More than half of the couples in America live together before they get married. The cohabitation logic is that a couple should have a “trial” marriage before the real thing to see if they can get along. After all, you try on shoes before you buy them. You test drive a car before purchasing it. Wouldn’t it make sense to try living together before diving into the major commitment of marriage? That might seem logical, but it just doesn’t work that way.
Even the non-religious, unchurched, world is recognizing that living together before making the commitment of marriage is not healthy for the relationship. Notice this quote from The New York Times:
Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.
That is a NY Times article questioning the helpfulness of living together before marriage. According to the research cited by the article, couples who choose to move in together tend to be “less satisfied with their marriages” and “more likely to divorce.”
With no care for what God says, or what is right, this worldly source is pointing out that relationships are hurt, not helped by living together before marriage.
Now, with that information, let’s look it from another perspective. God also says it is a bad idea to live together before marriage. In fact, God goes further and reveals that the best way to enter a marriage is for both the new husband and the new wife be sexually pure. Cohabitation makes that more difficult.
His plan is that not only has the couple not slept with each other, they have not slept with anyone. God calls sexual activity outside of marriage fornication. And, He identifies it as sin or something that goes against His plan for our lives.
God knows that the healthiest relationships are built upon the emotional and spiritual connection rather than the physical expression of the relationship. The physical and sexual aspect is the result of a healthy marriage, but it is not the center of the relationship. Instead, the relationship has an emotional connection that the sexual expression strengthens. That kind of relationship can only be formed in the bonds of the committed relationship called marriage.
Don’t be mistaken; we don’t need the NY Times to determine what is right and wrong or moral and immoral. God has already done that. But, it is interesting that the world is observing that God’s way is actually a healthier way than the world’s way. Let’s listen to and do it God’s way.
Answer This: How can your relationship be stronger if you follow God’s plan?