I don’t know what to do.

Feb 2018
4
Miami
#1
I believe in Baha’u’llah. I know he was of God. However, I’m having some issues. Before I became Baha’i, I had plans to move in with my boyfriend. Then I became Baha’i. Nobody told me about the cohabitation “rule”. We already signed leases and everything to live together in Fall 2018. We have been together for 3 years and are in college. In my life, and American society, it is very socially acceptable (even very responsible!) to move in with someone before marriage. It is too late to change things, and in fact, I don’t want to. He is my best friend and I’ve been receiving medical treatments and he is the only person within 4 hours who i trust to help take care of me, and to live with whenever I feel better. I BELIEVE in Baha’u’llah. I study the writings almost everyday.

I’m having other issues too. I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs, but I don’t see the harm in nudity. In photography and art it is so beautiful. I don’t find it sexual. In other countries many women don’t wear tops to the beach.

I know that God is a loving and forgiving God. He is a caring God and he understands what we are all going through AND our true intentions. My boyfriend and I have been praying to him for guidance on what to do.

I love the Baha’i faith, the stimulating conversations, the firesides, Baha’u’llahs Revelations, just everything. But if I am going to break these “laws”, am I going to have to un-declare? That will make me so sad, especially since only God knows how innocent my intentions are, whereas many people think everything revolves around resisting sex (very immature because it doesn’t.)


Please help? I don’t want to be forced to undeclare but if I have to go against my cultural and societal beliefs I will, and I will love and worship the words of Baha’u’llah and Abdul Baha independently.



Much love
 
Last edited:
Feb 2018
37
Arizona-but earth is one homeland ;)
#2
In my estimation Baha'i marriage is as simple as possible for a reason, it is not the ceremony but the dedicated faithfulness to each other ... The only reason to even have two witnesses is for the sake of trustworthy appearances and continuity with the broader community.

All forms of physical desires are prescribed to be within healthy limits because excesses deprive the spiritual experience until one reaches the stage when one is free from tests, but one should not become an ascetic to deprive oneself of that which is in truth wholesome.

Talk to your mate about your concerns and study the writings (if you can do it lovingly together for understanding true marriage it is even better) to tease out the subtle realities and not just the outer forms.

"All things work together for good for those who love God."

As to nudity ... Art and medicine is fine, but sexual arousal is easy for many and it has caused much disease both physically and more so relationally ... Even doctors have been known to abuse private exam rooms especially when drugs or anesthesia are involved ... Be cautious not because of your own outlook, but rather there are wolves waiting to 'devour' even the innocent.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2010
4,388
Normanton Far North Queensland
#3
I believe in Baha’u’llah. I know he was of God. However, I’m having some issues. Before I became Baha’i, I had plans to move in with my boyfriend. Then I became Baha’i. Nobody told me about the cohabitation “rule”. We already signed leases and everything to live together in Fall 2018. We have been together for 3 years and are in college. In my life, and American society, it is very socially acceptable (even very responsible!) to move in with someone before marriage. It is too late to change things, and in fact, I don’t want to. He is my best friend and I’ve been receiving medical treatments and he is the only person within 4 hours who i trust to help take care of me, and to live with whenever I feel better. I BELIEVE in Baha’u’llah. I study the writings almost everyday.

I’m having other issues too. I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs, but I don’t see the harm in nudity. In photography and art it is so beautiful. I don’t find it sexual. In other countries many women don’t wear tops to the beach.

I know that God is a loving and forgiving God. He is a caring God and he understands what we are all going through AND our true intentions. My boyfriend and I have been praying to him for guidance on what to do.

I love the Baha’i faith, the stimulating conversations, the firesides, Baha’u’llahs Revelations, just everything. But if I am going to break these “laws”, am I going to have to un-declare? That will make me so sad, especially since only God knows how innocent my intentions are, whereas many people think everything revolves around resisting sex (very immature because it doesn’t.)

Please help? I don’t want to be forced to undeclare but if I have to go against my cultural and societal beliefs I will, and I will love and worship the words of Baha’u’llah and Abdul Baha independently.

Much love
This is your decision, we have all had to make these types of decisions and I wish you all the best in your choices, life and faith.

I talk from experience in this matter and all I can say is there is a great Wisdom in the Laws of God, they far surpass our immediate understanding. If we break them we will face the time when we have to confront the decision that we have made and it will be not be an easy decision.

Lights of Guidance has many passages to read - Lights of Guidance - Baha'i Engagement

This Link will be a challenge, but I find Susan has many good thoughts to offer. Sex Before Marriage | Susan Gammage: Bahai-inspired Author

This is another - https://bahai9.com/wiki/Cohabitation

All the best, Regards Tony
 
Jul 2014
831
colorado/summer-Oklahoma/winter
#4
You will find the answer, because you trust your relationship with God. At all times keep your faith, it will direct your steps. Nobody but you can resolve these issues you raise. Your solutions have to work for you, your life, your values, your morals and your faith. Because you are seeking resolutions to your inner conflicts, I have faith that you will find your way.

Loving Baha'i regards,
Becky
 
Oct 2014
1,781
Stockholm
#5
And then we have an immense problem: that many of those who are devoted Bahá'ís never marry at all, but stay single all their lives.

Having my little darling daughters, as a result of a far from perfect marriage, is the most important thing in my life.

gnat
 
Sep 2017
320
Earth
#6
Hi im not sure how important this is but i found this

"In The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 25 [p. 30], Shoghi Effendi states that the Faith "condemns the prostitution of art" and "the practices of nudism" and instead calls for the "exercise of moderation in all that pertains to dress, language, amusements, and all artistic and literary avocations." However, the House of Justice does not know of any passages in the teachings prohibiting the delineation of the human body in works of art. It is the practice of nudism that the Guardian condemns in The Advent of Divine Justice, not nudity. There are many variables in the question of the portrayal of the nude form in art, including that of local mores and attitudes. The intention of the artist is a very important factor. Normally that is a matter left to the conscience and good taste of the individual artist unless the Spiritual Assembly decides that the Cause is actually being harmed in a particular case."

(25 February 1988 to a National Spiritual Assembly, no. 83)
 
Feb 2018
4
Miami
#7
Furthermore,marriage is not in the cards for us at this time. However much we would love to get married now, his parents will likely take away his college funding if we get married before graduation. I’m sure God knows and sees the difficulty and struggle this is, however I do not feel like I am doing wrong living with him in a two bedroom apartment, given we knew about the chastity “law” but not the cohabitation law when signing the leases and doing the deposits.


Thank you for all of your kind responses.
 
Feb 2018
37
Arizona-but earth is one homeland ;)
#8
Furthermore,marriage is not in the cards for us at this time. However much we would love to get married now, his parents will likely take away his college funding if we get married before graduation. I’m sure God knows and sees the difficulty and struggle this is, however I do not feel like I am doing wrong living with him in a two bedroom apartment, given we knew about the chastity “law” but not the cohabitation law when signing the leases and doing the deposits.


Thank you for all of your kind responses.
Should you agree that you would marry each other then perhaps a Baha'i ceremony to honor the faith now and then a civil ceremony to honor the parents upon completion of college may be accepted by the parents?
 
Sep 2012
306
Panama
#10
...marriage is not in the cards for us...
fwiw most jurisdictions in the U.S. consider couples who live together for years as actually being married. It's my understanding that most married Baha'i couples in the Panama Baha'i community have never had an official government marriage ceremony. I'd bet that that's the case world wide but I'd prefer to bet w/ someone else's money and not my own.

If this is not some kind of open controversy between you and some official Baha'i institution then you might want to demote the entire issue a lot lower on your list of things to worry about.
...may be accepted by the parents?
What I got was that the parents were fine w/ the present living arrangements but that only if the couple got married would the parents retaliate by depriving the son of a chance to finish college.

imho that does not seem right...