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Clinical Psychologist Meg Jay writes about a young lady named Jennifer in a New York Times column. She was one of Meg’s clients who lived with her boyfriend four years prior to getting married. Then, a year after the wedding, Jennifer showed up for a session on Meg’s couch. Jennifer told her, “We were sleeping over at each other’s places all the time. We liked to be together, so it was cheaper and more convenient. It was a quick decision but if it didn’t work out there was a quick exit.”
Meg states how the cohabitation rate has skyrocketed 1,500% since 1960 when there were 450,000 couples living together. Today there are 7.5 million. Researchers say between 50%-60% of all couples have lived or are living together with someone outside of marriage.
One report nailed it about the current state of American relationships stating, “Cohabitation is a common part of family formation in the United States, and serves both as a step toward marriage and as an alternative.”
Like Jennifer couples might move in together for financial reasons or convenience, to spend more time together or to test out their relationship. Often it is not a deliberate decision but one that couples slide into after spending a growing amount of nights together.
I truly believe if couples were asked straight up if they want a successful, healthy relationship, that 100% would give a definite yes. I believe God has the best way to achieve that, but His way swims against popular culture. God said, “A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 3:24). God wants us to go from our parent’s home to marriage or from a season of singleness to marriage. What is the greatest obstacle to that? Ourselves. We want love, happiness, companionship and sexual fulfillment and we want it yesterday! Sometimes our path to achieve those desires is done in self-destructive ways.
Bottom line – we need God’s help. He sent Jesus to die and rise again that we might have victory over our lustful, impatient urges. He came to indwell us by His Spirit and to give us power over our destructive ways. All we need is to call upon God and say to Him, “Oh Lord, no longer my will, but only Yours be done. Change me oh, God!”
May Jesus be the hope of your relationship today and forever.