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Thread: Should You Live Together Before Marriage?

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Should You Live Together Before Marriage?

    What's the big deal about testing it out first?

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    Donít you need to see if you will work out? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Go back a few decades in time and it would have been taboo to be pregnant before you were married. There was just this idea that if you are pregnant out of wedlock, you have done something wrong. That doesnít mean that the treatment of such a person was always right, but we did recognize the wrong.

    In a couple of decades, things have changed. Now not only is it entirely acceptable to many, but many couples are also living together before they get married. This includes nowadays people who are Christians and get divorced and then do so before they remarry, or people who are Christians and havenít been divorced, but they are sleeping together without marriage. You can hear a news story about a woman and her boyfriend living together spoken of so casually.

    Yes. It is a big deal. Something we have lost sight of is that Christianity entails a certain sexual ethic. One such rule is that sexual intercourse is to be reserved only for marriage. Some might say weíre going to live together, but weíre not going to have sex. Yeah. Just keep fooling yourself. Youíll sleep in the same house together and shower in the same house together and all that, but nope, sex will never happen.

    Some people will say marriage is a big deal, of which they are right. They will say that one should not make the decision lightly, which is again right. Then comes forward the analogy that they use. You wouldnít buy a car without taking it for a test drive would you?

    The question has to be asked who is the driver and who is the car? In each case, the person is asking if the other person is capable of meeting their needs. Marriage is much more about meeting the needs of the other person instead of getting your own needs met. If both parties work at that, they all get their needs met.

    If the driver decides they donít want the car, the car wonít tell. A person will care. A person will care if they have been rejected as they are while giving all that they have. This is one reason why itís so especially devastating on girls when a guy they love will sleep with them and then dump them the very next day.

    Sexuality is something too beautiful and too sacred to treat as a test or to treat as no big deal. There is something awesome and magical going on when a person gives someone else so much trust with their whole body. When a person is giving sex, it is a way of saying they are giving themselves entirely. Women especially need to realize this since they usually set the standards.

    There are exceptions of course, but normally the men are the pursuers and unless theyíre willing to rape, they take no for no, although they could beg and plead some before finally accepting. Women are normally the determiners then of if sex will happen and when a woman says yes before marriage, she has said what has to be done to get all of her. What is she worth? Dinner? Three dates? A month? A year? Engagement? Perhaps instead, full marriage?

    When you live together, you are not upholding the Christian sexual ethic and as Paul said in 1 Cor. 6, sexual sin is in a different category. He who sins sexually sins against his own body. It is essentially testing each person and treating the relationship as a contract instead of a covenant.

    Ladies. Youíre the big losers here. Guys who move in with you get what they want, the sex, without the cost that they want, the commitment. They can pack up and go at any time and you are the ones who are living most often in fear of that. Guys donít have to worry about being stuck with alimony and get their fun in at the same time. Youíre not giving them incentive to commit. Youíre removing incentive. Want to give them incentive? They only get to have their fun if they make that commitment to you.

    This is also why sexual refusal is so painful in marriage. For a guy, it is them getting a message that they are still not good enough. This is not to say a woman can never say no, but thereís a reason Paul encourages couples to make the withholding something mutual and only for a short time. Paul knew what he was talking about.

    Also, I really donít think that anyone who is living together with someone of the opposite sex without marriage should be in a position of Christian leadership at all. We are often rightly fighting the marriage battle for marriage being a man and a woman. It does not help us if our own leadership is living like marriage is no big deal. They either get married or one of them moves out. Save sex for the marriage bed.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    As far as I recall, statistics show that couples who cohabit before marriage are rather less likely to stay together over the long haul.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. Ė St. John Chrysostom

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    What is sad is it seems a growing trend among the younger generation is to live together have kids and never bother to get married. I know two couples in the 20's that are doing that, and one just broke up after 10 years and just "went their own ways" - luckily they didn't have kids. But it's like they don't think there is any reason to get married any more.

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    As far as I recall, statistics show that couples who cohabit before marriage are rather less likely to stay together over the long haul.
    You are correct.

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    What is sad is it seems a growing trend among the younger generation is to live together have kids and never bother to get married. I know two couples in the 20's that are doing that, and one just broke up after 10 years and just "went their own ways" - luckily they didn't have kids. But it's like they don't think there is any reason to get married any more.
    When they have kids, it is even worse. The kids grow up with this kind of example and are more likely to repeat it.

  6. Amen Cow Poke amen'd this post.
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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    When they have kids, it is even worse. The kids grow up with this kind of example and are more likely to repeat it.
    Kids are the biggest losers in the dissolution of family.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. Ė St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

  8. Amen Cow Poke amen'd this post.
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    tWebber TheWall's Avatar
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    So how do we show people that marriage is worth anything? I mean it seems marriage has a serious PR issue

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Mrs CP and I pretty much hated each other the first two years of our marriage.

    I think we're pretty much both Type A individuals (though she's much more reserved about it - go figure), and we married the person we dated, not realizing it's "different" when you're married.

    There were actually a few times I wanted to walk out, but it had been ingrained in me that "we don't do that". Mom and Dad on my side had a long loving marriage - Mrs CP's parents, not so much. She wasn't a Christian when we met, but she received Christ as Savior on our second date.

    At first, I stuck it out "because we don't walk away from marriage" - then our first child came, and there was no way I would walk out on that.

    Somewhere around the 2 year mark, we started allowing each other to be "the other person". We actually started to like each other.

    I remember, when we were young, we were at a marriage retreat where, as part of the weekend, you take one of those Briggs & Stratton (or whatever) tests. Then you have a session with the host (a PhD in marriage relationships or something) will have a private meeting with each couple to review the tests. When we completed the tests - before the private meetings - he walked around the room just glancing at the resulting charts we created. When he looked at my chart, then looked at Mrs CP's, his brow furrowed, his eyes narrowed, a big frown appeared on his face, and he just stared - first at mine, then at hers -- then said --- "you two will need extra time in the private counseling". Everybody laughed - I nearly peed my pants.

    In the private counseling - and he DID allow extra time for it - he explained why it would be natural for us to have so many conflicts (we never told him we were having trouble) and - even more importantly - he told us how we can capitalize on our differences, and what he believed God had in store for us.

    It really WAS helpful!

    And I wonder how many young couples never get past that first two years, because we live in such a "throw away" society.

    Marriage can be hard work. But, when it works, it's glorious.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  11. Amen QuantaFille amen'd this post.
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    Thread Killer QuantaFille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    As far as I recall, statistics show that couples who cohabit before marriage are rather less likely to stay together over the long haul.
    The US government keeps statistics on that. If a couple live together without being married first, even if they get married later on their chance of breaking up within five years is 80%. Getting married after living together for a while doesn't have much impact on that chance. Some of them make it past five years but almost all of them still end up dissolving the relationship. If a couple get married first and then live together, their chance of breaking up within five years is more like 20%, and other statistics show that they are generally a great deal more satisfied with their relationship.

    I haven't checked these statistics in a while to see if there's been any update, but the surveys are collected once every so many years and are mandatory if you're selected, to eliminate the skew caused by a certain type of person refusing to answer and thus not being represented. They cover quite a lot of social issues.
    Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaFille View Post
    The US government keeps statistics on that. If a couple live together without being married first, even if they get married later on their chance of breaking up within five years is 80%. Getting married after living together for a while doesn't have much impact on that chance. Some of them make it past five years but almost all of them still end up dissolving the relationship. If a couple get married first and then live together, their chance of breaking up within five years is more like 20%, and other statistics show that they are generally a great deal more satisfied with their relationship.

    I haven't checked these statistics in a while to see if there's been any update, but the surveys are collected once every so many years and are mandatory if you're selected, to eliminate the skew caused by a certain type of person refusing to answer and thus not being represented. They cover quite a lot of social issues.
    I'm wondering how accurate it can be - I mean -- how many couples will admit to a government agency or survey that they're living together? Not because they see any kind of stigma to it, but that they might think it's none of the government's business?
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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