Ethics & Morality Marriage/Relationships

‘Til Death Do Us Part (by Mike Glenn)

A good reminder from Mike Glenn:

A recent article in the Tennessean showed that less than half of the families in Middle Tennessee were headed by the traditional father and mother.  While there are a lot of factors that have brought us to this new reality, one of those factors is the increasing numbers of young adults who are choosing to live together without getting married.

For a lot of reasons, the couple doesn’t see marriage as being relevant to their relationship.

1. Perhaps they saw their parents as unhappy and don’t want to repeat the same mistakes.2. Perhaps they don’t want to be “trapped” in a legally defined commitment

3. Sometimes they want to maintain the freedom to leave.  They want to “see how things go” before they make the “big commitment.”

But people are not used cars. You can’t test drive someone’s heart.  The tentative, cautious approach of living together before getting married actually destroys the very thing that holds a marriage together over the long haul.

What’s that?  It’s a total commitment to the marriage by both spouses.  A type of “we will be together come hell or high water” decision that rules out every choice but staying.

Only then, in response to this uninhibited commitment, does the other feel the safety to begin to explore and reveal their deepest self.  This can only be down if the spouse feels totally secure in the love of the other.

Living together always has an escape clause and this “I’ll leave if I’m not happy” level of commitment means the spouse never shares their deepest selves and therefore, the relationship is never sealed at those deepest levels.

While the world may say living together makes sense, faith teaches us that love is never conditional or contractual.  Authentic love responds with a reckless abandonment of unlimited commitment long before the question is asked in real life.  Then and only then, do we see the tying together of two lives that survive the test of time.

• Do you love your spouse this way?• Do you know your spouse loves you this way?

• How do you need to communicate your love today

Dr. Jeremy Berg is the founding and Lead Pastor of MainStreet Covenant Church in Minnetonka Beach, MN, where he has served since 2010. He an Adjunct Professor of Theology at North Central University (Minneapolis) and Professor of Bible & Theology at Solid Rock Discipleship School. Jeremy earned a doctorate in New Testament Context under Dr. Scot McKnight at Northern Seminary. He and his wife, Kjerstin, have three kids, Peter, Isaak and Abigail.

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