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What Does Bible Say About Living Together Before Marriage

Flee From Sexual Immorality

Living Together Before Marriage | Christian Perspective

The Bible warns us to flee from sexual immortality. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body . The definition of flee is run away from a place or situation of danger. Its sort of difficult to run hard and fast from danger when its literally in your house and in front of you every day.

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Levirate marriage was practiced in Old Testament times. If a man died leaving no male heir, his brother was expected to marry his widow and produce children rel=nofollow> Deuteronomy 25:5-10). This, and other forms of polygamy, were acceptable in Biblical times, although only wealthy men could afford multiple wives. King Solomon was the most notable polygamist with his 700 wives and 300 concubines rel=nofollow> 1 Kings 11:3-4).

Will God Forgive Living Together Before Marriage

God is a forgiving God, and he will forgive you if youre already living together before marriage and want to make things right.

No sin is too big for God to redeem, and he promises to forgive our sins when we repent and confess our sins.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 CSB

“No, I tell you but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3 ESV

But how do you repent if youre already living together? Should you get married? Should you move out?

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How Jesus Confronted Cohabitation

John 4 gives us a perfect example of how Jesus lovingly interacted with a person who chose to cohabit. In this passage, Jesus was passing through a Samaritan town on the way to Galilee. There He meets a woman at the well drawing water, and He asks for a drink. She is obviously surprised by this request since, in the culture of the time, Jews and Samaritans rarely spoke or interacted with one another.

In this story, three things stand out about how Jesus approached the conversation in a loving, edifying way.

Does Having Sex Create A Marriage

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However, once married, the religious laws and customs of the time strongly prohibited adultery and provided physical and financial protections for the spouses and their children ” rel=”nofollow”> Exodus 20:14, , , , , , , , , , ).

In today’s world, it is the legal marriage that provides similar protections. Merely having sex or living together does not fulfill the functions of the Biblical model of marriage.

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Why Do People Think Its Wrong To Live Together Before Youre Married

Well, the issue is not living together, but the sin of fornication . Fornication has always been rampant and it was just easier for our parents and grandparents to fuss at us about putting ourselves in situations that were presumed to increase the chances of hooking up versus actually dealing with the real issue. And contrary to some beliefs, a shared house is not the only place where couples can get hot and steamy, so fussing about living together is only the beginning of the conversation.

The Bible doesnt actually say anything about living together before marriage but it speaks consistently about purity and keeping your body as a Holy temple. When the Scriptures dont speak about one thing explicitly, we are to use the commands and guidance left for us to deduce the appropriate response. How does this apply to shacking up or moving in together before the wedding?

Is It Ok For Christians To Live Together Before Marriage

Is it wrong for Christian couples to live together before marriage according to God?

Living together before marriage is becoming increasingly common, even among Christian couples and for a number of reasons. Before making a lifelong commitment, many couples want a trial period to feel out how they both live, and know if taking the relationship to the next level makes sense. Many Christians are adopting the beliefs and practices of the world, and this can be problematic for a number of reasons.

The Bible makes no clear claim that living together before or outside of marriage is living in sin. Given this, many Christians believe that living together before marriage is not living in sin. While there is truth concerning there being no clear claim against it, one of the reasons why an answer to this question isnt explicitly stated in the Bible is because two unmarried people living together before marriage who planned on being husband and wife was rare, particularly among Jews and Christians.

As Christians, we also have to think about what marriage represents. We can take a look at Ephesians 5:

In a living together before marriage scenario, both people have physical access to each other, without an emotional or spiritual commitment.

Lesli White is an Editor for Beliefnet.com

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What Does The Bible Say About Living Together While Engaged

If you are engaged and planning to get married, you still shouldnt live together before marriage.

God intended for couples to live together and sleep together in the context of marriage, which does not include engagement.

Even if you are engaged, living together was not Gods intent and you should still wait to move in together.

If you are engaged and already living together, I would consider whether you can get married sooner.

Again, whats more important, honoring God with your relationship or waiting to have the perfect dream wedding?

Maybe you have a smaller ceremony with close friends and family and then have your dream wedding later on.

But dont think its okay to move in together since you are almost married anyway. Almost married and married are still completely different.

And dont think you wont be tempted to sleep together when you are engaged.

Even though we didnt live together, when my husband and I were engaged, it was even harder to resist sleeping together or doing anything physical.

All those nights driving home when we wanted to stay and cuddle? I couldnt imagine how difficult it would have been to resist temptation if we had lived together before marriage.

Temptation can get even stronger once you are engaged, so its best not to even think about moving in together until youve said I do.

What Does The Bible Say About Cohabitation

Is Living Together Before Marriage A Sin?

As discussed in many other Crosswalk articles, the Bible doesnt often have an explicit verse for our cultural norms in terms of dating and cohabitation, as neither really existed during the Old or New Testament.

However, we can look at cultural norms of biblical times to understand that living together = marriage in their minds back then. Living together before marriage was not an option.

In biblical times, after a man asked his bride to marry him, he would immediately start work on building an apartment as an addition to his fathers house. Only his father had the authority to declare when the apartment his son was building was finished.

The bride would wait and wait until her groom came back, which could have been at any time of day or night. As soon as the apartment was finished, he would whisk her away to the new home that he had built for their new life together. The wedding celebration would start immediately after finishing this momentous projectnot one second before.

In fact, when Jesus tells his disciples that he is going to prepare a place for you , he is using wedding language. That is also why Jesus declares about when we’ll go to heaven But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father, .

This shows that living together was a very important step to Gods people and one that was only ever taken in conjunction with marriage.

Scripture issues the following verses against having sex before marriage.

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Additional Consequences Of Living Together Before Marriage

Have you considered the consequences of having a child out of wedlock?

The Witherspoon Institute, a conservative think tank out of Princeton, New Jersey, issued a report called Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles. They identify four threats to marriage, including cohabitation arrangements. The report states that these arrangements are not a good alternative to marriage but are a threat, and they surely do not provide a good environment for the rearing of children.

Nearly 40 percent of babies born in the United States in 2007 were delivered by unwed mothers, according to data released by the National Center for Health Statistics. The highest percentage was among women 25 to 29 years old. Can you be sure your significant other will continue to live with and provide support for the family after a child is born if he isnt committed enough to marry you?

Couples In The Bible Did Not Live Together Before Marriage

We see in the Bible that God intended for couples to live together only after they were married.

This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Genesis 2:24 NLT

The emphasis in this Bible verse is the fact that a man leaves his father and mother, indicating that the man and woman lived with their families, not each other, before they got married.

And we see in John 4 that Jesus points out that the Samaritan woman was living with a man who she wasnt married to.

Jesus said, Youre right! You dont have a husband for you have had five husbands, and you arent even married to the man youre living with now. You certainly spoke the truth! John 4:17-18 NLT

While Jesus did not want to judge this woman for living with a man she wasnt married to, he makes a point to mention this fact to highlight that she shouldnt be living to a man who she isnt married to.

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What To Do If Youre Already Living Together Without Being Married

If youre already living together and you arent married, dont panic. I pray that God speaks to you personally as you read this, and that he shows you the path forward for you and your significant other.

The path forward may not be an easy decision, but I pray God gives you the strength and clarity to determine whats best for your relationship.

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Consider The Following Steps If You Are Already Living With Your Boyfriend Or Fianc Before Marriage:

  • Pray and confess any sin to God. Acknowledge that you havent been honoring Gods will for your relationship, and ask for his forgiveness.
  • Pray and repent from your sin. Take action to remove yourself from the situation that caused you to sin. If youve been having sex before marriage, set physical boundaries in your relationship and discuss these boundaries with other godly men and women in your life for accountability.
  • Pray and seek Godly counsel from others to determine if you should get married, or if you should move out. Consider temporary living arrangements while you determine the best path forward for your relationship.
  • What Does The Bible Say About Sex Before Marriage

    Of course, we can always look at the Ten Commandments and easily discover that sexual intercourse outside of marriage is wrong But, there are plenty of other places in the Bible where it is clear that we are called to save sex for marriage. We see what the Bible says about premarital sex very early on in Genesis 1 and 2. In fact, one of the first references the Bible makes about sex itself is found in the second chapter ! See this article for more about what does the Bible say about dating.

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    Living Together Before Marriage: How To Have A Conversation With Someone Making The Wrong Choice

    Many young couples are living together before marriage for one reason or another. How can Christians talk to friends or family members who are making this decision?

    The country was midway through the pandemic when my younger brother announced his plans to move out of my parents house. My family was astonished when we found out his plans involved moving out of state and in with his girlfriend after dating long distance for just under a year.

    As a Christian household, we experienced a multitude of emotions. When someone we love or care deeply about makes a decision we fundamentally dont agree with, we can easily react in anger, shock or maybe even grief.

    But the words that follow are usually neither constructive nor edifying. Romans 15:14 tells us that we should be filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.

    So how do we instruct or counsel a loved one against a decision that runs counter to Gods Word? The first step is to seek knowledge.

    My Christian upbringing had taught me that living together before marriage was bad, but this situation inspired me to look to the Bible for myself to find out what exactly it has to say about living together before marriage. I found one story that specifically speaks to cohabitation its the story of Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman.

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    Is Sleeping In The Same Bed A Sin If You Dont Live Together

    Again, while this action isn’t necessarily a sin it is definitely a near occasion of sin, which is something every Catholic is called to avoid. And, as we mentioned above, while sharing a bed does not guarantee sexual intercourse is taking place…everyone understands what it means to share a bed with someone of the opposite sex! And, that is something that should be saved for marriage.

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    Fruits Of Repentance And Purity

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    For example, let me use an illustration: a couple is pregnant and living together regularly sleeping together because they think that, because they are committed and moving towards marriage, sexual relations is okay. You meet those folks. There are a lot of them out there. What I say to this couple is that they are living in sin. And, Would they repent and bear the fruits worthy of repentance, fitting repentance ? And that fruit would be to move out and stop living together until they are married. Now if they refuse, I tell them: No, I wont do the wedding. And if they are members of my church, they would be disciplined for that kind of willful sin. In my experience, couples have walked away. They have gone to find somebody else who will agree with their values.

    Neither the sin of fornication, nor the presence of a baby, makes repentance and holiness impossible.

    We have talked before on this podcast of the painful failure to offer pure and virgin bodies to each other at the altar of marriage. We have talked about that. That is a great sadness. But, it is not unforgivable. Purity on the other side of sin is possible through the justifying and sanctifying work of Christ. That is what I want these couples who have sinned to embrace. And the fact that they, in their past, have the sin of fornication and a child is present in the womb doesnt diminish the possibility of purity and holiness in the present and in the future.

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