Young and old, it is becoming common. Even on my Concordia Plan “Be Well, Serve Well” survey (courtesy of CareAllies) it talks about my “spouse/partner”. The culture is all about giving things a test drive, a test run of the relationship, and the result is often not even marriage if it “works out”. It used to be called living in sin for a reason, but in a society which no longer talks in terms of sin, it is merely a choice that someone makes. Whether its two young folks shacking up for fun or two elderly folks coming together without marriage for the sake of pensions. It is that dreaded sin of cohabitation.
First of all, I will say that Pres. Harrison’s piece “Second Thoughts on Living Together” is a fine piece and is very useful. You can find it here.
The point of this post is to help pastors, parents, and friends figure out ways to approach those caught in this sin.
Here are a few things that I have found very useful (in my limited experience) to think about when confronting the sin:
Of course there is always the sixth commandment.
There is also often the Fourth Commandment, as mom and dad may completely disapprove.
Sometimes an approach from an unexpected path works well. I have in the past used the Eighth Commandment (about reputation) to point out to the man in the relationship that living in sin is ruining his girlfriend’s reputation.
Pres. Harrison’s piece actually points out a number of statistics from the knowledge of this world which can be helpful as well.
How about claims that they are just living together for financial reasons, does that relate to the seventh commandment or not?
How do we as a Church serve those who are caught up in this specific sin?
What are some other good ways to address the issue?
Please consider adding your comments on the topic from your standpoint as a pastor, parent, friend, or simply a neighbor.
Perhaps you are a penitent who has been forgiven of this sin, please feel free to share your experience of how your pastor, family, and friends interacted with you.