What’s Wrong With Christians Living Together Before Marriage?

Dear Dr. Bill,


I recently heard you talking about dating for a year before getting married and that couples shouldn’t live together before marriage. Why is this important if both persons are spiritual, have faith in Jesus Christ, and respect each other?




Dear Heather,


A few months ago I mentioned 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 a successful marriage. While that seems to make sense, actually the opposite is true.


Research shows 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 cheat on each other.  If a cohabiting couple gets pregnant, there is a high probability that the man will leave the relationship, resulting in a single mom raising a fatherless child.


As a Christian, it’s important for you to know that God has some very specific things to say about sex. Our sexuality is a marvelous gift that He has given us. But the Bible clearly tells us that it is to be expressed within the context of marriage.


There are many scriptures that address this issue. One of them is found in the book of Thessalonians. It says: “It’s God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality, that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable.”


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 a sin.  If you truly want to follow Christ, it’s important to take seriously what He tells us in His Word.


An excellent book on this topic is “Before You Live Together” by Dr. Dave Gudgel.


Thanks for writing Heather.


I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

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