First, this one:
A North Dakota lawmaker says his state's ban on a man and woman living together without being married is unenforceable and encourages disrespect for the law.
Democratic State Senator Tracy Potter says the Legislature should repeal the law against cohabitation, which is punishable by a 30-day jail term and a one-thousand dollar fine.
Potter said citizens ignore the law and police don't enforce it. If they did, he said North Dakota would need a ten (b) billion dollar prison to hold all the violators.
But Tom Freier (FRY'-ur), a spokesman for the North Dakota Family Alliance, said repealing the measure would signal that the state doesn't value marriage and the societal benefits it brings.
He said research has shown that cohabiting ``poses a special risk for women and children.''
I know that this kind of behavior is becoming the norm anymore, but that doesn't make it right. Mr. Freier is right: there is a special risk that those who cohabit pose for themselves and any children who might live with them. These relationships, if they lead to marriage, are more likely than those who do not cohabit prior to marriage to divorce or have very serious problems.
I also agree that repealing the law would say the state feels that living together prior to marriage is an insignificant problem, and that marriage is not a meaningful institution.
Certainly, the jails would begin to fill if everyone who violated the law were arrested, but I propose a different solution that would keep the law valid: impose a daily fine on those who violate the law. The money collected could go toward city improvement, college funds for those who do not cohabit, etc. Those who are living together for so-called economic reasons would have to weigh those benefits against the daily fine they incur as a result of their behavior.
My guess is that a large portion of violators (although I have no evidence to back this up) are college-age people. They're not ready or willing to get married, or don't feel like they want to be tied down by a legally binding relationship, so they decide that they'll live with their partner for however long they please and when it doesn't work out, they can just leave with no strings attached.
College-age people are generally not well off financially, unless mommy and daddy are paying their way and giving them an allowance. But I have a feeling that if mommy and daddy knew or found out that their money was being spent on fines for illegal behavior, the money flow would disappear and the behavior would be curbed. And those who don't have much of an income, who would be in the majority, would not be able to afford the continuous fine.
Cohabitation prior to marriage is wrong. It's just as wrong as premarital sex, which is also becoming the norm. Waiting until marriage to have sex and/or live together until marriage is becoming the stereotypes of "squares" or those who "just can't get any." But consider the following:
- If everyone waited to have sex until they were married, and once married, didn't have sex with anyone other than their spouse, how common would sexually transmitted diseases be?
- Would people really know the difference between what was good or bad between the sheets if they had no one else to compare their spouse to?
- How many children would grow up not knowing who their fathers are, unless they died?
- How many children would be born or conceived out of wedlock?
I could go on and on and on.
This world is becoming a very sick and perverted place, and the immoral behavior being exhibited is becoming what's expected of people. If you don't have sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend, the view is that something is wrong with you, something bad happened to you in your past, or you've got irrational fears of getting pregnant.
What if you're just wanting to save the most precious gift you have for your husband or wife on your wedding night? Is that so wrong? I think it's wonderful. And I'll guarantee you that God looks favorably upon those who save themselves for their spouse, and their spouse only.
If you've been guilty of cohabitation without marriage, you've got some repenting and praying to do.