Sunday, August 06, 2006

Talking to loved ones about co-habitation

Someone close to me has decided to move to a large city and live with his girlfriend. I was asked to speak to him about marriage, but after thinking about it, decided not to. However, when I called him today I did have something important to say.

I struggled with how to handle the situation. He hasn't been part of a church for years and has no evidence of saving faith. So reprimanding him for not living like a follower of Jesus if he doesn't love Jesus just didn't make sense.

But I did remind him that his baptism (I was present years ago when he was baptized) calls him to be a true follower of Christ. And since he is moving to a large city, and in a sense starting over there, I told him this would be a great time to get started with church again. Once I get his new address I plan to provide some recommendations.

Should we expect people to live like Christians sexually (and in other ways) if they don't value communion with God? The right approach is to treat the problem (lack of fellowship with God) not the symptoms (co-habitation). How would you handle this situation? Co-habitation is so commonplace that if someone close to you isn't doing it now, they probably will be soon.


Brad said...

I have a similar situation with a member of my extended family. I've addressd the issue with the couple in a fairly straightforward manner in the past. They thanked me and changed nothing. Now I'm not sure what to do.

By the way, I've entered the 'sphere. You should be able to follow my link.

Cody said...

I think you've nailed the issue on the head, Tim! Christians all too often seem to get stuck on Pharasaical details without looking at the overall issues.

If someone doesn't believe in Christ, then it's not likely that they care that Christ said X, Y, or Z. I think you addressed this in a very appropriate way, pointing him towards the solution, instead of bogging yourself (and him!) down in problems that he probably doesn't even see.

Once he, Lord willing, sees the Savior for who He is, then other things will come into focus, too.

Tim said...

Brad, I'm glad you've begun to blog...I look forward to reading and working through some arguments with you.

Cody, good to hear from you on-line.

I had dinner with a Christian military friend tonight and he mentioned a situation where he felt he had no choice but to address co-habitation directly and first.

A friend of the family wanted to bring her live-in boyfriend to visit with my friend and his family overnight. In this situation, he needed to balance hospitality with a "not in my house" stance. He welcomed the couple but made it clear they would sleep in different rooms.

Mike said...

I haven't seen much of this in Christian circles, though 1 couple claimed to do so only to "save rent" until married, and claimed to be celibate in the process. Very dangerous...

Flash forward 5 years, she gave birth to twins, apparently through in vitro, and he seemed shocked when I asked "what about the other babies?" and he had no good answer... In this case, he'd clearly been out of Christian fellowship for awhile, and it's no surprise then to see ambiguity on moral issues.