Ask Your Preacher
My boyfriend and I have been living together for about four years. We have a one-year-old son and are both very active in his daily life. To us, we have a perfect family, although we are not technically married. We love each other very much and do plan to spend the rest of our lives together and have made that commitment to one another. We would, however, like to wait until we are more financially stable to have a wedding ceremony as that can be quite expensive. We recently rededicated our lives to Christ and are wondering if we are living in sin. I believe that we are, but I am not sure what we should do about it. Does God expect us to no longer live together, to rip our family apart and destroy our son’s happiness? My boyfriend will not get married now as he does not believe we are living in sin as long as we are 100% committed to one another and have made a vow to one another and God that we plan to spend our lives only with one another. I really want to live my life for God and I do in all ways but this. I cannot imagine allowing this to destroy my family. Please offer some advice.
Mixed Emotions Mom
Dear Mixed Emotions Mom,
There is nothing more important to God than you, your boyfriend, and your child. God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us (Jhn 3:16). As a parent, can you imagine how deep His love for us must be to make such a sacrifice?
God wants what is best for us. The best thing is for you and your boyfriend to get married. Living together is wrong, and no matter how committed you are, it isn’t the same as being married. In Jhn 4:18, Jesus told a woman that she was not married even though she was living with a man. No matter how your boyfriend feels about you, he isn’t your husband. Show him Jhn 4:18, and then ask him (since you said you are both committed to serving Christ) what he wants to do about it.
As far as the costs involved with getting married, you don’t have to have a big wedding – a quick trip to the courthouse is perfectly fine. Save up and have a big party later. A big, extravagant ceremony is just a luxury, but being married is an issue of morality.
God doesn’t want to rip families apart; He wants us to be saved and to build our lives upon a proper foundation – Jesus Christ and His Word (1 Cor 3:11). It may seem like your life is working well now, but we can guarantee you that not listening to the Bible always makes things worse. There are some things that your child doesn’t fully understand but that you, as the parent, realize are dangerous or important. God is the same way. You don’t see why it is so important to be married, but God says it is. Will you trust Him, or will you trust yourself (Rom 10:17)? The answer to that question will decide your future and set the tone for your life and for your son’s life (Pr 22:6).
What if you have done something that’s a sin, but you didn’t know it was?
An unintentional sin is still a sin, and we need the grace of God to forgive us of it. In the Old Testament, Jews were commanded to offer sin offerings for unintentional sins (Lev 4:2-3). A sincere person making mistakes is certainly better than someone purposefully seeking out sin, but an honest mistake is still a mistake.
Jesus Christ came and gave His life, so those who wish to live godly lives could get a second chance and forgiveness for the sins they regretted.
I've been a christian my entire life, but I'm having some trouble finding some answers to questions I have. One of my biggest questions is: if God created everything and knows everything, why would He create sin, knowing that's a choice that mankind will choose? And why can't He just make sin go away? I know that not everyone can go to heaven because it's a perfect place, and sin cannot be there, but why wouldn't God just completely get rid of sin, so all these people He's created and loves can be with Him in heaven?
Hope For All
Dear Hope For All,
God didn’t create sin; the devil did. The Bible says that Satan is the father of lies (Jhn 8:44). Sin only exists when we turn our back on God. Sin is a lot like darkness. Darkness isn’t really a thing – it is the absence of light. God is the father of lights and every good thing (Jas 1:17). When we stop following the Lord, we no longer walk in the light. Sin is the absence of godly living.
God can do whatever He wants, but God has chosen to give us the freedom to choose sin or choose life (Deut 30:19). God doesn’t desire any of the wicked to perish (Ezek 18:23). His desire is for all mankind to choose Him, but God also honors our freewill by giving each of us an entire lifetime to choose for ourselves whether we want to spend eternity with Him or away from Him. If God simply removed sin, He would also be removing our freewill. God respects the freedom He gave us.
Did God make mistakes when he made homosexuals? Why did Jesus not rebuke homosexuals?
Looking For Answers
Dear Looking For Answers,
We’ll answer your second question first. Jesus did rebuke homosexuality, but He didn’t do it specifically. Jesus answered the question of homosexuality when He taught on marriage. Jesus said that marriage was intended between a man and a woman (Matt 19:4-5). Any sexual activity outside of God’s plan for marriage is fornication. Homosexual behavior, pre-marital sex, adultery, etc. are all sinful and Jesus condemned them all when He taught the right way for men and women to behave.
Now let’s address the issue of people being made homosexual. God doesn’t force anyone to act upon same-sex attractions, just like God doesn’t force an alcoholic to the bottle or a wrathful husband to strike his wife. How we act is a choice, not a genetic equation. There is a lot of debate over why some people have same-sex attractions, but at the end of the day, those temptations need to be mastered. When Cain was angry, God told Cain to rule over sin or it would devour him (Gen 4:7). Same-sex attractions are a temptation that stems from within a person, just like anger, unhealthy opposite-sex attractions, and a thousand other temptations (Jas 1:13-14). The key is that there is always a way of escape from those unhealthy desires (1 Cor 10:13). God didn’t make a mistake when creating us; it is when we turn from the path He has designed for us and follow our own desires (which are often unhealthy) that we sin (Jer 10:23).
Why does Joseph run out without his coat when his master’s wife seduced him?
Dear Feeling Chilly,
He left his coat because it was more important to avoid sin than to keep his jacket. When Potiphar’s wife tried to force Joseph to commit adultery with her, he fled as fast as he could from her… even though that meant leaving his coat behind because she was holding on so tightly (Gen 39:10-12). God tells us to flee fornication (1 Cor 6:18), and it is better to lose things and have clean hands than to let sin drag us down to hell (Matt 16:26). Joseph did the right thing.