Are you familiar with the term common-law marriage? If not, it’s defined as a marriage that is considered valid by both partners, but has not been formally recorded with a state or religious registry, or celebrated in a formal religious service. You may know of co-habiting couples (family and friends) who represent themselves as being married and even organize their relation as if they were married.
By way of example, I recently invited a young man to our unmarried ministry meeting. He came out and seemed to have really enjoyed the fellowship yet he told me he only came out to show support as he and his girlfriend are “common law married” as they’ve been living together for over seven years. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to let him know that he’s single and brought into focus God’s standard over a man made law.
According to “The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Reports cohabitation, once rare, is now the norm: The researchers estimate that a majority of young men and women of marriageable age today will spend some time in a cohabiting relationship.
A family member was very excited about a new prospect but their relationship took a turn for the worse when he asked her to move in with him. Although not a Christian she did not agree. He made an ultimatum that if she refused then it was over. She chose her convictions over her attraction and affection and the relationship abruptly came to an end.
It saddens me to see young women who have given their youth to men who don’t value them enough to marry them. I have a cousin who met her boyfriend in high-school. She’s now in her thirties. They’ve been together since she was at least fifteen years old, yet he said he’ll never marry her! They have a child and although she’s invested over twenty years in this relationship she knows he’ll never marry her, yet she’s settled to be with him rather than be alone.
In this day and time, some women are excited when a guy ask them to move in, not realizing they’re selling themselves short and most importantly falling short of God’s standard. My parents and grandparents used to always say, “Why buy the cow, when the milk is free?” In other words, a guy is in no rush to marry a woman who is giving him wife benefits.
Women, we must love ourselves more than a man. Besides, is any relationship worth your soul? You don’t know when God will call for your soul. How can you rest well beside someone who’s not your spouse? Tomorrow is not promised to any of us!
When I was in high-school, my prom date reneged on me at the last minute because I refused to spend the night with him at a hotel. He figured if he was purchasing dinner I could at least return the favor. God always provides a ram in the bush! A young man I knew took me to the prom. He purchased a corsage for my dress, bought me red roses (he carefully took the time to pull each thorn off the rose before presenting them to me) purchased my meal and all he asked for in return was my friendship.
Don’t settle-God has someone much better for you but you’ll never know if you refuse to let him or her go.