Over this past year, I have encountered many people who have been cohabitating with their significant other. Many of these couples cohabitate without giving it a second thought. Some of these relationships have resulted in marriage, some have prolonged for many years, and others have ended badly to say the least.
Culture desensitizes us to what God deems as sin. Culture has substituted life-long covenantal relationship with long-term conditional relationship. The prerequisite for marriage in our culture has become impurity; not purity.
Cohabitation serves it purpose by allowing each individual to give an in-depth interview of the other. This in-depth interview, also called living together, allows one to decide whether or not the other is a good fit for them. It is similar to test-driving a car before you buy it, but on a much more complex level.
Cohabitating sounds logical and logic sounds harmless. The problem is many couples who cohabitate do not understand what that says about them and their spouse. Cohabitation is not innocent, logical, or harmless. If cohabitation had a mic, this is what it would say:
- “I will stay with you until something better comes along.”
- “I prefer convenience over commitment.”
- “I want the fun of marriage without the responsibility of marriage”
- “I want the pleasures of marriage without the challenge of marriage.”
- “I don’t love you enough to commit to you.”
- “I am not mature enough to be your spouse.”
- “I will stay with you as long as I can opt out.”
- “I will share my body with you, but not every other aspect of my life.”
- “I am too selfish to be in a covenantal, life-long relationship with you.”
- “My selfishness is more important to me than your wellbeing.”
- “You are not worth committing my life to.”
Cohabitation is not loving, smart, or logical. It is an evil wrapped up in the deception of culture. It makes sense why numerous researchers have found that people who cohabitate before marriage are more likely to be divorced than those who don’t.
If my wife and I were not married and decided to cohabitate instead, we probably would have broken up by now. Our sin and brokenness would overwhelm and break the bond of cohabitation. The covenant of marriage does not give us the excuse to sin, but gives us the freedom to sin because there is safety in the covenant.
Cohabitation seduces those who don’t understand marriage. My prayer is that we will stop pursuing self-centered, dishonoring relationships and begin pursuing God-designed marriages.