Most Christians believe it is sin to have premarital sex, but what about living with someone of the opposite sex before marriage? Many people are strapped financially, so it just makes life easier if they can split the bills with the person they are dating or engaged to. And if they know they are going to get married anyway, what’s the harm in cohabitation before marriage, especially if they are not having sex?
The Bible Say It’s Wrong to Live Together Before Marriage Because Marriage is More than Sex
Assuming this hypothetical couple truly is abstaining from all fornication and sexual interactions reserved for marriage, there are still biblical reasons for them not to live under the same roof before marriage. Marriage is more than sex. Marriage is when you reserve yourself for one person and one person only in a special way. Your spouse has privileges no one else should that go far beyond the bedroom. Living together is one of those privileges. Notice that when Paul is giving instructions for the roles of men and women in the church (specifically in the corporate worship service), he just naturally assumes that men and women who live in the same home will be husband and wife, “If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home” (1 Corinthians 14:35).
Living Together Promotes a Sexual Relationship Reserved for Marriage, Therefore the Bible Says Men and Women Should Not Live Together
Likewise, notice in Romans 7:3 how the phrase “live with another man” and then “marries another man” are used interchangeably. When you compare this verse in different translations, you will also find the phrase “sexual relations” (NIV) used in place of “live with another man.” The point is that livening together is naturally reserved for marriage and the sexual relationship between spouses. Therefore biblical wisdom tells us men and women should not live together before marriage.
In John 4 when Jesus is seeking to reveal the truth to a Samaritan woman, he has to confront her sinful rebellion towards God, therefore it states (verses 16-18 NLT), “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
In the ESV and NIV the words “the man you’re living with now” are translated “the man you now have.” Living with someone of the opposite sex, just like sexual relations, is a giving of yourself that should be reserved only for marriage.
Lastly, the Bible makes very clear that we should “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18) and amongst believers “there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality” (Ephesians 5:3). Try as we might, there is not even a hypothetical situation where living under the same roof with a person of the opposite sex achieves either of these clear commands.
Why Does the Bible Say It’s Wrong to Live Together Before Marriage? Living Together Before Marriage is the Worst of Your Three Options
Therefore, those who are tempted to live together have two biblical options and one unbiblical option. Biblical options: Get married and move in, or stay unmarried and move out. Unbiblical option: Continue to live in sin.
The financial and social ramifications of obeying God are always challenging, and this applies to choosing not to live together. But when we seek to obey God, he always provides a way (1 Corinthians 10:13). The right option may not always be the easy option, but God always rewards us with far more than we give up for him (Mark 10:29-30).
God is not a prude. He made sex, marriage, and the very idea of living together. When we do relationships his way, they are a beautiful, fun, and God-honoring endeavor. God wants to bless our romantic relationships, but he won’t do it when we rebel. None of us will be perfect, but to have God’s blessing we must seek to walk in God’s will.
Living together before marriage is wrong in the Bible because it does not glorify God and it will only bring you harm, not blessings.