they? Because Marriage is honorable above ALL....

Now that doesn't mean a person shouldn't take a vow of singleness (AND celibacy). However, if one is to take a vow of singleness, then they should not involve another person in a romantic emotinonal "commitment" with them because they do not plan on getting married.
YOU are so right...these do not honor God.....Why don't they?

My sister-in-law is living with a man. This man is an avid church goer and for all purposes espouses Christian views and righteous living, EXCEPT when it comes to the fact that he has been living with her for 5 years. She is a widow and I know she desires marriage. He even proposed to her in front of the entire church when they begin living together, I do not understand why he won't marry her and now it is 5 years.

He obviously felt a degree of shame and left our church and joined another one after three (3) years of shacking, but he wont marry her.

I have inquired and I always get from him that they are going to do it "next year" and
next year" has never come.
I See It Going on a Whole Lot,In Most Marriages that End in DIVORCE,there Was No; Real Commitment,Trust,One or Both Wanted to Be in Control of the House Hold,which Lead to Arguments,Cheating,Fights,Separation,and Finally Divorce.

Without God Involved,One Might,or Will See Divorce Happen,to Which God Forbids,but With God Involved; These Problems will Not Be Known of,or Experienced. I have Been with my Wife for 23-Years,and Everyday is Just Like the First Day We Got Married,We Both Share Bills,Ups & Downs,and Everything,I Treat her Like I Would Treat Myself,and She Does the Same Likewise Towards Me. Where She is Weak,I am Strong,and Where She is Strong I am or May be Weak,but Together We are a Great Couple,by the Grace of God.

Whether or Not they are Living Together,they -(In the Eyes of God),are Still Shacking Up,but if it Suits their Personal Choices,I Can't Judge Them for their Decisions,because; I nor Anyone on Earth Is,Was,or Will Ever Be Perfect as Jesus.
I don't believe it is a matter of perfection in a relationship. It's like someone striving to one day be "sinless"... that is not going to happen while you are alive. HOWEVER, one can strive to take each day and commit that day to the Lord, deepening their relationship with Him and hiding the scriptures in their hearts so that they might not sin against Him.

It's not a matter of a being "sinless" but a matter of sinning less and less and less and less.

Its not a matter of a perfect relationship but becoming... but it being perfected day after day after day after day.

The issue with shacking up is that it is a cheap immitation of marriage. A mockery of it actually. It is saying to God, "I can have all of the outward benefits of the covenant of marriage without the actuall commitment to the covenant". It is in a fact what I call A RELATIONSHIP OF CASUAL COMMITMENT. You're not really committed. Well let me restate it... YOu are committed to NOT BEING committed.

I can say this because I too have done this before. I was so convicted by the Holy Spirit that I HAD to end that situation. When I told the gentleman that our living situation needed to change and we moved him out... he stopped talking to me. I took it in stride and understand that some people really don't understand when you want to sin less... and less... and less.. and less... Some are ok with the little foxes that spoil their vines. I stopped wanting my vines spoiled long ago... which is I guess why I'm still single. I haven't met a man who is ok with being committed to address sinful areas in his life and correct them just as I address areas in my life. I mean tackle them one by one with God's word that addresses each situation. Being washed clean with His word, imputed with righteousness and being perfected by the Father to be conformed to the image of His Son.

This kind of paradigm takes a lifelong commitment to putting off the old and putting on the new. Of running the race in order to finish the course and stop short in self-centeredness and self-pleasure (lovers of themselves).

Ok let me stop LOL

I may run some more brothas away from me talking like that....


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