It was recently Q&A night at theMILL (for an audio of Q&A nights at theMILL click here). The services are always random and nothing short of an adventure as over the course of 45 minutes I answer as many questions as I can on-the-fly taken from those in attendance. I encourage people to not be afraid of doubt as it is a part of faith and to not shy away from questions as they can lead us to truth and faith. I only get through a small percentage of the stack of questions so for a while I have committed to answer a question a week on my blog for a time. This is question #4.
MY BOYFRIEND AND I ARE PLANNING ON GETTING MARRIED, BUT WE WOULD LIKE TO MOVE IN WITH EACH OTHER BEFORE. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
To be blunt, I’m of the opinion that living together before marriage is not a good idea. Our culture and our human nature adhere to the belief that “if it feels good, do it.” The problem with this philosophy is that it puts my desires, feelings and ideas of what is good ahead of biblical truth and tested wisdom.
Though the Bible does not specifically state, “thou shalt not live together before getting married”, it does clearly communicate God’s desire for us to live a pure life (I Thessalonians 4:7) and avoid sexual immorality (I Corinthians 6:18). If pre-marital purity is your and your fiancé’s goal, moving in together certainly isn’t going to make achieving it any easier. I think you would be needlessly putting your purity to the test by moving in together prior to exchanging vows.
The Bible also clearly says that sex outside of marriage isn’t God’s way. Again, not a “thou shalt not” command but made obvious by the encouragement to avoid fornication and to not commit adultery (adultery: sleeping with someone who is not your spouse). To live together and think that chastity will continue (assuming it has been preserved up to this point) is, I think, naïve. Song of Solomon says, “Don’t awaken love before it’s time” (2:7). I encourage you to preserve the mystery and beauty that is meant for marriage.
Please realize that you are developing patterns now that you will carry into marriage. This is your test-run. I am aware that you may “feel” fine about living together because you are “getting married anyway”, but I implore you to start your marriage off on the right foot – the foundation of self-denial and delayed gratification. Marriage is all about putting your desires aside so you can serve your spouse. It is all about laying your life down as Christ did for His bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:25). To do what you want is self-centered. As evidence of the need to build a marriage relationship in the way God designed it, check out these trends.
- 80% of couples that live together without marriage vows separate
- 60% of couples that are married by the justice of the peace separate
- 40% of couples that are married in a church separate
- 1 of 1050 couples who read the Bible together everyday separate
And heck, you’ve got the rest of your lives to live together. A few more months aren’t going to hurt you. Be patient.