Should Christians Live Together Before Marriage?

This is not a popular topic to discuss.  In fact, it will make you feel uncomfortable if you’re in this situation today.

Living with your significant other before marriage sure is a common practice in our culture.  In fact, before I gave my heart to the Lord I used to live with my (at the time) boyfriend way back when.

But God’s Word is clear on this practice of sexual immorality…

It’s called sin.  Fornication to be more exact.  Those are not nice words to hear, but they are Truth.  And the Truth is what I share here regardless of how it will be received.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  Col. 3:5

and the New Living Translation…

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.  Col. 3:5

One woman wrote in sharing her situation about living with her man.  You can see my response to her via my video.

If you’re unable to view the video in your email feed, you can see it here.

Perhaps you just got saved and you’re still living with your guy?   Well, you’ve got a decision to make.  A decision that matters to your soul and your spiritual growth.

You need to talk with your guy and let him know you want to follow and please the Lord with your life, and following the Lord in this situation requires one of two things from you…

A) Either you/he moves out.

Or

B) The two of you get married.  (If he’s not a Believer, read this post.)

So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.  But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry.  It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.  1 Cor. 7:8-9

If he scoffs at your request, then that’s a clear indication that he is not committed to obeying the Lord.  That’s a red flag for you because your man loves himself and his sin more than he loves the Lord.  Now a new man in Christ would  be open and sensitive to obeying the Lord.  A man who is not truly saved couldn’t care less what God thinks about him.

You don’t want your spiritual well-being to suffer as a result of this sin.  Being right with God is more important than being with some man that you don’t have a Biblical covenant with.

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.  James 5:16

If you’re living in habitual, unrepentant sin, our God is so holy that he can’t hear your prayers.

It’s your sins that have cut you off from God.  Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.  Isaiah 59:2

Choose today whom you will serve.  You and your flesh?  Or your God?

Live a poured out life for Christ,

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Comments

  1. Beth says

    The only question I have (and one that I’ve never seen tackled) is this: If a man and women are a couple and are living together but are NOT doing anything sexual whatsoever, other than kissing and snuggling up on the couch together, is it still wrong? I mean, the point of not living together before marriage is so that one does not become tempted and fall into sexual sin…right? I’m honestly just curious about this!! My husband and I didn’t live together, for the record, but this is just something I’ve often thought about.

    • says

      Hi Beth,
      When a couple lives together but they’re not having sex….the temptation that is put before them (being alone together) is not wise. They are putting themselves in a compromising position. And what they’re doing is letting the whole world know that they are living together; two people who are having sex but not married. Society views them as having sex whether they are or not. In they’re actions, they are giving the appearance of evil. I know if I were a Christian single woman the last thing I’d want to do is put myself in a situation where I was going to be tempted to sin AND I wouldn’t want my Godly character compromised based on the appearance of my actions. People watch us ALL the time! “Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22

  2. says

    Beth, I’ve wondered about that too. I have a friend who is planning on moving in with her finace’ a month before their wedding–and I’m a bridesmaid. I talked with her about it, and she said they’ll have separate bedrooms, they won’t “do anything,” and they wish people would trust them more.

    Some people have the kind of self-control that would enable them to live with someone who they are not married to without being tempted to have sex with them–or at least without falling into that temptation. But the point is, if someone intentionally puts themselves in that kind of situation (lots of unsupervised alone time, same house, possibly sharing a bathroom, etc) they are setting themselves up for a major struggle.

    Scripture tells us to not give Satan even a foothold in our lives. And two people who aren’t married and who are living together are giving Satan way more than just a foothold. Maybe they won’t give in to temptation. But the chance that they WILL is very, very good. Satan does everything he can to destroy the things God has created for our blessing, and marriage and sex are two of the most precious of those things. If Satan has any opportunity, he will mar the gifts of sex and marriage.

    To put it simply, it is downright foolish for two people to live together outside of marriage. They are setting themselves up for sin, and doing it intentionally. That. Is. Wrong. Period. I have several friends and relatives (some close ones) who do this. Is it forgivable? Yes. But the couple need to realize that what they are doing is wrong, and they need to stop.

    That’s my long answer to a dilemma that it looks like we’ve both had!

    • says

      Hmmm…they say they want others to trust them more, but what really needs to happen is that they trust themselves less. After all, the heart is desperately wicked. They shouldn’t trust themselves in such a situation. It’s not wise. They are walking into a very compromising and tempting situation.

      The Bible tells us to flee temptation and to avoid the appearance of evil. It tells us not to tempt God by doing things that are unwise and expecting Him to help us out (i.e. the devil’s temptation of Jesus to jump off the temple roof and expect God to protect Him is very similar to choosing to live together and expecting God to help you stay sexually pure). Living together before marriage, even if you don’t “do anything,” is not following those instructions from the Bible. Not only is this a bad situation that could very well lead to sexual sin, but it is a very bad testimony.

      And there is no good reason for it in the first place. There is no need for a couple to go ahead and move in together before the wedding. Whatever costs are involved in keeping two separate apartments or houses for a month are negligible compared to the spiritual and emotional costs involved in going against God’s word.

      Also, the thrill of living together, sharing a home and all, is something that is part of the delirious newlywed days and shouldn’t be rushed into before the wedding. It’s like opening presents before Christmas. Why would you want to take the edge off your newlywed bliss by “peeking” at what life together will be like beforehand?

  3. karin says

    Hi,I agree wholeheartedly,I’ve a question about if the couple lives 3 hours away from each other and spend weekends together.due to seasonal resort areas they live in, hotels and rooms are far too expensive. What’s is your suggestion to them?

  4. karin says

    I’m also interested in your thoughts on the fact that when we accept Christ we are viewed as washed in the blood, perfectly righteous before God.He chooses to see our sins no more,we are accepted in the beloved.Never looked at as sinners again but Gods beloved children.I think your gown is perfect and or your tiaras always sparkling now that you are in Christ.So the scripture in Isaiah that you quoted doesn’t seem to apply to a person who has a new covenant with God based on His grace.The only prayer God does not hear is the prayers of unrepentant sinners which we were before accepting Christ but never to be again after accepting His finished work on the cross. Old Covenant is you do this,God will do that.New Covenant Jesus did it all,we rest in the finished work,and believe in the one that He sent.when we do that we will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit placed within us.doing the good works we were saved unto not by.

    • says

      Hi Karin,
      Yes, when we accept Christ, our sins are washed as far as the east is to the west. However, we are still sinners because of our fallen nature. We are to still confess our sins to Him. 1 John 1:9.
      Furthermore,
      We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. John 9:31

      1 John 1:6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

      1 John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

      1 John 1:10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

      Hebrews 10:26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.

      Romans 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

      I hope these scriptures help!

  5. Heidi says

    Hi Jolene!
    My Mom and her fiance, who are both Christians, are now living together. She has been married twice before, and he has been married once before. They have not made any immediate plans for marriage and feel that their commitment to each other and the “covenant” they’ve made to God justifies their situation. My husband and I really struggle with this because we feel they will miss the true blessing God has for their marriage by compromising and creating their own “covenant” to live by. We also worry about how others watching them, both Christians and non-Christians, will judge them. Our four children (ages 12-5) are at such impressionable ages and we made the decision to keep them from visiting their home until they are married. They are welcome in our home, and we can meet other places. This boundary we have set up has really upset my mom and she feels like we are being judgmental and believes there isn’t just one way of looking at this situation. I’m only able to find resources and scriptural references that are geared toward Christian couples who are marrying for the first time, not for those who are divorces. Are we wrong about this? Thank you for your insight!

  6. Kim says

    I can not help but wonder about the second reading. It states to stay away from sexual immorality. I am hard pressed to call of loving, caring relationship a sin por immoral. Perhaps we read to much into some of the things written in the bible. It was written at a different time, with a different language. Would love to have your opinion – the biggest difficulty that I have with Christianity is that it is very narrow – I look around at the world, at the evolution of man, the world is to big to set limits. I love Jesus’ teaching, for now I will stick to that and not with others interpretation of what I can and can not do.

  7. Jeff Ede says

    Hi. My question is: You have two single Christians, one male, one female. The guy is sick and needs help, so this female moves into the guy’s home to take care of him, to be a caregiver to him. Would that be wrong, considering that they are both single Christians and living in the same house?

  8. Amanda says

    Hello.
    After reading this I felt I would like to post my own personal experience.

    My boyfriend and I are both Christian, and un-married, and live together. We have lived together since the beginning of our relationship in his mothers home. He lives in the basement of the home and I live upstairs in a room directly next to his mothers. Him and I have never had sex, all we have ever done is kiss, and hold hands. And we are never alone together. His mother or another family member is always with us. And I can say that neither he or I have been tempted to be intimate in any way. We were very clear on how we wanted our relationship to go and set very clear rules before we decided to live together. We prayed together and saught advice from our parents and church leaders.

    I know you say you have the right to delete any comments you see fit, however I feel it is fair I get to post my opinion and have it be heard.

    I feel that if God knows me, and my heart (which he does) and I know I am doing nothing wrong (which we are not) then there is no problem with us (or anyone else doing it the correct way) to live together before marriage. We have actually grown our relationship in many ways, and have a clear outline for our future. We enjoy spending time together and have very clear expectations and rules defined. I feel that how I look to others is not important. GOD is the only person I live to serve. Not anyone else. And if I know in my heart that I am serving him that is all that I need. Frankly I feel when we spend so much time caring about how other people view us it takes away from us focusing on our hearts and how GOD views us.

    My boyfriend and I plan to be married within the next 6 months, and have already been together for 2 years. We have both completed school, started to save money, and my boyfriend has found a career that he knows will provide for us and our future family. And we know what it is like to live together. We have been around eachother everyday, grown, fought, loved, and grown together in GOD. NONE of which we would have been able to do as STRONGLY if we lived apart.

    I personally feel people need to spend less time in judgement of others. And spend more time in prayer. Not all people find living with someone “tempting” not all people living together “have sex, or want to” It is a very close minded view. And before I moved in with my boyfriend I spent a long time in prayer, and reading Gods word to find out exactly what the bible said about it. And I moved forward with it knowing I was doing the right thing.

    So again, I know this is a different opinion, and I hope you allow it to be heard. But I feel people need to expand their mind more, judge others and the choices they make less, and realize that just because two people are living together who are unmarried doesnt make them any less Christian, and shouldnt compromise their character to others. ”

    Matthew 7:1-5 ESV
    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?