Living together before marriage, often referred to as cohabitation, has become increasingly common in today’s society. As Christians, we may find ourselves wondering if this practice aligns with the teachings of the Bible and whether or not God will forgive those who choose to live together before marriage.
In this blog post, we will examine the biblical perspective on cohabitation, explore the consequences of living together before marriage, and discuss the concept of forgiveness in the context of this issue.
The act of living together before marriage raises questions about the sanctity of the marriage covenant and the significance of the physical union between a man and a woman. As followers of Christ, we are called to uphold the teachings of the Bible and to live in a manner that honors God.
Before diving into the main content, it is important to recognize that as believers, we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). However, through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, we can find forgiveness and grace when we repent and turn away from our sins.
With this foundation in mind, let us examine the issue of living together before marriage and whether or not God will forgive this act.
The Sanctity of Marriage
According to the Bible, marriage is a sacred union ordained by God. In Genesis 2:24 (NKJV), we read, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
This verse establishes the importance of the marriage relationship and underscores the significance of the physical union between a husband and wife.
Furthermore, Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV) states, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
This passage teaches us that the sexual relationship between a husband and wife is meant to be a pure and honorable bond, while those who engage in sexual immorality outside of the confines of marriage are subject to God’s judgment.
Cohabitation and Sexual Immorality
Living together before marriage often leads to sexual relationships outside of marriage, which the Bible considers a sin. In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NKJV), we are instructed to “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”
Moreover, in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NKJV), we learn that “this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.”
These passages make it clear that Christians are called to abstain from sexual immorality and to pursue a life of purity and holiness. By living together before marriage, individuals place themselves in a situation where temptation is more likely, which can lead to sinful behavior.
The Consequences of Living Together Before Marriage
The decision to live together before marriage can have significant consequences for the individuals involved, their relationship, and their spiritual well-being.
Studies have shown that couples who cohabitate before marriage are more likely to experience marital conflict, lower levels of marital satisfaction, and higher rates of divorce compared to those who do not live together before marriage.
Moreover, living together before marriage can hinder one’s relationship with God. When we knowingly engage in sinful behavior, we create a barrier between ourselves and the Lord, making it difficult to grow in our faith and experience the fullness of His love and grace.
1 Peter 1:16 (NKJV) reminds us that God’s expectation for His children is, “Be holy, for I am holy.” By participating in cohabitation and the potential sexual immorality associated with it, we risk distancing ourselves from the very source of our strength and guidance.
Repentance and Forgiveness
Despite the seriousness of living together before marriage and its potential consequences, there is hope for those who have chosen this path.
As Christians, we believe in a God who is merciful, gracious, and forgiving. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV) states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This powerful promise emphasizes that when we come before God in sincere repentance, He is ready and willing to forgive us.
In the context of living together before marriage, repentance may involve ceasing to cohabitate, seeking God’s guidance for the relationship, and making a conscious effort to pursue a life of purity and holiness.
Moving Forward in Grace
For those who have lived together before marriage and have repented of their actions, it is crucial to embrace the forgiveness and grace that God offers. While the consequences of past decisions may still be present, we must remember that our identity is not defined by our past mistakes but by our standing in Christ.
As Romans 8:1 (NKJV) reminds us, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
As believers, we are called to encourage and support one another in our journey of faith.
For those who have experienced the consequences of living together before marriage, it is important to extend grace, understanding, and encouragement as they seek to grow in their relationship with God and to honor Him in their future decisions.
In conclusion, the Bible teaches that marriage is a sacred and honorable union ordained by God, and that sexual immorality, including cohabitation, is a sin. However, God’s forgiveness and grace are available to those who sincerely repent of their actions and turn away from living together before marriage.
As Christians, we must strive to uphold the sanctity of marriage and pursue lives of purity and holiness, while also extending grace and support to those who have experienced the consequences of living together before marriage.
As we face the challenges and complexities of modern life, may we always seek guidance from the Holy Scriptures and turn to God in prayer, trusting in His infinite wisdom and unchanging love. And as we do so, may we experience the fullness of His grace, forgiveness, and healing in every area of our lives.