Should we counsel engaged couples who are sleeping together to stop until the wedding night? Why or why not?
It is often very difficult for a couple to stop such behavior once started and this is by design. If they both have a relationship with God, then perhaps they can stop… with the Designer’s help. Those attempting to correct this couple in this area need to have a really good, loving relationship with them first.
However, while all can benefit from following His plans for us, there is no reason for those that are His to expect those that aren’t to behave like they are – any more than one would expect a vehicle to run without fuel. If the couple’s need is a relationship with God, then wouldn’t working on correcting other issues be akin to treating a hangnail instead of the curable fatal illness? Why would one want to risk driving them away from the hospital?
Upon marriage, the two will no longer be in a questionable relationship. Some ministers won’t perform the marriage until the two stop sleeping together, but a more practical one realizes that there’s no problem once the wedding takes place.
And, of course, it’s tricky when they start asking for Bible verses that say, “Thou shalt not engage in sexual congress before thy wedding night,” because no such verse exists. I think abstinence until marriage is the best way to live, but I won’t force that on someone else. Instead, I’ll celebrate that their relationship is headed toward a healthy relationship and council them on how they can get the most out of their union.
Proper marriage counseling ought to be our goal in this situation, rather than forced legalism.
I’ve been thinking about this question since you posted it. Thanks for asking the questions that are lingering in the hearts and minds of many. I often wish that the Bible was more explicit covering the details of our lives. But, it is not. (Kuddos to Adam for nailing that down in his response.) I guess that’s one of the reasons we need a relationship of Faith with the Author of the Word! I think my answer is two-fold…for the couple that’s headed toward marriage but doesn’t have that faith-based relationship, the issue for them doesn’t revolve around their sexual choices…they need Jesus (as we all do). Therefore, I love wretched1’s response…don’t “drive them away from the hospital.” For the believing couple it would be hard (not impossible) to stop practicing an act that is not sanctioned by God as we look at the principles that He has laid out for us. But, (supposing I had a relationship of love and respect for the couple) I would council them to stop and wait since the Word makes it clear that “if we know what to do and do not do it…it is sin.” I would remind the couple that forgiveness and restoration is always available for us at the throne of grace and a new beginning will possibly prepare the way for them to continue to make wise choices. In my life I’ve seen that continuing in an area of sin easily becomes a pattern in other areas, and I’ve seen that the slide of temptation and sin always lead to death (thanks Pastor James for teaching that truth), and death is not a good way to start the beginning of a beautiful relationship between man and wife.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.
Join 305 other followers
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.