I’ve been engaged for a little over a year now, and during this time, many people have asked me questions like, “When are you guys getting married again?” or “Where is the wedding going to be?” However, the question that surprises me most is when Christians ask, “Why don’t you and your fiancé move in together before you get married? You know, just to try it out.”
After all, how will we ever know if we are compatible, right? Not quite.
I see their logic behind this, but I just don’t see how this lines up with God’s principles and standard for relationships. Consequently, living under the same roof as my fiancé has the potential not only to damage our relationship with each other, but also our relationships with God.
The good news is that God provides us with clear biblical guidelines and principles to help us build healthy dating relationships.
Here are a few reasons why moving in with your girlfriend, boyfriend or even your fiancé has the potential to destroy your relationship:
Temptation to Compromise
The biggest danger for an unmarried couple moving in together is the reality of ongoing temptation. The act of sharing a roof is not necessarily sinful, but the motives and desires behind the decision can be, but that’s for God to weigh. Remember, the heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9).
Living together places you in a vulnerable and compromising situation, drastically increasing the chances of sexual sin. How?
First, you are spending a lot of time alone with no accountability. Second, you have strong emotional and physical desires for your partner. Third, it’s hard to “flee temptation” when the person you live with is the one causing your temptation.
Consider the following questions when deciding whether you should move in with your partner before getting married:
– Is it wise (according to God’s standards) for my partner and I to live together?
– Is it beneficial for our relationship? For our purity?
– Are we glorifying God by living together?
– Are we being examples to others by living together?
Answering some of these questions with honesty will bring a lot of clarity. Also, Ephesians 5:3 reminds us that there shouldn’t even be a hint of sexual immorality among believers. Living together is already beyond a hint.
While sex is a beautiful thing, God created it to be enjoyed in the right context, that context being marriage between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24). Being in love or “committed” to each other or even engaged for marriage, are not reasons to justify having sex, let alone living together.
The problem is not necessarily the “living together” part of the relationship. The problem is sexual immorality, which is most likely to happen when you share a living space with your significant other. Sex is not just this casual thing to experiment with when you are figuring out if the person is right match or not.
Sex is a sacred bond where a woman and a man become one flesh and one entity in God’s eyes. It’s intimate, it’s special and it’s exclusive to the person you decide to commit your life to—not your boyfriend, girlfriend or even fiancé.
By the way, being engaged is not the same as being married. Many justify sex because the ring is on the finger, but I’ve seen engaged couples call off their weddings, so were they fully committed to each other when you are engaged?
Building a Healthy Relationship
Living together is not the best way to figure out compatibility; if anything, it has the potential to make the relationship toxic and displeasing to God. In contrast, a healthy relationship is built on a spiritual foundation, where healthy boundaries are created to uphold God’s standard of purity.
Having God at the center of your relationship creates a safe environment where you can explore each other’s interests, passions, hobbies, and faith. Although there is an aspect of romance involved, it’s all about building a great friendship with your partner. Not to say that it will be a perfect relationship because we all fall short.
However, having a Christ-like attitude toward each other and learning to communicate, resolve conflicts, and spend time together are all key factors in helping you determine compatibility. But above all, how your relationship brings glory to God is the most important factor to consider.
Stu Escalona is a professional writer, rapper and a youth leader for the Toronto Church youth and family ministry. He writes regularly at stuescalona.com.