Ask Jonathots… July 2nd, 2015

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I’m living with my boyfriend, and have been for over a year. About every six months, my mom and I get into an argument because she thinks we should get married. Honestly, I just don’t see the need. I love him, he loves me, and if that changes we don’t have to get a divorce. What’s wrong with that?

God looks on the heart.

I’m sure you’ve heard that. He does not look on the outward appearance, but instead, views our intentions.

Your mother is probably concerned about what’s happening in your bedroom, and God is much more concerned about what’s going on in your living room.

In the process of occupying the same home, what are the two of you deciding about living?

For I will tell you, if you’re living together because you want the opportunity to bail out of the relationship without having a lawyer, then it is an unfulfilling situation, which means it’s unrighteous.

This would be true about a marriage also.

There is one rule and one rule alone: we are to love people as we love ourselves.

Honestly, if that’s what you’re doing, then God, who has no intentions of rummaging through your drawer looking for a license, already considers you married.

Yet if you have a license but have no respect for each other, and you treat yourself better than you treat your spouse, God finds the arrangement immoral.

So let’s get it straight.

Long before we discuss marriage, let’s discuss relationship. Because just as surely as someone can go to church and not be a Christian, you can have a ceremony and not be truly married to one another.

God does not have the respect for marriage that we do. Matter of fact, Jesus used the process of being married and making plans to get married to describe the indifferent atmosphere which will exist at the end of the world.

So what are we looking for?

1. Commitment.

Have we decided that we’re going to hang together no matter what happens? If not, we’re just dating. That goes for married couples, too.

2. Do we have a legitimate interest in one another’s dreams?

Asking someone to come along to be a cheerleader is not a relationship.

3. Are we willing to include this other person in the private areas of our heart?

If God looks on the heart, the definition of a Godly love is to allow someone else to look on ours.

4. And finally, are we willing to pledge allegiance to the fidelity of our love?

In other words, when temptations come, rather than ignoring them or pretending they don’t exist, we share our fears and apprehensions.

If you find you have all four of these things with your live-in boyfriend, then you only have one other question.

Would there be an advantage to have a piece of paper which would allow Uncle Sam to give great tax deductions by filing jointly, and also keep your mother at bay, so that all she would have left to complain about is housekeeping?

Do I think marriage is here to stay?

Marriage will always be important if those who truly have a love that is inclusive of one another want to declare to the whole world … and seal it with a kiss.

Got a question for Jonathots? Send it to jacquelinebarnett76@gmail.com.

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