by Jonathan W. Rusnak
What do you give newlyweds already living together? Why purchase a household item to help begin a home already established? What happens to the gift?
The reasons for cohabiting are varied. Why pay two rents? Why not determine compatibility with a trial run? Why extinguish the spark by letting an out-dated social construct determine the relationship? Why not just live together?
But that is where the gift comes in, and not in the form of another waffle maker.
In the beginning, God gave man and women to each other with a word. They lived in that, until Satan sowed the seed of skepticism, bringing about a bite and beginning the blame game that looks out for self instead of serving. Adam and Eve failed to live in the design their Creator gave them and thus failed to realize His desire for them. They doubted God and His gift and decided that their own self-serving way was best.
Today, God gives a man and a woman to each other through words. In the presence of God and witnesses, they speak a public promise to love and serve each other until death, they receive the gift of marriage and they are joined together as one flesh. That is the design and desire of God, a remnant of paradise itself. Cohabitation rejects that gift, doubts the design of the Creator and decides its own self-serving way is best.
Just as that waffle maker does not make much sense for a kitchen already established, marriage as God’s foundational gift to a couple does not make much sense for a house that has already been built. But if it has already been built, than what is its foundation? Where God desires to give commitment and self-giving both for the couple and their children, cohabitation takes as its foundation convenience and self-serving.
When God gave His one and only Son, we rejected Him. But that was not trial run. It was God’s self-giving sacrifice for the sins of the world and the means by which He committed Himself to His Bride. Today, He continues to speak that word of commitment flowing from the cross.
Why not live together? Because that rejects both the Giver and the gift. In marriage, God invites man and woman to dimly mirror the self-giving love Christ shows to His Bride, the Church. And that is certainly a gift worth waiting for.