Living Together Is 'Friends With Benefits' on Steroids

“You can use my body for your sexual gratification if you let me do the same thing with your body.” When that is done between friends today, it has come to be known as “friends with benefits.” No emotional connection. No commitment to one another. Just sex.

When a couple actually starts to get emotionally involved in their sexual relationship, the next temptation is to go ahead and live together. It just feels so right to make the move. Why not, right? After all, “We love one another!”

Living together is “friends with benefits” on steroids. Things will probably remain warm and fuzzy for at least a few months or a few years. There is no promise or commitment to stay together “until death do us part.” It’s basically just a decision to live together until one partner gets tired of the other.

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A 2006 report by the journal Demography found that one-half of all couples that live together call it quits within a year, and a whopping 90 percent break up within five years. The sexual excitement wears off. It had a ton of intense emotion and vigorous feelings of infatuation, but that all fizzled out in a matter of time. This leaves both partners feeling empty, discouraged, disappointed, hurt and perhaps longing more than ever for something real and lasting with a soul mate.

Ah, there is the missing link. There is within each of us this longing for something more than just a physical or emotional relationship. We desire to have our emotional and sexual connection reach all the way down to the level of our soul. This is why people often talk about looking for a “soul mate.” You might be thinking, “I knew sex was more than just a physical hook-up!” How true it is.

Isn’t it obvious to you where God fits into this whole equation? After all, He created these bodies. He knows exactly how we were designed to operate and how we can find fulfillment, joy and satisfaction at every level of our existence.

God tells us in Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Talk about a “cosmic killjoy.” Or is He? The truth is that God made sex and He made it for man and woman to enjoy with one another in marriage. We can either live with someone as friends with benefits for a few years, or we can “go for it” and experience the real deal of God’s blueprint within the commitment of holy marriage.

If you are currently living with your sexual partner, the clock is ticking. Which one of you will be the first to become tired of your arrangement in the upcoming months or years? A sexual relationship outside of “the marriage bed” will never satisfy your soul because it will never be pleasing to your Creator. That is why these relationships never end well.

If you have committed sexual sin by engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage, you can receive God’s forgiveness today. Just confess your sin to Christ and ask Him to give you a new heart as you move in a new direction. Life is tough, and living as a single person with soul mate longings and sexual urges is one of life’s biggest challenges. But God is there to help you. Just ask Him to be your strength in the midst of these unrelenting desires. He will do it for you because He loves you.

Jesus told his disciples, “I have called you friends.” (John 15:15) Jesus would love to say the same thing about you today. Will you commit your heart and soul and body to Him and to His purposes for your life? You can start over right now with Christ and save the intimacy of sex for the holy relationship of marriage.

Many people today are living with regrets over sexual relationships that burned out on lust and emotion. On the other hand, no one has ever regretted becoming Christ’s friend in a friendship that will last forever. And believe me, His benefits far exceed anything you have experienced up to this point in your life with your other friends. By the way, God has an amazing ability to bring soul mates together when they follow His instruction manual for Christ-centered relationships.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

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