Billy Graham: Living Together Unmarried Will Only Lead to Unhappiness

(Photo: Reuters/Keith Bedford)Evangelist Billy Graham speaks during the final day of his Crusade at Flushing Meadows Park in New York June 26, 2005. Graham, 86, has preached the Gospel to more people in a live audience format than anyone in history - over 210 million people in more than 185 countries. His followers believe that the New York Crusade which runs from June 24 to 26 will be his last live appearance.

Unmarried couples who live together are in relationships that lack stability and commitment, and may dissolve at any time, says world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. And living in the moment and eschewing God will only lead to disappointment.

That's Graham's response to a question posed by an inquirer who seems to be in one accord with the preacher, but is concerned about what to say to their nephew who is living with his girlfriend, and is "not interested in God."

Graham's advice, published in his syndicated column in The Kansas City Star, is that the relationship can come undone at any time, and that the nephew's attitude reminds him of the people in Isaiah's day who said to God, "Keep away; don't come near me" (Isaiah 65:5).

"First, remind him that although he thinks he has found happiness, he actually is running the risk of great unhappiness in the future. Relationships like this always lack one thing: stability. The reason is because, unlike marriage, they lack true commitment and can unravel at any moment. What happens if one of them gets bored or upset or finds someone more attractive?"

The individual writes that their nephew has said that he doesn't care that living with his girlfriend is morally wrong, and has said "no one believes that anymore." The inquirer says that he has also said that he doesn't believe in God, and is only concerned about the present and what makes him happy now.

Graham implores the reader to attempt to convince their nephew to think beyond the short term, and to see his need for Christ. "This is why I hope you'll also urge him to face the future, and his need for God's guidance and wisdom," he says. "A life lived only for self is empty and insecure, but God loves us, and He knows what is best for us. Jesus said, 'I have come that they may have life and have it to the full'" (John 10:10).

He then asks the person to pray that they might be an example to the nephew of Christ's love, and that he will acknowledge his need for Christ and a new life.

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