Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage

Living Together Before Marriage Series:
    ● Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Living Together Without Sex
    ● What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?

“The honeymoon was over before the wedding day ever arrived.” (See the testimony below.) Last month I posted some statistics on living together before marriage. Since then I have received a number of inquiries as to what the Bible says about living together. So in this post I would like to share some of the Biblical teaching about living together before marriage.

The statistics in last month’s post showed a high correlation between living together and undesirable outcomes. This should not be surprising, because the Bible has some strong things to say about living together. God is a loving God, and he gives us his commands for our protection. Those who choose not to live together before marriage will likely avoid many of the negative outcomes described in the earlier post. Here are some Scriptures on living together before marriage:

  • 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?

You will notice from these Bible verses that I am assuming couples who live together are also sexually involved. And I think in most cases that’s a pretty fair assumption. I will address the (much rarer) situation of couples who live together but are not sexually active in a later post. But let me end this post by sharing the testimony of a young woman that I think effectively sums up some of the major problems of living together before marriage.

I wish I could tell every young adult in America that you truly will reap what you sow. Living together may seem wonderful initially … but eventually it creates more problems than you can imagine. I lived with my boyfriend for two years before we got married. I knew I was breaking my parents’ hearts, as well as my Heavenly Father’s heart! My boyfriend was not a Christian, but I figured I could change him if we moved in together.

The “this-is-yours, that-is-mine” mentality that enabled us to “successfully” live together completely unraveled once we got married. We had become too separate and selfish, making it nearly impossible to become “one flesh.”  The honeymoon was over before the wedding day ever arrived.  (Excerpt from letter printed in “Family Feedback,” Focus on the Family, May 1994, p.23)

Do you have any thoughts or response to all this? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Check out the other posts in the Living Together Before Marriage series:
    ● Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Living Together Without Sex
    ● What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?
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214 Comments

  1. Sharon Gamble says:

    I have often thought that you can’t “practice” commitment. You either are. Or you are not. So, living together is not a good “trial run” for marriage. It doesn’t involve the “for better or for worse” no matter what part. Living together well proves, well, that you can live together well! To be married means that you are there in good times and bad, whether your spouse is healthy or ill, in a good mood or a bad one. The joy of being in a marriage is that you can count on the other to stick it out with you! (Obvious exceptions to this would be staying with a married spouse who beat and abused or who broke the marital bonds with infidelity…) Thanks for the Scriptural support for marriage, Ray!

  2. Julie says:

    When is the fourth post coming or have I missed it and can’t find it.

  3. Ray Fowler says:

    Julie – Thanks for asking! No, you didn’t miss it. The fourth post will be coming later this month (probably next week), and I will add the link to it on the other posts in the series once it has published.

  4. Greg Tegman says:

    Dear Ray, I appreciate your forthright position on unmarried couples
    living under the same roof. I cannot argue with the verses you used. I lost my job and have no other place to stay. We have successfully abstained from sex and have no desire to go there for a year now. I am sleeping in my own bed in another bedroom for free right now. If this a sin in spite of my hopefully temporary financial dilemna,am I still sinning and out of fellowship with God because of this?. I’m stuck on this one. How bad of a sin is this?. I want to do the right thing and get my own place. Sleeping in the woods does not sound appealing. I don’t want to destroy my fellowship with Christ either.

  5. Ray Fowler says:

    Greg – Thanks for a great question. I am sorry to hear about your loss of employment. I hope you find work soon.

    As I read your comment, it seems like you and your girlfriend are doing a lot of things right. You are committed to abstaining sexually, you are sleeping in separate bedrooms, you would prefer to have a place of your own, and you want to keep growing in fellowship with Christ. That is all good stuff.

    The problem with living together before marriage (even without sex) is that it opens you up to continual temptation, it can hurt your Christian testimony, and it could have a negative effect on your relationship later on when you do get married.

    I don’t believe God wants you to sleep in the woods :-) , but I don’t believe he wants you living together either. Are the two of you ready to get married yet? If not, have you checked with family, friends or church to see if someone may be able to put you up temporarily? Ask God if he can show you another way.

    In the meantime, it sounds like you are doing the best you can in a difficult situation. Remember, God is a God of forgiveness and grace. If you continue to bring this to Christ in prayer, I believe God will honor your desire to do the right thing and will provide an answer for you.

  6. Chelle says:

    I am currently living with my BF who is a non believer of Christ. I thought living with him would make him change his mind and see that it is the right thing to do. I have tried everything and he does not believe why we should rush marriage. Being a Christian, I feel guilty every day that goes by. I might have to just cut it off and take what I learned. I guess what they say is true ” why buy the cow if you are getting the milk for free.” The important thing is I learned and I will never do it again.

  7. Ray Fowler says:

    Chelle – Thanks for sharing your experience. As you are finding out, living with a non-Christian boyfriend rarely leads to marriage or to the boyfriend coming to Christ. More often, we end up in a dead-end situation that can cost us years of our lives. I would encourage you to take a step of faith and obedience by leaving this situation and committing to doing things God’s way in the future. Thankfully, God is loving and forgiving, and he never gives up on us.

  8. Lisa says:

    I have a problem with the living together issue. My ex-husband and I are the only one who choose to marry before we moved in together. All our friends who lived together and purchased their home. My brother and his wife lived together and its like everyone that lives together first is still together. I and a few friends who married first are all divorced so i just think I will live with the person first and get moved in. I love the Lord and I think that he knows our hearts.

  9. Ray Fowler says:

    Lisa – You are basing a very important decision on a small sample of friends and acquaintances. I would encourage you to read the Scriptures in the post above again carefully. It sounds like you want to please the Lord with your decisions, and we please God by trusting and obeying his word, not by doing things our own way. It is sometimes hard to trust God when your experience seems to say otherwise, but let me leave you with these wise words from Proverbs:

    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    All the best,
    Ray

  10. Jennifer says:

    I ran across this site in Googling the Billy Graham museum for my parents. I just wanted to comment on this thread:

    My boyfriend and I also lived together for a few years. I am a Christian, he was not. Like one of the comments before, I always had a guilty consious about living together. We got married and although we had a wonderful marriage, his salvation was always on my mind. Recently, at a new memebers class at our church, he accepted Christ. I am so happy that I now know that our 2-year old daughter has the love and support of TWO Christian parents!

    Although it turned out great for us, we are the exception rather than the rule I believe. I definitely wouldn’t suggest being “unequally yoked” to someone as it does cause unnecessary turmoil in a relationship.

  11. Lisa says:

    I think you can not base your comment on that your mate was unsaved and found the Lord. A lot of people who are saved and love the Lord live together and are happy. Many are still married today. sometimes people need to get their finances together and purchase a home etc. oor a job location in this economy. I don’t know why people think you can not live with someone and wait to be intimate until after the honeymoon. after dating somone for along time and then marrying only for it to fall apart I don’t think I will marry someone and then move in. I lost to much from that experience.

  12. Ray Fowler says:

    Jennifer – Thanks for sharing. I am glad to hear your husband accepted Christ. And I agree – the exception does not prove the rule. I know many Christian wives who are still praying for their husbands after many years.

  13. Ray Fowler says:

    Lisa – Let me respond to a number of your comments one by one. (I will put your comments in bold font and then respond in regular type.)

    “A lot of people who are saved and love the Lord live together and are happy.” – Many people who live together are happy together. But I have to question whether these are people who truly love the Lord. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) Of course we all sin, but we cannot say that we love God when we are deliberately disobeying his commands.

    “sometimes people need to get their finances together and purchase a home etc. oor a job location in this economy.” – Yes, but those are things that should be done before marriage or moving in together, not afterward or during.

    “I don’t know why people think you can not live with someone and wait to be intimate until after the honeymoon.” – I have shared my thoughts about this at the post: Living Together Without Sex

    “after dating somone for along time and then marrying only for it to fall apart I don’t think I will marry someone and then move in. I lost to much from that experience.” – I am sorry you had a bad experience with your first marriage. However, statistics show that choosing to live together first only hurts your chances for a successful marriage later. It seems tough enough to stay married in today’s culture without adding the extra stress of having lived together first.

  14. Christine says:

    From my own experiences I completely agree with not living together before marriage. In my personal case, I dated a guy and we both thought each other were Christians. After three months of dating, he proposed, everything was fine and dandy. However, soon outside influences created struggles in our relationship. And we soon agreed to move in together; where as before we said we would wait for marriage to move in and also keeping in good faith that we would also wait for marriage in regards to sex. I guess we thought that “moving in” would relieve the tensions of the outside world. However, things got really bad, so bad to the point of abuse. Even though we didn’t move in, and still have not had sex, the very thought of it has put our relationship on the rocks. Noticiably, our relationship has gotten way worse since the mention of moving in together. Personally I’ve learned that even thought of sin is bad as it is stated in the bible. Coming from someone who has always learnt the hard way, STICK TO THE RULES OF THE LORD!, His yoke is easy as it states in scripture, abstain from the very thought and appearance of evil.

  15. Ray Fowler says:

    Christine – Thanks for sharing. I pray God will guide you in your next steps as you seek to follow him.

  16. Christine says:

    Hi Ray,
    I agree with the no living together before marriage, but I was wondering what your thoughts were on sleepovers. You see my fiancee and I live quite a distance apart, and while we have decided to wait for marriage to live together; sometimes it’s easier to have a sleepover then spending the time and money driving back and forth. I’m kinda stuck on this one. Keeping in good faith that we are waiting for marriage for everything; do you have any suggestions on where Christians should draw the line on this one. I realize that this is a somewhat seemingly difficult and personal question, but I was wondering what your opinion was on this type of matter and or if you know of any scripture in relation to this.

  17. Ray Fowler says:

    Christine – Thanks for a great question. I would still discourage couples from doing sleepovers, for the same reasons I posted in the third part of this series: Living Together Without Sex. Sleepovers expose you to unnecessary temptation, can damage your Christian testimony, and continue to trivialize the sacredness of living together in marriage.

    When I used to visit my girlfriend at college and had to stay overnight (because of the distance involved), we always set it up that I slept in the dorm of one of the other guys on campus. This protected against the three T’s as stated above.

    I hope that helps, and all the best with your situation.

  18. Dave says:

    Ray,

    Thanks for the work you’ve done on this subject. I work with a gal who moved across the state to move in with her fiance. When I first met her and spoke with her, my first thought was “this gal could be a Christian.” Then I learned she was living with her boyfriend, and like you said in your post, it destroys testimony when unmarried couples are living together, so I just assumed she wasn’t a believer. After speaking more to her, I am pretty certain that she is a Christian, but obviously not following God’s plan.

    My question is how do I know if I am to bring up the subject with her and confront this sin? I’m not sure if it is a sitution where I am to pray that God will reveal truth to her through the Holy Spirit or is it my reponsibilty to show her the truth of the Word.

    Thanks.

  19. Ray Fowler says:

    Dave – Great question. First of all, start with prayer. You can never go wrong praying about a situation. Pray for God to reveal his truth to your friend, and pray for wisdom to know when and how to talk to her about it. You will usually need to have gained some level of friendship and trust with a person before you can approach them on such a sensitive topic.

    When the time is right, I find it best to start by asking questions, like: “Are you a Christian? How long? Are you growing as a Christian? Do you attend church anywhere? You have shared with me in the past that you live with your boyfriend – what do you think God thinks about that? Would you be willing to look at some verses from the Bible that talk about living together and God’s plan for marriage?”

    I hope that is helpful to you. Thank you for your concern for your friend, and I trust that God will give you the right words to say in his time.

  20. Alex says:

    The first verse that you refer to is actually Proverbs 14:12.

  21. Ray Fowler says:

    Thanks, Alex, I just corrected it. Funny, that post has been up eight months and you’re the first to catch it.

  22. Kristy says:

    Well my boyfriend and I are one of those “rare cases” that you talked about. We are BOTH Christians and we are living together but are not involved sexually. But before we moved in together we were having sex outside of marriage and continued awhile after moving in together, but have since stopped and asked God to forgive us. It has been an entire year now since we have refrained from it. But I have been thinking about the “living together” part alot lately, did a search on the subject and came across your blog. Here is our situation… A year ago we moved from PA to FL together with a friend of ours. For 4 years, all 3 of us were feeling strongly that it was His will for us to move to FL. Therefore after praying about it all that time we finally had enough money to move and so we did. Now we’ve been going to a new church that we found and I started questioning to myself… “What will they think about us living together before marriage?” That is why I have been troubled over it lately. I have yet to direct my issue to anyone at the church but plan to. In the meantime I ask you… Is it wrong for a Christian couple that has relocated to a new state, and doesn’t know anyone else there but ourselves – to live together? We solely moved down here out of faith and are currently drawing closer to God. We are both attending schools that we believe God lead us to and cannot afford to live separately in such an expensive state to live in. So the 3 of us share a house together and split the rent. And I want to mention that our roommate is also a male. So I am a young woman living with 2 men, one being my boyfriend. Is this wrong if we are trying to follow God’s will, going to church, tithing, etc. But are “living together” without sex. I have believed up to this point that there was nothing wrong with it because “you can’t hide” from God what you are doing and He knows that we are now being pure, and “sees” everything that we are doing on a daily basis. He also knows our hearts and knows that we are planning to be married after we both finish school. But you have brought up some very interesting points with the Scripture so could you offer us any advise?

    Thanks-Kristy

  23. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Kristy,

    Thanks for sharing your situation. And congrats to you and your boyfriend for wanting to do things right and seeking God’s will.

    In answer to your question, I do not think it is good or wise for you and your boyfriend to be living in the same place, even with another roommate around. I have shared some of the reasons for this in the follow-up post in this series (What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?).

    I am a firm believer that when we seek to do the right thing, God will open up the way for us. I believe if you and your boyfriend commit to finding a way to live apart, God will show you what to do. I would suggest talking to your pastor about your situation, as there may be some people in the church who would be willing to help you find a better living situation.

    As far as planning to get married after school, please know that our best of plans often change, and until you both actually commit to each other in marriage, anything can happen. In the meantime, the best thing you both can do is seek to honor God in the way you live your lives now, and then trust God to lead you to his next steps.

    I wish you both all the best, and pray that God will give you the direction that you seek.

  24. Sharon Gamble says:

    Dear Kristy – We have been able to open our home six times in the past to young women from our church in situations just like yours. Absolutely check with the people in your church. We are still in touch with most of the women we had in our home and we were soooo blessed by them! May God lead you to someone who is willing to offer you a reasonable alternative.

  25. Mae says:

    I have been dating a Christian man for over a year now. I, myself, am not a Christian. I don’t want to be the one to divert him from his beliefs for I think they are very important.
    That said, my beliefs state that I am to live with a man before making the commitment of marriage. What would be the best solution here, short of breaking up?

  26. Ray Fowler says:

    Mae – Thank you for your question. I am glad that you wish to respect the beliefs of the man you are dating. That is very important. Of course, where you both have very different beliefs when it comes to living together, this poses a real problem.

    However, I would venture that this is just the tip of the iceberg. If the man you are dating is a Christian, then his entire life is committed to God through Jesus Christ. Christ is the very center of his life. The two of you would be entering into a marriage where you could not share the most important thing in your husband’s life. Another major difficulty is that the Bible instructs a believer only to marry another believer. In other words, as things stand, you could not in fact marry him without compromising his beliefs.

    I hate to say it, but it sounds like the two of you have irreconcilable differences, and it would be wise to reconsider your relationship until something changes. I know, probably not the answer you wanted to hear! I am so sorry. Please take care and know that I will be praying for you.

    God bless,
    Ray

  27. Donna says:

    Won’t make this long.
    I am not a young person living with their boyfriend.
    I am 53 and he is 46.
    We met at church.
    We have been living together 2 years.

    I want to get married, as of November he said “It’s not out of the picture, just not right now”.

    I am out of work, no family or friends..I have one friend but if I live with her it would look like a “gay couple”. I don’t want that.

    I see me as stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    He considers us as “common law”, our state doesn’t recognize that.
    It is slowing killing me…it does stand between me and God.
    I don’t like it. But what do I do, where do I go. I’ve been praying and fasting and I don’t know what to do.

    I’m old, old tired, and seem to be getting depressed, where is God?

  28. Ray Fowler says:

    Donna – Thank you for sharing your story. My heart aches with you and for you. You say you met your live-in at church. I would suggest first that you both talk to your pastor about your situation. If your live-in won’t go, then you go talk to your pastor. If you are in a good, Bible-teaching church, he should be able to give you godly, biblical counsel.

    God is there, but he is under no obligation to bless our wrong decisions, and living together before marriage is a wrong decision. I only see two ways forward. Either you get married or you move apart, but you cannot go on living the way you are now.

    I know you are hesitant to move in with your other friend, but if she is willing that seems to me a much better situation than the one you are now in. Perhaps if you take that first step of obedience in faith by moving out, God will be ready to show you the next steps for your life.

    I pray that God will guide you in making good and right decisions going forward. Feel free to email me if you have any further questions that you would rather not post on the blog.

  29. Hollie Davis says:

    Great stuff here.I’m doing a paper on marriage vs. cohabitaion. I’m glad to have found this site and perspective.

  30. Ray Fowler says:

    Thanks, Hollie. All the best with your paper.

  31. BriBri says:

    I know this is an old post but I will still reply:

    Living together before marriage, people say, is a test drive to kind of get the feel for how things will be when or if they get married. Also, they might be in a financial hardship. However, there is no trust in God because if there was, you wouldn’t try to fix things on your own. That’s like saying: “I know God can change any situation, but let me just do this so I can feel better right now.” Exactly where is the trust? And people have sex before marriage, this is true, but acknowledge that it is indeed wrong. Learn to fully trust in God, not just halfway, and you will be blessed regardless. If anything at least be engaged, and even then, I would still say wait.. you never know what could happen between the engagement and the actual marriage. Save yourself some heartache and just obey God. It’s the least you can do.

  32. Ray Fowler says:

    BriBri – It may be an older post, but it still gets a lot of traffic, and it’s great to keep the conversation going. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  33. chi rose says:

    i am a christian a a beleiver i have gone to my fiance house so many times and he has touch my body but we did not have sex and he even kissed my lips is good or bad so that i will know on how to treat him
    my fiace is also a beleiver in church and we will be getting married in december

  34. Ray Fowler says:

    chi rose – Congratulations on your upcoming wedding in December. I am glad that you and your fiance are both Christian believers and go to church. I am also glad that you are seeking to honor God in your relationship.

    It is important as believers not only that you abstain from sex before marriage, but also that you avoid temptation and do not cause each other to stumble. This will mean different things for different people, but it certainly means that your fiance should not touch your body in a sexual way.

    I would recommend that you both talk to your pastor about your plans to marry and seek his guidance and counsel. Also, you could both read through the Scriptures in the post above and talk about what they mean for your relationship between now and the wedding.

    I wish you all the best, and thank you for commenting.

  35. Kristy says:

    Hello Again…
    I have a post above from back in Feb. A lot has happened since I posted and wanted to give an update.

    Here’s a bit of a recap…
    I was living with my boyfriend Peter and we had relocated to FL from PA because of a calling by God to do so. Because of expenses we were living together and continued after we relocated. We had every intension of getting married after we both finished at our separate schools we attend here in FL. We have been seeking God’s will for our lives and trying to draw closer to him as a couple, but didn’t think that God cared that we “lived together” because he knew what was in our hearts about “getting married” and we weren’t sinning sexually. After starting to go to a new church here in South Florida we started feeling that there were things in our lives that needed to be dealt with. And I started worrying about the church’s reaction to us living together. I did some research on the subject and came across this blog. After reading everything over I really felt we were in trouble and didn’t know what to do. So I posted about it. That’s when Ray responded to my post and said that we should try to find a way to “live separately”.

    I’ll admit it upset me a little and I thought to myself… How can we do that when we BOTH live off of Peter’s income and EVERYTHING is already in BOTH of our names, the lease, bank accounts, car registration, car payment, etc. It just seemed like that was not the solution for us. So we started praying about it and God revealed to us that He in fact did not want us to separate at this point. He started showing us signs that He wanted us to get married now and not wait any longer! We have been dating for 3 years and have known each other for 5 years so to get married at this point did not seem like we’d really be “rushing” it. Then I remembered that a couple months earlier I had asked myself about waiting to get marriage until after we graduated from school. I asked myself, if we still didn’t have the money to get married, how long could we be waiting just to have enough money to get married? So then just for a second I thought to myself, “we could go to the JP now and have the bigger wedding later like we planned in the first place.” But I just shrugged it off and never thought about it again until after everything else started happening. So we kept praying about it and asked God to help us make sure we were hearing right. And that is when different people started telling us that they thought we should get married without telling anybody anything. I was emailing the Pastor’s wife of the old church Peter grew up in and never mentioned anything about us “maybe getting married.” She emailed me and said exactly what I was already thinking about going to the JP now and having a bigger wedding later! We took this as the final sign we needed to know that God definitely wanted us to get married. Even our new Pastor agreed that God was telling us to get married. So on April 27th we had a small private wedding in our local park where we live and are very happy now. Peter was just so excited when I told him about it in the first place and he is so proud of that ring on his finger! :) It’s so cute.

    God is definitely moving in our lives in a BIG way! He is now leading us to get more involved with the ministry at our church and we are very excited about what He has in store for our lives.

    So my advice to everyone is to always seek out God’s will for your lives no matter what your situation is and He will let you know exactly what to do. Trust in the Lord and you will be Blessed!

    Thanks so much for being part of this great discovery in our lives and God Bless.

    Take care:
    Kristy :)

  36. Sharon Gamble says:

    Congratulations, Kristy! It was fun, as a regular reader of this blog, to hear how God led you to get married. May He bless you greatly as you two serve Him as a family together. :)

  37. Ray Fowler says:

    Kristy – Thank you for coming back and updating us on your story. It is a good reminder that sometimes — not always — God’s solution for two people living together before marriage is simply to get married. (Although I believe they should still move apart until they do get married.) Congratulations on your wedding, and all the best for a long and happy marriage centered on Christ. God is the best!

  38. Mary Beth says:

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 2 years, and right now he lives in Louisiana and I live in Michigan. We recently have talked about living together in about a year after I graduate. The apartments in LA are expensive and would be economically “smart” to split the cost of living with each other. We are both Christians, and abstain from having sex. However, I feel that it’s not right to live in the same house, because it would be like you are pretending to be married, only you are not. We do plan on getting married down the road, but with the distance separating us for what will be a year and half, I just really want to be with him all the time. And, if we do end up getting two separate apartments when I move there, we will be spending all of our time together. So, it only seems logical to get one place…but I know that’s not right…

    I’m so very confused, and I don’t know what to say to him when he asks me about it. If we live together for the right reasons, and don’t have sex, and all of our friends know the reasons behind it, then is it still bad? I don’t want to make any mistakes and keep God at the center of our relationship. Any advise about this would be extremely grateful. Thank you

  39. Ray Fowler says:

    Mary Beth – I would encourage you to stick to your guns and refuse to move in together before marriage. You seem to know in your heart that it’s not right, and I would advise you and your boyfriend to both make the commitment not to live together before marriage. I understand the financial reasoning (I hear it from young couples all the time), but you really need to follow God’s way first, and then trust God to work out the financial details.

    I also understand that you want to be together all the time, but that is what marriage is for. If you can’t wait to be together all the time, perhaps you should look at getting married sooner rather than later. But don’t make the mistake of trying to enjoy all the benefits of marriage without making the commitment of marriage first. If you and your boyfriend are going to get married someday, you need to lay a strong, moral foundation that will prepare you for a lifetime together. A shortcut is a shortcut, and it will only hurt you in the long run.

    I hope that helps! I wish you and your boyfriend all the best as you seek to follow God’s way in your lives.

  40. Mary Beth says:

    I really appreciate the reply. Maybe I should start lifting weights…so to speak… :)

  41. Ray Fowler says:

    Mary Beth – You’re welcome — all the best!

  42. Sonia says:

    Ray,
    I just came across your site and read a few postings. I’m in a similar situation like most on here. I’ve been living with my boyfriend, we are both of faith. He’s Catholic i’m Christian. We want to get married, we are in sexual sin. I never planned on it at first to move in together but it happend due to my family moving to a different state and me studying in college near home. One summer I had no where to go and he was my only source. My mother lived somewhat close, alittle far but was unstable(long story). Anyhow we have been living together for 2 or 3 yrs now. I have recently had a reawaking of guilt to living together. I know God does not want this and it tears me up inside but we can’t refrain because the temptation is great. We would gladly just get married now but theres another problem. He’s not a legal citizen and we have heard that marrying in the states could conflict with his chances of getting his papers. Nowdays they aren’t giving papers to anyone, not like before when people could do this. Our plans for the near future are for him to have his papers so we can make a life here in the states and or in his home country with the freedom of going back and forth.
    I was recently trying to find a priest or pastor that would marry us. However what I wanted was just the ceremony and not the liciense because that would be on our records. Can a priest or pasture just perform the rites of marriage and the nupital blessing without a liciense? Will God Bless this and count it as a blessing even though it’s not recognized by the state? We would eventually have a church/civil wedding in his home country . Please help. And if you know Priests that do this give me some contacts or links please.
    By the way him and I live like we are married. We’ve been together about 5 yrs, living together like 3. I’ve seen him in bad times and in good. Helped him get through major surgery, he’s helped me in my sickness too.. theres love there, I just wonder if marrying now is possible without all the conflicts.

  43. Ray Fowler says:

    Sonia – Thank you for writing and asking your question. The answer is no, a pastor or priest cannot perform the ceremony and give the wedding blessing without the actual marriage taking place. Marriage is a public commitment resulting in a legal relationship. Without the license it is no different than living together. If the only thing holding you up is your boyfriend’s legal status, I would check with an attorney on that. I was not aware that marrying a U.S. citizen could jeopardize a person’s potential citizenship. (In fact, I always thought it was a help!)

    I would also encourage you to talk to your pastor. The Bible says you should not marry someone outside of your faith. You say your boyfriend is Catholic and you are Christian. I guess I would ask, are you both trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation and seeking to follow him as Lord? If only one of you is following Christ, then you should not be getting married.

    I know this is all very difficult as you have invested so much of your lives in each other and have now lived together for these past years as well. You have shared that you know this is wrong. I would encourage you to start making right decisions right away, no matter how tough those decisions are. Trust God to help you in those decisions, and I beleive he will show you the next steps.

    I wish you all the best, and feel free to email me if you have questions you would rather not post on a public site. God bless!

  44. Cass says:

    Ray,
    I would appreciate some sound advice on my situation.
    I have been with my fiancee for almost 3 years and we have a child together. We are completely committed to each other- however financial struggles has made it impossible for us to wed at this time. He is trying to pay down massive amounts of debt his ex wife had incurred while my house etc is paid for. I also have other children from a previous marriage that I am raising. If we married now, I would have no medical coverage for any of our children, be assuming his debts, and im sure you are aware how bad the economy is right now. I am barely keeping my head above water as it is. He has made several attempts to find a job with health insurance, but they do not pay as well as the job he has now that is helping pay off his debts. I am asking the Lord to please help me find a way to be married in his eyes without jeopardizing the health and home of my entire family. Do you have any suggestions?

  45. Ray Fowler says:

    Cass – Thanks for writing and sharing your situation. It sounds like you are a believer who wants to do what is right. I don’t know the solutions to your financial difficulties, but I do know that it is not right for you and your fiance to be living together before marriage, especially when there are children in the house whom you are teaching by example.

    So you need to bite the bullet and start there. If you are not married, you should not be living together. If you and your fiance will both start there, and commit to that principle, and commit to acting on it no matter the cost, then I believe God will show you the next step.

    What will that next step be? I don’t know. It could be you get married. It could be your fiance moves in with a friend until you get married. It could be this is not the right person for you to marry. (I know, that one hurts, but until you get married, that one is always a possibility.) What I do know is that you cannot ask God to bless your current situation, but if you take a step of faith and obedience, you can trust God to bless that. I would also encourage you to talk to your pastor, and see what counsel he can offer.

    I hope that helps, and I pray that your fiance will be open to following God’s way along with you. God bless, and all the best.

  46. Ebony-Ivory Union says:

    I’m a South African. I am/was a believer. I’m engaged to a loving man who loves the Lord but when we met 4 years ago he was not a Christian. We have a 2 year old child together. We are both non-Caucasian. I’m black and he is of “mixed-blood.” We live together and are soon to be married. My family is not in support of our relationship or marriage but we are going ahead with it anyway.

    If you don’t mind may I please share the events as to how I arrived at the place where I am today. This is my story: I was a happy, on-fire intecessor, Bible-carrying, devil-stomping, tongue-speaking believer 9 years ago. I prayed for people and the Lord came through for them. I was happy in the ministry but I wanted companionship. Being the intercessor that I was, I prayed and fasted and remained pure because I wanted the Lord to bless me with His “own handpicked man” for me. I prayed a very specific prayer, I even went as far as describing what he looked like and his personality. Not long after that I met a young man at church and we went on a few dates. We had so much in common, no that’s not close to describing it. He was my soulmate. He was who I would be if I were a man. He was such a beautiful person, inside and out. I finished his sentences for him, our connection superceded the norm. It was the ultimate relationship. The Lord did not go half-way for me, or so I thought.

    Anyway, out of the blue, he told me he’s never had a relatioship like the one we had. He’s never had anybody understand him like the way I did, it actually “freaked” him out. He said he expected a series of pre-marital counselling with me, but there would be nothing to work on, seeing that the relationship was “way too perfect”. I tried to tell him that I had been praying for years for such a man as he and I told him what I prayed about. He just couldn’t shake the feeling. Eventually he dropped me after 3 months. It felt like the ultimate betrayal of my life.

    How could I ever believe God again? The very “answer” to my prayer rejected me. His friends tried to convice me that he had other issues that were stressing him at the time, he just didn’t want to burden me with them. I was angry with God for a long time after that. I dropped my church activities as I felt as if I had missed God completely. I eventually became disillusioned with God and couldn’t hide my disappointment. I carried on with life and after 5 years of celibacy, I met another guy (my fiance)who was interested in knowing all about me. Over the years whenever a guy would try to come onto me, I would start preaching and telling them about the Lord even though I hadn’t set foot at church for years, just to get them to leave me alone. And it worked all the time except for him. He just couldn’t get enough of it. We met on my way home from work and we would walk together and I would share the word of God with him. We went on a few dates but I still didn’t think much of him. He then challenged me to take him to church on sunday since he hadn’t been to church since he was a little boy. He got born-again that sunday when I took him to church and I was happy for him. We then started to go steady and although he was a new Christian, I guess by just seeing the way I related to God, his faith didn’t develop much.

    He proposed when our son was born and we then made a decision to move in together, in view that we’ll get married in a few month’s time and my mother almost disowned me. In South Africa, black people can be Chrisitian and still observe cultural traditions. One of those traditions is the dowry payment from the guy’s family to the girl’s family, if there is to be any marriage happening. In my opinion I think it’s very hypocrititcal. I thought when gentiles accept Chritst they are to leave behind all that’s associated with ancestoral worship, gods and cultural customs that do not align with the word of God. So I’m in a black skin, with different views from my family and in a relationship with a guy who’s family background is one that’s not “cultured”. I can’t expect him to pay the dowry if that’s not part of his culture/family custom. Even if he does want to pay the dowry, I will not allow it because I don’t believe in the practice. Please understand, in South Africa, black people don’t just pop the question and announce their engagement. I know that Jacob paid a dowry for Rachel by working 7 years. It was not in monetary form. If the dowry was any other sign of appreciation, then maybe I would reconsider. In anycase, in biblical times, the dowry was not meant to co-join the two families ancestors, which is the essence of this practice in South Africa. I just don’t want to carry the generational curses of divorce and infidelity into my marriage. If that means my mother’s “blessing” would pass me over, then so be it. She is divorced, her 2 sisters are divorced, her own mother is divorved and her grandmother is divorved. How many generations is that???

    Yes I may have defiled myself by moving in with a man who’s not my husband. I get the sermon of “the woman at the well” all the time at family gatherings. Because of this dowry issue, my fiance and I almost broke up. But we went for councelling outside the church and read books relating to relationships and marriage. That helped a lot and it even drew us much closer the Lord. I know this sounds very contradictory but a lot of things in life are. Like the notion of Christians calling Passover Easter, naming it after a pagan goddess Ishtah. If I choose to go ahead and get married without dowry, I could be disowned by my family. I love my fiance, he loves me and I believe what we have could never be quantified into monetary value. Unfortunately, the church in South Africa is silent about the dowry issue. That is why there is a high number of unmarried single mothers and people living in sin in the church. Those who are “brave” ultimately stop attending church and marry without dowry, but that also comes with a high price to pay. Being shunned by your own family, being seen as a “lesser” wife by your in-laws, being looked down upon by society. What I did find is that those couples who live together are still happily in love than those who chose to “do the right thing”. I don’t know how that works. A few years back my mother would update me about good Christian girls who married good Christian guys and how blessed their children would be because they are born in wedlock. She has stopped singing that tune because some of those couples are getting divorced citing irreconcilable differences, one of the “good” Christian guys were found to have made another girl pregnant just before he got married… and all these people are in the church. At least I have the decency not to dishonour the house of God. And I get the flack for what – choosing not “to do things the right way” but having a relationship that’s working.

    In a months time my “fiance” and I will be getting married by law and I don’t expect a large turn out at the wedding. I don’t expect my family to show up and I’ve made peace with it. At the end I’m marrying the man I love, the man who loves me for who I am. Do I feel guilty about my living arrangement? NOT AT ALL! It’s a bit hard to explain how I finally arrived to this peaceful state. Am I still angry with God? NOT AT ALL.

    I don’t think I deserve the title CHRISTIAN seeing that I break a few pointers, I would not call them laws or rules. I do read the bible, I do tithe (with money or whatever else I may have, be it food, clothing, time if I don’t have cash. Matthew 25:35-36), I believe in the law of recieving: Luke 6:38, Malachi 3:8, I do believe in Jesus, and I believe He is the Son of the living God, I observe Passover (I prefer not to call it Easter and glorify a pagan godess) and celebrate the birth of Jesus (just not on the 25th December, which was a date originally set for a pagan festival). Call me what you think, maybe I’m very decieved I don’t know. But this is my journey, I found that my life and health are much better since I’ve made peace with myself about my living arrangement. A few people already think we are an examplary Christian couple, although I do tell them the truth and they get the shock of their lives. I believe I will have a solid, intimate and healthy marriage because from the on-set, there were no illusions or delusions about what makes a relationship work.

  47. Ray Fowler says:

    Ebony-Ivory Union – Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you have walked a very difficult path, and I am sorry for the pain in your past and the present conflict in your family. I can’t really comment on the cultural issues as they are so different from my experience. I would encourage you to seek God first and to agree with what he says in his word. He gave it to us for a reason. I wish you all the best, and pray that God will help you and your new husband to grow closer to each other as you each grow closer to him. God bless, Ray.

  48. michelle says:

    hi..im michelle 26 years of age. i am now living in with my boyfriend for almost a 3years now. we meet at the office then after 2 years we decided to live in. I am so much loss now, i feel that he is taking me for granted and he always get drunk after office hours. he says he just drink with a friend then he will come home for 12midnight. i am at the house 6pm then waiting fir him, i tried to exoalin to him what i really feel averynight he came home drunk. but still he continue what he wants. i dont see any problem with our relationship its just that he is too much alcoholic. i dont know what to do, its almost 5years now beng with him. im stuck!! i do love him but i cannot accept until now his attitude but the truth i cannot leave him still after all those probles, fights we had..please do help me..

  49. Ray Fowler says:

    Michelle – I am so sorry to hear of your situation. You are in a bad relationship, and I would encourage you to get out. First of all, you should not be living together. And secondly, you should not marry someone with a drinking problem. I know five years is a lot of time invested, but the longer you stay in this relationship, you will lose even more years in sadness. I encourage you to talk to your family or church for support, and then get out of this relationship immediately.

  50. Phillip Powers says:

    So I have a question about my situation. My fiance and I have been living together for about 4 years now. When we first got together we did not have the best relationship with the lord. we were sexually active and ended up having are daughter. she is 3 now and both of us have came closer with the lord and have been getting alot of judgement for having a kid and living together and not being married yet. and its taking a toll on my fiance. I dont want to live apart for my daughters. I dont think she would understand it if we didnt live in the same house. we are getting married in november. and we have been through alot. I am in the military and was deployed for 2 years of are relationship. but we are now stronger in each other and the lord now than we ever have been. but I am tired of people judging us and want to know what to say to my fiance to help her out. I would appriciate any insite. thank you
    SGT Powers

  51. Ray Fowler says:

    Phillip – I am glad you and your fiance are growing in the Lord and are moving toward marriage. But you should still not be living together. If you are going to get married, and you already have a child, I would encourage you to get married now rather than later. Don’t wait until November. Go to a Justice of the Peace now (this week?!?!), get married, and make it right. You can always have a big ceremony later affirming the lifetime decision you and your wife have made together in marriage.

  52. michelle says:

    ray..thank you so much for the advice..i know it is not good to marry a man with a drinking problem,but until now i do believe that he will change for me. But i also know that i could never accept his drinking problem im so much lost now..we always have fight every night because he always come home late..we are a believer but not totally a church goer..plss do pray for me!! thank you again..

  53. Jennifer Page says:

    The scriptures that are in reference here were written A LONG TIME ago. Then people were married very young. Those who went without sexual activity were of the highest priest. Another thing, a marriage between two people does not need to be recognized in society to be understood by God. For He has already married us before creation.

  54. Ray Fowler says:

    Jennifer – Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. A couple things to think about:

    1) Yes, the Scriptures were written a long time ago, but that does not make them invalid for today. (For example, I’m assuming “Do not murder” still applies!)

    2) Yes, people tended to marry younger back then. But not all did. Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah. (Genesis 25:20) And God’s command to abstain sexually until marriage applied to all people, not just the priests.

    3) I’m not sure what you mean by “married us before creation.” I also do not agree that a marriage does not need to be recognized in society. The public recognition is part of what makes it a marriage and not just a living arrangement.

    Thanks again for your comments! Ray

  55. Jennifer Page says:

    Dear Ray,
    In reference to…
    1) I never meant to imply that the scriptures were invalid for today. What I was simply trying to say, was that I believe that is the sheperds way of saying not to act on lust but to wait and be patient for love. And yes, do not murder still applies…
    2) Issac lived to be 180 years old, but I am sure you knew that. That is how much times have changed. I am very sorry if you feel so offended by my words but I am only stating my own opinion. It would be easier back then to obstain from sexual tendencies. Everything in our world today has sex exploited all over it. The media is relentless. I too believe there is a stronger relationship with God through abstinence. But my friend it is much harder today to escape.
    3) “Married us before creation” Our Lord created everything. He created us in His own image. With that being stated, let me ask you this… Have you ever planned anything? I know you have, we all do it. We plan things. Sometimes things dont go as planned but thats life. He created Adam first and then thought of a perfect match for him and then created Eve. I beleive that God has a plan for all of us. And sometimes people are with thier soulmate and bond by marriage through thier hearts…where Jesus Lives. The judgement of others in society doesnt matter to me. Only God can judge me.

    And no, Thank You Ray for your prompt response.

  56. Ray Fowler says:

    Jennifer – Thanks for explaining your thoughts more fully. I wasn’t offended, just wanted to push back a little on some of the things I thought you were saying. I agree abstinence is harder today, but God’s Word still reserves the sexual relationship for marriage.

  57. jessica says:

    I am so thankful to find this blog today. I think this is the wise counsel I’ve been praying for this morning. I am a Christian, but in college, and since then as a young adult, have strayed from God’s will for my life. I’ve rationalized that the relationships I’ve had and the premarital sex from which I’ve not abstained are ok for various reasons. I know this isn’t true, and I know this is sinful behavior. For the last year I’ve been dating an awesome guy. Well awesome except for one really important factor: he’s not a Christian. I never thought I’d allow myself to get involved with someone who is not a Believer. This has plagued me from the time we first started dating, and I’ve prayed for so long that he’ll find Christ and be the spiritual leader in our relationship. This hasn’t happened, and I don’t know that it will anytime soon. I absolutely hate the idea of breaking up with him, but more than that, I want to follow God’s will for my life. I’m having the hardest time with this, and desperately need encouragement. I know that I couldn’t in good conscience marry someone who will not be the spiritual leader of our marriage, and the more serious I’ve allowed this relationship to get, the more I feel helpless. I feel terrible that I’ve essentially “led him on” but I’m also fully aware that I can’t “make” him believe anything or pursue a relationship with Christ. I’m at a loss, and my spirit is really restless right now. I keep praying for peace and guidance, but I think my being stubborn is standing in the way of what I pray for. I would love your advice and appreciate your prayers.

    Thank you,
    Jessica

  58. Ray Fowler says:

    Jessica – I commend you for desiring to follow God’s will even when it is difficult. There is freedom in obeying God’s commands, plus it puts us in a place where God can reveal his perfect will for us. It sounds like you realize that you cannot in good faith continue this relationship with your boyfriend. Whether you were leading him on before or not, to continue in the relationship now would be leading him on. I pray that God will help you as you make some tough decisions in the days ahead.

  59. Elizabeth says:

    I have a question about biblical judgement/confronting sin within the body of Christ. A couple in our sunday school class are and have been living together for two years now and noone has said anything. She says she is saved and has been part of our class for 5 years. Why is this being ignored? Should leadership not gently, lovingly confront sin right in front of our eyes? Also, as a friend… how do you know if you should lovingly confront? And how do you know when to back away from fellowhip with a friend who continues to live in sin and they are seemingly fine with it?

  60. Kristy says:

    Elizabeth…
    I am so glad that you asked this question. I have been dealing with this very question for quite some time now. I have several family and friends that are purposely sinning and claiming that because they are “Christians” that it is ok because no one is perfect and God’s grace will cover their sins. This past week I tried to lovely rebuke 2 of them and pointed out scriptures to them. They both got really defensive and they both accused me of being judgmental. Even through the scripture back in my face about “do not judge or be judged.” I have found that we have become so tolerant to peoples sins that it has become nearly impossible to even say anything without them getting really mad and defensive. Therefore as a result it gets us no where to have even said anything. I love these people very much and don’t want any of them going to hell. I feel like if I just sit back and say nothing that I will be partially accountable because I knew what they were doing a sin but said nothing. I can’t wait to hear Ray’s response to this subject because I need some guidance on this as well.

  61. Ray Fowler says:

    Kristy and Elizabeth – It is always difficult confronting someone with sin in their life, but as brothers and sisters in Christ we are commanded to help each other in this area. When I was just out of college I remember having to confront a Christian brother who was living with his girlfriend. Although he didn’t respond to it well at the time, years later he thanked me for having the courage to talk to him about it.

    We should always approach the person gently, in love, confessing our own sin and need for grace. It is best if you have a prior relationship with the person. Still, people can and often do take offense even when we do our best to approach them with humility and love. Church leadership should also step in when someone is living in obvious sin.

    Here are some good Scriptures to keep in mind before approaching another believer about their sin:

    When someone sins against you: “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17)

    “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, `I repent,’ forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4)

    “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2)

    “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)

    Thanks for visiting, and all the best!

  62. Bryan says:

    Me and my girlfriend are currently engaged and have been together since freshman year of high school. Now we are sophomores in college and have still refrained from sleeping together or living together. I have my own apartment and she lives in the dorms. We are planning on getting married in June of 2011… But we are getting anxious now and wish we could just be together. Our parents and family think it is wrong to live together, and a part of me does not want to; because it is against Gods will and what I have been brought up to do and believe in. A part of us says that living together would save us alot of time and money and the convenience of being together more often since we see each other anyways, or never have the time to see each other at all because of school…Not to mention it would make us alot less stressed if we were to see each other more often and not have to be away from each other all the time. What do I do?

  63. Bryan says:

    Back to the last comment, we have considered getting married in the courthouse just to make it right with our families and everything and then still have the wedding and reception on the day in June of 2011… But would this make that day less important for us and make it not as memorable and special?? Please help!

  64. Ray Fowler says:

    Bryan – First of all, let me commend you and your fiancee for choosing to wait until marriage before living or sleeping together. Your marriage will be the stronger for it, and even more important, you are obeying God’s commands in this area.

    As far as whether you should get married now in the courthouse or wait until June 2011, there is no right answer. What do you believe God is telling you to do? I hope you have gotten or are getting premarital counseling. If not, let me encourage you to talk with your pastor about it. This would be a great question to explore together with a mature Christian believer who knows you and your fiancee well.

  65. Cheryl says:

    Hi Ray.
    Firstly, I want to say that I totally agree with your Scriptures on living together.
    I currently have a friend who calls himself a Christian who has a Fiance who is not a Christian, and I haven’t long found out that they are currently looking for a house to move in together. I know that they are going to move in before marriage because they are not planning to get married anytime soon and are planning on moving in together within the next few months. And also I am terribly concerned that they are still involved in sexual sin.
    I really feel as if I need to take my friend to one side and tell him about God’s views on living together and sexual sin, and that it is infact a sin to live together before marriage. I just really cannot bare the fact that this could easily get in the way of His relationship with The Lord. But I don’t know how to say it or even what to say, I was just wondering if you had any ideas on how I could handle this situation?
    I am also worried if he is going to think that my views are wrong seeing as I am only 16 and have only been a Christian for 9 months where as, he has been one for a couple of years and is also older than me. But I have prayed about it and I really feel as if God wants me to speak to him, and I really do not want to disobey His commands.
    Thank you so much for the scriptures on living together they have really blessed me and helped me to learn more about this kind of sin.
    Regards,
    Cheryl.

  66. Ray Fowler says:

    Cheryl – Thank you so much for sharing. You are right to be concerned about your friend and to want to talk to him about his upcoming decision. Even if he weren’t a Christian, I would want to share with him the information from the first post in this series (Statistics on Living Together) just out of concern for his future marriage.

    However, if he calls himself a Christian, I would also want to share with him the second and third posts in the series (Scriptures on Living Together and Living Together Without Sex). As Christians we are supposed to help each other avoid sin and walk closely with God.

    Make sure you approach him gently and with an attitude of humility and Christian love. I know you are a new Christian and you are younger than he is, but perhaps you could use this series of blog posts as a point of discussion. You may also want to find an older male Christian who knows him well enough to approach him about it.

    Thank you once again for sharing, and thank you for caring enough about your friend to want to reach out and help him avoid a wrong decision in his life. I pray that God will give you the wisdom and strength to do the right thing in this situation.

  67. jenny says:

    I just asked my BF to move out today. After leaving an abusive marriage I had lost my relationship with the Lord. The “Christian” man I married beat me in judgment with Gods word, was selfish and pretty much broke me.
    Shortly after leaving my husband I met my BF and he moved in a few months later. I was still far from being healed or reconciled with God, but wanted to be. In this last year I’ve struggled deeply with living together. I failed to follow through a few months ago when I tried to make the decision I made today.
    I am sitting here on my computer looking, searching for some support because I am walking in obedience to Gods word by making this choice. I couldn’t heal being in sexual sin. I am trusting him now for everything because I dont even make enough money to support myself. I prayed for hours last night & today for the stength to do this. The worst part of this is I am nolonger a part of a community of Christians, have not friends. I am literally alone tonight. I know without a doubt He is with me & will rebuild my life. Thank you for your article and the posts you’ve all shared. God has better for us and we should wait until marriage and test the relationship praying diligently that this is the right mate for us. Don’t assume because a seems right.

  68. Ray Fowler says:

    Jenny – I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. You made a difficult decision today, and I pray that God will give you the strength to stand by it. I know you must feel terribly alone tonight, but please know that God loves you and he is always present. I will be praying for you tonight, and I know there are many other readers of this blog who will be praying for you too.

  69. Patrice says:

    As I sit here and read all of these posting I am almost to tears. My ex-boyfriend and I decided to move in together over a year ago to raise our daughter together. He promised marriage but always had an excuse of reasons not to marry. I knew that living together was not the Godly thing to do. My parents lived together for 25 years never married and hated every moment of it. They only stayed with each other for my sibling and I and they split once my youngest sister was in her senior year of high.

    I feared this for myself so after a year of “shacking” and his staying out late never coming home, I asked him to move out. I am feeling lost, alone and very saddened, but encouraged by God. I have a college degree but just recently got laid off and have a 10 month old baby. Living together before marriage ruined our friendship and relationship, worst mistake ever.

  70. Ray Fowler says:

    Patrice – Thank you for sharing your story. A lot of people visit this page who are considering living together before marriage, and I trust your story will help them to think through their decision very carefully. I am sorry for your experience, but it looks like you have learned much from it. And I am glad you are finding your encouragement in God.

  71. Natosha says:

    Ok this is not about living together but I’m hoping you can answer my question? I made a big mistake giving my ex boyfriend oral sex over a year ago, the last time I did I told him I couldn’t do it again, I felt bad about it and that it was displeasing to God. I wasn’t sure if it was really considered sex but I knew I didn’t feel good about it. I remember being told if you feel guilty about something you shouldn’t be doing it. I asked God to forgive me and I do believe God has forgiven me. I am currently seeing a wonderful man who is also a Christian like me. He also has had sex in the past and has asked God to forive him, but lastnight he said he doesn’t know if God has forgave him. I told him God has forgiven him if he asked for forgiveness and truly meant it. Well my questions really are… Was that right for me to say that to him? And this may sound crazy but I’m not even sure if I’m a virgin after giving my ex oral in the past. I hate being unsure if I’m a virgin or not, even though I don’t believe I am because of what I did. Me and my boyfriend do not have sex and are waiting till marriage. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  72. Ray Fowler says:

    Natosha – Thank you for taking the time to share on the blog. It sounds like you have made some mistakes in the past, but have confessed them to God and are now seeking to follow God’s way. And it sounds like your fiance is doing the same. If you both have truly placed your faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation trusting in his death for you on the cross, you can be assured that you are forgiven. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

    As far as whether or not you are a virgin after your experience with your ex-boyfriend, some people get into all sorts of debates over virginity and “technical virginity” etc. “Technically” a virgin is someone who has not had sexual intercourse (dictionary definition). But God forbids any type of sexual activity with a person who is not your spouse, not just sexual intercourse. And we all have sinned sexually with our thoughts and minds as well.

    So rather than worry about whether or not you are still a virgin after your sexual experience, I would advise you to focus more on God’s forgiveness for the past and staying pure in the present. That’s a much more healthy focus.

    All the best,
    Ray

  73. Malaree says:

    My fiance and I recently purchased a home together and have been living there the last month. His mother is a very devout Christian and tells him repeatedly that our house will not be blessed until we are married. She’s actually refused to come visit us, and tells my future step-daughter that Satan makes her says things until she’s baptised (she’s 15 and chooses not to be stating that Jesus in her heart is enough now, she’s not ready). At 9 I was pulled out of Sunday School and baptised infront of the church congregation without permission from my parents, without them knowing, without proper guidance and acceptance on my part. Since then I’ve felt uncomfortable and betrayed but church, not by God but by man in church therefore I will not attend. I worship in my way in my home, my future mother in law obviously does not agree. Since my fiance and I made the step to merge our lives together I’ve had nothing but belittlement from her. I know most Christians believe that we’re living in sin, but to me we aren’t. In Biblical times men and women made an agreement to one another to live as husband and wife. There were no ceremonies or formalalities they had to go through to proclaim their marriage. Why so today do we have to go through such hoops to prove to those around us that we aren’t living in sin and that this piece of paper proves it? Why can’t our word to one another and our promise to God suffice as it did when the words in the Bible were being lived? I know my post will anger some, and that’s ok but I’m not out to do that. I’m out to find answers, or what’s best to the answers I can get. When I read the verses posted in the beginning I interpret them differently than the next who reads it. I’m an analytical person, I need to understand before basing conclusions.

    Thank you for any help or guidance!

  74. Ray Fowler says:

    Malaree – I don’t think anyone is going to get angry at you over your post, but I would like to make a few suggestions that I trust will be helpful to you.

    First of all concerning your mother-in-law, I don’t know the whole story, but it sounds like she is saying some pretty extreme things. I would encourage you to love her through it all and test what she says against the word of God. If you’re not sure what the Bible says about certain issues, then you could talk to a pastor.

    Which brings me to the second thing. I am sorry you had a bad experience with the church when you were younger. But not attending any church is not the right answer. That would be like having a bad experience at one restaurant and never eating out again. Of course we would never do that, and church is so much more important than eating out at a restaurant. I would encourage you to find a good church that teaches the Bible and preaches Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus founded the church, Jesus died for the church, Jesus loves the church; the church is the body of Christ, and if we belong to Jesus, we need to be part of his church.

    And then thirdly as far as marriage, even in Biblical times there were various customs and public vows made before a couple was considered married. Marriage is not a private agreement between two people, but a public promise made before the community. Just saying you’re married does not make it so. You and your fiance might feel like you’re married, you might like to think that you’re married, but until you have made that publicly recognized vow before the community, you are simply not married. And God’s word is very clear that you should not be living together as husband and wife until you truly are married.

    I encourage you to think through what I have said here and also to read carefully through the verses listed at the top of this post asking God to speak his truth to you. And I believe he will.

    God bless,
    Ray

  75. Marie says:

    Hi,

    I am searching for guidance right now because my boyfriend and I are living together, but this arrangement improves my quality of life vastly. A little background, I have a 2 year old daughter and 2 years ago her father died leaving me to be a single mother, my parents were getting evicted so I also had to move house. I then became a studying, working and SINGLE mother as you can imagine it was extremely difficult to do my motherly duties as well as work and study. Bereavement, bouts of depression, loneliness also reared their ugly heads. So when eventually I committed to a relationship with my partner, it became extremely evident that I was struggling, he subsequently moved in literally to help me with me daughter and just help me cope (which I really appreciate because I didn’t think I could spread myself thinner). We are both christians and want to be married but he still has a year left of university and between us we don’t earn enough to arrange a marriage. Not to mention he has nowhere else to stay. I know ideally we shouldn’t be living togethern but I am at odds at what I should do, if he moves out I will be back to running myself ragged, if he stays I will have my conscience to deal with.

    Please pray for us!

  76. Juana says:

    Hello Marie,

    I am so sorry about the circumstances in your life. Your life has not been ideal. But living together makes your life even more confusing, less ideal. Make the decision that moves you closer to what you know is right. Just get married. Planning a wedding is expensive. Just getting married is not. Your life hasn’t been ideal anyway. Make your life right with God. Get married. And God will bless your relationship. And then your life will finally be more ideal than it was before. And your conscience will be clear.

  77. Ray Fowler says:

    Juana – Thank you for sharing your thoughts with Marie.

    Marie – I am sorry you have gone through such difficult times. My concern for you is this. You believe that living together improves your quality of life. And on the outside of things it probably looks that way. But anytime we stray from God’s commandments, we are always settling for less than God’s best for us.

    Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” God’s way is always best. You clearly do not have a peace about your present situation, so I would encourage you to either stop living together or to get married. And as Juana points out above, getting married really doesn’t cost that much.

    I wish you all the best, but even more I pray God’s best for you. – Ray

  78. JJ says:

    I’m a faithful Christian who’s never had sex with anyone but his wife of 15 years (and only once married), so I’m not looking for justification of my behaviors.

    I am, however, extremely curious (as a father and role model) why Scripture never says anything explicit about what constitutes “sexual immorality.”

    Every passage quoted on this page (and many similar web pages) begs the question. Certainly we should avoid immorality. And yes, there are good logical reasons not to cohabitate prior to marriage. But I don’t see Scripture clarifying for us exactly what constitutes “immoral” sexual behavior and what does not.

    Can you help me see more clearly what Scripture says about this? What makes an on-going relationship between two mature adults immoral or sinful if they go to bed before the wedding night?

  79. Ray Fowler says:

    JJ – I think Scripture is fairly clear on this. We are to flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18) and pursue purity (2 Timothy 2:22). Sexual immorality in the Bible includes such things as adultery, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, incest, prostitution, rape, and lust. Therefore any sexual activity I engage in with a person who is not my wife is sexually immoral. The key is to pursue purity and to avoid anything that would cause me even to lust after another person (Matthew 5:28).

  80. sarah says:

    The bible doesn’t say not to live together before marriage. it says not to have sex before marriage. And I think it’s extremely possible to live together and not have sex. I already read your piece about the temptations of it. I disagree with your reason that you shouldn’t do it cuz it hurts your image. I thought christians weren’t supposed to care about what people think of them just what god does. Therefore, if you aren’t having sex there should be nothing wrong with it since the bible doesn’t say not to live together. Unless if course you’re only supposed to care what other christians think of you, Which really doesn’t make sense to me. That seems a little hypocritical.

  81. sarah says:

    I figured I should give my reasons why I think this. For one I have a friend who’s been living with her bf for awhile now. They have not had sex because she wants to wait until marriage. She’s not even a Christian. So if non believers can do it I’m pretty sure it’s possible.

    On another note here’s my story. Y’all are saying you shouldn’t live together cuz you should trust that if you think you know them and love them, that you should get along well enough when you marry. I was dating this guy and he was wonderful. We dated for a very long time and I thought he was the man I was made to marry. Eventually we moved in together. And I found out where he would go at nights. He cheated on me several times I later found out, but I only caught him on the 8th girl when I was living with him. And I wanted to marry this man. I believe that you should know if you can live with someone

    before you marry them, because if you marry them and that happens…what if I was to ind that out
    when we married? Divorce is a sin. It says that plain. So tell me. Would god have rather me lived with him before that and find out before I made a mistake like that (when it doesn’t say it in the bible not to live together) or have me blindly marry him and force me to commit the sin of divorce or be miserable the rest of my life?

  82. Ray Fowler says:

    Sarah – Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your story. I am glad you read through the related post on Living Together Without Sex even if you do not agree with its conclusions.

    In answer to your first comment, I would say there is a big difference between one’s image and one’s testimony. If a Christian is just trying to look good to others, that is not the right motivation. (And if they are trying to look good when they are not, then that is hypocritical.)

    When Christians choose to live together before marriage, they send a message to others that living together before marriage is good, right and acceptable. They may be one of the rare few who abstain until marriage, but most people who live together are going to get involved sexually. Also, the statistics do not bear well for those who live together before marriage.

    As far as your live-in who cheated on you, I am sorry for the pain that caused you and so glad you found out before you married him. However, I still do not believe living together before marriage is the answer. The Bible gives grounds for divorce following adultery, but nowhere does it give grounds for sexual relations before marriage. (i.e. Divorce because of adultery is not sin, but sex before marriage is.)

  83. Esther says:

    I recently found this blog when looking for the church view on living together before marriage.
    My fiance and I have been together for 3 going on 4 years. We got engaged in March 2010 and plan on being married in May 2011. The plan has been to live seperately until marriage, well, both of our schedules have suddenly gotten very complicated. He is taking evening classes 5 days a week and I work full time. So, our only chance of seeing each other is late at night or on the weekends after he has finished working or doing homework. So, recently he voiced his frustration about not being able to see each other as much and talked about living together as a solution.
    I am from a very religious family and am pretty religious, his family not as hard core. I would feel guitly, but also hate how our communitcation has dwindled because of lack of quality time.

    I also thought about talking with him about moving the date of the wedding up, because we both don’t want to wait so long. But if we move up the date and get married his finicial status will change and he may lose all of his scholarship money for school.

    I am extremely stressed with this situation as is he. What can we do?????

  84. Ray Fowler says:

    Esther – I know it is difficult when schedules do not permit you to see each other as often as you would like, but living together before marriage is not the solution. It sounds like you both had a peace about your original plan, but now the thought of moving in together before marriage is causing stress. I encourage you both to stick with the original plan. Use these remaining months to prepare wisely for a lifetime of marriage, rather than erode the foundation of your marriage before it even begins.

  85. Jessica Ann says:

    Dear Ray,

    i come to this website with a very heavy heart! I have grown up in a christian home and accepted Jesus at an early age. My parents did a great job teaching me right from wrong. However at the age of 23 I allowed my boyfriend to move into my apartment. I knew it was wrong but did it aanyways. eventually we purchased a house together and moved. we were planning to get married but i soon found out i was pregnant. the wedding was put on hold. during my pregnancy things became very hard. joe lost his job and experienced depression. i fell away from God (he is not saved) and we started to experience problems. after the birth of my daughter joe began drinking and abusive verbally. he ended up tellin me he just wanted to be room mates. i stayed a little while but soon moved to my parents. i am presenntly living with my parents and my 5 month old. joe is now struggling and keeps asking me to come back. i know i shouldnt especially since he is so manipulative but more importantly because he is not a christisn but part of me wants to go back. i feel sad that my daughter doesnst have her daddy and i aadmit i miss him too. please pray for me… and if u have a verse that u think would help i would appreciate it!

  86. Ray Fowler says:

    Jessica Ann – I agree you have a very difficult situation and am sorry for the distress you are experiencing. I am glad your parents are able to help with housing you and your daughter – that is a huge blessing! I know it is tempting to want to be back with Joe but if he is drinking, abusive and not a Christian, that does not sound like the right environment for you or your daughter.

    I would encourage you to take this time to continue to foster your relationship with God. Find a good church where you can get involved and perhaps find support from other young Christian mothers. Know that God has a plan for your life, and he will lead you in it one step at a time.

    And a good verse? How about Psalm 119:105-108 –

    105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.
    106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
    that I will follow your righteous laws.
    107 I have suffered much;
    preserve my life, LORD, according to your word.
    108 Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
    and teach me your laws.

    Blessings in Christ,
    Ray

  87. Sharelle says:

    Interestingly enough, all of the Bible versus quoted do not say anything about the actual subject! The PERSONAL translations / INTERPRETATIONS do though. Sexual immorality in the Bible is NEVER defined in the Bible as “sex before marriage”!! This is another sad story of man made religion getting in the way of the true message of Love. Keeping a marriage bed pure means not cheating. If you were to give me those verses, without Christian Culture input, or a paragraph of a man describing the versus and “what they mean”, I would never conclude from them that one monogamous couple means it is ‘sinful’.

    Also, back in early Bible times, people could have several wives, dude could give her father some livestock and call it a marriage. Then a man could sleep with several wives and never commit adultery! But today, in the culture in the United States, we have a new definition for what has to happen before someone can be intimate. God is bigger than culture!!!!!!!

    Ray, so now it is ” a public commitment to the community” in order to call yourself married?? What about the couple that takes the preacher and gets married on the cliff over the ocean alone? They are not married? What about the couple that just signs the marriage contract with one witness? Do you think if Jesus were here walking the earth today he would get caught up on telling great people who live together in a healthy relationship that they are sinners? No, and he definitely was not hanging out with the people who hung out in religious places writing rules and decrees for religion.

    This is just so sad to see people divided on these issues- God cares more about Love and people feeling loved from believers than getting caught up on cultural issues, and being made to feel guilty when their heart may be in the right place. But that is not even for us to consider, as it is God who judges, ( or supposed to be!!!) and Him only.

    Find some verses that clearly say “living together before marriage is a sin”, or “immorality = sex before marriage” because the verses above did not… you will find you simply cannot, because the human explanation is the only thing that makes the verse ‘mean’ that.

  88. Ray Fowler says:

    Sharelle – The Scripture verses above clearly teach that sex outside of marriage is wrong. It is not a matter of personal interpretation but rather the definition of words. The Greek word used for sexual immorality all through the New Testament is a word that literally means any kind of sex outside of the marriage relationship. You are welcome to disagree with the Bible when it says that sex outside of marriage is immoral, but you can’t change the meaning of the word. That is just what it means.

  89. SoCal Gal says:

    First I have to say it is interesting to me that this blog has been actively viewed/posted to since May of 2008. Think sex/living together before marriage is a major issue for Christians?? I came across this page because my boyfriend of 2 years is relocating due to a change in employment. He will now be about 40 minutes away from me whereas before he was about 5. We thought about moving in together. I am the more dedicated (and often guilt ridden) Christian in the relationship (we are intimately involved), and was going back and forth on the idea. Ultimately I believe I will refrain because I want the quality of our marriage (especially the beginning) to be exciting (not just a continuation), and I want him to know I am serious about getting married. I do not want to get into a situation where we end up putting off the wedding forever because we are “playing” being married. Also, I know it would make me feel guilty the whole time. As I said before, I think we can all agree that it is difficult for any Christian to refrain from sex before marriage. However, I would rather not rush into marriage too soon (which many Christian people resort to in order to get what their natural instincts are desiring). Life is much more complex than it used to be and people do wed much later in life. I am 26 and have taken issue with no sex before marriage since I was about 13 – it just doesn’t seem to be possible unless you are married relatively young. But I can make the decision to wait to live together until we are married. Hopefully our relationship will recieve God’s mercy and blessing in the future. Best wishes to you all struggling with this issue.

  90. Ray Fowler says:

    SoCal Gal – I would encourage you to stick with your decision to wait on living together until you are married. You won’t regret it. But that is only one part of the puzzle. I would also encourage you to talk with your fiance about refraining from sexual relations until you both are married. I know how difficult that can be, but it is another decision I promise you will not regret. All the best! Ray

  91. James Balenger says:

    To Sharelle:
    One of the Commandments (number seven I believe) says “you shall not commit adultery” and that alone pretty well cuts to the meat of the problem, adultery being the sexual relations between two persons out of wedlock.

  92. Andrea Milton says:

    Pastor Ray,
    I’m so so glad that I was led to this article and this series! I’m currently cohabitating with my boyfriend. I have been convicted of this decision ever since I moved in, but I decided to follow my flesh instead of the Spirit.It started off as frequent sleepovers, but everyday of the week we were together until we both decided to live together. The situation got a little more complicated in January 2010 when I found out that I was pregnant. I told myself that I definitely couldn’t leave now because I am carrying his son and I don’t want to inconvience him by not seeing his son whenever he wanted. After my son was born, we began arguing and bumping heads constantly. My son is 3 months old now and we aren’t arguing as much, but the relationship is definitely not the same. We have talked about purchasing a house and even having more children, but I told him that I can’t make a commitment to those things unless I have an ‘I do’ from you. He laughs it off, but I’m serious. My conviciton about cohabitation has led to some sleepless nights and a lot of tears. I have such wonderful testmonies about my life and I want to share them, but I feel they would be invalid because I’m not living in God’s will. I want God to move in my life and use me, but I know that I must be obedient to Him first. I’m ready to step out on faith and get my own place. I want to set a good example for my son and for my younger cousins who are looking at how I live my life.I just don’t know how to have that conversation with my boyfriend.My boyfriend is a Christian and he is involved in the church, so my reason for moving out should be my obedience to God and not wanting to bring judgement on him should be sufficient. I feel so much better now because I have scriptures to reference. Hopefully he won’t be quick to answer and understand.

  93. Ray Fowler says:

    Andrea – It sounds like you are ready to take a big step of faith. That’s a good thing, even if it is scary at the same time. I encourage you to gather your Christian friends and any believing family around you for support at this time, and I pray that your boyfriend will not only understand but also share your convictions. Please let me know how everything turns out. Blessings, Ray

  94. Bec moolin says:

    I dont think you need a piece of paper to prove anything! If your in love… Real love… Then everything will work out. My boyfriends parents have lived together there whole life (they are not christian) and they are as happy and committed as anything! My parents moved in together at 19 had two kids and waited another 3 years before getting married (and they are christian) and they have the best relationship ever. Are you telling me my relationship is doomed to fail if i live with my boyfriend before marrige? Coz why did theres then work out?

    I believe in christ and jesus but do not live by everything as i do not like alot of what i see go on in the world. And my boyfriend is not at All christian. But my dad has doubts and discourages me.

    I love him and want to share my life with him. I dont need any grand gestures… Why does this matter so much.

    Not that ill agree with you as i consider alot of this just silly but i do want an opinion.

    Thanks x

  95. Ray Fowler says:

    Bec – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The reason it matters so much is that the infinitely wise and loving God who created you also knows what is best for you. When we pick and choose what parts of the Bible to follow, we only end up hurting ourselves.

    I am glad your boyfriend’s parents are happy and committed together even though they never married, but are they serving and worshiping the God who created them? If not, then they are missing out on the real purpose of life.

    I encourage you to read one of the gospels in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and see for yourself who Jesus is and what it means to follow him.

    Blessings in Christ,
    Ray

  96. Ashli Dees says:

    I have been so blessed to come upon this page. My fiance and I (actually more me) have been struggling with this since we’ve been engaged. I have been told that it was a good idea for us to move in with each other before we get married (next year) in order to have experience with living together (we currently are not living together). These bible verses really put things into perspective for me! I have a question though, what verse would you refer to when in comes to engaged couples? I’ve heard this line before “It’s not “shacking up”, you guys are engaged!” I know I’m about 2 years late in reading this, and I hope you respond! Thank you so much!

  97. Ray Fowler says:

    Ashli – Scripturally speaking, engagement makes no difference when it comes to the whole question of living together and sexual involvement. Engagement is a promise to get married but it is not marriage itself. Engagements are not legally binding and can be broken any time. The Bible is clear that the man and the woman should wait until after marriage before they start living together as husband and wife. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, and I encourage you to make the right choice in this area so that you and your fiance can enter your marriage with a clear conscience before God. You will never regret it!

  98. rhonda says:

    My boyfriend and I have been living together for 6 years. WE are both born again Christians and plan to get engaged soon. I have recently been baptised and have been having feelings of guilt about living together. I have discussed this with my boyfriend but he has no desire to stop having pre-marital sex or stop living together. I don’t know what to do.

  99. Lorna says:

    I think that living together has nothing to do with religion. I know i might sound foolish but that is what i personally believe. My boyfriend and I are Christians. We might not be very religious but we believe in God. We have been living together 4 two years. The reason being its cheaper for the both of us because we are still in school and working our way through college. We know it is wrong but there is nothing more we can do we just can’t afford it

  100. Lily says:

    I totally agree with you and the Bible that two should not live together unless they are married. My boyfriend and I lived together for three years and have a 2-year old boy. Unfortunately, there was a relationship he had with another woman before we started dating and they got a daughter. With this revelation, I started feeling cheated and felt that I had lost it all including God’s love. Our relationship became non-sexual within no time and communication broke down. I was depressed and sad for a long time until I decided to move out earlier this year. Now he proposes marriage but I do not want to make another mistake since his daughter is real and there to stay. What does the Bible say about such relationships? Are there any scriptures to guide me on this? I would love my son to grow up with his father around as I missed on that myself.

    God bless you so much for your work for Him.

  101. Carla says:

    Hi Ray,

    I find your post most confusing. None of the scriptural quotes you’ve used actually refer to cohabitation before marriage, and indeed you’ve had to interpret them to twist them to make them into what you want them to say. I don’t think the bible has anything to say about co-habitation,but lots about adultery. I would be very happy if you could supply an actual quote from God’s word that condemns cohabitation before marriage.

  102. Ray Fowler says:

    Carla – Thank you for taking the time to comment. Read the post more carefully, it already addresses your concerns. The post is one of four in a series which together address the topic at hand.

  103. Jo says:

    I am just wondering where the scripture really is to back up “Not living together” before marriage. I understand the sexual aspect and how God created sex for marriage and how sacred this is. However, we are all taught not to live together first. Are we really that naive to think that Christians won’t have sex before marriage if they are not living together? It would be great if that temptations never hit us, however, whether living together or not, people are going to either have sex or not. I really just want the scripture. Not an opinion or a commentary……I have yet to see the scripture and I am a Christian, and I do LOVE the Lord…..

  104. carla says:

    Jo, this is just what I am searching for! I’ve looked over this site, and there are no specific references (chapter and verse) to co-habitation. I take the bible very seriously and am really looking for guidance on this issue, christians say it’s a sin, but can’t find anything in the bible, though Ray, you say the answers are here, I can’t find any ACTUAL refs from the bible. Indeed these verses seem to refer to adultery more than anything.
    God bless.

  105. Ray Fowler says:

    Jo and Carla, Thank you for hanging in there with me on this one. If you are looking for a verse that says, “Thou shalt not live together,” you are not going to find it. What this series of posts does is look at the choice of living together from a number of perspectives.

    The first post presents statistics which demonstrate a high correlation between living together before marriage and undesirable outcomes.

    The second post presents Scriptures which tell us that sexual relations outside of marriage are immoral and displeasing to God. These verses are highly applicable because most people who live together are sexually active. They are living as married couples without the commitment of marriage. Sex is one of the reasons they are living together, and the thought of living together without sex would seem absurd to them.

    The third post in the series addresses the question you both seem most interested in: what about couples who live together but abstain from sex? You can read that post here: Living Together Without Sex

    And then the fourth post speaks to the situation of those who have already lived together before marriage.

    I hope that helps, and thank you once again for visiting and commenting.

  106. Jo says:

    So, basically there is no scripture to back this up. Thou shall not steal….well that is specific. Thou shalt not commit adultery….pretty specific. etc…. if this was a sin, I am certain that GOD would make this VERY CLEAR and specific. Who are we as people to get in the way of God’s Word, A Marriage is a Sacred Covenant between a man, a woman, and God. It is not Holy and sacred because we walk down an aisle and have a preacher tell us we are married after we take a class. It is Holy!!! Lets get out of each others ways and focus on the beauty of a man and a woman and GOD, joining together in a sacred holy covenant. Instead of worrying about the piece of paper they never got from a city clerk who isn’t even a believer! Or how we “look” to others because we live with someone, even though that man and woman have made a covenant together with the Lord.

  107. Ray Fowler says:

    Jo – The Bible is very clear that sexually living together before marriage is sin. (No commentary or extra interpretation needed for that one. The word translated “sexual immorality” in the Bible actually means sexual relations outside of marriage.) Marriage in the Bible is not a private arrangement between a man, a woman and God, but rather a public relationship with legal obligations based on a lifetime vow of faithfulness. It is this public, legal relationship between a man and a woman that sanctifies the sexual relationship between husband and wife in God’s eyes.

  108. Jo says:

    UNDERSTOOD. You are implying “sex before marriage” I am not.

  109. nate says:

    4:22pm help me understand how living together is a sin

    4:27pm i think its more lest what you do in living together is the sin

  110. carla says:

    I’m not sure that this should be an issue that overly concerns christians. I’m guessing that most of us here try to be good people, and I think that Ray may be muddying the waters. There are no scriptures in the bible that ban couples living together before marriage, and we must try living according to the bible. I’m also concerned that Ray, you may be counselling us from shaky ground, there is only one judge in this earthly realm according to the Bible and that is God. Please be aware that if you ask us to judge people on whether they are married or not (or whatever), you may be speaking to us from a prideful place and I would urge you to seek guidance from the Lord on this issue. God bless.

  111. Jo says:

    I think that people are “assuming” that if you live together before marriage that you are having sex before marriage. Some of these blogs are twisting the question. I was only asking for scripture regarding living together before marriage. I never implied, not asked about scripture for having sex before marriage. One does not define the other necessarily. I completely know what God has to say about sex before marriage. What I want to know is what God has to say about living together before marriage. Not what other people have to say because they have all been traditional programmed to say it is wrong and a sin. But where is the back up from Scripture, where does God say that???? Please try to separate the two, living together from sex before marriage…. thank you!

  112. Julie says:

    Firstly i must say, I am a very moral person. I am not religious in the slightest, i must admit, but isn’t religion basically giving you a set of morals to live by and something to belong to? So maybe my opinion, while not religious, will help. Jo, you’re right, a slip of paper signed by an official does not make a marriage holy. In essence, I think what God means is that before you have sex, you should be bound to this person in a way that ensures that you will not break off. Living together without sex is ok. And secondly, God never wrote the Bible, so how could there be scriptures from God about living together before marriage? The bible was written some 400 odd years after Jesus Christ by the Church. Basically, don’t make a decision based on OTHERS opinions, make it on what YOU think is right. If you truly think that God or whomever you believe watches over us would not object to the type of living together you are inquiring about, then there is nothing stopping you.

  113. April says:

    There is a difference between religion and relationship. You will know what is right in the eyes of God by being in a relationship with Him. Anyone can be religious… Budhism is a religion. But, a relationship with Jesus Christ involves putting aside what you want and what you think is right for you and what feels good for you at the time or makes sense at the time, and following Jesus Christ. Seeking Him in your decisions, asking for wisdom to know the difference between what your feelings are telling you and what the holy spirit is leading you. Seek God first and if you don’t know still, keep seeking. He will not leave you bewildered. Living together would make sense to even a religious person who may call himself a Christ follower if he is not in a daily walk, continuous communication with Jesus Christ. Hope that helps.

  114. Ray Fowler says:

    Julie: Thank you for commenting. I just wanted to correct your statement that the Bible was written 400 years after Jesus. Although there is disagreement over the precise dating, all Biblical scholars agree that the Old Testament was written between 1460 B.C. and 400 B.C., and that the New Testament was written between 45 A.D. and 100 A.D.

  115. Terri says:

    Both my sisters live with their boyfriends and it has quite literally torn my family apart. I generally do not spend anytime with them because I don’t want them to think that I approve of their living situations. I don’t know what to do for them or what to say to them and they seem to completely disregard the fact that they continually break my mom’s heart over this whole issue. They’re both “engaged” but I’ve yet to hear of any wedding dates being set. My daddy is a preacher and has taught my sisters and I well so I know they know what is right and wrong. From a Christian point of view, how do I deal with this besides praying? I am in continual pray for my sisters. I don’t know what to do to have my family back.

  116. Ray Fowler says:

    Terri – I encourage you to keep your relationship with your sisters as open as possible. I don’t think they will confuse spending time together with them as approval of their current living situations. They need your love and witness in their lives more than ever. You can tell them straight how you feel about the living together while continuing to love them and build on your relationship together as sisters.

  117. carla says:

    I’m feeling terribly sorry for many people on here, who are victims of religious judgement, confusion about what the bible says and victims of what all of us go through in life, namely the human experience. I also feel that Ray, you are not in a position to advise, as you only know the messages that are sent to you, not the context, cultural background or even what the bible says about these matters.
    When you look inside your heart for advice, you are subjecting yourself to your cultural background, the opinions that are formed by those around you, the situation that you’re in and past experiences. The more I read this board, the more I feel the sand shifting beneath my feet.
    The term ‘fornication’ in the bible can mean many things, adultery, betraying the jewish race, false idolatry, hiring prostitutes,etc.
    I’m confused by your answers Ray. I’m becoming increasingly confused by a bible that gives conflicting advice about almost everything, and won’t give a straight answer about anything. I see christians who are judgemental and even cruel, and atheists who are warm, loving people, (it can be the other way round) I just see PEOPLE. I’m starting to see the lack of a God in everything, and my faith is crumbling.
    If we just accepted people as who they are, and not judge or advise then surely they could live life free from persecution.
    If this was applied to every post on here, in this kind of a world few of their problems would even exist. Their problems basically come down to religious bigotry or human nature, both of which have absolutely nothing to do with God.

  118. Ray Fowler says:

    Carla – I’m sorry you are feeling confused by the Bible and about this site. Even though we may disagree, please know that you are welcome here and that you are loved. I pray God will strengthen your faith and that you will find the answers you are looking for. Blessings, Ray

  119. oynx says:

    Hi Ray, this is a great website and a great minstry that God is using you and others as a source of information.

    I have a situation for you, my fiance was pregant but with three children and lost them due to a miscarriage. She belives that since we had sex that we are man and woman based upon scripture and she also belives that we should be living together now- the problem is I don’t have the finances to support her. she has enough money via medicaid to keep a apartment and pay rent but it is not enough to pay for my expenses (car, medicine and cell phone) I work but it is part time and is not enough to pay for these so I get help from my parents. we have been 2gether for almost 5 years and I told her that we should wait to get married once we can finacially take care of each other. she wants me to move in- and I told her I can not until we are married- and she feels that we “should already be married” considering what has happened. she refers to scriptures in Exodus 22:16-17
    and the classic marriage scriptures in Ephesians 5:31
    and 1 Corinthians 7:8-9
    . I tell her in all of those- it is important that the man can provide especially referencing to the ephesians verse- then she says I lack faith then I refer her to Proverbs 3:5-6. So it is instersting. I welcome your thoughts- especially the one dealing with the finacial dilemma.

  120. Matt says:

    Ray,

    You keep saying that there are “statistics which demonstrate a high correlation between living together before marriage and undesirable outcomes” Actually there are statistics that say otherwise.

    A report by the National Center for Health Statistics from a sample of almost 13,000 in 2010. Shows that there is really not that much of a difference. It is actually becoming less and less of a problem to live together before you are married. Its actually becoming more common. About 2/3 of couples do it now. So you might have higher total numbers because there are more people.

    Just to make that clear.

    thanks

  121. Ray Fowler says:

    Matt – I reported on that study when it first came out back in March 2010, and the findings confirmed what earlier studies have reported — that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce. (Marriage and Cohabitation in the United States). However, even if the statistics should shift at sometime in the future, I still view this as a moral issue at heart. The statistics are just an additional factor to take into account.

  122. Lindsey says:

    I agree with Ray’s comment. You can not practice commitment. Sex was meant for marriage period. People can control themselves. I’m 25 years old, and I am going to wait until I am married to have sex. In my opinion sex is the only sacred thing about marriage, and should be treated as a precious valuable asset, which should not be given or taken lightly outside of marriage.

  123. Katie says:

    Hi Ray,

    My (now) fiance and I are living together, and have basically since February of 2010. The reason for this is (and I’ll try to sum it up, I know it’s hard to read long posts sometimes!) my dad met a woman on e-harmony that wasn’t Christian and I didn’t trust her at all. She started coming into the house and into my dad’s room at night before I got home from friends’ places, and left before I woke up. I soon caught on and started staying at a girl friend’s whenever she was over on weekends. She got busy and the only other option I had was my friend John and Daryl’s place. They slept in separate rooms and I always slept on the couch in the living room. Eventually John and I got closer and started dating, and the day I finally said yes to him, he became a Christian (he had been close, I wanted him to find God and he wanted to too, but was scared to pray for Him to come into his life). The next month their lease was up so we moved in with his parents for a bit (still separate rooms) and his sister heard rumors about me from his ex-girlfriend. To not cause drama I moved back in with my dad, John came with me because he knew about me strongly disliking the woman my dad was seeing, and my dad soon kicked me out because we just couldn’t get along (me and the girlfriend). I called my step-dad and mom, they FINALLY allowed us to stay with them (John’s room had become a storage room at his parents’ so he didn’t have anywhere to go really either except with me). My mom was dealing with enough and she said she didn’t want us there till CHRISTMAS (this was June) and my step-dad is a chain smoker and I’m allergic to smoke, so we found a place in Sept for us to move into. It was this or I’d live in the back of my car – none of my friends had jobs or their own place.

    Currently we are engaged (as of July 2010), but still living together. We attend church whenever we can, go to conventions and so on. We’re working on strengthening our faith more as individuals and as a couple. We’ve made plans for our wedding already but the church seems skeptical on marrying us due to living together, yet they’re more than enthusiastic for John’s ex girlfriend who’s marrying a man next month who’ve been living together for over a year in a different province because they have a house together and “sleep on different floors of the house” (we know that isn’t true as do many others except seemingly the church). It’s really pushing me away from the church again – I know we SHOULDN’T be living together but at the time it was our only option. Yet why should the church criticize us so much when they themselves have sin? “Let the man who has not sinned cast the first stone”. No one has the RIGHT to judge us, it isn’t their job, though I know cautioning us about it and going over scripture is and I appreciate it. Rarely do these relationships work, a Christian / non-Christian. He truly gave his life to God. Now we’re living together before marriage yet it’s truly going well – and the wedding plans are coming along wonderfully. I don’t know what else to say except I hope I find a church that isn’t AS criticizing. I would not encourage anyone living together really, even as a last option, but if there was NO other option, what choice would they, or we, have?

  124. Katie says:

    (So much for summing that up and making it a short post!!)

  125. carla says:

    hello,
    me and my fiancee promised each other, the promise you give at a marriage(wedding). we also was talking to god during this time a promised him also. therfore we consider our selves married. my question is are we right? also do to situations we would get married legally right now. its the age and the law that is keeping us from doing we. me and my fiancee which i consider more are planning on getting married as soon given the chance. at this moment we are not living together. may you please lead me to understand. this is mine and his question no one seems to know the answer to.

  126. carla says:

    (= i misspelled some im sure you’ll see where. thank you

  127. Sue says:

    Hi Ray,

    You are so great at your loving, truthful, compassionate responses. Thank you. I have read several posts and this has helped me a lot.

    I am the godmother to my cousin’s child. We have a big Catholic family, however, I became a Christian, or I was water-immersed baptized (like Jesus was my example-Acts 2:38) after praying for forgiveness. I didn’t grow because I didn’t know much, but the Holy Spirit guided me to leave the Catholic church. I attended faithfully at my new church. I finally (many years later) matured more in relating to people, which helped me with relating to God in prayer and devotions, because for years I was not happy just working and going to church, still lonely and empty, after I had initially found such great peace the night I was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit.

    Before I left the Catholic church, I was devout, attended church weekly and abstained from drugs/sex (experimeneted with alcohol, but disliked it too much, so stopped) through high school and college just like my best friend. Even my boyfriend in high school and I chose to wait. Although we were so shy, we only kissed maybe 3 times. So young.

    Anyway, I am writing, because I recently found out my godchild has been living with her fiance (engaged Christmas ’10) for three years. I was VERY disappointed, angry that someone had not helped her know that this is not what the Catholic church teaches, nor God’s will for her life and soul. I don’t live close to her anymore-moved away 3 hrs, but was in town visiting her sick aunt. The Holy Spirit reminded me that I needed to confront her and him.

    I began with a brief summary of becoming a Christan, gave them a handout on the 10 commandments and scriptures on who Christ is and how to pray for forgiveness of sins and how the Holy Spirit is our helper and guide. They were not sitting down, so I approached the area they were standing, just said, I want to be straight with you, I just learned you were living here (to the guy) and how do you feel about this? Are you at peace or do you feel guilty? She said she was at peace – which shocked me. No admittance of conscience or guilt! She appeared to becoming offended and began walking to the door to open it for me (to leave) I said I love you both very much and was not able to finish explaining that the Catholic church does not teach this way, nor does any church, that living together is not right in the churches eyes, as well as God’s. So I left. It was very awkward!!

    She also had mentioned when we were touring the house at the beginning of the visit, that for ‘some reason’ her A/C unit blew last year, the breaker box section had been replaced.
    I have experienced God’s blessing and curses, on my car, job, house, etc. I want them to be blessed. I am saddened and mbarrassed that this generation is so lame in knowledge and obedience to righteous living. I did to her, what I would want someone to do for me, confront with love. I want to do right, I want truth. I want to please God, although sometimes it is not always easy to love Him and obey Him. He will help us if we ask.

    My responsibility as a godmother is to instruct spiritually. I encouraged her to read the bible I had given her a few years ago, daily.

    Anyway, your thoughts. I know you have mentioned this in othere posts, but it is difficult and I did ask the Holy Spirit to speak because I didn’t know how to do this exactly.

    I also want to know, why so many ‘church attending’ couples are not confronted by a leader in this sin, or why in a years time, attending weekly Catholic Mass, the scriptures on morality are not read – for ears to hear, and eyes to be opened.

    I wanted to say to her, you appear to be upset, but I didn’t make the rules of marriage and the church, God did and the Catholic church did, so be upset with them, not me. I am just reminding you that you are breaking them!

    Thanks and God bless you
    Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

    p.s. Her aunt lived with her boyfriend before marriage, and during the 6-month marriage prep. that the Catholic church requires before marriage, the priest strongly suggested that she move back in with her parents, and she did. Unfortunately, 12 years later, the aunt moved out and wanted a divorce?:( My godchild was 6 when they married and 18 when they divorced, so not sure what all she knows)

    Thanks again
    Sue

  128. Sue says:

    Dear All of you writing in, who are struggling with this issue of single people living together and having sex before becoming a married person. I care about you and want to help you understand the primary issue.

    If you are living together and having sex, you are not a Christian you are a sinner. Christians are committed to follow God’s principles, sinners follow themselves-the world-or the devil. Your conduct shows what you obey, not what you believe. The devil believes in God, but does not obey him. “If you love me, you will obey what I have commanded” said Jesus in John chp. 14:15 AND

    2 Timothy 2:19 says “God’s [people] have a solid foundation [of truth in Christ] “The Lord knows those who belong to him,” and “Whoever worships the Lord must give up doing wrong.”

    Now, who are you? An obedient Christ follower or a sinner?

    Once you know who you are, you can now make the choice – repent and CHOOSE (no feelings involved) to follow Christ’s laws and ordinances (no sex before marriage – which the bible speaks of as the sin of fornication. Get water-immersed baptized as Jesus gave the example John 3; Acts 2

    AGAIN, the scriptures teach:
    1 Corinthians 6:18 “Stay away from sexual sins. Other sins that people commit don’t affect their bodies the same way sexual sins do. People who sin sexually sin against their own bodies.”

    You can bring a curse upon your life (STD’s or unwanted pregnancy-God can break a condom and boom – you are pregnant and what is done in the dark, will be spoken of in the light-others will know’) or you can live and walk in peace with a right conscience before God.

    So, choose today whom you will serve – Christ and his commands, or yourself!! By the way, sin always hurts us, now or later. So quit hurting yourself, I love you and the devil is deceiving you. Get in God’s word and ASK God for power to do right. If we could live without the power of prayer, and could wash away our own sins with our own blood, we would not need a Savior! Jesus died to cover your sins and mine. I am always glad and joyful when I obey, and ALWAYS ashamed and hurt when I disobey. Have courage and do what is right in the eyes of God and man!!

    Hope this helps you.
    God bless and save us all.
    Sue

    1 Thessalonians 5:11 Let us encourage one another, and build each other up (in the faith-power-courage)

  129. SoCalGal says:

    Sue,

    Even after a person becomes a Christian, they still sin. So we are all sinners. Do you CHOOSE not to sin 100% of the time? That would make you perfect and therefore, God. I think your logic is a bit skewed. It is because of what Jesus did for us that we can be saved, not by our own actions. Our obedience demonstrates our walk and relationship with God, but not whether or not we are saved. We are not saved through works.

    And ease up on the condemnation -

  130. Ray Fowler says:

    Hello all, thank you so much for your comments and questions. I apologize I have not been able to respond to them all. I am in a different season of life right now and unable to be as fully involved in this blog as in the past. Thanks for understanding.

    Ray Fowler

  131. Katie says:

    Ray,
    My boyfriend of three years recently has gone on a life cleansing. I am in full support of all the changes he has moved towards. For some time now he has this gut feeling that we should not live together. He has made comments that he does not feel that it is right in God’s eyes. At first i did not agree with him and questioned his mindset on the whole issue.The one thing that does make me question his intentions was he has no reservations about sex before marriage and to me that is the real issue at hand. If anything as a Christian I would be more compelled to end the intimate part of the relationship first and foremost. I stumbled upon your blog in a google search and have since changed my mind. My questions is now how do we go forth( taking a step back to move forward the correct way) from here? It is a very delicate situation because we do not want our relationship to end. I feel a bit weary of some discions we have made. I want to make it right. Any suggestions?

  132. Jill says:

    I wish I would have found this blog a month ago. Ray, I know you are not able to get to the questions as frequently as you’d like right now, but I’m going to put this out there anyway. I recently moved in with my boyfriend (more for financial reasons than anything). My house was on the market and sold faster than I had expected. I couldn’t find a place on such short notice and moving in with by bf only seemed logical. To be honest, I really dont know how I feel about it. I don’t feel guilty, but I also don’t feel good about it either.

    You see, I was previously married for six years and after finding out my husband was having multiple affairs, we divorced. I truly trusted God through the entire process and was amazed at how he pulled me through. Then after a year, I met my bf and feel very lucky to have him in my life. But it’s different this time. I feel like I did everything right the first time around: abstained from sex, waited to live together before marriage,etc. And now I truly wonder what matters? After being married, I’m obviously no longer a virgin. What does God say about all of this after you’ve already been married? After my marriage, I kind of just feel used and feel differently about so many things because I can’t ever again be a virgin. After the lies and unfaithfulness in my marriage, I have to say, living together before marriage doesn’t sound like such a bad idea…

  133. Stacy says:

    okay, I am a bit confused. None of this says ” do not live together before marriage” it says ” dont act on your sexualy urges” I am sick of hearing that it isnt right to live with your soon to be spouse before getting marriage, because it is not biblically founded! the bible tells you to be a wife to him except the ways that bare children so how can you do that when your not there?! this is frustrating to me and i dont understand, all of this is about sexxual morallity not living with them!

  134. Adam says:

    About a year ago my brother became a believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ and I have seen him grow in Christ except for one thing. He is living with his girlfriend and refuses to get married saying he ‘feels” married in his heart and God will accept it. That is not what scripture says and I tried showing him the different verses supporting marriage and condemning fornication. He seems comfortable believing everything is good and he is not committing a sin simply because he feels married to this one person and is only having sex with one person. What is your perspective on this?

  135. sheril says:

    Hello part 1
    I am commenting on living together beforebefore marriage. I was married before and pregnat with twins and had a 1 16 month old child. I came homw and foundmy hubby sleeping with a 14 year old. I eneded up going into labor with twins.I prayed for 2 years to have a boy and one of the twins was a boy..I got a divorce several years later got married a 2nd time to get custody of a child he didn’t pass. And hethreaten me and wanted to kill me divorce 2. After 2 horrid ones who could think of marriage again I lived alone for a year and prayed I mett a nice guy my kids are grown now and his are not.. I pray to god every day and every night and he blesses me. I feel god knows those who love the person they are withand when they promise each other out loud I will saty with u till I dye it means something. The problem with marriage is when it goes bad and u give all u had up you can get halled into court and have to pay bills at a place u ont live at and one can take your car wreck it go the insurance company get 3000 for your car and walk off with the money.. I feel if poeple are living together and having sex without being in love than its different than 2 pople living together who love each other God knows peoples hearts. The guy I am with wife wanted another child he said we have 3 allready I don’t want to be. 65 and have teenagers at home so when he was at work she cheated on him got prgnat by another man so he was with her 17 years only person he was with before me we both stayed single alone seeing no one for a year talked along time before even meeting.

  136. Erin Mariee says:

    Dear Ray,
    I am a month away from nineteen years old and a freshman in college. A full on Christian, so is my fiancee. My fiancee is nineteen and we both worship God as if He is standing right in front of us. We live together. Both of our families are wonderful people, they too are strong believers in Christ and gave us permission to live together. Is that wrong? We have been living together for about two months. We have had our fights and little tantrums like every couple, But we have worked passed all of them with communication and prayed asking God to help us with or differences, that we may over come everything, and we have.
    When we first moved in everything was “perfect.” A few weeks later we began to fight. Every time we would fight we would go to separate rooms and cool down and think things through. (I am a strong believer that when people are mad they just say things out of the blue to get a rise out of the other person.) Anywho, once we were ready we would text the other person and tell them that you are ready to talk. So we would sit on the couch and communicate without raising any voices and without blaming the other person. This has helped us out a lot. It has been two weeks and we have not fought once.
    We pray before every meal. We read Scriptures every night to one another before bed every night and pray and give thanks too before bed.
    We know that this is considered a sin. But we do not want a divorce. We feel that this is kind of a test run with a wedding coming. But we can save all of the heart ache and wasted time. We see it as divorce costs a lot of money and can make people greedy and we do not want to bring that out in each other. Both of our families and us feel that this is a good thing. We also see it as if we love each other we will live a happy life. What is a couple of years living together before marriage, when we are going to spend eternity with each other? If anything it will make our relationship stronger, and our relationship with God so much more stronger.

    1 Peter 4:8
    “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

    -If living together is a sin. As long as we love each other deeply, love covers over a multitude of sins.

    1Corinthians 6:9-10
    “Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolators, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers-none of these will inherit the kingdom of God”

    -When living together you are not fornicating (sexual intercourse between unmarried persons) we are not having sex.
    -We are not idolators (a person who does not acknowledge your god) we acknowledge God.
    -We are not adulterers (cheating, basically.) we DO NOT cheat on each other.
    -He is not a male prostitute.
    -We are not sodomite (a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior) we are not sexual in anyway towards one another.
    -We are not thieves (steal what is not rightfully yours from another person) we do not steal.
    -We are not greedy (Wanting to eat or drink more than one can reasonably consume; gluttonous) we actually go without if we don’t have it.
    -We are not drunkards (someone that drinks all of the time) we do not drink. We won’t drink even if we are at age to do so.
    -We are not revilers (To use abusive language) we do not curse or use abusive language.
    -We are not robbers (To take property from (a person) illegally by using or threatening to use violence or force; commit robbery upon.) we do not take other peoples things. We are content with what we have and what do not have.

    There is nothing that states that living together is a crime in Gods eye, unless you commit fornicators, idolators, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbery.

    If this is true. What is wrong with living together? I read the passages that you posted, but there are also passages that differ.

    My fiancee has literal conversations with God. I am not that close with Him but I am very close with Him. Our relationship is not only with my fiancee and I, it is with God too. We are engaged to God per say and will marry Him in the future as well, per say. Does our relationship with God mean nothing if we live together? Even though our Heavenly Father is right there with us? Not only do we have Faith in each other, we put our Faith in God.

    Sincerely,
    Erin Mariee

  137. Van Edwards says:

    Erin,
    I couldn’t help but notice that there was a word missing from your post – “church”. Do you belong to a Bible believing/preaching church? I don’t mean attend, I mean BELONG to.

    This is how believers seek and follow the will of God – by obeying Christ’s specific commands in scripture and then using those biblical principles to prayerfully make biblical decisions about what’s not specific. Have you committed yourself to what scripture specifically commands of you? We are commanded to pray and we’re commanded to be under scripture’s authority (1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 3:16).

    And this is why I ask about church – there’s plenty of scripture specifically regarding Christians committing to and submitting to the local church (Eph 5:21, for example). We are to submit to our elders/pastors (Heb 13:17). These aren’t suggestions: Christians are to be committed to the church.

    If you knew that cohabitation is at least “considered a sin”, and you are in a church, shouldn’t you approach your pastor or an elder for biblical counsel about this before making a decision? (and if you find a pastor who has no problem with cohabitation, run!)

    As far as love covering a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), that does not mean it looks the other way. Scripture also says that love confronts sin and urges repentance (James 5:20 for example). Love confronts sin in order to “win our brother” (Matthew 18:15-17).

    We don’t honor marriage by giving it a test drive; we honor it by taking it seriously and committing it and ourselves to God. Jesus said a man would leave his mother and father to cleave to his wife (Matt 19:5). Clearly this is marriage – marriage instituted by and before God (Matt 19:6) – not living together.

    Marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church. That’s a pretty serious love. Jesus sacrificed Himself for the church. Husband and wife sacrifice themselves to become one. And we should love, protect and honor marriage the same way that Jesus does His Bride. Jesus didn’t do a trial run to see if this church thing was going to work out. We shouldn’t treat marriage that way either.

  138. Van Edwards says:

    I keep reading the argument that scripture doesn’t mention living together, therefore, it must not be wrong. There are many issues not specifically spelled out in scripture that we would all agree are wrong and sinful. If the Bible was a catalog of commands and sins, here’s what we’d have:

    – a gigantic book we could not carry around. You think the US tax code is bad?
    – the loss of discernment. God wants us to love Him with our minds. When we immerse ourselves in scripture, we gain a biblical worldview that helps us think through all situations.
    – the diminishing of the Law of Love. “For God so loved the world…” Jesus didn’t die so we could live by a set of rules. “We love, because He first loved us.” We glorify God when we consider how we can love Him and others better by our actions in the situations we’re in. Love is often sacrificial and rarely convenient.
    – a tarnishing of the Gospel. When we place our faith in Christ, God justifies us – we are covered by the righteousness of Christ because we can never produce the perfect righteousness God requires. If the Bible was a rule book, we would be no better than self-righteous Pharisees with a new set of laws.
    – and like the Pharisees, we’d still be looking for loopholes.

    The point is, are we looking for loopholes to live the way we want or do we truly desire to love and please God because of what he’s done for us? The Christian life isn’t about doing “just enough” to fulfill our obligations. Contrary to popular opinion, God didn’t send his Son so I could have a happy, comfortable life (or “Your Best Life Now”). He sent Him to bring Himself more glory, and believers participate in that goal when we strive to be more like Jesus instead of pursuing our own desires.

  139. Alvina says:

    I have been staying with my boyfriend for six years and he does not mention anything about getting married.I want to move out back home but its diificult for me.I do meet other guys who wants to marry me but im allready use to my guy.Pls help im stressed.

  140. Glory says:

    when my boyfriend came to me, he asked for marriage but being a christian i told him i can’t get married to an unbeliever. He decided to the join the same church where i fellowship. He accepted Christ and was proving very serious.We are not living together. But we’ve had sexual intercourse. I feel so guilty and don’t even want to go to God’s presence again. i feel like a total failure cuz this is what i had prayed to happen only after our wedding. please write back to me and tell me what to do. the guilt is too much on me.

  141. Rony says:

    I have been living with my Girlfriend for about 8 months know; I have been having conviction ever sense I started going back to church about living together I have made my diction of moving out, and getting back together until we are ready to make that commitment of getting married. She is very disappointed in me she thinks that we are not doing anything wrong because we have made each other better people by being together. I believe that’s true but in the same time. I feel like by being together & not being married we are not being obedient to what God and we are not going to have blessing in out married once we make that decision because we did not do the right thing when we made the decision of moving together.

    Am I doing wrong by moving out? Should I try & continue living with her?

  142. Lee says:

    Me and my boyfriend has been staying for 7years.I found him a job his got a car and a house.He says his not n a hurry to get married.I get other guys who wants toget married but I cant because of my curren guy.Our daughter is already turning 6years.What do I do?Wait for him or move out?

  143. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I’ve read a few of the comments and want some opinions.. My boyfriend is living with my parent and I. We are both involved in the same part time job, and have only my car to travel with, though are about to get him his own car. His family lives an hour and a half away, and him moving back home seems unrealistic with our combined active lifestyle. He grew up a solid Christian, while I was involved in my own religion. Meeting him and his family, I became saved, but he seems to be regressing and doesn’t necessarily consider himself a Christian anymore. He doesn’t follow Christ, that’s for sure, and questions much of the bible. His family and I constantly pray for his salvation, but he is being pulled into the “world” and what society makes us think is normal or ok.

    We aren’t involved full on sexually, anymore, but I struggle with the other options beside sex.. He’s become emotionally very attached to me. And he finally became alright with not going all the way, and just doing the “substitutes”… But idk if that’s ok anymore either, as far as my body being a temple and it remaining pure..

    There aren’t really any friends that he can stay with by us. I keep going back and forth with my decision/ opinion. idk if I should make him leave or stick it out, because I’ve heard success stories from both situations..

  144. Confused says:

    Hiya Ray! =}

    I couldn’t help but notice all of the comments. You seem to be able to help alot of people so I thought I would ask you some advice. I am currently a Senior in highschool and this year feels like it determines my whole life. I have a boyfriend that I love to death and we have been best freinds for 3 years. Although, my boyfriend has accepted to abstain from sex for me, I haven’t yet told him about not being able to live together.
    Living together is what my boyfriend has been looking forward to all year. He says he can’t wait till he can wrap his arms around me and dream beside me.
    All of that sounds wonderfull– but it’s a sin??
    I realized that living together increases the risk for temptation but I can’t help but realize that just starting out on my own I won’t have very much time to see him. It would be so much nicer if I could just curl up next to him and talk after a long day.
    I know it sounds kind of hokey but I can’t help but feel hurt. I’m so angry at God. Why doesn’t he want me sleep next to my boyfriend even though I choose to abstain? We have a promise ring and I am commited to this relationship.
    Please help?
    -Confused

  145. Lisa says:

    I am a 44-year-old woman and my fiance is 51. We are both Christians, raised in church, and attend church regularly. We are engaged and getting married this year (2012). We currently live together due to financial issues basically. My fiance lived and took care of his elderly aunt and she had to be put in a nursing home. He has no children in the area or other family, so this was the best solution for our personal situation. We love each other deeply, and both of us have gone through a divorce. I think it is so important for people to work through their previous issues with their past relationships before thinking of committing to marriage to another person, and we have both done that. Gone through counseling as well as our children. When I was married the first time, we had abstained until my ex-husband and I got married. I thought that was pretty much a guarantee for our committment to be secure and lifelong. While I do advocate sexual purity, even though you may be virgins when you marry, it does not mean you will have a perfect marriage. My ex had issues with “self-gratification” that he could not overcome and it completely destroyed our intimate life together. There were other things that contributed to the demise of the marriage, but his lust after pictures and movies was very destructive to our relationship. My message is ultimately this…. while you are abstaining during your courtship (if you choose to do this) get to know the person you are thinking of committing your life to, ask the embarrassing questions, don’t avoid talking about sex, in fact, you owe it to your relationship to be as open and honest as you can about it, and if there seems to be an issue or problem, address it before you walk down that aisle. I don’t believe my first marriage was a mistake, but I ignored some red flags that I should not have. I have three beautiful children from that union, so I know God had a plan for it to take place. However, I believe God has truly blesse me with a partner that I am better suited for. I am so happy that I have a man in my life now that I can talk to freely about anything, and someone who is kind and loving towards me always. God bless, and I wish you all the best in whatever situation you are in! :)

  146. Ana says:

    I believe that getting married by court doesn’t matter, I mean its just a paper and u dnt need no paper to show everybody else how much u love each other, I believe. That it does matter to get married thru church but sometimes its better to watch a trailer before u see a movie… god wants u to love nd be loved, god is always there for u in soul I do dare say that I dnt need any paper or priest to marry me, all I have to do is say I do to ur couple infront of gods spirit tat is always wit u , nd sees feels everything u feel. It may feel wrong to some catholic people, but we’re not doing any harm to anybody therefore if a couple is happy let them be. I personaly an a mexican from whom parents r catholics nd believe in getting marriend before moving in they say tats wats dating is for to get to kno each other. But getting to kno someone will take a lifetime all u can do is try to get to kno them as best as u can nd u dnt truly kno somebody nd their ways till after u move in. Both sides have their points but neighter is completely right I believe all u have to hope for is tat ur doing wat u home is the best.

  147. Will says:

    Hi,

    Maybe you’ve answered this already in a previous post (there’s a lot so I didn’t look through all of them). What about getting engaged and moving in together? Statistics show there is “no statistically significant difference” in the stats for divorce rates of those who are engaged/cohabiting vs. married/cohabiting.

  148. Mari says:

    Dear Ray,
    First off awesome site! I did a search on Google asking if two unmarried Christians can live together before marriage and I found this site! Thank God I did. Here is my situation. I am apart of several prayer groups on Facebook and one of the ladies in my group had a friends grandson who turned himself in for drugs and was seeking the encouragement in the Lord from other believers well I prayed about this and asked God to guide me and I wrote to him sharing my testimonies of what God has brought me through well we have been writing ever since March 20th and he will be incarcerated for 2yrs at the least and 3yrs at the most he is unsure yet but is standing strong in his faith and will obey the consequences in order to honor God. which my question is pretty much the same and has been answered several times. When the time comes he will need an address to parole to and I was thinking about letting him come live with me but I wanted to seek God and read the scriptures on it first and all the scriptures you have posted are RIGHT ON. I didn’t know your not suppose to live together first. I am so happy I know that now before something happened. But do you think in the course of his time he is there that if we get to know each other and if we are committed to get married that it could be a good thing? His will be done always and forever and not our own. God Bless you Ray

  149. David says:

    I came across this blog while looking up some advice to give to my girlfriend who is stubborn to a “T” about moving in together (not necessarily with me, but with her future husband to be). We’ve been dating 11 months, she’s in school and I’m going back to school, so it’s going to be a long distance relationship. But anyway, she’s a new Christian, still shrugging off the old self and putting on the new, asking lots of questions, not always seeking God’s help and I’m a more mature Christian, grew up in the home and stuff like that. I’m adamant about not living together and she’s adamant about living together. I really enjoyed the statistics and the scripture verses that were provided. I’m just worried, that in the future, if we were to become engaged and live near each other, that she would be put off by my not wanting her to move in with me and get offended. Now I know that if she were to get offended by that, then she’s got some reasoning issues, but how do I help her see that living together before marriage is not helpful to a relationship? Even if it’s not me who marries her, I still want her to make the right decisions in her life.
    Also, as I live by myself right now in PA and she’s in school in NC, we don’t see each other much as it is, so that helps the situation. But she also stays over at other guys rooms with her roommate and other girl friends. This makes me uncomfortable. How do I communicate to her that, while I trust her completely, I don’t like the idea of her sleeping with guys around in a dorm room/apartment setting. I feel that I’ve been disrespected and that how I might feel about the situation was completely ignored and not thought about. But she’s just starting to make friends and so I want to dissuade her from hanging out with people. It’s just the sleeping arrangements. Any advice from anybody who’s been there before? Thanks in advance! God bless!

  150. Jade says:

    I am a strong Christian and am always trying to be the light to the world. My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years and just decided that we are going to move in together. I do not feel like we should be looked down upon because of this. We are faithful and i know temptation will be there since we will be living together but that does not mean we are being sexually active. It makes us rely on God and ask Him to bring us through it. We will be a house of God and no one else. I do not think it is fair that people will look down on us because we are deciding to move in together first. I want a huge wedding and i am not rushing it because some people are unhappy. We are in a serious relationship, i have a ring and we are committed to each other and to God. God is the center of our relationship because as it says in Ecclesiastes 5:9-12 “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise,two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple braided cord is not easily broken.”

  151. Jessica says:

    Hi, I had a question regarding marriage. My spouse and I were married for 4 1/2 and we are still together now. The problem is 6 months ago we filed for divorce do to unfaithfulness on one partners part and abuse on the other partners part. Since the time we continued living together and we both agreed not to continue the divorce. We did not sign and returned the forms thinking that it would be dismissed. Wrong. The courts did not need further signatures from us. So we continued to live together and fornicate (sin) We planned on getting remarried. Now I am about 4 months pregnant. That happened while we thought we were still married. A letter in the mail let us know there was a dissolution of marriage. Now I am pregnant and we have 2 children from a previous relationship and two together. My husband does not want to remarry but wants to stay in the home and continue on living here claiming because I am pregnant he won’t leave. I want to get married and end our sin of fornication. What should we do? He says will not marry me, but feels it is right for him not to leave me alone and pregnant in the Lords eyes? I am hurt and confused.

  152. Marcus says:

    I came across this post researching what the bible says about living together for marriage. What strickes me is the number of different “interpretations” of the same verse. God laid out plain and simple His commandments in which we are to live by. The verses abo, in my opinion, are extremely vague and can be interpreted in numerous ways depending on the reader’s perception. Case in point Galatians 6.7-8 can mean a number of things. To please the sinful nature shouldnt be limited to a just a sexual reference. Sin is sin as outlined by the bible correct? No sin outweighs the other so a sinful nature can mean a number of things. The verses listed here are not concret evidence that living together can definately be labeled as sin whilre clearly having sexual relations before marriage is a sin. I feel if God intended for it to be a sin it would state it clearly like every other sin is and not in a way that can be left up to interpretation. I am a God fearing man currently living with my God fearing woman. We agreed to not have sexual relations and are continuing our walk with the Lord. In one of the comments above Mr Fowler stated that living together increases the desire for sexual relations and opens the opportunity of it happening but all the same if you dont live with your parter you can still have LUSTful desires and that two is a sin to have lustful thoughts correct? Every person I speak with aboit this matter offers me their opinions of what the bible says but still has yet to show me where it CLEARLY states it is like the rest of the sins we are told not to committ.

  153. nancy says:

    i agree with marcus a person can have sex living together or not but it is up to the person to have a strong will power to do right from wrong. comminting sin can happen eaither way because sin starts with the mine.

  154. johnb says:

    When is a couple considered marriage in the eyes of God? When the minister says so or at the point of consummation??

  155. Amaka says:

    I am 21 years old and am dating a 28 years man, we’re both Christian and we’ve agreed to get married, along the line, I went to visit him and we had sex. Since then he calls me but once in 2weeks. Our both parents are aware of our intention. But I suffered a great guilt after the experience, i’ve prayed and I believed God has forgiven me. Pls what do I need to do so as to make our r/ship get back to its better track. Thank you, and God bless you

  156. Amaka says:

    I am 21 years old and am dating a 28 years guy,we’re both Christian and we’ve agreed to get married, I love him with everything in me. Am convinced that God has a plan for us. But along the line, I went to visit him and we had sex. Since then he calls me but once in 2weeks. Our both parents are aware of our intention. But I suffered a great guilt after the experience, i’ve prayed and I believed God has forgiven me. Pls what do I need to do so as to make our r/ship get back to its better track. Thank you, and God bless you

  157. Kate says:

    A good friend of mine recently got engaged to the woman he’s been going out with for about 2 years now. We are all part of the same church and the congregation is so excited for this couple in their mid 20’s. It’s always exciting to have a Christian couple become engaged in the church and set a good example to the younger youth!
    They are financially stable, and have already bought a nice home that they will live in together when they are married.
    Recently, however, I found out that they plan to move into their home this September…
    They aren’t getting married until April next year…
    I couldn’t believe what I had heard – this friend of mine and his fiancée are two of the most virtuous people I’ve ever met! So I decided to Google “What does the Bible say about living together before marriage” and I came across this site.
    While it’s informative, I must be honest, after reading your post about how the majority of ‘living-together-but-not-yet-married’ cases succumb to pre-marital sex, I confess I burst into tears on the spot.
    I care a lot about my friend, but while I feel like I should do something, I’m 8 years younger than him so I don’t think Bible-bashing a 25 year old about a topic I have no experience with whatsoever is the most practical approach…
    What should I do???

  158. Marcus says:

    I am a God fearing man in every aspect of it. What discourages me about this thread is that the majority of people on here do not even know what marriage is according to the Bible. Marriage is not what it was originally as it is today. Marriage has become a tradition that man has created to make a business out of something that was once held very sacred. Ask 20 people what marraige is and I would say you would probably get 20 different answers. Marriage as it was intended is not what it has become today. Marriage is a commitment that you make before God to promise to love and be faithful to the one God has blessed you with. Why does the bible not speak on dating or engagements? Because those are man made traditions. The moment a man entered a woman they were married since the 2 became one flesh. Marraige according to the bible is to become one with. That is why God says He married the church or became one with the church when He entered it. People have lost the true meaning behind marraige. It is not a court ordered document or a fancy ring or beautiful dress or other things of this world we are told not to desire but a vow of commitment each person makes to be one with only that person before God. This why priests were often not present during the actual ceremonies. What God joins together let no man seperate. Yahweh

  159. nana says:

    please give me insight: my brother is a pastor. he has been married 4 times, (all of his exes are living) he is cohabitating with a lady, and will soon be marrying her. (wife number 5). they are inviting me to come to their wedding, should i attend or not? I need some biblical advice? please email me personally, instead of replying on this post. thank you. csanders@lisd.org

  160. Maria says:

    I am become Christian 2 years ago.I believe in Christ and follow God’s laws, I am in a relation cheap or commitment with a non Christian man.but we are not living together because he live in an other country.but before that I had many bad relation cheap in the past
    Recently I meet a Christian man who was going in very trouble some marriage, he was very sad and very depress. his wife is a non believer woman ,very heavy drinker, and use to abuse and black mail him about sex and other staff.he have been living like that for 19 years, sleeping in separate beds and without sex at all
    We had very longs talk about it, he confide in me and I confide in him because me myself had very similar situation in the past,for 4 years I have been in a relation cheap with a very bad man ,been victim of Domestic Violence lead me to this town where I live now and I know that feeling that we get some time like ,, Where is God? why he is not helping me ?.after that I find peace and come to Christ and I can’T BE MORE HAPPY AND SAVE.

    All this lead to a new problem in our life , we end up having a crush that lead to foaling in love that lead to sex that lead to SIN. because he is a marriage man.
    We find our self that we can’t be apart and I am very disturb because I know that is all against Christ , and we have to be strong to temptation,now I find my self in a bigger problem because my feeling to Christ are more strong that the passion I feel for this man . and I have sin , I am a disappointing woman to Christianity and God will never forgive me again.
    He in the other hand care about his wife and can not see a way out to this situation, every time he try to find outside help like marriage consular or Alcohol Therapy association she try to commit suicide , is very complicate for as,,

    Please what can we do ? , knowing that we are sinners in God’s eyes already,
    How can we solve this problem?.

    I really appreciate honestly answer.

  161. Ray Fowler says:

    Hello everyone,

    Sorry I haven’t been able to comment, but life circumstances keep me from being actively involved in the blog these days. Thank you all for commenting, and it is good to see all the interaction still taking place.

    Ray Fowler

  162. Maria says:

    Ray Fowler I need your help. I will be waiting patiently for your replay. and I ask God to what ever problem you are facing to give strength and make a way for you to come back.

    In the mean time any suggestion to my situation will be very appreciated.

  163. perla says:

    hi well i have a long story but ill try to make it as short as i can. i have fallen yet ive gotten myself up many times thanks to god. but this time i feel like im stuck in a whole and i dont know what to do.i met my fiance 2 yrs ago. well sadly i gave my self to him befopre marriage and after that i always wondered why he never proposed to me or said anything. well year 2010 came along and he finally came home for good from being deployed, and my beautiful daughter was conceived. sadly again he had to deploy 5 months into my pregnacy, he left to afghan and that deployment was just hard!!. fights. ugly words and stuff like that. and during all this time i still kept asking myself what is going on why hasent he proposed :(. well anyways when he came home for R&R he finally asked the question after my daughter was born. well he had to leave back to afghan but thank god hes finally back this year. well a month before he came back which was this may he confessed to me he was married :(. i know i was torn, heart broken ect.he said he got married because his best friend need it the money the army would provide. well its been 2 months that we have lived together sense he got back and things r just coming out wrong. we fight alot for the reason that h lied to me. another because his friend is living with us. he is going thru a divorce and im going crazy with all these fights. my baby girl is 8months now and she needs daddy. ive been thinking of leaving home with my parents because i just feel it was a wrong thing for me to do , to live with him whit out getting married. But at the same time what am i suppose to do when my baby girl needs him :(. im lost,confussed . i dont know what to do. i dont know who to talk to. i tell my family about it and they tell me to stay strong for my daughtr but ive tryed and i feel everything ive done is wrong . please help i need an answer.

  164. Kimberly says:

    I am in a situation that I live with my boyfriend. I initiated talks of living together because I was staying there all the time anyway and it made sense financially. We were engaged 6 months later and 6 months later I called off the wedding 3 weeks prior because I knew it wasn’t a marriage that would be blessed by God. We stayed together and the relationship has been diminishing since. I was having conviction and knew why the relationship wasn’t working and Sunday at church guess what the sermon was about, yep…so on the way home I brought up my convictions and stated I believe that in the year we have lived together our relationship has regressed along with the blessings that I had noticed prior. He did not feel the same and now we are no longer together. I am still in the home but sleeping with 5 year old until I can find a place. I am amazed by how the holy spirit has gently nudged me back to what I know it right and true and realize it is not only my job to make sure my children know the truth but to live it so they may see. I am both saddened and enlightened about the past 2 1/2 years of my life that I thought were good. It is hard to walk away especially because we work together as well but I am taking the only person in my daughter’s life that she knows as dad. On the other hand I feel if we meant enough to him he would be willing to explore and understand.

  165. Melody Price says:

    Hello Ray,

    I believe living together before marriage is wrong. I am in a situation now where my best friend is moving in with her fiance. She knows I do not agree. She is doing this for financial reasons, but I explained to her convenience does not make it right. Now she is asking me to help her move in and all excited about her own place. Should I refuse to help her move in? Should I never go to their place? I want to be there for her because we are so close, and I am the only Christian influence in her life. But I do not want to look like I’m ok with it.

    What would you do?

    ~Melody

  166. pigfat says:

    hi all, i regretted what i did. My bf and I had sexual physical relationship for this 1 time. We’re both Christians, however he’s not attending church service regularly. It was not out of willingness that I give in to him. However, I did open the door leading to temptations for this sin to take place. He came over to from other state to see me. However, we ended up renting 1 room. But, I reminded him that I am going to keep myself from all physical relationship until we are married. But, I know that Satan is to and forth the world to tempt us into temptations. I failed to protect myself. I begged for him to stop what he’d been doing, but, he was to powerful for me to overcome. I am feeling terribly down, and pondering how evil I am for not keeping the Lord’s command. We have a plan of getting married, but, I am terribly worry that the pastor will not let us to marry as we have pre-marital sex. I need help.

  167. Simi Bankole says:

    Hello Ray,
    I am a college student who has been dating my boyfriend for almost two years. We have not had sex yet and we are both Christians, born and raised in a Christian home who have very strong views on things like that. Being a college student, finances are very difficult so anyway to reduce what we will be taking out in loans would be helpful. Some friends and I found a home near campus that we would like to rent and everything seemed perfect. But then we started talking about roommates and everybody assumed Alex and I would be rooming together and it seemed to beautiful at first. We love each other very much and I know how naive it sounds, but I’m sure I’m spending the rest of my life with him. But moving in together just sounds so frightening and after being raised to not be okay with it, the crowd mentality of “well, that’s old fashion” wasn’t enough to convince us.
    But my question for you is, is it still living together if we don’t sleep in the same bed? We would be sharing one roof and everything, but we would be in our own beds. Is that a way of cheating the Bible? This house is an amazing opportunity and only 1/8 of what I’m currently paying. I would really like to know what you think because this is not something I can really talk to my parents about. This article was perfect though and exactly what I needed.

  168. johnb says:

    Dear Ray,

    I have read most of what you have written and a lot of what others have written. The bible says much about marriage and it appears all to be for the young entering marriage for the first time. I CANNOT find much for a couple in their 60’s, each of whom has married once and now find themselves in the second relationship of their lives. Marriage is a covenant between them and God and it is not a contract, as I understand it. Fidelity, commitment and all that makes a relationship is known by both of them as there were married faithfully for near on 40 years each. Please show me the specific bible references for such a couple as the sharing of a house etc for economic reasons sure outweighs other considerations. Will they be able to live together, is a greater question that needs answering ahead of nebulous verses about living together. Lonliness is shocking to contend with and the friendship gained by living in the same house is more attractive than anything. Purity in a relationship is important but two people in their 60’s know more about this by life and sex in a relationship is very natural. Getting married? That can be a problem with demands of family and many other factors. When is a marriage a marriage in Gods eyes? When a minister says so, when it is consummated, when they make a covenant before him. A marriage is not a promise to love and honour and all the rest between two people. A marriage is far more than this. Why is it that when a minister marries two people and if they do not consummate the marriage, then it is annulled. If they were married by the word of the minister, then why is it undone?

    Surely a marriage in the eyes of God is the couples relationship with God and their covenant agreement with Him.

    Marriage is to leave your mother and father and cleave to each other. DOES NOT apply for a couple in their 60’s. No sex before marriage, for all the reasons. Does NOT apply for a couple in their 60’s as their approach to sex and relationship is very very different to a young couple where sex is the most important.

    I see this couple and want the best for them.

  169. Djtiberious says:

    This is in response to Simi. If you’re uncomfortable with living together. Then don’t. I just got out of a relationship with a girl who felt comfortable living together and I didn’t. Now, we lived many hours apart, but whenever I visited her or she visited me, we would sleep in the same place. And no matter how committed you are to your beliefs, all it takes is one little mishap. Remove the temptation before it’s even there, is what I say (even though I didn’t practice it). Your friends won’t understand, but in the long run, do they need to? If you live together, you take away one of the special aspect of what marriage is all about. Some people may disagree with me on that, but I think it’s true. So I say, stay strong!

  170. Diane Woodson says:

    You guys are in a Cult, it is not wrong to marry someone who is not of the same cult as you are…You are a cult…mind control

  171. s says:

    My question is this: If living together is wrong, why do none of the scriptures cited in this article explicitly say so?

    Assuming no premarital sex (prohibitions against which pose an entirely different Scriptural argument), is living together before marriage a sin? These passages don’t say so. “Literal whenever possible” is what I’m told, but no literal prohibition is listed here. Does such a prohibition exist?

    Is the prohibition Biblical, or does it come from the church? What is the difference?

  172. cuzzi says:

    Hello Mr Ray,I came about your blog&was really fascinated by the experiences and opinions shared, I would like to share my complicated story and hope you’re able to advice me.
    I used to be a committed believer before I fell out,my fall was so great that i did things which were more horrible than things i did before i was first saved. I’m out in a foreign country studying for a year degree,and few months to the end of my stay I met a lady about three years older than me and we started having immoral sexual affair.We both knew our affair was mainly centered on sex and not a serious relationship.The lady doesn’t seem to care about the existence of God,more of an eccentric and weird type(as she once described herself) and she doesn’t see anything wrong in what we’ve been doing.Most times after meeting her i feel quite guilty within myself but my flesh was indeed weak to resist.Gradually she began requesting for a more serious relationship which I’m not so sure I’d want with someone like her. At the moment she’s 2 months pregnant and I understand there’s no justification for abortion even though I had no intentions of having a child with her. Now that this has turned this way I’ve tried to always let her know eccentricity and weirdness is not my way of life and she doesn’t really seem to be ready to change as she said no matter how hard she tries to be conventional she just can’t. Ordinarily I’d not have chosen to be with someone like that,however for the sake of the unborn child I’m trying not to ignore her at this moment as i don’t want the child to suffer the childhood i was denied of….I’m now a bit confused as whenever i try to have a decent conversation with her she always tries to get sexually naughty and i ignore her.I understand I’ve failed already but i believe it’s not too late to get on the right path….what can i do please?

  173. Christopher says:

    Hi Ray

    I am living with a lady for five years now, we both came out of relationships before and are 45-48 years old. I was divorced and she was never married and never had a relationship for 11 years until we got together. Incidentally she had absolutely nothing to do with my failed marriage. In fact after my divorce, I attempted reconciliation with my ex-wife out of conviction (I have always accepted Jesus as my Saviour), but she did not want me back. She said that she was looking and waiting for that “man” that would love her as she wanted to be loved. So I walked away. Four years later myself and Lorna (the lady) started seeing each other. We moved in together, approached the church and was granted an approval to be married. We, for financial reasons, age, family problems and issues of debt decided to wait until we can both afford to actually tie the knot. We love each other and respect and honour God, so we came before him kneeling at the foot of our bed and asked Him to forgive us for not being married yet, (the conventional and in church ceremony way) and that if it was His will to accept us as man and wife that if He would bless us as such. We both felt free of guilt and sin thereafter. I felt that I had gone to the very source, the Almighty with my plight and believed in my heart that it was okay with Him, that we had His blessing. This was all that mattered to us that we were okay with Him and not that we should be judged by man and his bible references that we were living sinfully. We already know what the Bible says about sex before marriage. I say this with much respect and reverence to you Ray, as I am not a learned Bible Scholar or well schooled in Theology. Yet when I read the comments through the years on this subject it troubles me greatly. I was married in Church before, I proposed to my now ex-wife in church and went through all the right motions and yet through irreconcilable differences our marriage still failed. It was not meant to be? Only God knows. It is not that we don’t want to get married, we just feel that is what the world expects of us.
    I’m not trying to stir up a hornets nest here, but truly how does any man honestly know that God has not blessed us. Does he not say that if we come to Him, He will never turn us away?
    We went to Him because we felt we had to have only Him as Judge in this matter.
    Even as I write these words I pray that God forgives me if I am wrong, and that I will do what is right for us as a couple. We both wear rings and I have never been unfaithful to her nor she to me. I don’t see us as living together, but rather as been married before God, except there was no minister, congregation or reception.
    If I am wrong in everything I’m risking to say here, then God please forgive in front of this entire forum!
    Love and Peace
    Christopher

  174. Dakota says:

    Would you encourage couples living together to just get married? Or: move out first, date while obeying God, then get married if that’s God’s will. It seems to me that women could easily “guilt” men into marrying them as the right thing to do when a man may not be ready after the woman has moved in. Women are often the ones who desire marriage and think they can speed things along, yet have more to lose from living with a man. Women also must take responsibility for their actions. It seems that pastors put pressure on the man to “marry” whereas the couple should first be told to stop living together.

  175. Billie says:

    “But anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.” Mark 3:29

    Do not worry everybody. There is only one unforgivable sin. You will be forgiven for “sins” others judge you of. I know it is hard to comprehend, but it is possible for a man and woman to live together and not have sex and not be tempted and not feel like their relationship with God is threatened. It’s called self-control. Me and my girlfriend have been together for 2 1/2 years, spend a ton of time alone together, have not had sex, plan on moving in together, getting married after college, and both feel comfortable with our Christian faith. And who does this man think he is telling you what God wants for you? Can he read God’s mind? Sorry but the Bible does not state it is a horrible thing to live with your partner before marriage. Don’t let other judgemental Christians control your life!

  176. Billie says:

    Oh and one more thing. There is a difference between what organized religion says is “sinful” and what Christ actually stated is sinful.

  177. Brandon says:

    There is another strong biblical argument for not living

    Romans 14:20-21 NLT

    Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.

    1 Corinthians 8:8-13 NLT

    It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do. But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed. And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.

    2 Corinthians 6:3 NLT

    We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry.

    there is something to be said for the idea of not doing things that cause others to stumble. Although the early verses reference food this is applicable to a lot of Christian freedoms. Even if you are in the minority that can live together and not have sex, your example could easily stumble many younger and weaker Christians and lead them into sexual sin. the bible does not clearly state not to live together but it clearly states we are not to stumble
    others we should love them more than ourselves

  178. Danielle says:

    Hi Ray,
    I am having a deliverance session for myself coming up here in a week or so which is very much needed and will save my life i should say. My question is this. My fiance and I are not married yet, have a child and are living together. He is a tobacco user and is on medication from a relapse that happened almost two yrs ago:( He buys lottery tickets constantly and refuses to believe that saying “oh my G**” is a sin…Im stumped and lost and feel helpless. I on the other hand say that ALL of the above is a sin especially the tobacco addiction which he says is not. He is the one that brought me to God and now I AM the one trying to get HIM to stop sinning. My fear and confusion is after my deliverance I know I will be more able to live my life and finally begin my walk with jesus without the evil things inside that have grasps on me but will be coming back home to him and his sinful ways. does god want me to marry this person??? I want to do all of the right things not just one but ALL in his eyes but I dont know how to change him, bc i know i cant. what do i do? and he also says masturbation isnt a sin, and i believe it is. confused and helpless. thnx

  179. Betty Edwards says:

    What in your life is separating you from the love of God? Starting letters S, Un, G, D. What reunites us with God?

  180. steven says:

    (US) It amazes me how many believers in Jesus (like myself, in times past) mess around, get sexually, emotionally and whatever else involved with a person that IS not saved and/or carnal and not walking right with Him. There are equally as many females doing this as males (in my opinion).

    The scriptures are full of warnings, admonitions, examples that forbid born again believers with marrying unbelievers. Why should we then “date”them? This is no joke people, God is not giving us His suggestions, these are commands because He loves us and knows what is the best. However, we snuggle, kiss, touch, and seduce (yeah ladies, seduce) with a child of darkness –one under satans control? We ought not to be doing any of this even with true born again believers!

    How does it feel climbing into bed with your mate that has satan dwelling in his/her spirit? They can’t love you the way they should. The reasons for this are many, but it’s time to stop this long before our hearts get entangled with anyone for that matter. A broken heart hurts more than any pain I have suffered in life and takes the longest to heal. But God through Jesus wants to heal and keep us from these things.

    Lets listen to Him and do what he says, then you and I WILL be blessed! Peace, Steven
    Reply

  181. Darcy S says:

    I’m having a little difficulty with the claim that cohabitation is immoral. I have been dating my one and only boyfriend (who is now my fiance) for the past 7 years and now that we have both completed college, obtained jobs, lived independently blablabla we are ready to get married. Our date is set for this October, but a month prior to the wedding I would like to begin moving my stuff to his place and getting acquainted with the town and new environment (I’m moving from Virginia to Wyoming, so quite a stretch). My parents are staunchly against me living with him even for a month before the wedding. I do not see the harm in it as we have been exclusively committed to each other for 7 years already. I also have not found anywhere in the Bible where it directly addresses cohabitation as sexually immoral. All other forms of sexual immorality such as homosexuality, incest, whoremongering, etc. are all direcetly labeled as sins. Even the fact that divorce is a sin is addressed very plainly, but I have yet to find anything on cohabitation. Do you have any scripture that labels cohabitation as sexual immorality?

  182. Mariam says:

    I am a born again Christian. I am in a relationship wit a catholic guy for 8 years. We started sharing the bed 3-4 yrs. I sinned and after very long time I realised and I repent. Now past 6months he is workg in U.K.I am in India.past 4months I was praying to God to touch him and give him the revelation.God has done it.he agreed to all that I told about the gospel.
    But he is not yet water baptized. We did court marriage 10 months ago against my parents wish coz I wantd to go wit him there.
    After reading the verses u mention above I dnt understand wot to do…need help… need God..
    I was praying to God to go to U.K. Now I am confused…pls help me out..I really cant stay without him..my dad also dnt wnt me 2 get married so soon .I am running 22 n he is running 29..
    I totally agree and believe in the verses above. Suggest me something pls..
    I had sleepless night after reading those verses.

  183. Brittany says:

    I too made the decision to move in with my, at the time, fiance’. We had been engaged for 10 months and were to be married two months later, and so I thought it was okay to do it my way, instead of the way God had intended. It ended terribly and just recently I found the strength and grace to let go of what had become such an awful relationship. However in the end hearts were broken and what once was something with many wonderful memories has been turned into a very painful part of my past. The most I can do at this point is turn to God and pray I learn from this mistake in future relationships.

  184. Johnb says:

    Then Brittany I would suggest respectfully that you were in the wrong relationship for 10 months.

  185. Brittany says:

    Yes, John, I am not disagreeing with you. I was with this man for 5 years before we were engaged, we were engaged for 10 months before we began living together, and I now live alone once again.

  186. Brandon says:

    Brit,

    I Thank you for sharing your Story. Sometimes We Do Things The Way thankfully We Have A ThanGod That Love Us And Gives Us Grace. He Also Teaches Us And Others From OuR Mistakes. I’ll Pray You And The Awesome Man Of God The Lord Has In Your Future.

    Brandon

    Sorry About The Caps. Smartphone being A DumbPhone Today!

  187. Jonathan says:

    I am also a Christian, even though i grew up believing you should be married before you move in with someone. But i also think that if you are in the right relationship and both are looking towards God. It doesnt matter. I havent found any scripture that actually says that a man and woman should not live together. It says they should not sing or be sexually immoral. I also find your “always tempting” statement to be ridiculous. If you live by yourself and still have a bf/gf how is that not also always tempting. all you have to do is go back to your place. Obviously back in biblical times they didnt have this to worry about but they did live in groups with women. How is it different from living with a group of people male and female with no relationship. is that considered a sin? I have yet to find anything that says a man and woman should not live together before marriage. I have seen multiple scriptures talking about temptation, sexual immorality etc. not the actual living together.

  188. Johnb says:

    I have just gone back over the many posts and re-read what Brandon wrote in March. My dear fellow, what a fool you are to quote scripture at me and justify your position with it. If I take your position one step further, if I have my girlfriend at my house for dinner, then another Christian who suspects that we are “doing something”, is the reason that I should STOP so they do not stumble in their faith? I am in my 60’s, have a house to myself as the kids have grown up and my wife died in a work related incident some time ago. I will have anyone to my house and prepare them a meal. If some fool thinks that ‘something in happening’ I have a female alone in the house for dinner, I do not have a problem and neither am I going to change for someone else’s dirty mind, or they use scripture at me to justify their thoughts about me. Heaven forbid, the same person probably thinks I am homosexual if another male comes into the house alone.

    I am sorry but you can quote scripture at me but you had better be 100% certain of your position and all the scripture you have quoted refers to food in a local environment. Romans is all about food offered to idols – where is the reference to living together? i Corinthians 8:8-13 is the same. 2 Corinthians 6:3 talks about Paul’s hardships and how he tried not to put a stumbling block in another’s path. What were these stumbling blocks and i do not see ‘living together’ as one. Extrapolation of these scriptures to further your point, I think, is misguided.

    While I am NOT advocating the two people should live together BEFORE they are married, for couples in the autumn of their lives, what you talk about is nonsense. How does an older man leave his father and mother to cleave to his wife? What is sexual immorality?

    You would do well to understand that Christianity is a living breathing relationship between you and God and while you have some set ideas about many things, and salvation, redemption, grace and mercy should all be very much the same, never the less what you blurt out for you in the area of sexuality and marriage is not true for all couples of all ages.

    A covenant relationship before God and between couples is the basis of marriage. Does this ‘marriage’ only take place after a minister has announced it? Can a couple be married in the eyes of God and yet not married in the eyes of the church?

    Be very careful about quoting scripture to people. Matthew 27:5 followed by Luke 10:37

  189. Chris says:

    I am living with a non believer of God, Heaven or Hell. I am trying to live right. And we are not married. What advice do you have or do you know of someone to talk to? There is no way I am getting him to see someone about this.

  190. Cassandra says:

    Hi, i am in a similar situation to many of you. I am engaged to a wonderful Christ following man. But we are torn between moving in together, or following the bible. I want to move out but at this point the only place to go is with him. My mom tends to keep us apart and living 45min away from each other doesn’t help. He really wants me to move in with him cause he doesn’t see it as sin. We would both be in separate rooms, it would just be a place for me to get away from my mom and be independent and depend on my fiance more.I just need some advice on something we can do to keep our great relationship going without living together. Help?

  191. Johnb says:

    Then continue living as you are. Put up with the distance or get married and move in together. The whole Christian message is about marriage, the fidelity of it, the sanctity of marriage, the purity of the marriage bed etc. The bible portrays marriage in a practical way so that we can understand heaven and our relationship with God. To be honest with you, as a male, the separate bedrooms is an excuse to live in the same house. You will very quickly, within the first week, succumb to your emotions and sex will follow and then the guilt etc. Get married and do things properly as you both believe. DO NOT do what he wants, even if you say he is a Godly man, because men are supposed to love their wives as Christ loved the church ( See Ephesians I think) and NO where is the church EVER put in a compromise position.

  192. Pamela says:

    Hi Ray,

    I don’t agree with you for this reason: people lie. My ex lied about the following – he was not a heterosexual, he was not sane ( he had schizophrenia), he was heavily in debt, he was using drugs… I dated him for 5 years. We didn’t live together, we didn’t have sex. We went through per- marital counseling. We were married in the church. He was not even a citizen. I spent years recovering from this very disastrous relationship. 3 1/2 years ago I met my fiancé. We dated for 6 months. He asked me to marry him. I told him only if I could live with to see for myself that he was who he said he was. He allowed me to move in with him. We both go to the same church. The people at our small church knew that we were living together and why. After two years, our church told us that due to the appearance of evil we either had to get married or leave. We left. I have prayed for guidance because I am the one who insisted on the living arrangement. I want to find a place to go but every time I get a little money ahead I have to pay off some bill from the past ( from the former marriage ). My half of the house has it’s own bathroom, bedroom, and office. We went to great lengths to make one residence into two…..he has a large home. He finishes retraining through the VA in about 8 months and that’s when he wants to get married. After reading your posts that living together will hurt the impending marriage what do I do now? It usually takes 6 months for me to save enough for a deposit on an apartment and I just found Dave Ramsey’s website about financial peace, so I am trying to save money for an emergency fund before I finish paying off the enormous debts. My fiancé has already paid $20,000 to help me get away from the car loan with my ex so I don’t have to interface with his abusiveness. I want to honor God, honor my future husband, and be a good example for others to follow. But, I have been living in fear up until 6 years ago. Trusting God is a new concept, sorrowfully so. What do you suggest? I have been praying for an answer. I think the fact my fiancé is asking me to marry him is the answer…what do I do in the meantime? Moving out is not an option immediately. It will take 6-8 months to save the money. We are planning in 8 months to get married. We are both in our late 40s. He has never been married but was in a long term relationship for 10 years. I was married for 18 1/2 years. Neither of us has any children.

  193. Tabitha says:

    I am a Christian and am dating a non Christian. However, he believes in God and says he would like to pursue a life in Christ. He has been going to church with me for several months now and says he enjoys it, and wants to be a Christian, but just isn’t sure how…recently he asked me to move in with him. I had been going back and for about it for a few weeks. Fighting in my mind whether it was truly against God to live together prior to marriage. We both intend to marry when the time is right. I packed up most of my stuff but once I got to his house I couldn’t help but cry. It just didnt feel right in my heart. I told him that and he said that I shouldn’t move in and that he doesn’t want to be with me because now I’ve shown him that he cannot depend on me. He thinks it was the influence from my parents and not my own decision. I love this man with all of my heart, but I want us to do things right before God. I feel terrible because he kept telling me not to move in if I didn’t want to and so I got his hopes up when I packed things up…I don’t want to lose him, I am tempted to tell him ill just move in with him anyways just so we can still be together…..I am so lost here

  194. Johnb says:

    Dear Tabitha,

    He is using language to make you comfortable while manipulating you into a position where you move in with him and sex is on the menu. You swear undying love and devotion and you cannot live without him, but please see him for what he is. The New Testament describes how a husband is to love his wife, and that is as Christ loved the church. When you find anywhere in the bible where the church was compromised or pressured into something other than holiness and righteousness, then you are free to follow non-christian. God calls us to righteousness and if there is doubt, then it is NOT right. Take it from a male, he is not to be trusted when he does not put your desires and interest first all the time. If you are not happy, then he should do what you want and be happy. If this is not the case, then moving in with him may show your undying love for him and show him how you do not want to lose him, BUT you have lost already as the relationship is being built on manipulation and pressure.

    By the way, Satan believes in God and probably is in church most Sunday mornings so with just that description, I do not see a great deal of the love of God in Him.

  195. Tina says:

    I came across your site today, also looking for answers on living together before marriage. I went through divorce also, my spouse was an adulterer and we had four children and he married the other woman. I found the Lord and was baptized in the spirit 3 years ago…I was also baptized when I was a baby in the Orthodox church…I always had a strong foundation of God and right from wrong.
    My question is this, I am engaged and my fiancé and I cannot get married for several financial reasons. First, my children’s financial aid depend on me because their father is absent. Later I came to realize my fiancé had issues with liens and taxes, that I cannot take on.
    When marriage first came to be it was not a ‘state’ institution. Does the Lord acknowledge a union made of two people, in public with the Bible and vows (commitment ceremony)by a public officiant…… like it was in Biblical times?
    I do not want to live in sin anymore, as we do have relations because we love each other, and quite frankly, are ‘older’.
    Thank you so much for an answer to this question that has been on my mind heavily.
    God bless.

  196. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Tina,

    The institution of marriage precedes the state, but once social groupings developed, marriage in the Bible is always viewed as a legal relationship. Yes, it involves a sacred covenant before God, but in order for it to be a marriage, it also involves the legal sanction of the state. Here are a couple links you may find helpful: http://christianity.about.com/od/whatdoesthebiblesay/a/marriagecovenan.htm and https://bible.org/question/i-have-some-friends-are-living-together-and-say-they-are-married-gods-eyes-so-why-should-th

    I am sorry for the financial challenges you are facing, but if you want to make your relationship right before God, you should actually get married, and trust that God will show you how to handle the financial aspects.

    Blessings,

    Ray

  197. Janice says:

    I have a question about Christians serving in the church who are living in sin. I agree about keeping yourself holy and should not live together in sin or even live together without sex. God’s word says it is a sin, and not only that, a person is dishonoring His name. Christians are to represent Him and be set apart from the world. Not that we are holier than thou or condemn others, but to honor who God is. He set His standards for a good reason for the best of all. He just wants good and happiness for all and there is a reason for His commandments, His ways are perfect and His plans are for the best life we could have. One sin affects many others. All people influence others in some way. But God’s ways influence others for the best life we could have here on earth and for His love to be perfected in us all. Of course it all starts with being saved and following Him and obeying Him. But back to my question, when it comes to serving in the church shouldn’t they be talked to with love and tell them they can’t serve when living in sin of any kind? When they are still living together even if they plan to get married soon they are still living by the worlds standards. I feel they should not serve until they make it right with God other wards we become an accomplice to that sin. These people are already serving in the church. They are beautiful people and I love them and I know they don’t understand all this yet. They haven’t been taught yet. But the church allowed them to serve. I don’t agree. And I want to talk to the pastor or the head leader who let them volunteer. One is ushering and the other is on our prayer team to be praying one on one with others. What do you think about people serving, they are not the leaders but volunteers under the leaders. I plan on talking to the pastor or leader and not sure which one I should approached first. I am a leader in the church. Would like to hear what you have to say about this. Thank you. Sorry so long.

  198. Tina says:

    I am still so confused. I married a “Christian”….25 years, 4 wonderful children, and two affairs later (his) he left us. There are no guarantees in marriage. I am damaged …he went on to marry and never looked back. Financially for many reasons, I cannot remarry now…and that was 6 years ago. Do I not deserve companionship and happiness?

  199. erica says:

    I was married and have three kids, my marriage did not work out, not for lack of trying, (one-sided), his habits and infedelity and anger finally ended us. I connected with a man that had always been a friend and we went on a date and have been together ever since almost 10 years, my marriage was seven years. This wonderful man that I know God placed in my life, has been there for me and has helped me raise my children for these 10 years and he has done everything in his power to make sure we have been taken care of. The kids father has been a sometime father, his ways sent him to prison and jail a few times I have faith that God will change is ways, I am a Christian and love the lord more than anything in this world. My point, this man whom the lord placed in my path and I both have a great deal of financial issues that are near impossible, we are blessed and feel the lord provides a way when things seem impossible, but we are by no means financially well off in this economy and we have enough to live, but not enough to get past issues taken care of -the debt we have is due to our past relationships, I cant see using money that we do not have and taking food our of our children’s mouths to spend on a piece of paper that just confirms what I know God set in place years ago- I know we are imperfect and there never will be a perfect man on this earth until our lord returns -I see marriages that have been lies and were by good Christian couples that ended in destruction and I have seen people married for 50 and more years and I have seen good Christian people that never remarried and yet lived out their lives with someone God gave them for 30 or more years later in life -I know my God is a loving God and I know that one sin does not way more than another and I know that we all are sinners saved by grace and I know that when you point a finger at someone else for their transgressions that you best make sure your past is free of sin, no matter what your position with God is. I can not quote every Bible verse, but I can research the Bible -I think too much of the Bible is preached in a negative way that turns gods people away from him -you don’t scare people into salvation you reach out in love and by your actions -I am not sure what God will decide to do with me on judgement day, but I know my heart is right, yet the way is narrow -I cant bring myself to believe that my lord will condemn me to hell because issues that are preventing me from marrying -if that is the case we will all be condemned to hell and none have a chance for salvation due to all the sins committed daily —for there is no perfect man, Jesus was crucified to save us from our sins -that does not mean we should ouright defy our lord daily but God knows we are created in sin all we can do is reach out in love and teach our fellow brothers and sisters the lords way, just as our deciples did long before us….that all I can say

  200. Tina says:

    Thank you Erica…beautifully written and exactly how I think and feel. We are also in the same situation, we are TOTALLY COMMITTED to each other seven years now. We have known each other since high school, I loved him as one of my best friends then and he me, now we love each other as husband and wife, 30 years later, without a piece of paper. I leave it unto the Lord to judge us and our actions…for He knows our situation. This is a good man, has been here for me and my four children, when their father walked away, emotionally and financially. I feel more married to him than I ever did my ex-husband of 25 years…. Just because you are married, legally with paper, doesn’t mean you automatically have a committment from the other person. My ex was a practicing ‘fake’ Catholic/Christian… you just never know.

  201. erica says:

    Thanks Tina, I love the lord and thank God for all the blessings he gives me daily, and if the day comes that all of our financial issues have gone away, I would love nothing more than to marry this wonderful man of mine for our society, plus I would not mind the ring…lil, just picking, it would have to be a bread tie, that’s what we could afford -but he and I know that we are married in gods eyes, now, if only I could convince his immediate family of that -they have no financial issues and would not make it a week in our shoes -I have told him to tell them that if they can straighten all of these issues out for us where there are no financial problems, then we could gladly have what they call a legal marriage. Why cant I just have a commitment ceremony and not have a piece of paper there is no law of the land that says we can not live together and some States recognize this as common law marriages, just not mine. I really do not think God looks at me as a evildoer, although I am not perfect….thanks again—-I sm happy with our life that I feel God has made for us, we manage to make the payments we have to, and pay our bills and by gods grace we keep food on the table. Thank you Jesus!!!

  202. Kimber Breaux says:

    After reading the scriptures above, I am still quite confused.1 Corinthians 7:10 says, “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband,” and in Mark 10:12, “And if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” How are you to know if you are compatible with the living style of a person, without actually living with them. If you wait until marriage to figure out that the two of you cannot live together, and then seek divorce, you will be labeled as an adulteress. Furthermore, most of these scriptures are about sexual immorality. If a couple is not sexually active, where lies the sin? In the temptation? Temptation is high whenever a couple is alone together. Does that mean that a couple should abstain from being alone together until marriage as well?

  203. Chris says:

    Thank you so much. Really answers alot of questions.

  204. Chael Ferguson says:

    I would really like to say thank you for these wonderful words of inspiration. This is helping me to stay strong, not bend, nor compromise. In todays society, it is quite prevalent for a couple to live together, not marry and have a seemingly successful relationship. However, if a person is serious about their relationship with Christ, we are going to cease from doing things our own way, and honor GOD by being obedient to his word. I again would like to thank you for helping me to stand firm on this position.

  205. Brandon says:

    Chael- That is AWeSOME dude. Or dudette? This is a choice that you and your future spouse will not regret. Speaking of regret, there has been a lot of it on this blog from well-intending people who got into bad situations. You know who has no regrets?? Those that waited as you are choosing to do. I wish that I had. Ive been to weddings where both people waited and it is just awesome on a supernatural level to sacrifice and present your bride, or husband to the Lord without stain or blemish. Eph 5. Many people on this blog site financial reasons for living in a sexual relationship as opposed to getting Married. My response- Do you really know who God is? This is the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob whom uses the earth as his footstool! Do any of us really think He is unable to provide for us in our obedience to Him? When we trade Christ for money, it always ends in bitterness (see Judas) because what we have done is traded in the eternal for the perishable. What is the price for your walk with God? A year’s rent?? Tax breaks? Has God ever given any of us a reason not to trust Him?? Where God guides, he provides and He will never guide any of us into an immoral relation ship. To those of you who brazenly flaunt the fact you are living in a sexual relationship and believe that you are going to heaven….Either you, or the infallible Word of God is wrong. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (which actually is the answer to this entire dilemma when you think about it) and when you put a relationship above God it becomes and idol and puts you squarely at odds with the first 2 commandments. I’m not talking legalism, the law points to Christ and obedience to it serves as emblems of a transformed life. If you are following this tread and fornication -sex outside of marriage-is something that you PRACTICE (deliberately, habitually) regardless of what the Bible says, God’s Word says you will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. 1 COR 6:8-9 EPH 5:3-5 Gal 5:19-21 REV 21:8 If you disagree with that your issue is not with me but with God. Pray to Him and seek His will for you. Are you going to hell because you are so awful?? No. We are all awful. It’s because practicing things is indicative of a heart not ruled by Christ which is the only way to heaven. John 14:6. Please understand that I dont write this to look Godly or be judgmental. It’s just the truth and my prayer is that everyone living in this situation will repent and be joined, or restored to Christ and enter into the fulness of His blessing and experience a life filled with the Holy Spirit which absolutely cannot be done living in sin. To those who want to live together and abstain- A couple things: On the surface it’s flat out not a good look and what does it say to younger Christians in your congregation? If you don’t care about that remember that whoever loves his brother, or sister, loves Christ. If no,t not. 1 John 2:10-11 We are the body of Christ and what we do effects each other. More importantly, you are putting yourself in a dangerous situation as countless people on this blog who thought “I can handle it” have already testified. Jesus died gruesomely for you, so that you could enter into a relationship with Him and be with Him everlasting. If you love Him so much why would you ever but yourself in a situation that could potentially harm that relationship? Please pray about this those of you that are struggling. Read the Word and let it nourish and grow you into mature Christians who can go out and make in impact for Christ in a dark world. Not Judging anyone. Ive been there myself and it is soooo much better on this side of habitual sin but you wont truly know that until you experience it. God Bless everyone. Thanks for this thread Ray.

  206. Brandon says:

    Kimber. I encourage you to look at Marriage model of Ephesians 5:21 and on. If you are both walking with Christ…If this man is loving you unconditionally, sacrificially, even unto death as Christ loved the Church…and you are loving and respecting Him and submitting to Him as to the Lord… (which btw was is an act of strength, not weakness. Christ submitted to the Father on the cross and that was by no means weak or demeaning)

    If you guys both do those things in your marriage I have a feeling you will get along just fine. :) Gods way works. You can trust in that.

    If you like read that passage and pray about it. You will not regret waiting.

  207. Hollye says:

    My self and my husband lived together before we got married and we have now been married for 22 years. It dose not always end in divorce. I was even pregnant when we got married. I was only 18 and now i am 40 and blessed by god with 2 adult children.

  208. D says:

    Hi,

    Living w/ boyfriend or girlfriend before marriage creates a continual temptation to sin (sexual immorality), I do agree that can be very stressful. Question I have is would living together when unmarried be okay if you’ve had a child out of wedlock with your significant other? Is it then okay/accepted since the sin of no sex before marriage has already occurred?

  209. Ray Fowler says:

    D – Having a child complicates things, but you still should not be living together outside of marriage. The sin of no sex before marriage has already occurred, but that’s no reason for it to continue. Analogy time – if I already robbed a bank, I could not justify robbing more banks just because the sin of robbing banks had already occurred. Hope that helps!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage at Ray Fowler .org
  2. Living Together Without Sex at Ray Fowler .org
  3. What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage? at Ray Fowler .org
  4. Living Together Before Marriage Series at Ray Fowler .org
  5. Marriage and Cohabitation in the United States at Ray Fowler .org

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