Take them a meal…and some sacramental for the baby (a picture of the Lord Jesus, for example). Be as gentle with them as you hope God will be with you.
I spoke to a Deacon to get advice on how to “deal with” cohabitating couples since there is one in my family. He said (paraphrasing) that I should definately keep them in my life, invite them for dinner and let them see what a healthy religious marriage is like so they would desire that for themselves.
However, he discouraged doing things like directly supporting their living arrangement…such as bringing a housewarming gift, buying them bedsheets…you get the idea.
So, I would say to go and drop off the food but avoid going around their apartment/house and telling them how “cute their place is” and things like that. Hope this helps you with some ideas.
But that is not the situation we have here. The OP specifically asked if the couple were in need. They responded. Why offer if the offer is not sincere and free from strings? The couple did not seek the OP out, or charitable donations from the church. That’s not the scenario that was painted by the OP.
Here have a cassarole but first you must listen to my preaching?? Sometimes you do something because it is the right and good thing to do - especially when you offer.
I do like the one suggestion of simply asking when the wedding date is and leave it at that. Simple can be effective.
Depending on exactly how new the parents are, like in the first couple of weeks, they may not even hear what you have to say… but take them a meal, they need all the help they can get. Their little baby needs them non-stop, and anything you can do to make their lives a little easier will be greatly appreciated.
In the long run, it is best for their baby that mom & dad be married to each other. In the immediate term, helping out with some food would be a really nice thing for them.
Actually, I did not ask the couple themselves; I asked a mutual friend if the mother needed anything…I was thinking specifically of things for the baby, though I did not say that exactly. The friend called me back with the meal suggestion.
The baby is being baptized very soon, and I have found out that the couple has been talking to a priest about marriage, but no date is set. It is rather perplexing, as these two have been devout Catholics all their lives, from devout practicing Catholic families. I guess I thought/hoped that they were living apart and chastely.
You know, if I were in deadly peril (about to step in front of a bus) I would hope someone cared enough to try to prevent me. If I were in mortal sin, I definitely hope someone would care enough to admonish me. I have no intention of going over to this couple’s place, ranting and raving. I DO intend to coo over the baby…but there is a time when you also have to speak up…charitably but clearly. Speak the truth in love…as the Scripture says.
PilgrimSong, I commend you for your actions - this is exactly what I would do also.
And, yes - if you were in mortal sin, I would tell you I’d also pull you out of the path of the bus. I would hope you’d do the same for me.
If they both come from devout families and have been devout Catholics they already know exactly what they are doing. Maybe they are living as brother and sister? Do they discuss their sex life with others? Devout Catholics or those who come from such a back ground would be well aware about the teaching of premarital sex. What do you think your admonishment will accomplish?
Ever notice how we put labels on things? When I read the title of this thread, I had to think , if someone needs food, what does it matter what their living arrangements are? Would you not want someone to help you if you were in need?
I have heard of priests requiring expecting couples to wait until after the child is delivered and all the hubub to die down before he will marry them, that way they can’t say they were forced into marriage because of the baby. Of course I don’t think he would reccomend them living together though.
Perhaps they tried to get married when they found out she was pregnant but the priest insisted they wait.
My point is you can’t know about the details, and some of the details arn’t your business.
I was thinking the same thing. It’s not uncommon for priests to recommend waiting a year or two, because if there’s a pregnancy or new baby the couple may not be entering into marriage of their own free will, and if not, their marriage would be invalid in the eyes of the Church.
I agree. The key words in your post title are not “cohabitating” but rather “new parents”. My husband and I are expecting our first baby in June, and sometimes we get overwhelmed just thinking of how much work it will be. (Especially as young parents still in college. I applaud those two for having their baby–the world is not kind to young mothers and fathers). My first thought was relief that the father and mother had such a strong desire to be involved with their child–it would be extremely hard for them to help each other with a new baby and probably cause undue stress if they were to live apart. In this case the baby’s need to live with both its parents seems to at least temporarily during this newborn period outweigh the concern about cohabitating. I cannot imagine not having the father of my baby there to help–not just in the morning or evening, but overnight as well, which is often a hard time with an infant. The couple seems to be on the right track, nurturing their baby and preparing for marriage. If they are seeking marriage and baptism for their baby, they are receiving guidance from a priest, and right now they could probably use your love and support more than your guidance. It would probably make them happy for you to inquire about their wedding, as they may be excited about it Everyone makes mistakes and sins, and I’m sure they are eager to step up to the challenge of being parents and getting married, and right now they may just need a little extra support to help overcome those mistakes and sins.
I didn’t read all the posts, so I appologize if this is a repeat answer.
I say bring them the meal, make friends with them, and possible become a good influence in their lives. Being a good Christian to them and not judging them, might encourage them to do the right thing.
I know I’m not perfect.