Stayover relationships

Living together out of wedlock is still something like marriage.  Too much like it, apparently for an increasing number of couples today.  The latest trend sees living together as too much of a commitment, as too permanent.   So cohabitation is giving way to “stayover relationships”:

More couples in long-term relationships are choosing to stay over a few nights per week at each other’s home instead of cohabitating, a university study has concluded.

University of Missouri PhD student Tyler Jamison conducted the study that found the growing trend among college-educated men and women in their 20s.

The appeal of these “stayover” relationships for young couples is keeping their independence and staying away from the big commitment that living together brings. Couples who live together and break up have to deal with apartment leases, shared household items, and other things that automatically bond people who live together. Men and women in their 20s are in transitional times in their lives and many do not want to be tied down to commitments in their personal lives.

Some participants in the study said they had no interest in ever cohabitating in a romantic relationship outside of marriage, but do engage in stayover relationships. Some couples even stay over at their significant other’s house seven nights a week, but maintain their own residence. They cited that if they can go home or tell the other person to go home, they are not cohabitating.

via Study: Young Couples Stay Over Rather than Cohabitate  | SmartAboutHealth.Net.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    The basic theme seems to be a fear of commitment and/or the fear of decommitment. I suppose that we can expect such things to occur as we have made it very easy for people and for other institutions, like firms or the government, to make commitments, break those commitments without penalty, opt out of commitments with little or no compensation to the other party, and to leave behind a broken trail of emotional or financial devastation to individuals, families, business partners and communities. After awhile people begin to withdraw their trust in people in almost any situation or occasion in their lives unless they have lawyered up to the hilt, until their willingness to trust and engage others atrophies.

  • SKPeterson

    The basic theme seems to be a fear of commitment and/or the fear of decommitment. I suppose that we can expect such things to occur as we have made it very easy for people and for other institutions, like firms or the government, to make commitments, break those commitments without penalty, opt out of commitments with little or no compensation to the other party, and to leave behind a broken trail of emotional or financial devastation to individuals, families, business partners and communities. After awhile people begin to withdraw their trust in people in almost any situation or occasion in their lives unless they have lawyered up to the hilt, until their willingness to trust and engage others atrophies.

  • Rose

    Well said, SK.
    Thank God He covenants with us in both the Old and New Covenant.

  • Rose

    Well said, SK.
    Thank God He covenants with us in both the Old and New Covenant.

  • George

    I think people speak a lot about independence and freedom and such things. In reality, it would be too kind to grant to college students the love of such things.

    The fact is, they are adults who still want to play house.
    When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a MAN I put away childish things.

    Much can be said about a college students psyche. But there is only one thing that need be understood. That they are all still but children.

    Sincerely,
    -Recent Graduate

  • George

    I think people speak a lot about independence and freedom and such things. In reality, it would be too kind to grant to college students the love of such things.

    The fact is, they are adults who still want to play house.
    When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a MAN I put away childish things.

    Much can be said about a college students psyche. But there is only one thing that need be understood. That they are all still but children.

    Sincerely,
    -Recent Graduate

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Fear of commitment/decommitment may be a key motivating factor, but I don’t think it’s ultimately the problem. Marriage is always dangerous regardless of the legal framework. It is a huge risk for a woman to submit to her husband in all things. It is at least as risky for a husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church (we can see how that turned out for Christ). A husband places his life and well-being in his wife’s hands when he puts her before himself. After all, it is not as though he gets a pass on this responsibility if it is his wife’s fault that a sacrifice is necessary anymore than she gets a pass when her husband leads poorly.

    We may indeed be more cowardly than before in the face of greater risks, but I think the bigger issue is stinginess. Marriage is a total gift of self. Cohabitation is a way of holding back on that gift: “I give my body and home to you, but not my life.” Stayover relationships are just the same thing to a different degree: “I give my body to you, but not my life or home.” They want the perceived benefits of marriage, but they are too greedy to let go of what they are already holding onto: what they call their independence. In short, they want to have it all and reject anything, like marriage, which requires them be generous.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Fear of commitment/decommitment may be a key motivating factor, but I don’t think it’s ultimately the problem. Marriage is always dangerous regardless of the legal framework. It is a huge risk for a woman to submit to her husband in all things. It is at least as risky for a husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church (we can see how that turned out for Christ). A husband places his life and well-being in his wife’s hands when he puts her before himself. After all, it is not as though he gets a pass on this responsibility if it is his wife’s fault that a sacrifice is necessary anymore than she gets a pass when her husband leads poorly.

    We may indeed be more cowardly than before in the face of greater risks, but I think the bigger issue is stinginess. Marriage is a total gift of self. Cohabitation is a way of holding back on that gift: “I give my body and home to you, but not my life.” Stayover relationships are just the same thing to a different degree: “I give my body to you, but not my life or home.” They want the perceived benefits of marriage, but they are too greedy to let go of what they are already holding onto: what they call their independence. In short, they want to have it all and reject anything, like marriage, which requires them be generous.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Not exactly environmentally friendly.

    Extra gas for commuting. Lots of extra resources so that each individual has completely separate living space. On a per capita basis, probably the most wasteful arrangement.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Not exactly environmentally friendly.

    Extra gas for commuting. Lots of extra resources so that each individual has completely separate living space. On a per capita basis, probably the most wasteful arrangement.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “It is a huge risk for a woman to submit to her husband in all things.”

    Really?

    As woman, I definitely don’t see that. Rather it is a huge advantage in terms of happiness and desirable outcomes.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “It is a huge risk for a woman to submit to her husband in all things.”

    Really?

    As woman, I definitely don’t see that. Rather it is a huge advantage in terms of happiness and desirable outcomes.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “After awhile people begin to withdraw their trust in people in almost any situation or occasion in their lives unless they have lawyered up to the hilt, until their willingness to trust and engage others atrophies.”

    Low trust. Low social cohesion.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “After awhile people begin to withdraw their trust in people in almost any situation or occasion in their lives unless they have lawyered up to the hilt, until their willingness to trust and engage others atrophies.”

    Low trust. Low social cohesion.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    sg @ 6,

    I’m glad to hear that. :) Most women seem to have a very different view of the situation.

    Obviously, it depends on who you marry, but I primarily meant “huge risk” in the sense that not having health insurance when you’re relatively healthy is a huge risk. You’ll probably be just fine, but if something goes wrong, it can go really wrong and there’s not much you can do about it.

    I don’t doubt that the image of domineering control-freak husbands is absurdly overplayed and exaggerated in our culture, but we shouldn’t pretend that such men don’t exist at all or that otherwise decent men don’t sometimes make mistakes in that regard. I think it can legitimately be called a risk.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    sg @ 6,

    I’m glad to hear that. :) Most women seem to have a very different view of the situation.

    Obviously, it depends on who you marry, but I primarily meant “huge risk” in the sense that not having health insurance when you’re relatively healthy is a huge risk. You’ll probably be just fine, but if something goes wrong, it can go really wrong and there’s not much you can do about it.

    I don’t doubt that the image of domineering control-freak husbands is absurdly overplayed and exaggerated in our culture, but we shouldn’t pretend that such men don’t exist at all or that otherwise decent men don’t sometimes make mistakes in that regard. I think it can legitimately be called a risk.

  • Tom Hering

    Is it character flaws in the young – a fear of commitment, or an unwillingness to sacrifice – that keeps the young from marrying these days? Or is it that, when they look around them, they see that marriage has a very good chance of ending in divorce? With serious, long-term consequences for both the man and the woman?

    Maybe it isn’t staying over or cohabitation that keeps the young from marrying these days, but rather (surprise!) the prevalence of divorce – the widespread, bad example of their parents.

  • Tom Hering

    Is it character flaws in the young – a fear of commitment, or an unwillingness to sacrifice – that keeps the young from marrying these days? Or is it that, when they look around them, they see that marriage has a very good chance of ending in divorce? With serious, long-term consequences for both the man and the woman?

    Maybe it isn’t staying over or cohabitation that keeps the young from marrying these days, but rather (surprise!) the prevalence of divorce – the widespread, bad example of their parents.

  • Joe

    Tom – you make a great point. I think that is at work and I also think that society has blessed a kind of perpetual childhood for young men. Young men are never asked to be men. They are coddled and protected. It makes me sick. I am in my mid-30′s and I see many of my peers still behaving and acting like their 18 or 20.

  • Joe

    Tom – you make a great point. I think that is at work and I also think that society has blessed a kind of perpetual childhood for young men. Young men are never asked to be men. They are coddled and protected. It makes me sick. I am in my mid-30′s and I see many of my peers still behaving and acting like their 18 or 20.

  • V. Williams

    It all flows out of the “American” mindset that autonomy is the ideal. It is politically and socially incorrect to say, act or even believe that there is a correct way and an incorrect way to approach anything. There is no truth for those of this mindset. There is only “what is right for me”.

    And this starts being taught at an early age with the mistaken concept of building children’s self esteem by making every choice an acceptable one, and there never being a winner nor a loser—everyone gets a trophy.

  • V. Williams

    It all flows out of the “American” mindset that autonomy is the ideal. It is politically and socially incorrect to say, act or even believe that there is a correct way and an incorrect way to approach anything. There is no truth for those of this mindset. There is only “what is right for me”.

    And this starts being taught at an early age with the mistaken concept of building children’s self esteem by making every choice an acceptable one, and there never being a winner nor a loser—everyone gets a trophy.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I don’t like this idea, I think women are put at risk by these situations, and it is about taking advantage of one another, and neither party really knows any better. But a few have hit it when they talk about family law and divorce. Living together, stay over relationships and the like don’t really solve the underlying problems of divorce though. you still end up with broken hearts, broken families, bitter feelings, and financial disaster. You just cut out the middle man called a lawyer. It is an attempt to avoid at least some of those things.
    but until it is once again advantageous for a man to marry, and marriage not quite the gamble of betting your whole life on red and spinning the wheel, you will see more of this. When it is no longer a given that the woman takes the children and the man’s paycheck after a divorce, marriage will see an uptick, and divorce rates will drop.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I don’t like this idea, I think women are put at risk by these situations, and it is about taking advantage of one another, and neither party really knows any better. But a few have hit it when they talk about family law and divorce. Living together, stay over relationships and the like don’t really solve the underlying problems of divorce though. you still end up with broken hearts, broken families, bitter feelings, and financial disaster. You just cut out the middle man called a lawyer. It is an attempt to avoid at least some of those things.
    but until it is once again advantageous for a man to marry, and marriage not quite the gamble of betting your whole life on red and spinning the wheel, you will see more of this. When it is no longer a given that the woman takes the children and the man’s paycheck after a divorce, marriage will see an uptick, and divorce rates will drop.

  • helen

    Joe @ 10
    Tom – you make a great point. I think that is at work and I also think that society has blessed a kind of perpetual childhood for young men. Young men are never asked to be men.

    Down on the farm they said, “Why buy the cow, if you can milk her for free?”

    Women who think they are exhibiting “independence” by sleeping over instead of holding out for commitment, often find themselves supporting the adolescent (because that’s what he is, no matter his age), and then one day finding that he has moved on to another skirt with a bigger paycheck.
    Of course, the assumption that she will sleep over, or somebody else will, is so great these days that having a higher standard often means living alone.

    The comment about divorce is valid to the extent that there are too many of them. Whether men automatically get the short end of a divorce is another question! I haven’t seen it.

  • helen

    Joe @ 10
    Tom – you make a great point. I think that is at work and I also think that society has blessed a kind of perpetual childhood for young men. Young men are never asked to be men.

    Down on the farm they said, “Why buy the cow, if you can milk her for free?”

    Women who think they are exhibiting “independence” by sleeping over instead of holding out for commitment, often find themselves supporting the adolescent (because that’s what he is, no matter his age), and then one day finding that he has moved on to another skirt with a bigger paycheck.
    Of course, the assumption that she will sleep over, or somebody else will, is so great these days that having a higher standard often means living alone.

    The comment about divorce is valid to the extent that there are too many of them. Whether men automatically get the short end of a divorce is another question! I haven’t seen it.

  • CRB

    It seems to me that what is at the root of these ideas is lack of trust in Christ, right?

  • CRB

    It seems to me that what is at the root of these ideas is lack of trust in Christ, right?

  • Suzanne

    I don’t see this fear of commitment as just pertaining to marriage. Pick up any career guide, and it will tell you that a college graduate today can expect to have several different careers over the course of a lifetime. One of my nearly adult children said to me recently that he would not be giving 110% to his job because he’s seen what happened to my generation-at some point, most are tossed aside by their employer for someone younger and cheaper. They’ve seen funding pulled from social programs for what may be legit reasons, but little thought to what happens in the aftermath. My children’s generation has begun college only to see the bottom drop out of the economy, their classes cancelled due to money issues, and their job prospects fall into a bottomless pit. They’ve grown up with parents, siblings, and friends mired in divorce court. Why wouldn’t they be scared of commitment?

  • Suzanne

    I don’t see this fear of commitment as just pertaining to marriage. Pick up any career guide, and it will tell you that a college graduate today can expect to have several different careers over the course of a lifetime. One of my nearly adult children said to me recently that he would not be giving 110% to his job because he’s seen what happened to my generation-at some point, most are tossed aside by their employer for someone younger and cheaper. They’ve seen funding pulled from social programs for what may be legit reasons, but little thought to what happens in the aftermath. My children’s generation has begun college only to see the bottom drop out of the economy, their classes cancelled due to money issues, and their job prospects fall into a bottomless pit. They’ve grown up with parents, siblings, and friends mired in divorce court. Why wouldn’t they be scared of commitment?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    What Suzanne says. Boomers and Gen X have shown kids growing up today that they don’t care for the long term, and their kids are simply showing that they’ve learned their lessons well.

    As others (Bror, etc.) note, there will be Hell to pay–about half of young people today are carrying a “gift that keeps on giving” (like herpes) from this kind of thing, and another part of the equation is a threefold increase in the risk of domestic violence and a far greater likelihood of not being able to form a permanent marriage. It also isn’t much good for the grandkids, either–the best correlation we have to crime and poverty is the marital status of the mother.

    But that said, they’re only practicing what they’ve learned from us.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    What Suzanne says. Boomers and Gen X have shown kids growing up today that they don’t care for the long term, and their kids are simply showing that they’ve learned their lessons well.

    As others (Bror, etc.) note, there will be Hell to pay–about half of young people today are carrying a “gift that keeps on giving” (like herpes) from this kind of thing, and another part of the equation is a threefold increase in the risk of domestic violence and a far greater likelihood of not being able to form a permanent marriage. It also isn’t much good for the grandkids, either–the best correlation we have to crime and poverty is the marital status of the mother.

    But that said, they’re only practicing what they’ve learned from us.

  • DonS

    Great discussion! A lot of good points made above. Who wouldn’t be leery of marriage, or even co-habitation, if one grew up in a contentious broken home? Matt @ 4 makes some great points about selfishness being at the root of this trend.

    CRB @ 14 nails it, as well. Marriage is about emulating Christ’s relationship with the church. It’s about perspective — seeing oneself as an eternal being placed on earth for a season to do His will together with your mate in a holy union blessed by Him. It’s about raising up the next generation — discipling the children God blesses your union with, for service to Him, and recognizing that they, too, are eternal beings created in the image of God.

    However, fewer and fewer people have that eternal perspective, seeing themselves in a role submissive to almighty God and living this life in preparation for the next. If this life is all there is, and your pleasure is the highest order in your value system, making a commitment to one other person, whether it be for life or even for a season of life, probably seems like a bad idea and a big imposition.

  • DonS

    Great discussion! A lot of good points made above. Who wouldn’t be leery of marriage, or even co-habitation, if one grew up in a contentious broken home? Matt @ 4 makes some great points about selfishness being at the root of this trend.

    CRB @ 14 nails it, as well. Marriage is about emulating Christ’s relationship with the church. It’s about perspective — seeing oneself as an eternal being placed on earth for a season to do His will together with your mate in a holy union blessed by Him. It’s about raising up the next generation — discipling the children God blesses your union with, for service to Him, and recognizing that they, too, are eternal beings created in the image of God.

    However, fewer and fewer people have that eternal perspective, seeing themselves in a role submissive to almighty God and living this life in preparation for the next. If this life is all there is, and your pleasure is the highest order in your value system, making a commitment to one other person, whether it be for life or even for a season of life, probably seems like a bad idea and a big imposition.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “the image of domineering control-freak husbands is absurdly overplayed and exaggerated in our culture, but we shouldn’t pretend that such men don’t exist at all”

    Okay, but the truth is that there is about the same percentage of women who are dreadful wives.

    I find it creepy all the space devoted to chronicling the failings of guys and the deafening silence about all the mean spirited women who make their husbands miserable. In our society, if a woman leaves her husband because he got old, fat and grumpy, well it is his fault after all. But if he leaves her because she got old, fat and grumpy, then he is a low down SOB. I mean, think about it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “the image of domineering control-freak husbands is absurdly overplayed and exaggerated in our culture, but we shouldn’t pretend that such men don’t exist at all”

    Okay, but the truth is that there is about the same percentage of women who are dreadful wives.

    I find it creepy all the space devoted to chronicling the failings of guys and the deafening silence about all the mean spirited women who make their husbands miserable. In our society, if a woman leaves her husband because he got old, fat and grumpy, well it is his fault after all. But if he leaves her because she got old, fat and grumpy, then he is a low down SOB. I mean, think about it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    ” I think that is at work and I also think that society has blessed a kind of perpetual childhood for young men. Young men are never asked to be men.”

    That applies double for women. They are at least as immature and shallow, if not much more so. It is just nowadays their narcissism is affirmed as some sort of right.

    It looks to me like the reason they don’t commit is that each is hoping for a better/richer/cuter/higher status person than the one keeping the bed warm. They don’t want to get stuck with Mr./Miss basic model, when they finally find the hot rod that they really want. Of course, this strategy often works in reverse.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    ” I think that is at work and I also think that society has blessed a kind of perpetual childhood for young men. Young men are never asked to be men.”

    That applies double for women. They are at least as immature and shallow, if not much more so. It is just nowadays their narcissism is affirmed as some sort of right.

    It looks to me like the reason they don’t commit is that each is hoping for a better/richer/cuter/higher status person than the one keeping the bed warm. They don’t want to get stuck with Mr./Miss basic model, when they finally find the hot rod that they really want. Of course, this strategy often works in reverse.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    This phenomenon is another example of the mantra of our times, “I will, therefore I am.” …to borrow a phrase.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    This phenomenon is another example of the mantra of our times, “I will, therefore I am.” …to borrow a phrase.

  • Grace

    Too many young people today have grown up in homes where fighting, selfish pursuits, disrespect among their mother and father, has taught them, marriage in not the answer as they have observed their own parents for years.

    It shouldn’t be too hard for anyone to understand the reasons why young adults see no reason to marry. Not only to stay single, but to avoid living together as well. The men/boys want to live their own lives, they don’t want to come home after work.

    Even young people who have had family members who have stepped up to help, taking the children to church, doesn’t always work. The young person doesn’t have a ‘role model on a daily basis, in plain English, they are bitter, in many ways they feel betrayed, and this brings about a sort of ‘protection against the pain and helplessness they have endured from childhood.

    Christ Jesus is the only answer. One of the ways Christian parents can help is; including a few other children (your children’s friends) in your family life…. that means taking them to church with you, sharing lunch after church. In this way, the child sees that there is another side to ‘real marriage, which is love, commitment, and sharing. It doesn’t solve the whole problem, but it gives children, who are lonely and discouraged a glimpse about our Savior, the only only one they can depend on.

    We live in a selfish society today. We may be in one of the worst financial recessions, but the real recession is in the hearts of those who have turned to sexual pleasure, drugs, excess drinking, and a never ending desire to be entertained, either with material things, or amusing oneself in other ways. There are no standards by which the average person lives.

  • Grace

    Too many young people today have grown up in homes where fighting, selfish pursuits, disrespect among their mother and father, has taught them, marriage in not the answer as they have observed their own parents for years.

    It shouldn’t be too hard for anyone to understand the reasons why young adults see no reason to marry. Not only to stay single, but to avoid living together as well. The men/boys want to live their own lives, they don’t want to come home after work.

    Even young people who have had family members who have stepped up to help, taking the children to church, doesn’t always work. The young person doesn’t have a ‘role model on a daily basis, in plain English, they are bitter, in many ways they feel betrayed, and this brings about a sort of ‘protection against the pain and helplessness they have endured from childhood.

    Christ Jesus is the only answer. One of the ways Christian parents can help is; including a few other children (your children’s friends) in your family life…. that means taking them to church with you, sharing lunch after church. In this way, the child sees that there is another side to ‘real marriage, which is love, commitment, and sharing. It doesn’t solve the whole problem, but it gives children, who are lonely and discouraged a glimpse about our Savior, the only only one they can depend on.

    We live in a selfish society today. We may be in one of the worst financial recessions, but the real recession is in the hearts of those who have turned to sexual pleasure, drugs, excess drinking, and a never ending desire to be entertained, either with material things, or amusing oneself in other ways. There are no standards by which the average person lives.

  • Suzanne

    “We live in a selfish society today. We may be in one of the worst financial recessions, but the real recession is in the hearts of those who have turned to sexual pleasure, drugs, excess drinking, and a never ending desire to be entertained, either with material things, or amusing oneself in other ways.” says Grace. I have been a church goer all my life, and honestly, I see these same qualities in the people in the pews. I have worked in the non-profit arena, secular business, and the church. Differences? Practically none (although the church job was probably the worst, in all honesty.)

  • Suzanne

    “We live in a selfish society today. We may be in one of the worst financial recessions, but the real recession is in the hearts of those who have turned to sexual pleasure, drugs, excess drinking, and a never ending desire to be entertained, either with material things, or amusing oneself in other ways.” says Grace. I have been a church goer all my life, and honestly, I see these same qualities in the people in the pews. I have worked in the non-profit arena, secular business, and the church. Differences? Practically none (although the church job was probably the worst, in all honesty.)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The men/boys want to live their own lives, they don’t want to come home after work.”

    Ditto for the girls. They don’t want to scrimp and save and clean and change diapers and cook their husband’s dinner and wash his clothes and iron his shirts. They want to go out shopping and drinking and dancing. They don’t want to grow up.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The men/boys want to live their own lives, they don’t want to come home after work.”

    Ditto for the girls. They don’t want to scrimp and save and clean and change diapers and cook their husband’s dinner and wash his clothes and iron his shirts. They want to go out shopping and drinking and dancing. They don’t want to grow up.

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 23, you’re expecting a lot in a time when Slut Walks are the way women preserve their dignity. Such as it is.

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 23, you’re expecting a lot in a time when Slut Walks are the way women preserve their dignity. Such as it is.

  • Grace

    Suzanne @22

    “I have been a church goer all my life, and honestly, I see these same qualities in the people in the pews. I have worked in the non-profit arena, secular business, and the church. Differences? Practically none (although the church job was probably the worst, in all honesty.)”

    The people in the “pews” – that might be one of the problems, if it’s a ‘liberal church – one that embraces sinful behavior as the norm, the moral fiber within the child/young adult will be much different.

    From my experience, as a pastors daughter, those I have known, my career,.. I strongly disagree with you. Those who have had strong Christian leadership in their homes, who have been loved and cared for, have much different values and standards. Their role models were much different. There will always be those who take the wrong road, but for the most part, those who have been given the Word of God know the difference. Often times those who have gone the ‘wrong way, come back just as the prodigal son – they know the difference between the ‘pig pen and the life they once had.

  • Grace

    Suzanne @22

    “I have been a church goer all my life, and honestly, I see these same qualities in the people in the pews. I have worked in the non-profit arena, secular business, and the church. Differences? Practically none (although the church job was probably the worst, in all honesty.)”

    The people in the “pews” – that might be one of the problems, if it’s a ‘liberal church – one that embraces sinful behavior as the norm, the moral fiber within the child/young adult will be much different.

    From my experience, as a pastors daughter, those I have known, my career,.. I strongly disagree with you. Those who have had strong Christian leadership in their homes, who have been loved and cared for, have much different values and standards. Their role models were much different. There will always be those who take the wrong road, but for the most part, those who have been given the Word of God know the difference. Often times those who have gone the ‘wrong way, come back just as the prodigal son – they know the difference between the ‘pig pen and the life they once had.

  • Karyn

    Helen got it right when she correctly noted, “Of course, the assumption that she will sleep over, or somebody else will, is so great these days that having a higher standard often means living alone.” Most people have no conception of how profoundly premarital sex cheats those who obey God’s law and refuse to participate in premarital sex. It’s that dirty little secret that’s consistently shoved under the rug, ignored and even denied whenever the issue of sex outside of marriage is discussed.

    “Unfortunately, statistics concerning cohabitation among Missouri Synod members seem to mirror those of the National Marriage Project. In January 2010, as part of the research for my doctoral thesis, I conducted a detailed survey of 51 LCMS pastors, asking them to make written responses to 31 questions on cohabitation in their parishes. These Lutheran pastors reported that over 57 percent of the couples they now marry are living together prior to the wedding, and that the rate of cohabitation in their congregations is increasing.” http://classic.lcms.org/pages/wPage.asp?ContentType=Web%2Dexclusive+Stories%21&IssueID=56

  • Karyn

    Helen got it right when she correctly noted, “Of course, the assumption that she will sleep over, or somebody else will, is so great these days that having a higher standard often means living alone.” Most people have no conception of how profoundly premarital sex cheats those who obey God’s law and refuse to participate in premarital sex. It’s that dirty little secret that’s consistently shoved under the rug, ignored and even denied whenever the issue of sex outside of marriage is discussed.

    “Unfortunately, statistics concerning cohabitation among Missouri Synod members seem to mirror those of the National Marriage Project. In January 2010, as part of the research for my doctoral thesis, I conducted a detailed survey of 51 LCMS pastors, asking them to make written responses to 31 questions on cohabitation in their parishes. These Lutheran pastors reported that over 57 percent of the couples they now marry are living together prior to the wedding, and that the rate of cohabitation in their congregations is increasing.” http://classic.lcms.org/pages/wPage.asp?ContentType=Web%2Dexclusive+Stories%21&IssueID=56

  • Grace

    Karyn @26

    by Rev. Kevin Bergmann

    Unfortunately, statistics concerning cohabitation among Missouri Synod members seem to mirror those of the National Marriage Project. In January 2010, as part of the research for my doctoral thesis, I conducted a detailed survey of 51 LCMS pastors, asking them to make written responses to 31 questions on cohabitation in their parishes. These Lutheran pastors reported that over 57 percent of the couples they now marry are living together prior to the wedding, and that the rate of cohabitation in their congregations is increasing.

    This is all very interesting, however my first response is; were these “57% if the couples” allowed to receive the LORD’S Supper? – if so, did they ask forgiveness each and every Sunday before communing? – knowing full well they were going right back KNOWINGLY, ON PURPOSE, to continue having sexual relations?

    Since the pastor’s obviously were aware of the sinful condition in the church, what was ‘their response if any? – what steps did the pastor take to WARN the individuals of their acts of sin?

    This doesn’t say much for the LCMS church, nor would it say much for any denomination who’s congregants ignored the teachings of the Word, continued to attend church and take the LORD’S Supper.

  • Grace

    Karyn @26

    by Rev. Kevin Bergmann

    Unfortunately, statistics concerning cohabitation among Missouri Synod members seem to mirror those of the National Marriage Project. In January 2010, as part of the research for my doctoral thesis, I conducted a detailed survey of 51 LCMS pastors, asking them to make written responses to 31 questions on cohabitation in their parishes. These Lutheran pastors reported that over 57 percent of the couples they now marry are living together prior to the wedding, and that the rate of cohabitation in their congregations is increasing.

    This is all very interesting, however my first response is; were these “57% if the couples” allowed to receive the LORD’S Supper? – if so, did they ask forgiveness each and every Sunday before communing? – knowing full well they were going right back KNOWINGLY, ON PURPOSE, to continue having sexual relations?

    Since the pastor’s obviously were aware of the sinful condition in the church, what was ‘their response if any? – what steps did the pastor take to WARN the individuals of their acts of sin?

    This doesn’t say much for the LCMS church, nor would it say much for any denomination who’s congregants ignored the teachings of the Word, continued to attend church and take the LORD’S Supper.

  • Suzanne

    Grace @ 25
    I was talking about a very conservative church body. And they looked aside at sin plenty of times as long as the sinner held the proper doctrinal stance.
    My point is that even in the church setting, many younger people see no real spirituality, no real love, and say what you will about the younger set and their flaws, but their BS-ometer is finely tuned and they use it with abandon.

  • Suzanne

    Grace @ 25
    I was talking about a very conservative church body. And they looked aside at sin plenty of times as long as the sinner held the proper doctrinal stance.
    My point is that even in the church setting, many younger people see no real spirituality, no real love, and say what you will about the younger set and their flaws, but their BS-ometer is finely tuned and they use it with abandon.

  • Grace

    Suzanne @28

    “I was talking about a very conservative church body. And they looked aside at sin plenty of times as long as the sinner held the proper doctrinal stance.”

    I am talking about a “conservative church body” as well. The church you describe cannot be a so called “conservative church” if they “look aside at sin” .. it’s a contradiction!

    “My point is that even in the church setting, many younger people see no real spirituality, no real love, and say what you will about the younger set and their flaws, but their BS-ometer is finely tuned and they use it with abandon.”

    If you’re attending a church such as the one you outline above, I would leave! If there is “no real spirituality, no real love” then the church has real problems, and the pastor does too. Saying that “very conservative church body” and then stating “many younger people see no real spirituality, no real love” is not a church which I would be affiliated with.

    You’re mixing “conservative” up with doctrinal sound teaching. Sound teaching of the Word of God is love, the HOLY Spirit is in the midst of such a Church … if this is the case, everyone, including the youth and any age will feel the LORD’S Spirit.

  • Grace

    Suzanne @28

    “I was talking about a very conservative church body. And they looked aside at sin plenty of times as long as the sinner held the proper doctrinal stance.”

    I am talking about a “conservative church body” as well. The church you describe cannot be a so called “conservative church” if they “look aside at sin” .. it’s a contradiction!

    “My point is that even in the church setting, many younger people see no real spirituality, no real love, and say what you will about the younger set and their flaws, but their BS-ometer is finely tuned and they use it with abandon.”

    If you’re attending a church such as the one you outline above, I would leave! If there is “no real spirituality, no real love” then the church has real problems, and the pastor does too. Saying that “very conservative church body” and then stating “many younger people see no real spirituality, no real love” is not a church which I would be affiliated with.

    You’re mixing “conservative” up with doctrinal sound teaching. Sound teaching of the Word of God is love, the HOLY Spirit is in the midst of such a Church … if this is the case, everyone, including the youth and any age will feel the LORD’S Spirit.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Hey Tom, I had to google “slut walk”. Crazy. Anyway, the wiki entry has a button with “I heart sluts”. Pretty funny, more like, “I lust sluts”.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Hey Tom, I had to google “slut walk”. Crazy. Anyway, the wiki entry has a button with “I heart sluts”. Pretty funny, more like, “I lust sluts”.

  • helen

    sg said:
    But if he leaves her because she got old, fat and grumpy, then he is a low down SOB. I mean, think about it.

    Well, if he required her (or if they mutually agreed once, same result) to be a full time homemaker, [raise his kids, balance his checkbook, compute his taxes, pick up his socks from the living room floor and do the yard work] she didn’t maintain much of a “work” record! [You can work very hard and "not do anything"!]

    So he leaves: with a job or a current resume, more of the money even in “community property” states, 2/3 of the social security and all of the medical insurance (which she may not be able to get, if enough years have gone by). Think about it.
    She got old and fat, managing his household, and if he flaunts his flashy mistress around their home town and marries her [in their church, done by her Pastor (!)] a month after the divorce, she has a right to be grumpy, (although I never saw her that way).

  • helen

    sg said:
    But if he leaves her because she got old, fat and grumpy, then he is a low down SOB. I mean, think about it.

    Well, if he required her (or if they mutually agreed once, same result) to be a full time homemaker, [raise his kids, balance his checkbook, compute his taxes, pick up his socks from the living room floor and do the yard work] she didn’t maintain much of a “work” record! [You can work very hard and "not do anything"!]

    So he leaves: with a job or a current resume, more of the money even in “community property” states, 2/3 of the social security and all of the medical insurance (which she may not be able to get, if enough years have gone by). Think about it.
    She got old and fat, managing his household, and if he flaunts his flashy mistress around their home town and marries her [in their church, done by her Pastor (!)] a month after the divorce, she has a right to be grumpy, (although I never saw her that way).

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Helen, my point is that there are at least as many shallow women who leave husbands that are not exciting enough anymore. Sure, there are bad guys. We hear about them constantly. There is this narrative that women who leave are justified in doing so, because whatever her complaints are, they must be valid. However, guys who leave, for whatever reason are bad, bad, bad. Society is sympathetic to women who divorce, but not men.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Helen, my point is that there are at least as many shallow women who leave husbands that are not exciting enough anymore. Sure, there are bad guys. We hear about them constantly. There is this narrative that women who leave are justified in doing so, because whatever her complaints are, they must be valid. However, guys who leave, for whatever reason are bad, bad, bad. Society is sympathetic to women who divorce, but not men.

  • CRB

    RE: Grace @27
    For those who might be interested, I highly recommmend the book,
    “Holy Communion: Vanishing Mark of the Church” by Joel Baseley

    http://markvpublications.com/documents/newofferings.html

  • CRB

    RE: Grace @27
    For those who might be interested, I highly recommmend the book,
    “Holy Communion: Vanishing Mark of the Church” by Joel Baseley

    http://markvpublications.com/documents/newofferings.html

  • helen

    sg @ 32
    I concede your point. There are, although I’ve been better acquainted with women who were at the short end of “There must be something better out there that I’ve been missing.”

    (I’m not acquainted with “society”.) ;)

  • helen

    sg @ 32
    I concede your point. There are, although I’ve been better acquainted with women who were at the short end of “There must be something better out there that I’ve been missing.”

    (I’m not acquainted with “society”.) ;)

  • Grace

    CRB @33

    I would like Karyn @26 to answer my questions.

    I don’t have time to read all the books suggested on the blog. Thanks anyway.

  • Grace

    CRB @33

    I would like Karyn @26 to answer my questions.

    I don’t have time to read all the books suggested on the blog. Thanks anyway.

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 30, if you turn the heart upside down and elongate it vertically …

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 30, if you turn the heart upside down and elongate it vertically …

  • Karyn

    Grace, I’m not a pastor; you’ll need to ask the pastors (and btw, you’re certainly not the first to ask the questions you ask, so I am not discounting your questions at all.) I will say, however, I have seen a few pastors and other leaders in the LCMS take small steps toward making some long overdue changes; that’s about all I can say.

  • Karyn

    Grace, I’m not a pastor; you’ll need to ask the pastors (and btw, you’re certainly not the first to ask the questions you ask, so I am not discounting your questions at all.) I will say, however, I have seen a few pastors and other leaders in the LCMS take small steps toward making some long overdue changes; that’s about all I can say.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Of course, the assumption that she will sleep over, or somebody else will, is so great these days that having a higher standard often means living alone.” Most people have no conception of how profoundly premarital sex cheats those who obey God’s law and refuse to participate in premarital sex.

    Just for clarity, I would point out that plenty of men are, uh, involuntarily lonely, as the young women are so busy hopping from hot guy to hot guy hoping to land one of those that are most desirable and aren’t willing to settle for someone closer to their own, uh, desirability. So, of course lots of nice guys who, uh, didn’t see much action are left to chose from women whose hearts have been broken so many times that it is hard for them to really bond with their husband emotionally, plus he has to compete, uh, romantically with her memories of all the super exciting guys she chased, and who tried her out, but who never wanted to keep her.

    It is a bad deal for both men and women.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Of course, the assumption that she will sleep over, or somebody else will, is so great these days that having a higher standard often means living alone.” Most people have no conception of how profoundly premarital sex cheats those who obey God’s law and refuse to participate in premarital sex.

    Just for clarity, I would point out that plenty of men are, uh, involuntarily lonely, as the young women are so busy hopping from hot guy to hot guy hoping to land one of those that are most desirable and aren’t willing to settle for someone closer to their own, uh, desirability. So, of course lots of nice guys who, uh, didn’t see much action are left to chose from women whose hearts have been broken so many times that it is hard for them to really bond with their husband emotionally, plus he has to compete, uh, romantically with her memories of all the super exciting guys she chased, and who tried her out, but who never wanted to keep her.

    It is a bad deal for both men and women.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 36,

    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!

    Ah, almost had soda go up my nose!!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 36,

    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!

    Ah, almost had soda go up my nose!!

  • Karyn

    sg,

    No doubt that those who condone premarital sex cheat members of both genders who refuse to participate in it, in a variety of ways, but from what I’ve observed in nearly 48 yrs, I’d have to say that sadly, the situation has been more harmful to females, for a long time. (http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLutheranSatire#p/u/4/lnSkeqGHDSg) ;)

  • Karyn

    sg,

    No doubt that those who condone premarital sex cheat members of both genders who refuse to participate in it, in a variety of ways, but from what I’ve observed in nearly 48 yrs, I’d have to say that sadly, the situation has been more harmful to females, for a long time. (http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLutheranSatire#p/u/4/lnSkeqGHDSg) ;)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I’ve observed in nearly 48 yrs, I’d have to say that sadly, the situation has been more harmful to females, for a long time.”

    Okay, but the women are the ones doing it to themselves. They are the agents action of this arrangement. We have thousands of years of history from cultures all over the world that prove guys will commit to women if they have to. The men wrote the laws that codified marriage and protected women. Women have undone it in a mere 50 years.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I’ve observed in nearly 48 yrs, I’d have to say that sadly, the situation has been more harmful to females, for a long time.”

    Okay, but the women are the ones doing it to themselves. They are the agents action of this arrangement. We have thousands of years of history from cultures all over the world that prove guys will commit to women if they have to. The men wrote the laws that codified marriage and protected women. Women have undone it in a mere 50 years.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Karyn,
    Fortunately for the pastors of LCMS Congregations, it is not only societies penchant for cohabitating that the young, and these days middle aged, and retired people, mirror, but also the penchant for not coming to church at all, but to be hatched matched and dispatched, so the question on the Lord’s Supper is largely moot.
    That said, most LCMS Pastors I know do what they can to address this sin among their sheep, realizing that it is but one sin among many more for which forgiveness needs to be asked.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Karyn,
    Fortunately for the pastors of LCMS Congregations, it is not only societies penchant for cohabitating that the young, and these days middle aged, and retired people, mirror, but also the penchant for not coming to church at all, but to be hatched matched and dispatched, so the question on the Lord’s Supper is largely moot.
    That said, most LCMS Pastors I know do what they can to address this sin among their sheep, realizing that it is but one sin among many more for which forgiveness needs to be asked.

  • Karyn

    sg,

    Lol. The credit for God’s law and His Gospel, belongs to God, not to man, or distinctly to “males”. Whatever your personal “beef” with women, in general, or in particular, I wish you all the best with that. As to the issue of sex outside of marriage in yet another form (stayover relationships), and the problems it causes, the facts speak for themselves.

    Bror,

    I’m glad you perceive that most LCMS pastors you know do what they can to address the sin among their sheep. If your perception is accurate, and if it means some are doing what they should to address the problem, that is a good thing. As I said, I have also seen several pastors take steps in the right direction in recent years to address the problem.

  • Karyn

    sg,

    Lol. The credit for God’s law and His Gospel, belongs to God, not to man, or distinctly to “males”. Whatever your personal “beef” with women, in general, or in particular, I wish you all the best with that. As to the issue of sex outside of marriage in yet another form (stayover relationships), and the problems it causes, the facts speak for themselves.

    Bror,

    I’m glad you perceive that most LCMS pastors you know do what they can to address the sin among their sheep. If your perception is accurate, and if it means some are doing what they should to address the problem, that is a good thing. As I said, I have also seen several pastors take steps in the right direction in recent years to address the problem.


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