I recently had to fill out a form that in some way asked for my relationship status.  I am sorry to say I can not remember what form it was or why I had to fill it in.  However the thing that surprised me was the section about defacto relationships.  Living together was not sufficient evidence of a relationship you had to give evidence of a shared bank account or similar.  I found this fascinating as it reflects that even defacto relationships, common law relationships as they are called elsewhere, need some legal joining and commitment to each other.

I find it intersting in light of this that there is a paper being presented concerning cohabitation patterns and repartnering around the world and that Australia has a high rate of serial monogamy.  Similarly I find it distressing as I know people who have cohabited that cohabitation in the UK is seen as incredibly destructive.

So what is the theological response to this.  Funnily enough Jesus speaks directly to this situation.  In John 4:7-42 we have the encounter of Jesus with a woman who is cohabiting.  What he offers her is living water which if she drinks she will never thirst again.  There seems to me to be the idea that serial monogamy and cohabitation is rooted in some needs in our life that only Jesus’ living water will fill.  Having these needs is not wrong but seeking their filling in something that will not quench our thirst is foolishness.

So what needs do you have and are you asking Jesus to fill them?

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