I'm new to this website and I have an important question regarding premarital sex. My best friend and I love each other to the point where we like to show affection toward each other. We are 100% sure that we will stay together forever. I'm his first partner and so is he. However, he does not believe in marriage to be the true commitment to each other, because many people have committed before and then left one another. He believes that a true commitment is when one is loyal to his/her partner no matter what, whether lawfully married or not. In other words, he is trying to prove a point. That true love is when one keeps his commitment, not just when they follow the law. We are not having sex, but we know we are for each other only. So, even if we won't have sex, we will never leave each other or look for another partner, ever. We love each other without personal pleasures or benefits. He wants me to be healthy, safe, and well, and I want the same for him. Although, we still like to show some affection toward each other because we love each other as much as a married couple would love one another. We exchanged the marriage vows between us and proved it with actions, not just words, except that we didn't go to a church for that, because we believe God is everywhere, not just in a building known as the church. We believe God is present in our love and actions, not just in our words, nor in the priest.
What do you advise me to do in this case?
Notice that you claimed to have taken marriage vows, but you acknowledge that you are not married. I suspect that in your hearts you know you are not married because you are avoiding sex -- something married couples are not concerned about.
You've made promises to each other, but you have not exchanged marriage vows. "Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). A covenant has special conditions that must be met. Among them is the need for witnesses to the covenant. See Marriage Covenants for details.
The argument that because some break their commitment, it is better to not make a commitment is a false one. Do we argue that because some people quit their jobs, it is better never to hire an employee? Do we argue that because some have their licenses revoke, then drivers shouldn't get a license?
A marriage covenant doesn't make people stay together any more than a stop sign makes cars stop at a crossing. We form marriage covenants publicly to announce to all, including God that the man and woman have made the commitment. Because of that benefits are granted, such as the right to a sexual relationship and the acknowledgment that the husband and wife act as a single unit, such as in financial matters. It is a formal announcement to all others that neither the man nor woman is available to anyone else. And it carries penalties if that covenant is broken.
The man you are dating claims to believe in God, but he refuses to obey God in this matter. He claims to love you, but he won't record that commitment for others to see. He says he will prove his commitment by staying with you, but that is after the fact. If he did leave, there would be no proof of a marriage ever existing. He is claiming to make a point that proves nothing. He is offering a promise while claiming that a promise means nothing anyway.
For example, I made a commitment to live with my wife for the rest of our lives. I have zero intentions of breaking that commitment. But I was also willing to declare that commitment before others. We're approaching our 30th year together. The covenant does make us stay together. The covenant is our public declaration of our commitment.
A marriage doesn't have to take place in a church building. Most of the marriage ceremonies I conduct are not in a church building. It doesn't have to be done before a preacher. A covenant made before a justice of the peace is just as much a marriage. But a true covenant must be entered before you have a marriage. Right now you are just pretending.
Thank you for your response.
I understand that our relationship did not go as far as that certain commitment. I guess I can say we are best of friends now, but I'm still curious about such a relationship. Do you personally think he will ever take that step forward, to actually commit to me? He did state that he loves me, and he has shown that in so many ways now. After all, didn't Jesus say that there is no greater love than for one to give his life for his beloved ones? My best friend was about to give up his life many times to protect me, and he is still ready to give it up to save me. I think this is great love. I also don't want to live if he ever leaves this life. I want to be wherever he is. If he dies, then I want to leave this life too. I believe love is proven in many ways, not just sex. Sex might be something that only married people share with each other, but so far, not every married couple was able to give their lives for each other. Most of them went far to the point of commitment, but very few of them actually gave up their lives for each other. I'm ready to commit to him, and if he ever commits to me too, I'm sure we will be the happiest couple ever.
Will he be brave enough and committed enough to marry you? I don't know. I do know that if he is able to get sex without making such a commitment, he will have no motivation to do so. I believe this is one reason God said sex is to be limited to the married. It provides an incentive to make a firm, lifetime commitment to another. If you hold to God's law and tell him that while you desire him, you won't have sex with someone you aren't married to, he will eventually change his mind about marriage.
This sounds like a wise idea. I am already holding on to God's law, and I did tell him I really desire to be with him and for him my whole life. He knows how much I love him, and that I would never replace him with any other man, so I hope this is some kind of motivation to him to actually consider marriage. Because I also respect his point of view, and I don't push him to marry me. I simply can't have sex because that conflicts with my belief. He is also respecting me and not tempting me or pushing me to do anything that conflicts with my belief. He is a great friend, and hopefully in the future, a great husband as well. Please pray for us both to have a bright future, whether together or not, and that we might have a place with God in heaven.