He Said-She Said: Unmarried and Vacationing Together
- Thursday, April 09, 2009
EDITOR’S NOTE: Each He Said-She Said column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness, please CLICK HERE to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: Is it okay for an unmarried man and woman to go on vacation together?
HE SAID: Everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible – but not everything is constructive (1 Corinthians 10:23).
This passage falls into a section of 1 Corinthians sometimes labeled, “The Believer’s Freedom.” I often hear it used to rationalize or refute one’s actions. Even though Paul spoke this to the Corinthians in regards to eating, this verse can also shed light upon the question of vacationing with an unmarried person of the opposite sex.
Paul seems to be saying in one breath, “Do anything you want, it is okay,” yet in another, “That may not be such a good idea.” Our initial belief or opinion often dictates which statement we put more emphasis on.
A younger (or less mature) person may receive this counsel, focus on the former part, and use it to justify their actions. An adult (or mature believer) should focus on the latter, taking the time to consider the ramifications of their decisions and ensure their actions are both beneficial and constructive.
In answering your question, I have to ask a series of my own questions:
What is the ultimate purpose, intent, and expectation for vacationing with this single person of the opposite sex?
Your honest reply to this may answer your own question.
Oftentimes I can justify my intentions as pure and honorable, yet when I am honest with myself (and with the Lord) I sometimes fall short. I find some of my decisions are made from a more self-serving perspective rather than one of selflessness.
Have you discussed your purpose and expectations with the one you are considering traveling with? Has the other person shared with you his or her reasons for wanting to go? Don’t assume anything, communicating intent and desire is essential before taking a trip. Honest communication is the foundation of any friendship or relationship.
Is the other person your significant other?
If he or she is, how would you feel if your future spouse went on a vacation alone with another person whom he or she was dating at the time? Would that impact your impression of him or her?
Even if you both believe you have found your “soul mate” in one another, boundaries must be established, not only if you travel together, but also for anytime you are alone. Successful relationships have pre-determined boundaries.
If this is just a friend, do you desire the person to become your significant other?
If so, your answer to my first question may have already answered yours.
If you have a friendship with someone with hopes of growing it into a relationship, there is no reason for you to travel alone with that person. If things were to develop into a relationship during the vacation, will you be able to communicate honestly, establish boundaries and be accountable in the heat of the moment? Chances are, probably not.
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