Dear Dr. Bill,
My boyfriend and I are talking about marriage. We live in different states and would like to save money for our wedding, so we’re thinking about sharing an apartment. I have a 6-year-old daughter who loves this man dearly. The plan is for my boyfriend to have his own room and I would share the other with my daughter. What do you think?
If you and your boyfriend are Christians and are committed to purity, I think this plan is a bad idea. Although your intentions may be good, you will be subjecting yourselves to a tremendous amount of temptation. The bible tells us to “flee from sexual immorality” and to live in a way that is “holy and honorable.”
You also need to consider the message that this living arrangement would send to your daughter. God’s design for sexuality is that it is a beautiful gift, meant be shared between a husband and wife in a life-long, committed marital relationship.
If that is the message you want your daughter to learn, you will be sending her a confusing, mixed message by living with your boyfriend—even if you are able to resist temptation.
If you and your boyfriend are already physically involved, you should know that the research on cohabitation isn’t pretty. Couples who live together before marriage have a 60-80% higher divorce rate. They have higher rates of domestic violence and are more likely to be unfaithful.
Also, if a couple lives together and the woman becomes pregnant, there is a high likelihood that the relationship will end within two years, leaving her to raise the child on her own.
Let me recommend an excellent book that will help you make wise decisions in your relationship. It’s entitled “Before You Live Together” by Dave Gudgel.
Thanks for writing Jessica. If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.
Click here for the audio version of this article.