Living Together Before Marriage? - Devotion 11

Hebrews 13:4

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (NIV)

See Also:  Passages about Living Together

In society today it has become almost a step in dating to move in together to "try out marriage." After all, we want to make sure we are compatible with one another so that we will not divorce.

The logic behind this move is good, but the results are not. I will admit, God does not want divorce and so it makes sense to do what ever it takes to prevent divorce...

There are two major problems with living together however. First of all, living together almost always puts two people in a situation that almost always leads to pre-marital sex. As was written earlier, this is not just sinful when two are living together but equally sinful with those who live apart. The living arrangement simply permits "playing with fire" in a closer enviroment.

The second problem is that living together actually does not accurately give a good picture of marriage. Two people may learn each others qwirks, i.e. the guy leaves the toilet seat up and the young women spends three hours putting on make-up, but beyond these basic habits it really teaches nothing about marriage.

Why? The reason is simple, in a living together situation there is always the opportunity to leave. If there are problems, either party can move out. Both people can basically do what ever they please. Yet, when two people become married all of this changes. There is "no way out." Two "I's" become one "We." A miracle happens that cannot be tested by living together. Plus, often couples are nicer while "living together!" After all, they are "dating."

The result is that people who live together before marriage typically get divorced. You would think the opposite would be true. Living together is a cheap substitute for commitment and covenant. Consider why someone chooses to live together with someone rather than getting married. The reason is they are unsure. If they are unsure about commitment, they should definitely not get married. It is no wonder that marriages after living together are often very weak.

Prayer: Lord it seems so right to test marriage ahead of time by living together. Help the world to see this wisdom is flawed and just an excuse to live follow the devil and His desire for our relationships to be painful and broken. Give me patience and strength each day. In Jesus name. Amen

Statistics and Stuff:  (Check out the study: American Sociological Review, 1988, Vol 53: 127-138 entitled, "Commitment and the Modern Union: Assessing the Link Between Premarital Cohabitation and Subsequent Marital Stability." The conclusion made divorce after living together is 80% higher than the risk of divorce after not living together, which is already too high.") See also: 57% of cohabiting couples dissolve within ten years when compared with 30% of all first marriages (VanGoethem 2005:77). That is almost double the rate of marriage.