Co-Habitation (Living Together)
About 60% of married couples live together before they get married. Many people justify their choice to cohabitate based on finances, lifestyle choices, and the view that they are “committed” to one another. But the marriage covenant, not cohabitation, is God’s perfect plan for men and women to physically, emotionally, and spiritually relate to one another.
Marriage is an irrevocable, lifelong promise between a man and a woman and to God that they will “hold fast to” one another1 in dependence on God’s sustaining grace and in spite of the difficulties of the relationship. The marriage covenant symbolizes God’s covenant-keeping relationship with us, that He is faithful to us in spite of what it cost Him2. Cohabitation dishonors God’s plans for man and woman by seeking the transitory benefits of marriage (economic, sexual) apart from its covenantal obligations. This makes the desires of the man and woman the center of the relationship, not God’s glory. Cohabitation also creates an environment of ongoing temptation for (if not actual) adulterous sexual union. This, too, dishonors God and distorts the role of sex from God’s intended purposes.
For further study, see our Position Paper on Marriage.