[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Brief Articles 2 page.]
The “Sexual Revolution” of the 1960’s and 1970’s raised questions about the value or even the need for marriage. The continued increase of the divorce rate coming ever nearer the marriage rate level, raises more questions. What about it? Do male and female need to be married to please God or can they just decide to cohabit and begin sharing bed and board at their own whim?
The New Testament says that marriage is to be “had in honor among all,” and that the bed is to be “undefiled” (Heb. 13:4a). I hold this to be a statement of inspired approval of the married state and of the sexual intimacies for which God equipped man and woman within that state. If the sexual union is honorable in the state of marriage, it is as clearly dishonorable outside of it. This law of God applies not to a few, nor to many, nor yet to as many as agree, but “among all.” In agreement with this passage is the thrust of the whole body of New Testament teaching on the subject of sexual chastity: Sexual union is limited to marriage.
If God has no law concerning marriage, he would have no law concerning adultery and fornication. Indeed, it would be impossible to commit adultery if God’s standard did not specify marriage to be the only sphere for union of the sexes, for it is just such a union apart from a scriptural marriage or with a partner to whom one is not scripturally married, that constitutes adultery.
It needs to be clearly understood that any attempt to destroy the Biblical concept of marriage and the family is an affront to God and a rebellion against his gracious will. Modern times, modern philosophies and modern situations do not change God’s beautiful plan for mankind’s sexual indulgence. Man was created superior to the rest of creation and the moral law of God is His means of enabling us to live above their raw and rude habits. What consummate folly is wrought by those who would reduce the ways of man to those of the alley and barnyard.
Yes, you can cohabit without marriage, but you do so at the risk of your soul: “For fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4b). As in all things, we must determine whom we wish to please, ourselves or God. But whatever we do, He will be our judge.
[Note: I wrote this article for and it was published in The Edifier, weekly bulletin of Pearl Street Church of Christ, Denton, TX, December 9, 1982 of which I was editor.]
Attribution: From thescripturecache.com; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.