Living with a Girlfriend or Boyfriend?
Is it Really Wrong to Live
with a Boyfriend or Girlfriend?
Living with a girlfriend or boyfriend? Are you, personally, living with a girlfriend or boyfriend? Are you living with someone with whom you are not married? Are you just “shacking up” or living in a premarital relationship?
Years ago I was speaking with a fellow-worker who claimed to be a Christian. He off-handedly said that he was living with his girlfriend. I asked him how he reconciled living with a woman while claiming to be a Christian. He expressed surprise that living with one of the opposite sex was sinful! I went on to point out that the Bible calls this “fornication” and God considers it to be a serious sin that will condemn those who remain unrepentant.
When we refer to people who are “living with” a boy friend or girlfriend, we want to make sure that no one thinks we are simply speaking about living in the same house with such a person. This would be bad enough because of the temptations and the bad impression on others. But we all know that this is a common euphemism referring to living with another person along with having sex with that person. In other words, the expression is meant to be an inoffensive way of saying that the couple is regularly committing fornication.
Even “fornication” is not a popular term in our day. People speak about “living with” a girlfriend, “having a relationship with” a boyfriend, and the less-common and dated expression, “shacking up with” a girlfriend. Fornication is defined as “voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.” Thus, it can be used to refer to sexual immorality between single people or immorality between people married to other partners.
In the New Testament, this word is used to translated porneia, which refers to “illicit sexual intercourse” (W.E. Vine) and it may include adultery as well as other sinful sexual expressions. Actually, the term was wide enough to include various forms of sexual immorality—adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, as well as the common sexual relationships between unmarried parties.
“Living with” another person who is not a spouse has become increasingly common and popular. In fact, millions of couples choose to live with each other to “test the waters” before marriage, presumably desiring to discover whether the other person is sexually compatible before they agree to “tie the knot” in a permanent or semi-permanent marriage. We have all known people who either have lived with a spouse before marriage, are living with a partner now, or who are open to the arrangement. The sometimes justify the relationship by saying, “I don’t need a marriage license to share my love with another person!”
These young people (and older couples as well!) are ruining their body, their soul, and their spirit in this foolish decision to commit long-term fornication. They are willing to trade momentary pleasure for a lifetime of regret. What’s worse, they are choosing to destroy their ability to have a pure and undefiled relationship with a lovely woman or godly man by lowering themselves to partake of the forbidden fruit of immoral sex. The “gift” of one’s virginity can only be given one time in life. God intends that a bride and groom give their pure and undefiled bodies to each other as a one-time gift of love. When a young man or young woman chooses to throw away their virginity before marriage, they give away this unique part of their life and treat their future marriage partner with disrespect.
The consequences of this practice of “living with” a partner are too numerous to discuss at length at this time. A bare mention of a few will provide us with a reminder of the physical, moral and spiritual disaster that comes from this kind of inferior relationship. When a person chooses to live with a boyfriend or girlfriend, they will suffer these consequences:
1. Often there will be STDs to contend with, perhaps lasting a lifetime, regardless of modern medicine.
2. There may be an unwanted pregnancy.
3. Many of these pregnancies will result in the abortion (murder) of the unborn child.
4. The mind will be morally corrupted with impure thoughts.
5. There will be sexual comparisons with partners of the past and those in the future will suffer with comparisons with the present partner.
6. The couple will not really come to know each other but the focus will be on sensual pleasure instead.
7. Since an immoral “living with” relationship is a selfish relationship, it contradicts the essentially unselfish relationship that makes for a good marriage.
8. Regardless of a desire to eventually marry, surveys indicate that most of the relationships that include living in fornication do break up.
9. Studies reveal that those that do last result in inferior marital relationships.
10. It is plainly impossible for a sexually immoral relationship to be one of true self-giving love since true love seeks the highest good of the beloved.
The Scriptures have much to say about the wrongfulness and foolishness of sexual immorality. Paul discusses this matter of sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians 6:12:20. In this passage, the apostle states a number of consequences that come when a Christian engages in immoral sex (some of these will be applicable to the unsaved person as well, while some will not). Consider the following, taken from this one section of Scripture:
1. The body is not created and given for fornication (v. 13).
2. The body is meant for the Lord (v. 13).
3. The body is a member of Christ—thus should not be used for immorality (v. 15).
4. To join oneself to another person is to become “one body” with that person (v. 16).
5. Fornication is a sin against one’s own body (v. 18).
6. The body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, thus should not be used for immorality (v. 19).
7. The body does not belong to the person—but to the Lord (v. 19).
8. We have been bought with a price (the blood of Christ), thus we should not use our bodies in an immoral way (v. 20).
9. We are to glorify God with our body and this cannot be done when we commit sexual immorality with it (v. 20).
We can see why Paul utters the urgent and decisive command, “Flee immorality”! (v.18). The Word of God is plain that the present and eternal results of sexual immorality are far-reaching and catastrophic! We read that God will “judge” the one who practices sexual immorality (Hebrews 13:4). This judgment comes presently in this life and will also occur with finality on the great Day of Judgment. God will bring vengeance on the immoral person (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8).
We also read that no fornicators “will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21). We learn that “no immoral or impure person . . . has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). Beyond this, the Bible says that “because of these things [including sexual sins] . . . the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (v. 6; Colossians 3:6). So serious is this in God’s sight that those guilty of unrepentant sexual sin will be sent to the “lake of fire” which is called “the second death” (Revelation 21:8). This is another name for Hell!
We can see that “living with” a boyfriend or girlfriend does have extremely serious consequences. It can ruin one’s earthly life by robbing the person of a pure and holy relationship of love with a sweetheart of God’s own choosing! Even now, it will separate one from the loving arms and fellowship of the true and living God! And it definitely will result in an eternity separated from God in a place of unbearable pain and anguish. Sexual immorality is just not worth the price that must be paid!
Is There a Way of Escape?
We must remember that God is not only a holy and righteous God who will punish the sexually immoral person who refuses to change, but He also is a loving and merciful God who longs to forgive the sinner. The Bible says, “You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You” (Psalm 86:5). God is anxious to forgive you—if you have committed this serious sin! “All sins shall be forgiven” (Mark 3:28)—but only if we are willing to humble ourselves before our holy and righteous God!
Jesus Christ was willing to come to this earth and suffer death on the cross so that you might be forgiven. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The good news is that “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Three days later, Christ was raised from the dead by the power of God (v. 4). Since Jesus died for your sins—including any sexual immorality you have committed—you may be totally forgiven and “cleansed” from the “filth” of sex sin. Even if you have committed fornication, adultery, homosexuality, looked at pornography, or committed any other sexual sin, God is willing to totally forgive you—if you are willing to come to Him through Jesus Christ!
You must repent of all of your sins, which means that you must change your mind and heart regarding those sins and must turn from those sins. “Repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away” (Acts 3:19). This means that you must move out of your “live in” relationship with your girlfriend or boyfriend. You must stop having sex with your partner! You should even stop hugging, kissing, and having any other sexual expressions with your boyfriend or girlfriend. If you have committed adultery or entered an adulterous marriage, you must turn from all of this sexual sin! You must throw away all of your impure literature, all of your immoral videos, all of your immoral possessions. You must stop watching immorality on the TV or on the internet. The Bible says that you must “repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance” (Acts 26:20; Matthew 3:8; Proverbs 28:13).
You must also be baptized (be immersed) into Jesus Christ to demonstrate your faith in Jesus and your repentance of sin. The Bible says, “We have been buried with Him [Christ] through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). If you have committed sexual sin or are living in sexual sin now, God’s command to you is plain: “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
If you have a sensitive conscience and have come to see how seriously God looks at sexual immorality, you may wonder if God can actually forgive you. Indeed, He can! The people in Corinth had committed fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and other sexual sins, but God called them to Himself through Jesus Christ. They were willing to repent of their sin and renounce all of their sexual immorality, whatever that immorality might have been. After the apostle Paul mentions all of the sins they had committed, he then writes, “Such were some of you; but you were washed [from sin], but you were sanctified [set apart from sin], but you were justified [counted as righteous before God] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). They had been forgiven and then became totally “new creations” in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
Just like the immoral Corinthians, you also can be forgiven of sexual sin! If you have been “living with” your boyfriend or girlfriend, you can be forgiven of this heinous sin—if you are willing to repent. If you have committed sexual sin occasionally with your partner even if you haven’t lived together, you also can be forgiven—if you are willing to turn from it. If you have been addicted to pornography or have done any other sexually immoral act—or even entertained immoral thoughts—you may also be forgiven, if you are willing to repent and turn from all of your sins. Come to Jesus today and allow Him to cleanse you of all of your sins, including the sin of “living with” your girlfriend or boyfriend! Come to Jesus today!