I read an article in the Christian Post this past week entitled “Angelina Jolie Advocates Teenage Cohabitation.” The article was written by CP columnist Jim Denison and was a response to another article written in USA Today that claimed Angelina Jolie was allowed to have her boyfriend move in with her when she was fourteen and she planned to be as liberal minded with her children when they become sexually active.
In the USA Today article columnist Amanda Marcotte acknowledges there is widespread acceptance of premarital sex and cohabitation. In light of such acceptance she believes parental agreement of a teenager’s live-in boyfriend or girlfriend would reduce the risks associated with teenage sexual activity. Marcotte thinks this is a way to control teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among teens. I guess she believes these risks can be properly addressed if there is some parental supervision of teenage sex in the home.
If we were to follow Marcotte’s advice, how can she guarantee permitting teenagers to have sex in the home will ensure a stable sex life or a healthy attitude toward sex? Angelina Jolie, who Marcotte holds up as an example, has a love/hate relationship with her father Jon Voight, has been married and divorced twice, has had an on-again-off-again lesbian relationship with Jenny Shimizu, and she was purported to be the cause of Brad Pitt’s divorce from Jennifer Anniston, with whom she now lives.
I am not trying to be mean to Angelina Jolie. She is like all of us who are fallen and live without Christ. Her life would greatly benefit from repentance and turning in faith to Christ. I am just honestly sharing what is the aftermath of one who was allowed to cohabitate with her boyfriend in her parents’ home as a teenager. Can Marcotte say she would wish Jolie’s heartache on anyone? Does she think children can succeed where adults have failed?
I know it sounds like a script from the lifestyles of the rich and famous, but Angelina Jolie is rich and famous. Rich enough to absorb the financial consequences of her failed relationships and poor decisions, and famous enough to be idolized and adored by countless fans. But stripped of her fortune and fame, who would want their child to follow her example, to go from one failed relationship to another?
God does not give us a pattern to live by that is meant to be a joyless and empty experience. God loves us and sexual relations were a part of his plan from the beginning of Creation. Sexual relations exclusively between a husband and wife can build a bond of intimacy that can last a lifetime. Sexual intimacy strengthens a companionship in marriage that can survive even when sexual intimacy is lost due to injury, disease, or old age. The body may become infirm, but “Love never fails” 1 Corinthians 13:8.
From the beginning God decreed “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” Genesis 2:24. Long before there was any government, or educational systems, or businesses, God gave mankind marriage. The home forged in marriage is the most basic of human institutions and is the foundation of any successful civilization. It is within the context of the marriage that God blesses sexual pleasure and sanctions the procreation of humanity. As the home goes, so goes the nation.
The Scriptures clearly affirm that sex within marriage is both righteous and favored by our Father. Sex outside of marriage is a perversion of its created purpose. Sex for pleasure’s sake alone is fleeting and never satisfying. When sexual relations are part of the intimacy of marriage they forge an unbreakable union, when practiced for pleasure’s sake alone it is ultimately divisive. Sex can unite and it can separate; it can build a relationship or tear it down. Those civilizations that have forsaken the biblical pattern have suffered and ultimately collapsed under the weight of their own decadence.
God is not a killjoy, quite the opposite. We can expect to enjoy life when we do as He says and not as we please, because the Father knows best. I have not seen lasting happiness among the lifestyles of the rich and famous; I have witnessed and experienced the kind of lasting joy possessed by the lifestyles of the righteous and favored.