I cannot envision any other kind of union between a man and a woman who want to SHARE their lives.
My marriage was anulled. There was something missing... or rather Someone: Jesus. After all I've gone through (and I believe many would agree), I would not dare enter a relationship if Jesus is not in it. It just won't work out.
Bless you for bringing up this issue. Some of us need to be reminded time and again that the Church is Wise, if only 'cause it's been 'round for so long (though the real reason is that He founded it)
This a good question. I have no idea.
But it boils down to, "is you is, or is you ain't?". If you want a dedicated, sworn partnership you need to enter it completely.
No holds barred.
In for a penny, in for a pound.
Otherwise, it's not marriage at all. And having been there and done that, I would not be satisfied with anything less.
I remember sitting in a waiting room and a woman sat next to me. She seemed to feel very troubled and felt the need to talk to me about her living situation. She had a great relationship with her boyfriend but knew it was wrong to live together without marriage and was embarrassed. She told me it was due to finances. Their ages were 70/80.
.Matthew 6: 25-34 NIV
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe youyou of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
You are right about it but the grave consequences to the couple and to others. Look at how the norm has changed in the last 40 years and the repercussions from it. Us elders have a moral responsibility to be a good example. We all do.