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According to a Pew Research study, unmarried couples living together have more than doubled since the 1990s. Those who consider having sex outside of marriage acceptable have also increased dramatically — even among Christian believers. This suggests that many people have abandoned biblical standards of sexuality and marriage, or that God has changed his mind. Theologians quickly argue that God has not changed his mind, but people have changed. Yet despite this negative data, 84 percent of married couples say they are very satisfied with their family life. The Bible is very clear: adultery and sex outside of marriage are contrary to God’s plan for humans. One such text is Galatians 5. In it, Paul identifies practices that violate God’s righteous standards, and which all people, but especially God’s people should avoid. Among the vices, he lists these: sexual immorality, impurity, and lustful pleasures. He ends his list of 14 vices by saying, “I solemnly assure you, as I did before, that those who indulge in such things will never inherit God’s kingdom.” We often fall short of God’s perfect ideal, but we dare not think God has changed His mind about the sanctity of marriage. Rather, we should confess our failure, and ask God to forgive us and strengthen us to live according to His will.

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