Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What does the Bible say about living together?

Question from April:
Can you tell me where it talks about living together before marriage? Not sex. Just living together? We are talking with my son this weekend and we can't find it. Thank you ;)

Answer from Pastor Bob:
Well, I don't know any couples living together who aren't also having sex. But the sin is the sexual immorality before marriage. Hebrews 13:4 says, "Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled."
If a couple were in the same household under the supervision of parents, it might be different, although just sleeping in the same house puts them in a very tempting situation.
The other problem with living together, is that even if a couple was not sexually active, everybody would assume they were, and Ephesians 5:3 says that there should not even be a "hint" of sexually immorality among you. So it harms their Christian testimony.
In addition to the Biblical reasons, there are psychological and social reasons why cohabitation is a bad idea. Couples think they are "trying out" marriage by living together, but it is impossible to "try out" marriage, because marriage is a commitment, and there is no commitment to living together. Either party can leave at any time, so it is not really a test of marriage. And studies show that people who live together before marriage are 50% more likely to get divorced than those who do not. Why is this? Well, if they don't respect the bonds of marriage before marriage, why should they respect the bonds of marriage after they are married?

19 comments:

  1. It works well for us in Europe at least. Here the norm is cohabitation prior to marriage. And many cohabit through all life with kids and everything. To say that you don't do a commitment is quite simply false. On the other hand Europeans tend to be not so uptight about sex (whats the deal with that by the way? What so terrifying over such an natural act?)

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    1. My Friend,Lying is a natural act, stealing, cheating. No one had to teach you these things from birth. There are simple Loving reasons the Father gives us rules to live by. It is because IF we live by them or choose not to there are natural consequences to both. In the same way you would tell your child not to touch the hot stove, not because your a mean tyrannical parent and well because you said so! But because you are a loving parent who knows that if they touch the hot stove there will be a natural consequence to it and it will result in pain to the child. It is the same way with Gods commands. The reason God says to abstain from sexual immorality is because whether people want to admit it or not it does hurt them. It hurts emotionally, sometimes physically, and it especially hurts spiritually. Lust is a lie my friend, Have you ever been truly fulfilled after committing an act of Lust, or does it always leave you wanting for more? The lie is that you will be fulfilled if you act on it, but the truth is you never are. You will not be convicted of the lust until you are shown it is against what Gods will is for you. Sex is a beautiful sacred act between married partners who keep it sacred. Lust is a lie and a destroyer of all things sacred.

      God's Character is sorely misunderstood and is repeatedly slandered. I encourage you to find out for yourself who He truly is and how so much He truly Loves you!

      God Bless!

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  2. I'll grant you there can be some commitment in living together, but compared to marriage it is like the difference in being a friend and being a business partner. One may be there for you, but the other has bound himself to be there for you.

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  3. My fiancé and I live together and do not engage in premarital sex. For others to "assume" that just because two people are living together they are having sex. Every passage that you have listed talks about sexual immorality. But if two individuals aren't engaging in that they are not being sexual immoral. Your comment on not even having a "hint" of Sexual immorality is not stated anywhere in Epshesians 5:3 Of a "hint". It states "Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people." Your twisting the passage. If there is no sexual immorality. There is none. It's not "hinting". Although I don't think that living together before marriage is ideal, I think in certain circumstances that it is necessary. And just because two individuals are living together does not mean that they can not keep their promise of purity to their everlasting God. After all, He is the only one that knows if you are right with Him. No other man should judge others because they cannot see other peoples actions.

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  4. User 17,
    Your point is well taken, that the issue is actually not "living together" but is sexual immorality. And if you say you are living together and not engaging in premarital sex, I believe you, and I congratulate you on your self-discipline and godly behavior. However, you are rare, indeed.
    Regarding Ephesians 5:3, I am not distorting the verse. I was quoting the New International Version of that verse, which says, "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality..." The English Standard Version says sexual immorality "must not even be named among you." The King James Version says "fornication" (sex outside of marriage)should "not be once named among you." The various translations all agree that the scripture says not only should it not be practiced, but also not even implied. Most people will assume that if a couple is living together, they are having sex. While you may consider this an unfair assumption, it is what people will think, which is why the scripture says it is best to avoid altogether.

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  5. Hebrews 13:4 says that marriage is to be held in honor among all. Sex or no sex...it is a sin to live together. You want to steer yourselves AWAY from sin, not towards it. If you are living together you are inching your way towards pre-marital sex more and more each day.

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  7. Wow Jennifer your comment of "sex or no sex.....it is sin to live together" Is NOT stated in Hebrews 13:4 therefore that was just your added opinion.
    User 17, I am getting close to living with my boyfriend and we both are strong christians and have chosen to not have sex prior to marriage. We have talked about moving in for quite some time. My parents have given the impression that it is a sin to live together and that it is not God honoring. There is absolutely no scripture that backs that up!! I believe that your situation is rare and mine is similar. As long as there is no sex then there is nothing wrong with cohabitation. However I do understand the verses that talk about temptations and refraining from the appearance of evil but God is the only one to judge and we cannot control the minds of others and the assumptions that they have. If someone want's to share scriptures that state it is a sin to living together please comment, but keep in mind also that there is no sex involved in my relationship and we are strong with that and will not until we are married!

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  8. Carlenee your right, right now there isn't any sex but when you lay next him every night and y'all begin to cuddle and he holding you, temptation will rise. And guess what? it will start with "passionate kissing" and next time lead to something else and something else we know how the story goes and the bible mention that its better to marry than burn(passion). I'm talking from experience. Listen to your parents its a reason why they don't want you to do it. Don't move in, Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free!

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  9. Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” 

    This Scripture stands against the arguments, “Everyone is doing it. It’s the new way. It’s accepted in society.” That may all be true, but just because a path seems right doesn’t make it so.

    Ecclesiastes 3:1,5 – “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven … a time to embrace and a time to refrain.” 

    As the following Scriptures indicate, the right time for living together is after marriage — not the year before, not the month before, not the night before. There is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain.

    1 Corinthians 6:18 – “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” 

    Living together almost always involves premarital sex. By living together before marriage, you dishonor both yourself and your partner.

    1 Corinthians 7:8-9 – “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” 

    This isn’t the place to get into why Paul recommends singleness over marriage in this particular passage. However, it is important to note that the Bible encourages a couple that is struggling with sexual temptation to marry rather than burn with passion. Of course, this assumes a couple that is ready for marriage. I recommend that all couples get good premarital counseling from a pastor or Christian counselor before getting married.

    Galatians 6:7-8 – “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” 

    Although the original word in the Greek means “to sneer or to scorn,” the English word “mock” is instructive when it comes to living together. “To mock” means “to imitate, to pretend in order to deceive.” You can’t do that to God without consequences, and you can’t do that with marriage. Living together is literally a mockery or imitation of marriage in that it does not require a public commitment or lifetime vow of faithfulness.

    1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 – “It is God’s will that you should … avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.” 

    To “wrong” someone in this verse means “to exceed the proper limits.” To “take advantage” means “to defraud, or to take more than you’re entitled to.” It is the picture of someone who takes more than they should while selfishly disregarding the best interests of others. When we live together, we exceed the limits God has set for us. We take more than we’re entitled to.

    Hebrews 13:4 – “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” 

    The marriage bed can only be kept pure when the sexual relationship is kept within marriage. Anything else brings God’s judgment. Do you love your partner? Then why would you invite God’s judgment into their life? Why would you willfully rob them of God’s blessing?

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  10. Acts 17:24 - Right and wrong are determined by the Creator of the Universe. Because He made us all, He has the right to rule over all.

    John 12:48 - We will be judged according to whether or not our lives conform to His will.

    2 Timothy 3:16,17 - The Bible reveals God's will, so we must let it be our moral standard.

    Mark 7:20-23 - Jesus taught that fornication comes from the heart and defiles a man.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - The Corinthians had been fornicators, adulterers, etc. Those who engage in such practices cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

    Ephesians 5:3-6 - Fornication should not even be named as existing among God's people, for those who are guilty have no inheritance in the kingdom of God.

    Revelation 21:8; 22:14,15 - Fornicators are among those who will not enter heaven but will be in the lake of fire.

    These passages should settle the issue: God approves of marriage but forbids cohabitation. But some may still lack understanding, so let us consider further.

    [Exodus 20:14; Galatians 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-10; 1 Tim. 1:9-11; Hebrews 13:4; Proverbs 5:1-23; 6:23-7:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8]

    Hebrews 13:4 - Marriage includes the right to have the sexual union only with the companion with whom we have a Scriptural marriage commitment. To have relations with anyone else is "fornication" or "adultery."

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  11. Im sorry, but each of the arguments here have all assumed that sex is in fact inevitable by living together, and I agree that the Word is clear on the sin of sexual immorality.

    However,

    Sex is NOT inevitable with ALL couples that either decide to or are in some cases forced to live together.

    There has been no Word brought forth up till this point that clearly states without a dispute that a couple simply living together while abstaining from a sexual relationship is in fact sinning against God.

    All of the Scriptures listed above again are in direct context to the sin of sexual immorality and NOT to the original question of what the Bible says about simply living together.

    I agree the temptation for sex is there, however there is temptation for sex anywhere we go today. Is it now not OK for someone to go to the grocery store because there is temptation there? or how about your workplace? of course it is not a sin to go grocery shopping! arguments above that suggest it is a sin to live together because there is temptation to sin sexually there have to consider that temptation alone is not a sin and is everywhere. It is up to the individual being tempted to decide whether to act on it and give birth to sin, and again that could happen ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.

    I suggest anyone who is judging a couple living together as to Obviously be having sex and therefore MUST be in error, read Romans 14.

    It IS possible for a couple to Live for the Lord in that kind of living situation.
    Does that mean all do? No. So that is when we as a Church teach these Believing couples about what IS actually in the Bible, which is that sexual immorality IS the sin they are in, and try to correct them through Love. If they are unrepentant and continue to announce they are Believers, The Bible has a process to follow, leading up to refraining from associating yourself with them if they remain unrepentant and claim they are Believers. But again we are on the topic of sex being the sin. I myself have no problems asking a couple living together within the Church to explain their situation, and to even ask if they are remaining sexually pure to each other & God while living together. I can't judge them based on them living together, we have no idea what shoes they have walked in. Judge people by their fruits, and as a brother in Christ Love them into all truth, Expose any true error in Love, and Do everything we can to help them through the error.

    God Bless!

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  12. I can see how it is sinful to live together before marriage due to the temtation but if you are strong and your relationship with the lord is true you are able to fight off the devils temtation. i am moving in with my soon to be husband next week and we have a strong relationship with our lord. i havent always been a christian when i was 15 i had sex. this took place over a year. it was nothing between the both of us. that summer after he moved christ brought me to his home and thats when i met my soon to be husband we have been together for 4 years and will be getting married this october. i know that there will be temtations but my relationship with my God is strong enough to fight off all of that. i dont know what the scriputure is but. God doesnt give us anything that we cant handle. And people are going to talk and judge. but God knows whats going on with you and your partener and thats all that matters... enough said

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  13. This is a "hot topic" and worthy indeed to be considered in all seriousness. Many of the comments are thought-provoking and in most cases, the Scriptural references provided in support of "Why Living Together is Against God's Principles" are unequivocal evidence of God's mandate on the subject of sexual morality. There are arguments that suggest the Scriptures are silent regarding "living together without sex." A few arguments suggest that there are couples living together that are not engaging in sex. I commend such couples. They are indeed in the minority. I believe the best arguments on this topic have been presented by Dr. Bob Rogers and others. Although Scripture may not be explicit on whether living together without sex is acceptable to God, placing oneself "Willingly" into a situation of obvious temptation is not recommended. As previously mentioned, living together is not a binding commitment (remember, there are two commitments involved in marriage: commitment to God in holy matrimony, and legally binding oneself to his/her spouse). These are very serious considerations. This topic is at the very apex of society's current condition. I am not judging anyone - whatever position is taken on this subject. Remember: although we as Christians fellowship, counsel, love, disciple and encourage each other, we are NOT with each other twenty-four hours a day; therefore, our knowledge and understanding of what occurs in another's life in very limited. It is at this point that we must consider that many decisions made OUTSIDE of the church belong to the individual making such decisions and God Almighty Himself! We have no judging authority. We can only encourage each to seek the truth in God's Word and continue to ask for wisdom, guidance and understanding. God will never fail us. He will always get to the "heart of the matter" and direct our path accordingly. We simply have to be in a posture to hear Him. Spread the Word, and God Bless!

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  14. I'm planning on moving out of my current residence before my wedding. (I'm not entirely sure of how long before my wedding though… we haven't decided because of this issue, with it being the right choice.) My fiancé suggested just living with him before the wedding, because we will be living together after anyways. We are both Christians however and won't defile the marriage bed or anything of the sort. We just think it would be okay and easier to live together. But I'm still unsure. And we aren't in a position for making an unbiased decision. So any suggestions, comments, and advice would be greatly appreciated. :) I will continue to pray about it and discuss it with my fiancé though.

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  15. The bible is a bunch of books written and cannonized by man.I want to know what Jesus himself said about living together. And also if you think it is not just as easy to "walk away" from a marriage you are dead wrong. Divorce today is as easy to get as ever before. What about divorce snd remarry? That seems to be as much of a sin if not more so. I will pray for all the hypocrits that continue to judge other people. As the bible says, judge not least ye be judged.

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  16. I'm 19 years old and I live at home with my parents, by 2015 I will be moving in with my boyfriend of 4 years and fiancé of a couple of weeks. We have been on trips together which have given us more than enough opportunity for sex yet we refrain because of our belief and love for God. We will both be leaving to attend college together and with the cost of housing on top of tuition and all other expenses, living together seems to be the best outcome. We both grew up in the church and have made a promise to not engage in sex until marriage, I don't see how God would consider that sin?? I love my boyfriend and I love my Lord and I know His commandments and there is no desire in me to break the promise I personally have made to Him concerning my innocence. Please, if you have FACTUAL or BIBLICAL evidence that states living together before marriage, (NOT SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE), is a sin against God,

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  17. Give me a reason to pray on it more, if not, please keep us in prayer and smile knowing that God is in control even if you doubt His ability to handle ANY and EVERY situation. Thank you and God Bless

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  18. How about this.

    Matthew 5:28
    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    When you live together and let say you are not engaging with any sexual activities, that's good but you/your soon to be spouse is THINKING lustful things while looking at you, it is absolutely sin. If you live together before marriage you are provoking him/her to think like that. You can say to yourself "I will not do that" remember this:
    1 Corinthians 10:12
    Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

    Just think it over. Living in or not with your boyfriend/girlfriend/soon to be spouse is not really the issue. JUST THINKING LUSTFUL THINGS IN YOUR MIND and/or IMAGINING YOUR DOING "THAT" WITH HIM/HER IS CLEARLY SIN. You can lie to everyone, but you cannot lie to GOD.

    I may not be a perfect Christian, but I know, only by the grace of God, I know what I am saying. I know where I stand. And it doesn't mean that if there's no literal word "LIVE IN " in the bible it is not a sin or not. For me it simply means that living together provoke each other to think, act and say sexual things. Remember, thinking ( your heart ) has done secret sins that only God knows.

    I am not against you.. I am against the sin!

    God bless.

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