Over the last few years I have had the distinct privilege of performing multiple weddings, but before that process begins I ask the each couple does some “pre-marital” sessions with me to prepare them for what lies ahead. Between my pre-marital sessions and working in a “secular” workplace (though I do not believe there is a divide between sacred and secular, but I digress) I find that both “Christians” and non- Christians are moving in for a myriad of reasons.
- Financial/ our current economy
- Sexual (though unstated if you are “Christian”)
- Simple try out (i.e. test drive marriage before purchase) and many more.
In these sessions we talk about the Biblical perspective of cohabitation, and (not surprisingly) I see and hear that sliding into cohabitation is more normal than not. Whatever the reasons there has been a substantial increase on cohabitation according to a recent New York Times article,
Cohabitation in the United States has increased by more than 1,500 percent in the past half century. In 1960, about 450,000 unmarried couples lived together. Now the number is more than 7.5 million. The majority of young adults in their 20s will live with a romantic partner at least once, and more than half of all marriages will be preceded by cohabitation. (emphasis added)
The article goes on to state that,
…nearly half of 20-somethings agreed with the statement, “You would only marry someone if he or she agreed to live together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along.” About two-thirds said they believed that moving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce.
But that belief is contradicted by experience. Couples who cohabit before marriage tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.
I have to admit, it is a little frustrating that we as pastors are constantly derided for giving people “antiquated” information about sex, relationships, and life in general all because our source of truth happens to be the Bible. Yet, once again God turns out to be smarter than all of us, imagine that. As a society our thoughts on certain subjects, especially revolving around sex, are “evolving” but Biblical truth does not. Continually, as research and science are compiled the findings come back around to agreeing with those time honored truths.
I do not exactly know where you stand on this subject, obviously I have my opinions tempered by the truth of the Bible. I will admit that amongst the pressures of todays society it is not easy adhere to Biblical truth but an infinite God instructed us for His glory and our joy versus finite man coming up with our “truth” and eventually coming to His conclusions.
I would love to know your thoughts below.