Ask Your Preacher
I am engaged to be married, but I have a lot of friends of the opposite sex. Should I stop my relationships with men I have known half my life, so he does not question my faithfulness to him? What does the Bible say about opposite sex friendships… friendships that are purely platonic?
The Bible never says that men and women can’t be friends, but it does give some warnings to remain above reproach. Being above reproach is a qualification for an elder (Tit 1:6) and something we should all strive for. To be ‘above reproach’ means to make sure that your behavior is clearly appropriate and honorable in the sight of all (2 Cor 8:21).
When Christians interact with others of the opposite gender, we are to behave in a way that shows all purity (1 Tim 5:1-2). When you are engaged, your relationships with others of the opposite gender change because your stage of life has changed. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still do things with men… but you need to be looking at how to have those relationships in a healthy way that incorporates your soon-to-be husband – that may or may not be possible. If it does come down to choosing between your marriage and others… your marriage will always come first (Eph 5:31).
How do you survive an unevenly yoked marriage, and if your marriage is unevenly yoked, can God yoke the relationship together?
Dear Just Surviving,
God says that we are ‘unevenly yoked’ when we deeply intertwine our life with an unbeliever (2 Cor 6:14). A prime example of this is marriage. There is no more intimate relationship on this planet than marriage (Gen 2:24), and when a Christian is married to a non-Christian, it can be extremely difficult.
If you are married to an unbeliever, things will be tough, but all things are possible through God (Lk 18:27). Remember that your role is to be a light and sanctifying influence in your marriage (1 Cor 7:13-14). It is your godly behavior that has the potential to lead your spouse to Christ.
Inversely, you must not let your spouse’s attitudes and priorities lead you away from the Lord. Remember that your relationship with Christ comes first. Stand firm in the faith (1 Cor 16:13). Set your mind and purpose in your heart that you won’t skip church services (Heb 10:24-25), won’t compromise your morals for anyone, and you won’t let your love of Christ grow cold (Matt 24:12). If you do that, the Lord will bless you, and your marriage will be blessed.
The Bible says in the old times men had two or three wives. How can that be true because of the Ten Commandments?
Dear Two Many,
The Ten Commandments, which are found in Ex. 20:1-17, never address the issue of polygamy and polygamy was part of life in the Old Testament. The New Testament teaches that Christians should honor God through monogamy (1 Cor 7:1-2, 1 Tim 3:2). There are scores of examples of monogamy being God’s preference for man:
- Adam & Eve were designed monogamously (Gen. 2:24).
- No polygamy existed until 7 generations after Adam (Gen 4:19).
- Noah, the last righteous man of his day, had only one wife (Gen 7:13).
- Qualification for an elder (Tit 1:6)
- Qualification for a deacon (1 Tim 3:12)
- Qualification for a worthy widow (1 Tim 5:9)
- Every New Testament command for a husband or wife assumes monogamy in the commandments (Mk 10:12, 1 Cor 7:3, Eph 5:33, etc.).
- The comparison of Christ and the church to a husband and wife relies on a monogamous design for marriage (Eph 5:22-23).
What are the differences in modern day and Christian views of marriage/relationships?
Compare And Contrast
Dear Compare And Contrast,
There are a couple of big differences between the Scriptural view of marriage and the way modern culture views it. The Bible says that marriage is more than just a tradition from previous generations; marriage was instituted and created by God at the very beginning (Gen 2:24). God also teaches that living together and sexual relations are only for marriage (1 Cor 7:1-2). All sexual relations outside of marriage are sinful. Another major difference is that the Bible teaches that marriage is only designed between one man and one woman. Homosexual “marriage” isn’t marriage at all (Rom 1:26-27). God designed marriage to be a lifetime commitment between one man and one woman, and He never intended for divorce; even in a sinful world, God only permits Christians to divorce in very few narrow circumstances (Matt 19:9, 1 Cor 7:15).
God designed marriage to be a blessing (Pr 18:22), and when we take a biblical attitude toward marriage, it can be one of the greatest things this side of heaven.
Why is it beneficial to not have sex before your wedding?
Dear Why Knot,
It is always beneficial to do what God says and to avoid sin because sin leads to spiritual death and immense problems in this life (Rom 6:23). Sex before marriage is a sin. From the very beginning, God designed marriage as the realm for sexual relations (Gen 2:24). 1 Cor 7:1-2 states that any relations outside of marriage are fornication. God tells us to flee all fornication (1 Cor 6:18). Even though sexual immorality is rampant in our culture and accepted by our society, that doesn’t make it right. Christians are called to honor God and honor marriage by leaving the marriage bed pure and undefiled (Heb 13:4).