Friday, January 26, 2007
Let Marriage be held in Honour
I think most people visiting here would agree that a couple living together before marriage is a bad idea. (If you don't agree, we can chat about about that another day.).

My question for this weekend though is: what do you do when relatives or friends who are living together visit? Do you just give them the spare room? Or could that be seen as a tacit approval of their relationship? What is the loving way to deal with this? What about if they have a child? Surely it is daft (and, at worst, harmful to your relationship with them) to ask them to sleep in separate rooms?

As I ponder this, I can't come up with the best answer, so this is all just thinking out loud. Ideally, they would offer to sleep in separate rooms out of respect for your beliefs. It's not as if I have an adundance of spare rooms either and would need to ask one of them to sleep on the floor in the living room! What is the best thing to do? What have you done in this situation?

I'll give you a few days to give me your words of wisdom and to ponder it a bit more before trying to formulate an answer.

Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
Hebrews 13:4

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  posted at 19:29  

At 27 January, 2007 00:34, Blogger kel said...


I think it would depend on if they are professing Christians or not, although I think that's a controversial point of view. I will assume for this comment that they are not Christians.

First, I will say that my viewpoint has always been that they should NOT share a room. No way. Then, we had Jarrem Barrs (link below)come talk at our church and give a mini-conference on evangelism. He was explaining how to really do "relationship evangelism" well, without judgement. Christians in our culture can be very judgemental without even realizing it - and this isn't our place - it's God's. We want to draw them to God, not push them away.

Anyway, he talked about this exact situation. He really thought that if a non-Christian couple was staying with you, you want to truly love them as they are, and as such, let them share a room. To do so, would be judging them (again, not our job) based on a standard that they do not hold to at all. Why would they be following it? It was shocking in our church! Truly - when you think about it in other circumstances, with the same logic, it makes sense.

It IS very judgmental to hold people to OUR standard of morals when they don't believe them. Instead, we should love them, mirror God's love to them, and then let the Holy Spirit convict them. our job isn't to convict, but to show God's love.

Now, it would be more respectful of them to follow your way of living in your home, and you could insist upon it. However, it may be better evangelism for you to just love in them in your home - and love them just as they are today.

When hanging out with non-Christian friends building relationship with them, do you insist that they not swear in front of you? No, we don't. It's disrespectful of them, but we don't insist upon it because to do so would break the relationship and inhibit further sharing. Jerram's idea was to love them as Jesus did, draw them to God through relationship, and let the Holy Spirit convict them.

Sorry this is long, but I know this is a difficult and controversial issue.

If you want, you can listen to all of his conference talks (there three - it will be a little long, but SO good - seriously) on my church's website (link below). I encourage you to listen - this was really huge new thinking for me, but really GOOD.

I'll be praying for you! Let me know how it goes!

At 27 January, 2007 00:35, Blogger kel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 27 January, 2007 14:16, Anonymous Cale said...

Keziah, I agree with a few of your points, but I would have to say most of what you are saying does not measure up to the plumb line........the word of God. What kind of example do you set when you say, "well, i guess its OK because they don't follow the Bible anyway"........why would they, when you allow them to do whatever they want within your home, might I remind you~~~a home where there Holy Spirit resides. Sounds pretty lukewarm to me. Are you hot or cold? How will you testify to them if you are not any different than they are? What example do they have to follow when none is given?

Most importantly~~~~~you will be held accountable for YOUR actions, not theirs. Did you speak? Did you talk about it with them? Did you please the Lord? Was what you permitted in your home pleasing in the Lord's sight? (You are set apart~~~there should be a difference in your life). >>>>Let you light shine before men that they will see and give glory to God. Stop worrying about expectations and offenses and stand on the word of God.

Perhaps one possible solution would have been to discuss your position openly with your guests before they arrive.

One more thing~~~~~~what should you worry about anyway, they are not your "moral standards" you are asking them to meet, they are life according to the Lord.

At 27 January, 2007 15:51, Blogger Keziah said...

Thank you for the comments so far. They are giving me plenty to consider.

Kel - Always nice to have you here! I'll try to listen to those conference talks soon.

Cale - I should just say that I haven't made any points yet! I was throwing up some ideas for consideration as I consider the most God-honouring and loving way to deal with this issue. Thank you for your own thoughts.

Keep it all coming!

At 29 January, 2007 15:46, Blogger Ashley said...

This is a really interesting thought to ponder. When we got married, my husband's brother asked to stay in our apartment while we were gone for the week of our honeymoon (long story). His girlfriend was with him, and they live together. My husband and I were very uncomfortable with this, because we only had a two-room apartment (therefore, no spare room), and this was our MARRIAGE bed! We didn't want them to be sleeping together on something that was so sacred to us. However, we had the same issue - in that, we didn't want to push them away. My brother in law grew up a Christian and recently started straying from the Lord (and his girlfriend is not a Christian at all).

In the end, we let them stay in our apartment but we asked that they not sleep together. My husband explained that it was important to us since it was OUR bed, and we did not agree with his lifestyle choice. He said they could only stay if one slept on the couch in the other room. I have no clue if they abided by our wishes, but we assumed they did (no sense in assuming anything else).

All that said... I think Kel made some excellent points. An awkward situation, to be sure, but in the end you have to consider how your actions (giving them separate bedrooms or not) will affect your witness. I don't know your relationship with said guests, but perhaps you could be open and honest with them.

I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on this!

At 29 January, 2007 20:08, Anonymous Jon Daley said...

We have had friends stay with us where this has come up. They were professing Christians, but figured it didn't really matter.

They grudgingly submitted to our request.

I think they mostly thought we were just being silly and old-fashioned or something.

At 30 January, 2007 00:08, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes...interesting dilemma to that I've considered but (thankfully) haven't had to worry about...yet. :)

If they were Christians, it would be a no! However, I do think the point is valid about whether we should hold unsaved to a lifestyle required of Christians. Another valid side of that, I guess, is if one had young would certainly be fair to request on the grounds of not confusing what you're teaching your children. But I also think Ashley's viewpoint was valid regarding it being THEIR bed.

And there you have my two cents worth. :)

At 30 January, 2007 22:10, Blogger Susanna said...

Kel- we are not holding them to our standards and morals, but to God's and should at least be pointing out what God's standards are....and at uni my bedroom was a swear free zone :)

If we are living an open Christian witness then friends or family alike should know our position. It does not have to be a huge issue.We can simply tell them that we follow God's rules and while they may not choose to, those are the rules in force in your home. People can always stay at the B&B and spend the day and evening with you. I my case they would have to as there is no spare room :)
Ashley made a good point. You cannot enforce your belief on someone- but that does not mean you turn a blind eye.

Some friends if mine have just sold their B&B- partly because of retirement but also because of the sexual orientation legislation. They could not have two same sex people in the same room. If we 'mar the boundaries' where do we stop? Sin is sin in God's eyes and although some are more serious, the smallest lie is enough to condemn a man.

The bottom line has to be- what does scrpture say? Yes, Christ loved the unlovely and drew them to HImself. He did not despise them or turn them away, but neither did He condone sin in any way. He was blunt and to the point.
Take the woman of Samaria- He pointed out her immoral relationship, and shewas living with a man who was not her husband.
We do people a dis-service if welet sin pass unchecked. To take a stan is not to judge individual, rather it is to say- 'I know what you do/ believe and you are still my friend/etc, but it has no place in this house.Not them you unerstand, but the sin they are committing. Of course, if we have failed to witness and take a stand on anything else then we shoudl be ashamed of ourselves and will have made the situation harder for ourselves. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin. I think we sometimes cloud these issues with our own human reasoning which is not to be trusted.
To hold to Christ's standards can be done wiht love and kindness and humility. Maybe we need to focus on developing these graces in order to best deal with these situations.
Ok, that went on a bit. I am reallt sad to hear someone say that professing Christian friends expected to sleep togther. God's standards are no longer held as they should be.

At 30 January, 2007 22:13, Blogger Susanna said...

P.S- that was not me 'having a go' at Kel....I just wanted to pick up on some points. I do see what she is saying but I just feel that it is a dangerous way to start thinking. I'll listen to the message when I get time.

At 31 January, 2007 22:47, Blogger Keziah said...

I should have clarified at the start that I am talking about non-Christian friends and relatives. There would be no such issue with Christian friends or even "church" friends (meaning people from church who have not made a profession of faith). They would understand exactly where I was coming from so hopefully there would not be a problem.

Thank you so much for everyone's thoughts - it is one of things I love about blogging that we can meet and have these discussions when before we would never have known each other existed! I am thinking and praying about it all and will offer my own thoughts soon.

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