Should I let my brother and his live-in girlfriend share a guest room with separate beds? I don’t want to be condemning and feel Jesus would want me to welcome them while they are visiting.
This is the great downfall and sin of the weak, affluent, seek-friendly church. Most often, it is done in the name of making people feel comfortable and accepted, in other words, not condemned or judged.
The Bible makes no such distinction or allowance about sin. Sin is always condemned, the sinner always judged. Loved? Yes. Given the good news of salvation? Yes. Told of God’s mercy upon repentance? Yes. Given a pass about sinful behavior in the name of acceptance or comfort? No.
Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (NIV; emphasis mine)
Other versions say of sin, “let it not even be named among you”. Granted, this verse, and verses about holy behavior are directed at Christians because non-Christians are SLAVES to their sinfulness. They have no choice but to sin. Christians on the other hand, have the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling them which enables them to choose goodness and righteousness.
In my opinion, what you are left to consider in this situation is your own personal witness and testimony to your faith.
Do you compromise the standards of verses like Ephesians 5:3 in order to make a sinner, even a family member, feel welcome or comfortable?
Are you making them less welcome by having them in your home, but preparing separate rooms for them to sleep in, stating your Godly reason for it:
“We are so happy you are here visiting us. We want you to feel welcome and make yourself at home while you are here. We have prepared separate bedrooms for you to sleep in tonight. We know that you already live together and that is your choice, but in keeping with our Christian faith, we need to ask you to stay in separate bedrooms while you are here.”
If that makes your guests, even family, uncomfortable, so be it. By not compromising your faith and morals, you are:
- Making your brother and his girlfriend uncomfortable in their sin, perhaps awakening them to consider their choices and the state of their souls
- Honoring God by placing His will and standards OVER comfort and compromise
Now, if you have children, my advice continues. Your children (appropriate for their age) should be made aware, and taught, that what their uncle and his girlfriend is doing is wrong, and why.
Our children are not stupid. They may HEAR us say “this is wrong” but if we do not put actions to our words, and accept discomfort and persecution to uphold our beliefs, they see our passive compromise as unbelief. In the eyes of children, if we aren’t willing to back up our standards with action, even if it offends someone, then we are teaching them:
- We don’t really believe what we are saying; what we really believe is what we are doing
- Or, that it’s okay to compromise your beliefs when it is uncomfortable or for convenience.
Either of those will sabotage any spiritual influence you want to have on your children. They must see us making sacrifice to be consistent from our mouth (what we teach them) to our hearts (what we demonstrate in our lives).
Bottom line: if there is something “wrong enough” to put them in separate beds in the first place, then don’t show them or your children compromise by putting them in the same room (which in effect gives the APPEARANCE of moral standards, but in truth is just a show).
Lovingly, hospitably, warmly but without compromise, tell your brother he is welcome in your home, but any “hint” or appearance of him sleeping in the same room with his live-in girlfriend represents a compromise of the Godly standards your family is committed to.
If he rejects this out of hand, and refuses to visit, then take comfort in the fact that you have chosen God’s glory over your own comfort, or your brother’s sin.
In any case, your children (age appropriate) should be aware that even if “Uncle” lives with someone out of wedlock, it is sinful.