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Bálint Csoma wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What would Jesus think about what is common now, that a boy goes out with a girl?
  • Would he consider it a marriage?
  • Why or why not?
  • What is Jesus' concept of divorce?

Yours faithfully,

Bálint

  { What would Jesus think about a boy going out with a girl? }

Paul replied:

Dear Bálint,

This is actually an important question. In our culture, people tend to ignore God and His will regarding male/female relationships, at their own peril and to their own detriment. Premarital dating or what are now called "relationships" are cultural constructs; and unlike the relationships of family or friends, they are not found in Scripture nor in most of the tradition.

There are a few basic things to keep in mind regarding this:

  • God created the institution of marriage so that the two may become one, with the possibility of becoming more (in children).
  • Male/female courtship should be for the sake of discerning marriage; it should not be for using each other temporarily for emotional, psychological, or physical desires.
  • Hence, dating or being "in a relationship" before one is thinking about marriage, or if one is not looking to marry, is inappropriate.
  • Nothing should ever be done to sexually arouse either party before marriage. Sex is moral and good only within marriage.
  • Hearts should be guarded to a certain degree before a marriage commitment is made.
  • Marriage does not occur until both parties freely consent to life-long fidelity and openness to children, in the presence of a priest or deacon, two other witnesses, and the community that is invited to the wedding.
  • Once the marriage has been consented to and consummated, it is indissoluble, which means it is unbreakable until the death of one of the parties.
  • This life-giving love that is exclusive and permanent in nature is a reflection of the [Christ/Church] relationship as well as the eternal dynamic of the inner life and love of the Trinity.

I hope this helps.

Peace,

Paul

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