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Christian Life

My Thoughts About Living Together Before Marriage

Ladies, living together outside of marriage has become such a norm these days that people hardly think twice about it. But as Christians, we are called to live a Godly life.

While scripture doesn’t mention anything about a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, it is pretty clear about sex between a man and a woman outside of marriage: “Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers” (Hebrews 13:4).

So many people justify living together before marriage. But God designed relationships in such a way that works for good. Anything less than what He planned usually leads to chaos and dysfunction. There’s a reason why. God’s creation of Adam and Eve is just the beginning, but it’s not a story that should be taken lightly. Genesis 2:24 reads, “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.” There’s no relationship that comes in between the one as a child living with our parents to the one as an adult living with our spouse.

God’s design is perfect, and when we divert from it, we cause imperfections. We cause the dysfunction.

If you’re considering cohabitation and assuming that there’s no harm in it, check out these following truths first:

  1. It doesn’t give you an idea of what life would be like together. Living together and being married are not the same. Just ask someone who lived with her boyfriend before they got married. Oftentimes, people accuse each other of “changing” after getting married. There are certain expectations after marriage. So living together doesn’t give you the full picture. Instead, it offers a distorted image of the perfect design that God created. It’s not the real thing.
  2. It places you in a position of sin. Scripture reads that the marriage bed should not be defiled. When a man and woman live together before marriage, they do get intimate on several levels. Not only is sex outside of marriage a sin, but many couples have children outside of marriage as well, so they’re introducing a child into a potentially broken situation instead of one that offers security and stability for a child. This is one of the main points of marriage.
  3. It goes against God’s order of things. Scripture says that a man leaves his father and mother and becomes one flesh with his wife. God’s plan for marriage is that a man and woman meet pure, marry, consummate their marriage and then multiply.
  4. It doesn’t always lead to marriage. And sometimes when it does, it can be for the wrong reasons. Yeah! This is a weird one. But really, think about it. At one extreme, a man and a woman may choose to live together and delay marriage or even not bother with it because they assume they’re pretty much in a “marriage” situation already, so why bother. At the other extreme, the man and woman may decide to get married just because it’s the next logical step, not because they’re right for each other.
  5. It’s just an easier way to get out of a commitment. I mean, think about it. While “breaking up is hard to do,” it’s easier to walk away from living with someone than from being married to someone. With marriage comes commitment. Living together is the easy way. It’s man’s way of fulfilling a desire, but it’s not God’s way.

Ladies, living together is not just wrong because it almost always results in two people having unmarried sex, whether they intended to or not. It’s also wrong because it goes against God’s order of things. We may believe that marriage will come next, but what if it doesn’t? And if you’re sure marriage will come next, then why not get married now?

Ladies, what are your views on living together before marriage?

Contact me via social media for any questions, advice, prayer or just to say hello:
Facebook: facebook.com/TMGaouette
Twitter: @TMGaouette

*Note from the editor: A previous version of this article contained views on contraception not held by the entire Project Inspired team.

Image: LightStock

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19 Comments

  1. bandgirl

    Posted by bandgirl on June 28, 2016 at 07:42

    I totally agree with this. Ladies let me tell you as a girl who both lived with and lost my virginity to a guy before we were even engaged its not worth it. It looks like fun and you see all these other couples who it “worked out’ for, but you don’t see their struggles behind closed doors. If you still have your virginity, I’m begging you to cling to abstinence and don’t make failure an option. I felt nothing but shame after I lost my virginity, ending my 19 year long pledge to abstinence. It’s not all that great, it can wait. It adds to the fun of the wedding night of you’ve never experienced it before. Don’t let yourself fall into the sin and guilt cycle I want desperately out of.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by Saphire605 on July 22, 2015 at 10:40

    Marriage is about commitment and if you are a Christian, it is a commitment before God. It is a reminder that God is head of your marriage. As a Christian, we recognize that God’s plan is always best and His ways are above our own.

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Surrealist on July 22, 2015 at 10:00

    I have one question… What about living together when you’re engaged?
    I don’t recall a time in the bible when people were engaged in then married, especially like nowadays when we are engaged for a year or so to save and plan for the wedding.
    To me, living together while you’re engaged, as long as you have a plan in place to avoid temptation, is not sin. It seems like a wise financial and emotional decision. Just curious in your thoughts!

  4. zoe_girl

    Posted by zoe_girl on July 22, 2015 at 08:43

    My fiancee and I are living in my parents house right now… we aren’t living alone. And it’s practical because we literally do everything together in order to prepare for the wedding. I think it honestly depends on one’s circumstances, how accurate this article could be is highly based on one’s personal experience.

  5. SignerGirl

    Posted by SignerGirl on June 16, 2015 at 20:30

    My boyfriend and I have considered me moving in with him temporarily while I get my feet on the ground with a job in a new town, and I don’t consider that sinful. It’s temporary, and it’s practical. The things keeping us from getting married already:
    1) Expectations from family. My mom pretty much begged me to take some time before getting married to him because she got married after only dating my dad a year, and she wants to see me in a happy marriage.
    2) An agreement with friends. They need roommates for at least a year, and family pressure is to wait a while, so we’re going to room with the friends until we’re ready to get married.
    I’m not saying you’re entirely wrong, but situations matter.

  6. Revolutionary24

    Posted by Revolutionary24 on June 3, 2015 at 10:23

    I totally agree that we should wait until marriage to live together. The bible says flee any appearance of evil and it says to FLEE youthful lusts, not to entertain them.

  7. PolkaDot

    Posted by PolkaDot on June 2, 2015 at 13:26

    I disagree with this article. I believe sex is marriage. You don’t need a piece of paper so that ‘you aren’t sinning to have sex with this person.’ If you are ready for marriage but don’t want to go through the process of the ceremony and marriage license than you are married. I don’t understand why Christians insist that you need to have a ceremony before you have sex! They didn’t do that in the Bible.

    • Revolutionary24

      Posted by Revolutionary24 on June 3, 2015 at 10:28

      It’s not about what we personally believe though it’s what the bible says.

      The Bible makes it clear that what you describe is fornication and that’s wrong.
      1 Corinthians 6:18-20 – Flee fornication.
      1 Thessalonians 4:3 – For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication
      1 Corinthians 7:1-2 – Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a man not to touch a woman.

      God Bless.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by Skipp20 on June 5, 2015 at 23:40

        I agree with Polka Dot. From reading the Bible carefully, I’ve gotten the impression that once you have sex with a person, you’re “bound” to them–“the two shall become one flesh”, etc. I would agree that fornication is wrong, but I feel definitions and translations of the word are unclear. I think casual hookups are fornication, and so is sleeping with someone without being in love and committed to them. If two people are in love and committed, I don’t think it counts as fornication…how can a piece of paper and a ceremony suddenly prevent sex from being sinful? It just DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. When I think about this, I’m reminded of the verse that says, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” God knows what’s in our hearts, and I believe it is possible for two people to be deeply committed, I’ll even go so far as to say married, in spirit. And isn’t that so much more important than a marriage certificate?

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by tera_beardslee on May 31, 2015 at 13:59

    I agree, living together before marriage is dangerous in terms of protecting your purity, but I disagree with the other bit. As a person who no longer lives with my parents, I’m not married, I disagree about that. No, I dont live with my boyfriend. But I know that God called me out of my mother’s house. I also know that, despite popular belief, everyone is not called to marry. But that doesn’t mean that God called those people to be a burden upon their parents for their whole lives. I agree that it isn’t smart to live with your boyfriend but I don’t think that goes as far as staying with your parents until you’re married. I live with the pastoral family of my church, and I know that it’s what God wanted.
    I’m not trying to be argumentative, I just feel like these points need to be made

  9. rainbowuni

    Posted by rainbowuni on May 31, 2015 at 13:34

    So, after reading this article and facebook comments, I have a question for the author (and anyone who has the same views):
    If we should let God decide when we have children by not using contraceptives, why is pre-marital sex bad–at least on the basis that it can result in pregnancy? Isn’t abstaining from sex (whether it’s until marriage or any other time) the same as using contraceptives, as it tampers with God’s plan? Or do people sometimes get pregnant when it’s not God’s plan?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by jac on July 3, 2016 at 23:15

      Pregnancy that the couple is not emotionally or financially prepared for is a possible consequence of pre-marital sex, not the reason pre-marital sex is wrong. Biblically, sex (including sexual acts that don’t result in pregnancy) is supposed to be shared only between a husband or wife.

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on June 1, 2015 at 08:35

      Thanks for the question. Scripture says that pre-marital sex defiles the marriage bed (Hebrews 13:4). So, any sex outside of marriage is considered sexual immorality. If people followed God’s law, they would only have sex with their spouse only because sex is a gift to married people. And with the sex, come the children. Which is the order in which God designed it. You abstain from sex, not to not have children, but to avoid being sexually immoral. I hope that this answers your question. God bless, TMG

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by monika778 on May 31, 2015 at 12:47

    In my youth group therevwas a teacher that would occassionally help out and chaperone trips to different conferences. Once during small group discussions, she revealed to us that before she got married the first time, she and the man lived together. This marriage eventually ended in divorce. A few years later, they fell in love again, but this time they decided to not live together beforehand. Now they have been happily married for five or six years and he also eventually became a believer because he saw how she was living out her Christian faith.

  11. inspired_admin

    Posted by inspired_admin on May 31, 2015 at 11:00

    Hello Girls! Thank you for your response. The views in the post are those of the individual writer. However, after hearing your reaction we have revised the article. Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Smylinggirl

    Posted by Smylinggirl on May 30, 2015 at 15:36

    I agree that living together before marriage is wrong, but I have trouble with saying that contraceptives are a sin. If they aren’t the abortion-inducing pills, they just prevent pregnancy, is that really sinning?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Skipp20 on June 5, 2015 at 23:46

      NO I will never believe that contraceptives are a sin, especially if they’re not the type to cause abortions. I’ve been on birth control pills for years, and intend to use them to prevent pregnancy too, because of health reasons that would make it very difficult for me to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Even if someone just uses BCPs to prevent pregnancy, I don’t think that’s a sin. If someone doesn’t want to have children, they shouldn’t just be forced to abstain from sex in their marriage.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by jac on July 3, 2016 at 23:22

        Yes, this is a problem. Sex isn’t just for the creation of children, it is a healthy part of marriage. If a couple is seeking God’s will in their marriage and for the right time to have children, how could it possibly be wrong for them to use birth control? It is no more wrong to take birth control until your body and minds and hearts are ready for a baby then it is wrong to take medicine when you are sick. God often works His will through modern medicine.

  13. Holly_Knot

    Posted by Holly_Knot on May 30, 2015 at 13:33

    I think this is great and all, but I have seen how living with someone shows you a whole new side to them. It may not be a married side but if you stay with someone in their home for a week or so you see their most relaxed and unrestricted side, a side that you won’t see otherwise, a side that you might be able to actually deal with. So while living together for extended periods and not marrying can lead to things that aren’t desirable, staying with someone for a little bit before marriage makes sure you know them better before you actually marry.