What does the Bible say about co-habitation?
The Bible does not directly talk about cohabitation of couples. It does however, talk about marriage. Here is what it says about marriage:
Genesis 2:24(NIV) That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Matthew 19:4-6(NIV) 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Mark 10:7-9(NIV) ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
1 Corinthians 6:16 (NIV) Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body?
Ephesians 5:31(NIV) “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
As I read the Bible, it is apparent that marriage does not require paperwork! It only requires that the eligible couple consensually ‘sleeps together’, in other words “become one flesh.” The only exceptions to this are the cases we consider as rape or “for profit” sexual activity. And in those cases, it is usually referred to as adultery or prostitution.
I should also point out that having a marriage license is a civil requirement, not specifically a Biblical requirement.
The Bible does teach however, that if a married couple gets divorced, they need to have it done in writing.
If a couple has consensual intercourse and later separate, they should have the divorce in writing. If it is not done in writing, and they later get married, they are practicing ‘polygamy’.
Cohabitation is a civil term that means the married couple is living together without meeting a civil requirement or having the civil protection of a civil marriage. People who cohabitate, experience the same, or similar feelings of divorce that a non-cohabitating, married couple experience when they divorce.
What are the advantages if cohabitation?
According to some of the research findings, these are some of the ‘advantages’ (If you want to call them that) that you can expect to experience when cohabitating:
- Slide into a relationship (89%) (Only 23% plan on marrying)
- Lower level of commitment to the relationship
- Don’t pool resources (16% pool resources)
- Joint checking accounts (16.1%)
- Higher sexual infidelity (Twice as high as for married couples)
- Lower “levels of closeness, love and satisfaction in intimacy dimensions”
- Physical violence (12% if engaged to be married,15% if not engaged to be married.)
- Less satisfaction even if they eventually marry
- Have more marital problems when they do marry.
What are the advantages of marriage?
According to the research findings I have read, these would be some of the advantages of marriage over cohabitation:
- High rate of intentional relationships
- Higher level of commitment to the relationship
- Tend to pool resources (80% pool resources)
- Joint checking accounts (70%)
- Higher sexual fidelity
- Higher “levels of closeness, love and satisfaction in intimacy dimensions”
- Physical violations of less than 4% if married without cohabitation first
- More marital satisfaction without cohabitation prior to marriage
- Fewer marital problems without cohabitating prior to marriage
The real question here is “would you rather have a marriage the way the Bible teaches or have cohabitate based on the definition and practice of civil government?”
God has a plan for marriage. His plan is not in opposition to the civil practices regarding marital relationships. However, even if you didn’t believe the Bible or God’s plan for marriage, the results appear to be the same. Do you want the real thing, or do you want the temporary satisfaction of having your immediate, sexual gratification satisfied?
(This information comes from my reading some of the research results pertaining to the subject. The statistical information in this article comes from an article by James E. Sheridan written for The News-Sentinel, Wednesday, January 14, 2015 as downloaded January 23, 2015 from http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150114/LIVING/150119967/1008
All Scripture used in this article were downloaded from http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2011&version=NIV