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Seven Biblical Reasons to Not ‘Live Together’

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(By Al Miller - Guest Contributor)

1. Because God says it is wrong.

  • For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3
  • Flee sexual immorality… 1 Corinthians 6:18

Simple isn’t it? At least it should be for those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and recognize God as Lord of all. These verses should be reason enough to not live together before marriage. God, who created man and instituted marriage, has the right to establish the rules by which we are to live. We also find that when our Creator’s directions are respected and heeded, the joy that He intended for marriage finds its greatest expression in the lifelong commitment of one person to another before God in the institution of marriage.

2. Because God designed marriage to picture the ‘forever’ commitment relationship of Christ and the Church.

  • For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:31-32

According to the Bible God has designed marriage to be a ‘forever’ commitment between a husband and wife in the bond of marriage. According to Ephesians 5 the husband’s love and care for his wife is to picture Christ’s love and care for the Church. The wife’s love and submission to her husband is to picture the Church’s love and submission to Christ. That oneness that the Church enjoys with Christ is pictured in the physical, sexual relationship in marriage.

Again, for a Christian this teaching should make the decision to not live together easy. For, to depart from God’s design for sex and marriage is to violate both the ‘forever’ and the commitment aspects of marriage that God has designed in the marriage relationship. Not only do multi-partner sexual relationships dishonor the picture of the commitment of Christ to His Church, but also history has proven that co-habitational relationships do not have the same level of commitment as traditional marriage.

3. Because those who ‘sleep together’ before marriage actually hurt themselves.

  • Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

There may be several applications of this teaching; that one who participates in sex before marriage ‘sins against his own body.’ One of those applications relates to a person’s enjoyment of the sexual relationship which God Himself invented. Sex practiced before marriage hinders a person from the fulfillment and pleasure that God has designed for the marriage bed. Let’s face it; stated simply, sex before marriage is about selfish gratification. It is about ‘getting.’ Whereas God’s design for sex is about ‘giving.’ It is designed to be the physical expression of the giving aspect of love and commitment between two people committed to one other in the bond of marriage. Sex practiced outside of that design prevents one from experiencing and enjoying the physical, emotional, and spiritual fulfillment intended by our Creator.

4. Because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

  • Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

In the context of the discussion of sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians 6 we find these important concluding statements as reasons not to participate in pre-marital sex. The first is that God the Holy Spirit indwells the bodies of God’s children. To participate in the sin of immorality is to bring Him along into that sin.

Earlier in the chapter we see a parallel teaching:

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 1 Corinthians 6:15

Therefore, living together exposes both the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit to theses sinful practices which offend and violate the holy character of God. And, let us not forget that someday we believers will all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to answer for the things done in our bodies. (see 2 Corinthians 5:10)

5. Because our bodies belong to God and are to be used for His glory.

  • Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  • Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” 1 Corinthians 6:13

Let’s keep it simple; sex before marriage does not glorify God, our Creator. This again should settle the issue. Period! Christians belong to God both by virtue of creation and because of the redeeming blood of Christ. Therefore, we ought to use our bodies in ways that honor Him.

Please also consider that according to the reaping and sowing principles taught in Galatians 6:7-8, the rebellion and independence of men that chooses to disregard God’s instructions always leads to future disappointment and destruction.

6. Because our lives are to be a Godly example to the lost.

  • But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints.” Ephesians 5:3
  • And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” Ephesians 5:11-12
  • Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Theses verses are just a sampling of God’s expectation for the believer to be a Godly example to the lost. When Christians live together before marriage they communicate certain values to others by virtue of their actions. Their actions declare that immorality is O.K., thereby undermining the holiness of God. Their actions also undermine the authority of Scriptures by in essence saying that happiness can be achieved apart from God’s directives.

Also, to those who think it is O.K. to live together while claiming abstinence, please consider your testimony before the lost in respect to the verses above.

7. Because to ‘live together’ is to encourage and promote ungodliness.

  • Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.” Romans 1:24

Romans 1:18-31 describes the moral declension of mankind. The attitude of men that promotes this decline is described in verse 21 – “because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God…” When reading this passage one cannot help but notice that a rebellion against God is accompanied by sexual perversion. Sexual immorality is one such perversion. Those that participate in sexual immorality in any way are in reality forwarding the cause of evil in this world. One might try to rationalize that their particular sin is not that bad. However, disobedience towards God in this area promotes the ‘spirit’ or attitude of disobedience, rebellion, and evil amongst the people with whom we work, live, and play. This is serious. Our willingness to walk in God’s ways is used by Him to promote righteousness, and to restrain evil in the world in which we live.

As a Christian, which cause would you live for?

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