Ministers Blogs

Ministers Blogs

“Living Together Before Marriage”

Categories: Marriage and Family

Daily Devotional
by Max Patterson

For a long time there have been individuals who championed the idea that if a man and woman would live together before they get married, it would allow them to know whether they are compatible for marriage. Many people have bought into this idea. We know that many households are made up of unmarried couples. But, alas, all is not well in such situations. Consider the following:

1. A woman who lives with a man before marriage is more than two times as likely to be a victim of domestic violence (Washington State University researcher, Jon Stets).

2. Women who live with men outside of marriage suffer depression more than three times that of married women (National Institute of Mental Health).

3. Those men and women who live together and then get married report less satisfaction in marriage than other couples (National Institute for Health Care Research).

4. Couples who live together and then get married have a significantly higher divorce rate than those who did not live together first (University of Denver researcher, Scott Stanley).

Are you surprised at the above? I am not surprised at all. There is no way that man has found that is better than God's way. The research given above seriously challenges any values of living together before marriage.

Further in the work, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, University of Washington researcher John Gottman makes the argument that many couples who live together do so because they are already suspect that more permanent commitments are doomed to failure, and they simply fulfill their own expectations. Whatever the reasons are, it is plain that God's way is best. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Gen. 2:24).