Testing it Out: Why Christians Should Not Live Together Before Marrying

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My wife and I celebrated twenty-one years of marriage in June 2022. For our anniversary, we decided to get a new car. I had my eye on a sports car and as a result, during the month of May, we test drove several cars until we finally settled on the one that was best for us. The goal of testing the vehicles was to make sure that the car was a good fit both aesthetically and mechanically. Testing it out works perfectly for buying a car but it does not work for testing the longevity of a Christian marital relationship.

When Christians are tempted to live together as a couple with all of the privileges of marriage but none of the Biblical commitment and solemnization before God, a proverbial big red flag should be raised. God does not approve of people who are governed by the Lordship of Christ, living together before marriage. If he did so, he would be violating his own word. The Word of God says, “that is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24, New International Version (NIV). From this reading, we see that God’s plan is for the individuals in the relationship, to leave their families and form a new family in matrimony as husband and wife.

Many Christians couples who seek to live together before marriage, are often motivated by fear from alarming divorce rates, and financial security and stability. Nevertheless, the Lord wants his children to trust him and live according to the truth of his word. When we violate God’s plan because we think we know better, then we are rejecting the truth for a lie. Know this, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NIV).

Now, remember, the purpose of this blog is not judge or make anyone feel badly. The goal is to make sure that our lifestyle aligns with the teachings of our loving heavenly Father. Lastly, theoretically, it is plausible and possible that some Christian couples who opt to live together before marriage are able to do so and remain sexually pure. However, based upon the teachings of the word of God, this action is not Biblically approved, as Jesus warned us to stay away from situations that compromise our virtue and lead us to temptation. “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 (NIV).

If you are a Christian and are not married and living together with a partner, seek counseling from a Pastor who is led by the word of God. The Pastor may be able to guide you and your partner to a proper understanding of Christian relationships and help you on your journey towards experiencing a happy, healthy, and biblically sanctioned union. God still loves you and you belong to him. You may be correct that living separately may impact your finances

and level of comfort; however, I am sure you would agree that you cannot put a price tag on honoring God. Sometimes we have to make tough choices and sacrifices. Take comfort from Paul’s message to Timothy; “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” I Timothy 4:12 (NIV).

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