Before You Live Together


Dear Dr. Bill,

A few weeks ago I heard you say that it’s not a good idea for couples to live together before marriage.  Why is this important if both people have faith in Jesus, respect each other, and have good morals and values?



Dear Grace,

I mentioned that many couples today believe that living together is a good way to find out if they are compatible-sort of a “test drive” that will improve their chances for martial success.

While this seems to make sense, actually just the opposite is true.  The latest research indicates that couples who cohabit before marriage have a 50-80% higher divorce rate than those who don’t.

These couples also have higher rates of domestic violence and are more likely to be involved in affairs.  If a cohabiting couple gets pregnant, there’s a very good chance that the man will leave the relationship within two years, resulting in a single mom raising a fatherless child.

It’s also important for you to know that the bible has some very specific things to say about sex outside of marriage.  Sexuality is a marvelous gift that God has given us.  But he clearly tells us that it is to be expressed within the context of marriage.  There are many scriptures that address this issue.  When we venture outside of God’s design in this area, the consequences can be painful.

I would encourage you and your boyfriend to remain sexually pure until marriage.  If you are already living together, you need to know that God considers this sin.  Since you describe yourself as a Christian, I would urge you to take seriously what he tells us in his Word.

To learn more about this very important issue, check out the book Before You Live Together by Dr. David Gudgel. Thanks for writing, Grace.


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