” I would respond by recording an Ask Pastor John podcast to say how tragically wrong they are. It’s not okay for couples to have sex outside the marriage covenant — engaged or not engaged. It’s not okay to pretend that setting a marriage date is the same in God’s eyes as making the marriage vows in the presence of God’s people with the symbolic cultural sanctions — rings and vows and pronouncements and licenses.
I don’t know if I’m prepared for marriage now (and I’m 6 months in).
He does not perform that at random moments during engagement.
People need to come to terms with what God has joined together. “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mark 10:9).
She’s been with another man, and he’s going to break off with her. This was part of what it meant that Joseph was a just man. This was the expectation of the Jewish community rooted in God’s word in the Old Testament, where sexual relations were bound to marriage, as the seventh commandment makes clear. Specially, 1 Corinthians 7:2 is pivotal, along with verse 36.
You see what it implies: it never entered his mind that the child might be his. You don’t sleep together when you’re betrothed and trying to live in God’s way from the Old Testament and the New. You’re not a just man if you cave in to the worldly pragmatism of just saving money on rent and jumping in bed together. That’s the first thing — Joseph and Mary’s example. Paul said, “Because of the temptation to sexual immorality” — or you could translate it — “each man should have his own wife” — not betrothed partner — “and each woman her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2). The sacred entrance into the one-flesh union that God has established is marriage.