DEAR CHRISTINE – In a bind over ‘shacking up’
I seem to find myself in a dilemma. I am 25 and came up in a Christian environment. In my teens I gave my heart to Christ one day during a church service and I have always lived with the knowledge that I should serve God.
Five years ago, I started living with my boyfriend at his parents’ house. Christine, it just happened. I would visit and soon after I was invited to sleep over. Later, I started moving more of my clothes from my mother’s house and before I knew it, I was living permanently at his parents’. My boyfriend is nice to me, and also used to attend church regularly.
I feel as though I am in a bind. I love my boyfriend and we have talked repeatedly about marriage and all the responsibilities that come with marriage – like having our own home and children.
Christine, what bothers me is that I want to serve the Lord in spirit and in truth, but the present living arrangement does not allow me to do so.
It is not easy for me to pack up and return home.
While I am writing to you I want to offer some advice to young men and women out there who believe that “shacking up” is okay. If you want to keep the faith and do what is morally right in the eyes of God, it is not.
I want to advise young people to steer clear of these kinds of traps.
Christine, please understand that life with my boyfriend’s parents is fine, but it is my heart that is hurting. I know the advice you share will also be for the many people out there who are in the same boat as I am. Still, I want to put my situation in the open so others will not make the same mistake I made.
I understand your present situation only too well. Have you discussed this concern of yours with your boyfriend? I am certain that if you do, he would understand and try to do the right thing about the relationship.
If you have been living with his parents for the past five years and you have plans of getting married, why can’t you get married and continue to live with them until you purchase your own home? That way, you will not feel the guilt that sometimes accompanies “shacking up”.
Your advice is certainly enough food for thought to other people in situations like yours. I am sure they will take note.