Is Cohabitation Wrong?

We live in a world that is drawn to comfort and ease and a culture that believes the ends justify the means.  We live around people that do not like to be told what they can and cannot do.  Now enter Christian Joe and Christian Sally.  They are in love.  They are poor, and they want to be independent and free.  Joe and Sally like being in church and like the comfort they get from God’s Word.  They spend all their free time with each other, but they don’t think they are ready to get married, so they decide they should move in together, they even prayed about it.  Besides they will be saving money for the wedding.

Now enter Joe and Sally’s family and church.  They all think this is a bad idea.  But why is it a bad idea?  The Bible gives no definitive command that says two adults of the opposite sex cannot live under the same roof as one another.  So why does their family and church conclude that their decision is wrong?   Joe and Sally have failed to have a thoroughly biblical worldview.  They have gleaned what they like about the faith and not considered the rest.  The Bible says, “for this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.”1  Now Joe and Sally say, ‘we will live in separate rooms, just because we are living in the same location doesn’t mean we are having pre-marital sex.  If we want to have pre-marital sex we can do that without living together.’  And to that we would say you are correct, however, the Bible also say, “flee from sexual immorality.”2  That is a definitive command in scripture, flee, avoid, and run away from sexual immorality.  When Joe and Sally decide to move in together they are ignoring this command and instead they are welcoming into their home the very temptation they are supposed to avoid.  But they still object and say, ‘they are strong enough to abstain from such temptation.’  Jesus said, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”3

Cohabitation is wrong because it does not bring glory to God.  It is generally assumed by everyone that if you are living together in a romantic relationship that you are engaged in a sexual relationship.  I can already hear the objections to this statement, ‘so, you are saying we should not do something because other people will make judgments?’  Yes.  We are called as disciples of Jesus Christ to live differently and, act differently than those who do not believe.  Christ has not called us to a life of comfort and ease.  He calls us to take up our cross and follow him.  That will require us to make some hard choices, choices that would be relatively easy for unbelievers.  Paul says, “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”4

I understand there are difficult situations people are called to face, but that is why Christ has given us one another, the church.  God always provides a way of escape from temptation,5 sometimes you just have to seek, ask and knock to find it.

– Pastor Corey

1   1 Thessalonians 4:3
2   1 Corinthians 6:18
3   Mk 14:38
4   Ephesians 5:8
5   1 Corinthians 10:13

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