(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Is it OK to Move in Together?
By Jacqueline Napoli
“Everyone’s Doing It”
A major shift in Christianity has occurred: a big chunk of the church sees no problem with couples living together before marriage. A recent Barna poll shows that half of all teenagers from ages 13-17 who went to church this week think it’s all right to cohabitate. And 37 percent of people who are living together say they are Christians.
Let’s first define what it even means to be a Christian. Jesus said that there was and is a difference between “going to church” and belonging to Him. He warned us that there would be people who “talk Christianese” and do “churchy” stuff (“On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord… But I will tell them, “I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!” (Contemporary English Version, Mathew 7: 22-23). Christianity isn’t religion as much as it is the #1 relationship in your life, which should come before everything else. And the mark of a Christian is obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will do as I command,” (Contemporary English Version, John 14:25). 1 John 2:3 in the Contemporary English Version says, “When we obey God, we are sure we know him.” First, make sure you are really His. Do you know Him? Do you obey His word? If not, do you want to? Settle this first.
Next, His Word says:
- Run from sexual sin! (1 Cor. 6:18)
- Since you delight in obedience, do not shape your lives by the cravings which used to dominate you in the time of your ignorance. (1 Pt. 1:14)
- God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor – not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. (1 Thess. 3-6)
“I know, but . . . Jesus will forgive me . . . He understands”
- Some Christians believe that we can do what we want and ask Him to forgive us. But that teaching is not in the Bible. In fact, putting your own will above God’s is actually found in the writings of satanism, which exalts man’s will above all. It’s “greasy grace,” and it never ends well. It’s the opposite of Jesus saying, “Father, if you will, please don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want,” (Contemporary English Version, Luke 22:42). He warned us, “If your right hand causes you to sin, chop it off and throw it away” (Contemporary English Version, Matthew 5:30). The modern church sometimes acts like obedience is a luxury option, but to Jesus, it’s as serious as a heart attack, because sin pays off with being cut off from God. The number one reason to stay sexually pure till marriage is simply because God says so. That should be enough to seal the deal.
But cohabitation also doesn’t work that great. Cohabiters suffer:
- A 50% higher divorce rate if they marry.
- More stress than marriages.
- Lower relationship satisfaction.
- More fighting.
- Weakened bonds because leaving is an option.
God invented sex, and it is a really awesome gift! Its beauty lies in being celebrated according to God’s design, which is in a loving, lifelong, and biblical marriage.
Jesus said that wise people build their lives on God’s commandments, and their lives hold up through disaster, but fools do what’s easy and convenient, and their lives are ruined when trouble comes (Matthew 7:24-27). When we choose our own way above God’s, we leave His protection for the destructive consequences of sin.
Any sin will bring pain, even if it feels wonderful and right at first. If we are His, chastening and discipline will follow, because He loves us too much to just leave us to ourselves (Hebrews 12:6:11). David said, “Once you corrected me for not obeying you, but now I do obey,” (Contemporary English Version, Psalm 119:67). Save yourself some pain. If you wisely choose obedience, this is what you have to look forward to (Proverbs 3):
- Surpassed expectations.
- A long, peaceful, and pleasant life.
- Wealth and honor.
- Blessings and happiness.
Be wise and live by the book!