Pastoral Perspectives

Unmarried Christian Couple Holidaying Alone Together – Why Not?

Times have changed. We have moved from a conservative society to an open social order. From “No” to holdings hands to what’s wrong with embracing in public and now holidaying together is OK. We are mature adults and more so mature Christians. Those who said “Yes” to this idea would talk about shared Christian views on saving sex until they are married. Because these views have been firm for both of them, a mere holiday alone together didn’t even cross their minds as something that could be perceived as “wrong”. For sure, I always find this argument ironical. When it comes to holidaying alone together we’ll be mature Christians but when it comes to Christian service, “Not me, I’m not mature enough.” Our problem is not whether we should or should not. Our problem is we try to evade basic Biblical principles and tread on the grey areas or areas we think the Bible is silent on. How we wish every thing in life is a clear black and white.

            The idea of Unmarried Christian couples holidaying alone together is popular among young adults in churches. Some do it secretly while others simply post their journey on the social media. Generally all who agrees that it is OK shared the same sentiment: “It’s not like we’ll be sharing a room.”“Don’t you trust us?” “Where in the Bible does it say we can’t do this?” and so forth. Maybe it is good to first understand what it means holidaying alone together. Is it any difference to unmarried couples cohabiting together prior to registered marriage?  Allow me to share some statistics on cohabitation. In the United States, cohabitation has increased by more than 1,500% in the last half of the 20th century. In 2010, 78.6% of Australian couples cohabitated prior to registered marriage. I believe Asia is not far off today from the west in this. Some couples cohabitate to test their “compatibility” before moving forward to marriage. However, cohabitation may actually weaken relationships and promote divorce. Research shows that cohabiting couples’ break-up rate is up to 5 times higher than married couples. Even after transitioning into marriage, cohabiting couples tend to have less satisfaction with and confidence in each other. Eventually, these lower expectations weaken a couple’s resolve to stay together.

            Frankly speaking the direct answer to this is simply going back to the basics of our Christian faith. Ask ourselves 3 simple questions:

  1. How would a holiday alone as an unmarriedChristian couple affect your “Testimony”?
  2. Would it be able to resist “Temptation”?
  3. Would our decisions Trivializes our Christian faith?

1.       TESTIMONY:

          How does your decision to holiday together affect those around you? The Bible says we should avoid every the appearance of evil. (Ephesians 5:31 Thessalonians 5:22) What kind of testimony does it set for younger people who are watching, and more so to the non-believers? How will people view your relationship who does not know about your commitment to abstain sexually?  Of course you can take time to explain your situation but it would simply sound like you want to save a little bit of your moral integrity. Our testimony affects how people view Christ and the church. Many have rejected Christianity because they do not see people living it out. Living together presents a poor testimony for Christ and his church. Your Lord Jesus’ reputation is at stack. Why not instead give no one any cause to whisper or doubt?

           1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 – “For this is the will of God, … abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter,”To “wrong” someone in this verse means, “to exceed the proper limits.” To “take advantage” means “to defraud, or to take more than you’re entitled to.” It is the picture of someone who takes more than they should while selfishly disregarding the best interests of others. When we holiday alone together, we exceed the limits God has set for us. We take more than we’re entitled to.

2.        TEMPTATION:

            Let’s face it: holidaying together, sharing a room is not the best way to fight temptation. If you are truly serious about saving sex for marriage, the last thing you should do is holidaying alone with the person whom you love and to whom you are sexually attracted. When you holiday together before marriage, you open yourself up for temptation. All of us have been tempted to do things we know are wrong and outside of the will of God. We face these temptations and when we fail, we often feel the guilt and shame from the sin that we committed.  Even people that are trying to do the right thing will fall into traps that Satan uses to ensnare us.

            The Bible in Jeremiah 17:9 warns: “The heart is deceitful above all things,” The devil, your flesh and the world are against you. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that ‘your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ To sum it up, no, I don’t trust you and neither should you trust yourself. Don’t trust yourself that, in a place of no accountability, under some beautiful starry moonlight night, when you’re both tired and maybe had a few drinks; you’re not going to seriously compromise your sexual purity. Look at King David, strolling on the rooftop of his palace ended in sexual immorality and ultimately murder. He was eventually convicted of his sin and did repent (see Psalm 51).Can you trust yourself? Be wise like Joseph when he was tempted, put on his running sneakers and fled.

            The Apostle Paul warns in 1 Corinthians 6:18 – Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”  Holidaying alone together almost always involves premarital sex. By holidaying alone together before marriage, you dishonor both yourself and your partner. In 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 the Apostle Paul said: To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”  This isn’t the place to get into the reasons why Paul recommends singleness over marriage. However, it is important to note that the Bible encourages a couple that is struggling with sexual temptation to marry rather than burn with passion. Of course, this assumes a couple that is ready for marriage. I recommend that all couples get good premarital counseling from a pastor or Christian counselor before going any further in their courtship.

3.        TRIVIALIZATION:

           Holidaying alone together trivializes marriage by taking away from the uniqueness of marriage. In times past, couples only take their holidays alone together on a honeymoon, normally after their wedding day. Generally our young unmarried couples are wealthier coupled with budget airfares and travel fairs, this makes holidaying cheap and possible to everyone. My suggestion to unmarried couples who wants to go on a meaningful holiday, to reserve this to after your wedding day and instead use the money you plan to go on a holiday to take a mission trip together with other believers. This would include second thought for unmarried couples who are sold to the trendy thing to go overseas for photo-shoot sessions.

            Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”  This Scripture stands against the arguments, “Everyone is doing it. It’s the new way. It’s accepted in society.” That may all be true, but just because a path seems right doesn’t make it so.

            Ecclesiastes 3:1,5 – For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven… a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;” As the following Scriptures indicate, the right time for holidaying alone together is after marriage — not the year before, not the month before, not the night before. There is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain.

            Our God is a loving God, and He gives us His commands for our protection. Unmarried Couples, it’s not worth it. Remember that there is a greater pleasure in waiting and pursuing God’s will for you with all of your heart. Did not Jesus warn us in the Lord’s Prayer? “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”  Flip the pages of our newspaper, you’ll see temptation is the number one destroyer of an individual and you’ll agree with what is written here. Don’t over estimate yourself, only obedience to God’s will is the solution to your grey areas or where the Bible is silent on.


Pastor Cheng Huat

April 7, 2013