The Myths Of Cohabitation

Cohabitation - AdobeStock_460651756.jpegCohabitation is nothing new. It happened in Biblical times, too. Remember when Jesus spoke with the woman at the well in John 4:17?

When questioned about her husband, she answered that she had no husband. A popular contemporary Bible version renders Jesus’ response as:

That’s nicely put: ‘I have no husband.’ You’ve had five husbands and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough.” (John 4:17 The Message)

In an article written on this subject, Patrick and Dwaina Six, note:

“Jesus didn’t avoid the issue. He didn’t excuse it. The woman in John 4 obviously had bad experiences in marriage (since she’d been married five times) and she was surely experiencing emotional pain because of it. Jesus didn’t scorn her or berate her. He simply addressed the truth of the situation and moved directly to her real need.”

Truth in Cohabitation

And that’s what we’d like to bring about in this article. We’re dealing with the truth of the situation of living together before marriage. This way real needs have the opportunity to come out into the open and addressed.

To learn more, please read:

The Seven Myths of Cohabitation

We want to build upon the truths brought out by Patrick and Dwaina. In this next article, not only are the “myths” of living together pointed out, examples are given, concerning certain couples who have “been there and done that.” As it’s pointed out, there is an “inertia theory” that’s important to understand.

One couple that is written about in this article, married as a result of the inertia pressure that built up as they lived together. And they really shouldn’t have, because their relationship was problematic.

As noted:

“The risks of living together are important. That’s because this couple probably would not have gotten married if they hadn’t lived together. Constraints have propelled them forward, not dedication.”

To learn more from authors Scott M. Stanley, please click onto the web site link to read:


On this issue, Dr Janice Shaw Crouse writes,

“Many couples say that they want to live together to see if they are compatible, not realizing that cohabitation is more a preparation for divorce than a way to strengthen the likelihood of a successful marriage.”

To learn more, please click onto the web site link to read:


And lastly:

Glenn T. Stanton points out:

“All relationship forms are not created equal.

“Cohabitation is not a junior apprentice form of marriage.

“Cohabitation is not an on-ramp to marriage.

“It is not marriage’s spring training.

“Cohabitation is not marriage-lite.”

You may think it is, but as Glenn writes (and we recommend you read this article):


Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.

If you have additional tips you can share, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

Print Post

Filed under: Preparing for Marriage Sex Before Marriage Single Yet Preparing

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


6 responses to “The Myths Of Cohabitation

  1. (USA)  I just want to thank everyone contributing to this website. I have been struggling with many issues that are clearly addressed through GOD’s word here – and it is such a blessing. I attend a large church and have sought out counsel and prayer, however it seems that the connections I have made there are shallow and at times fake due to people putting on a front to make it seem like everything is Okay. With Christian divorce statistics at 47-52% – I know for a fact that everyone in there is not just ‘okay’. I wish we could all just open up and not judge, not worry about being judged, and be the brothers and sisters in Christ we are called to be.

    Thanks to all again and God Bless. I have SO many people to share this site with!

    1. Hi Amber, Thanks for your comment. We totally agree. We believe reason the divorce statistics are so high among Christians is because those who consider themselves followers of Christ are not persevering in asking or answering the important, tough questions that are necessary before marrying. If followers of Christ truly lived in authentic community as He has called us to do, a lot of heartache would be ministered to, and divorces would never happen, as they are (a lot of relationships wouldn’t even get to the marriage stage). Those who are in community would help guide each other as led by the Holy Spirit, so they would do things God’s way rather than man’s way.

      There is a lot of shallowness and lack of openness within many within the church. The reasons are too long to list. And it shouldn’t be. But remember, we’re all works in progress. Sometimes it takes someone to inspire them to be brave enough to step out and take the risk of “being real” before others will take the risk as well. Jesus called us to be authentic and real with one another. That’s one of the gripes he had with Pharisees and other religious leaders, as well as His fellow brothers and sisters.

      It may be that God is calling you to work with Him to help others within your community to become brave enough to make the first step in changing things in a positive way. There is a great movie that came out recently that now is out in DVD and Blu-ray. It’s called “<a href="To Save a Life
      “>To Save a Life.” It’s really well acted and is very inspirational. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend you either rent it or purchase it. You can get it on The above link will take you to view and possibly purchase it. I believe after watching it, God will show you how you can lovingly be a catalyst in inspiring others to become more authentic.

      You will find that some will stay behind their facade because they believe it is working for them and they fear being real. But I believe there are others that would gladly join you in tearing down walls and being in genuine community with other believers who want to experience God in ways they only dream about. It’s hard to say. But even if no one else will live this way, God has obviously called you to this walk. Sometimes it is a lonely walk (which we understand all too well — many don’t understand why we put so much time and effort, finances, and other means into helping other marriages “reflect the love of Christ” because it’s a difficult and sometimes lonely journey), but other times, there are others that will join in this journey as well. I hope you will make this a matter of prayer and then go the way that God leads. May God bless you in this effort.

  2. (UGANDA)  When is someone considered married? I am a born again Christian and early this year I got married without a traditional wedding or a church wedding. I do not have any papers but I was blessed by my mother. My inlaws were not happy about me marrying their son because of the experience they have. Am I married?

  3. (KENYA)  Lets be honest. Marriage is in the heart, not in the papers that people sign nor in the ring. It is the spirit of love in marriage that ought to guide people, and not the law of marriage as has been made by people.

    1. Hmmmmm… Your statement sounds great, but it’s not reality. It’s often made by those who want the choice to climb in and out of relationships, when it is THEIR choice (disregarding the choice of the other “partner”). Unfortunately, a lot of people approach marriage this way, and they SHOULDN’T! You are right in not marrying if the “spirit of love” in your “heart” is not willing to sign some “papers” or live up to the sacred vow given in marriage. But I still disagree with you that cohabitation or sex outside of marriage is a good thing.

  4. (UGANDA) I agree with the whole idea of making things official, etc. However, where I come from the process is rather long and expensive. Book the church, pay for this, get a recommendation letter from your maid of honor’s church, not to mention that you must book 6 months in advance.

    We really want to get married and personally, I want to make things right. Now the worst happened. It turns out all the days are booked for 2012. We have been abstaining for about 3 years now (yes it is true and it is possible). But now it’s getting hard. I am tired of waiting. I am almost even embarrassed to say that we are still waiting. Ceremonies have too much in them that aren’t even in the Bible. Can’t we just get an ordained priest and friends to do the ceremony?