"Friends With Benefits" What's the Problem?

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"Friends With Benefits" What's the Problem?

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As is now fairly well-known, the expression "friends with benefits" refers to the relationship where a guy and girl who are friends socialize, share companionship at times and have regular sex with "no strings attached"—no acknowledged committed relationship. They mutually agree to not let their emotions get entangled with sex and actively seek relationships with others while still maintaining that arrangement (Diana Appleyard, "Friends with Benefits: The Relationships Where Male and Female Friends Have 'No Strings' Sex … But It's Seldom That Simple," Daily Mail, July 28, 2011).

Another societal trend, more involved than "friends with benefits" yet not as tied down as cohabiting or living together, is the "stayover" relationship, where a young adult couple in a sexual relationship will stay at one partner's house for four or five days and then switch, so as to avoid commitment (Shreya Badola, "Friends With Benefits, Live-in Give Way to New Trend—Stayover Relationships," Daily News and Analysis India, August 29, 2011).

These experimental relationships are popularly assumed to be commonsense alternatives to marriage, but are they really?

Can a man and a woman have sex and be completely emotionally unattached? As a rule, no, they cannot. Particularly for women, sex carries a huge emotional load and a complicated release of hormones. Likewise for a man, maintaining such a frivolous attitude toward a sexual relationship with a woman is not what God intended.

This very clearly breaks the law of God, namely the Seventh Commandment to not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14), which in the broad sense includes all sex outside of God-ordained marriage. These trends therefore endanger the eternal salvation of those who participate in them unless they truly repent, establish a right relationship with God and change their behavior.

Such relationships potentially destroy the ability of two people to understand and realize a true, committed marriage relationship. The emotional baggage they take on (a sense of betrayal, continuous jealously, emotional upheaval) can affect all of their future relationships.

What's the solution? Follow God in obeying His commands, treating others and yourself with respect. Reserve sex exclusively for committed, godly marriage—rejecting "friends with benefits," "stayover" and cohabiting relationships.