Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

The Dangers of Cohabitation (Live-in)

One chapter in my book is entitled “Live-in Relationships: the Counterfeit to a Covenant.” Unfortunately, living together outside of a marriage covenant is becoming more common and accepted here in the Philippines. I wrote several reasons to avoid this modern practice. One of my arguments is that cohabitation does not increase one’s chances for having a successful marriage–statistically, it has the opposite affect. A new book (Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers, by Mike and Harriet McManus) further supports this claim. Read about what’s happening in the Western context:

Between 50 and 60 percent of all marriages begin with the two partners cohabitating, and many of those couples no doubt believe they are making a wise move up front. But living together before marriage actually increases the chances of divorce in a first marriage — 67 percent of cohabitating couples eventually divorce, compared to 45 percent for all first marriages.

That and other myth-busting facts form the core of a new book by Mike and Harriet McManus, “Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers” (Howard Books), with a foreword by Chuck Colson. Co-founders of the organization Marriage Savers, the couple have invested much of their lives trying to help strengthen marriages and push down the divorce rate.

The biblical warnings against cohabitation, the book says, are affirmed by statistics showing it’s a bad idea.

-The above quote is from the Baptist Press website. You can read the entire article here.

15 Comments

  1. How do you know you are completely compatible unless you’ve lived together? Statistics may show that those who have not done this enjoy more stable marriages, but this is skewed as these people probably also have moral objections against divorce.

  2. There’s no such thing as “completely compatible.”

    The fact remains that cohabitation has been shown to do more harm than good in terms of long-term marital stability.

    It all boils down to this: either God is smarter than us or we are smarter than Him. My bet is on God and His word.

  3. hi kuya.. i just wanna ask wht if twice a week you meet a person its consider live in… i hope u wil help me..

  4. I guess you mean sleeping with someone twice a week even though you are not married.

    That may not be cohabitation, but it is 100% foolishness and disobedience to God.

  5. I am Filipina, and I have seen many rush marriages become divorces years later. Either that, or the couples stay together miserably out of obligation to their religion or their children. As a result, I am for cohabitation before marriage. You never know who you are marrying until you have spent mornings waking up with them and figure out all their mannerisms and quirks about living with them. It is one thing to date someone in another household and only see them at their best, and an entirely different thing to live with them for the rest of your life. If you are able to get along at that level and still keep your relationship strong, then you are ready for marriage. Living together will not only test how strong your bond with that person is, it will also teach you things about each other. For example, if a man has an alcoholic problem or addiction to drugs, he can easily hide it if the woman isn’t living with him. On another note, I have a child with a Filipino man I dated and I am very happy we did not marry, because I would have been stuck in an abusive relationship for the past 6 years.

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  7. Anonymous,

    First and foremost, I don’t think we are smarter than God. If the Bible calls cohabitation a sin, we have no right to call it something else. If it calls premarital sex a sin, we should not be surprised when we suffer from it. “Rushed marriages” are just another example of not following God’s commandments.

    If you don’t believe the Bible, just come out and say it. But don’t write with some silly notion that you can pick and choose what you like out of the Bible.

    Secondly, statistics just do not back up your argument about cohabitation. Those who live together are NOT more likely to be happily married. They are less likely to do so. Multiple studies have proven this.

    Thirdly, alcohol and drug problems are not “easily hidden” unless you choose to be blind. I used to be an addiction counselor and I know what substance abuse “looks” like.

    There are always adjustments to be made when two imperfect people marry. It is impossible to know every single imperfection until you are married. You continue learning more about your differences as you raise children together (unless you think you need to raise kids for five years as live-in to make sure you are 100% “compatible” in all areas). In other words, there’s no way to prepare for every personality conflict that will come with marriage. Cohabitation is only an illusion of “preparation.”

    I realize I’m being very blunt, but I have young people who read my blog. I’m not going to let you post nonsense advice without challenging it.

    I’m very sorry that it didn’t work out with the father of your child. I’m glad you didn’t marry him–I would never advise a woman to stay with a man who is abusive (I do not always advise pregnant women to marry the father).

    But none of that changes the truth of God’s word on these issues.

    Blessings, and I hope you’ll keep reading. Feel free email if you have questions.

  8. hi i’ve read your blog!in which verse of the bible can we read that cohabitation is a sin?

  9. Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
    -Hebrews 13:4

    It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable. . .
    -1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

    Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body
    -1 Corinthians 6:18

  10. Hi Kuya Kevin,

    I would like to ask about this one. I am living with my grandma’s boarding house. My boyfriend and his siblings are renting in my grandma’s house too. They are at the ground floor, while I am staying at the room at the 2nd floor.

    Oh by the way, while his sisters are away for the vacation in they hometown, their room was rented out to some OJT’s for 1 month. And so, me and my boyfriend are sleeping in the same room, but my younger brother is also there (it’s the three of us and for only 1 month). But we are not sleeping side by side. He has a different bed, and so do i and my younger brother.

    Is this co-habitation?

    Thanks,

    Confused Christian

  11. This isn’t really cohabitation. But I hope you will not keep this arrangement very long. It just doesn’t seem very wise to me.

  12. i like ur responses to questions here. Cohabitation is just evil

  13. aside from statistics. i wanna know why? what are the reasons

  14. I actually go into more detail in my book, spunky. But the bottom line is we either live to please and obey God or we just do whatever we want. When we ignore God’s commandments we ultimately suffer the consequences.

  15. Are you for real?… Wow I’ve got the same stand. I believe God put these in place for a reason. And just trust in him its for our own good. I may be doomed for spinsterhood, but NO I STILL WONT GO fOR ThiS OPTION. Amen to this post!

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