There is a growing phenomenon in our culture today. It is exacerbated by media and entertainment, endorsed by those involved, and perpetuated by parents and friends of those involved.
Let’s not waste time. Boyfriends are not husbands. Girlfriends are not wives.
Whether it is a girl who assumes that her boyfriend is invited to a family dinner or a guy that assumes he speaks for his girlfriend by defending her honor, the principle is the same. Being a girlfriend or a boyfriend does not bestow upon either party any of the rights and privileges a wedding ring bestows.
None. Zip. Zilch. Zero.
Let’s be honest. These couple get under our skins, don’t they? I have worked with teens for a long time. I have seen these couples. In youth work, the extent of my involvement is usually limited to the Purple Principle…
Boys are blue; Girls are pink. They stay separate. No Purple, please.
But this phenomenon does not go away after 19 years and 364 days.
Here it is bluntly. Any relationship that does not move on to marriage manifests itself in one of two ways: “breakin’ up” or “shackin’ up.” And scripturally, I’d say the former is the honorable outcome.
Am I saying that dating as an institution is flawed? Not necessarily. If a couple is old enough, level-headed enough, has their parent’s consent, and understands the limitations of their relationship, I’m not philosophically opposed.
But when exclusivity becomes psuedo-matrimony, I lose my permissiveness.
And no, “we’ll be married someday” does not count.