Living Together

October 8, 1998
"Well, I think we should just live together first to see if we are compatible, and then we can get married." How many times have you heard that line? It's become part of the conventional wisdom of our time. After all, people say, you wouldn't buy a pair of shoes without trying them on first, would you?

Unfortunately, lots of people are buying the line. The Census Bureau reports that the number of households made up of unmarried couples has increased eightfold since 1970. And by the time a women reaches the category of 30-34, nearly half say they have lived with a man outside of marriage.

But even if more and more people are living together hoping to improve their chances of being happily married, they will be disappointed. If anything, living together seems to reduce their chances of success.

The National Institute for Healthcare Research has found that couples who live together and then marry report less satisfaction in their marriages than other couples. Scott Stanley at the University of Denver has found that cohabiting couples who get married have a significantly higher rate of divorce than those who did not live together.

Other researchers have found that women who are cohabiting suffer from depression at rates three times higher than that of married women. And a woman living with a man is more than twice as likely to wind up as a victim of domestic violence.

These are sobering statistics for anyone contemplating living together. Apart from the clear biblical prohibition against premarital sex are ominous predictions of failure when a couple considers cohabitation rather than marriage. If you want a good marriage, don't do what society says, do what the Bible teaches us to do.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International