Is It Wrong To Stay In The Same House Before Marriage?

question-mark-Pixabay - 1927457_1920The following is a question posed to Marriage Missions: Is it wrong for two single people stay together in the same house before they get married? What if it is just a day here and a day there —and even if it’s claimed that it is due to logistical/geographical or traveling reasons? What if it’s claimed that they’re not having sexual relations together? The man is sleeping on the floor and the lady is sleeping on the bed.

Cindy Wright’s ANSWER:

I wish we could say that it would be just fine for this couple to stay in the same house alone together before they marry.  I’m sure it would be much more convenient that way. But the problem isn’t just that they’re staying in the same house together when they’re single. They could be very innocent in their motives and their actions. The problems run deeper.

Before I was a Christian, I was in that kind of situation several times and I still stayed pure. So I know it is possible.

The problem is, that they are putting themselves into a situation, which gives the enemy of our faith a foothold to tempt them. The spiritual enemy of darkness is very clever and wants to rob them of being pure for their wedding night. He will stop at nothing to convince them that they can give in to their temptation and they’ll be just fine. (A good example of this is what happened to Adam and Eve, and the temptation hold.)

This is true even if one or both of them has had sexual relations before this. When you know something to be sin, you are to stop immediately and not do it again.

Stealing Victory

The enemy of our faith wants to steal from us and God any type of spiritual victory that’s possible. For this reason the temptations are very tuned in to the person who is being tempted. So there’s more of a possibility of making the fall into sin. God’s enemies know each one of us personally. They have studied what has the best chance of bringing us down. The purpose in doing this is to displease God and hurt His heart.

The Bible says to flee temptation. So this couple needs to know that if they put themselves into a place where they are alone with their temptation. They are vulnerable and aren’t obeying God’s warnings.

Also, the Bible tells us to stay away from even the “appearance of evil.” If this couple stays together like this —even if they are innocent, they will give fuel to those who can accuse them of doing more than they are. Many people would never believe that a couple could stay together in circumstances like this. They believe they will fall into sin. So the lies could take root in someone else’s mind (even if this couple is innocent). This will hurt their testimony and the testimony of Christ. And because we aren’t supposed to be a stumbling block to someone who is weaker in their faith, this could put them into that kind of situation.

Possible Solutions to Stay Away from Wrong Impressions

If this couple asks a friend or relative to stay in the home when they are there together, then this could work. That is as long as the person is trust-worthy. You don’t want someone that could lie about the situation afterward. Or maybe one or the other could stay with a friend or relative in the area during these times. They’re bound to know someone who could make this possible.

The main thing is… you want to keep the relationship in the best light possible until they marry. I’ve never heard of a person who takes the higher road by protecting how things appear to be, to regret it later. But I’ve heard of many who give in, only to deeply regret it later.

I pray this answer will help in some way. I really admire the integrity of any couple who chooses stay pure. Doing things God’s way is commendable. There are not enough people consider God’s feelings in all of this. Congratulate this couple for me. I’m proud of them.

You may also want to look further in our web site in the Sex Before Marriage topic for more insights.

— ALSO —

What about vacationing together before marriage? To read a great article posted on Crosswalk.com on this subject, please click onto:

HE SAID – SHE SAID: UNMARRIED AND VACATIONING TOGETHER

If you have additional tips you can share to help others on this issue, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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32 responses to “Is It Wrong To Stay In The Same House Before Marriage?

  1. (NIGERIA)  I am seeing a guy that says it’s OK to sleep in each other’s houses even though we are not married and the subject of marriage has not even been brought up. I feel so guilty each time we do this although we never do anything. I haven’t been in this situation before and I would like some advice. I don’t want to lose him because I am falling in love with him.

    1. Hi Joanna, You have a brain that God gave to you and a sense of what is right and what is wrong. If you feel guilty doing this, you shouldn’t (you shouldn’t anyway, as you can read from the article). If you lose him because he insists on this over your objections… then you may not be losing much — even though you think you could be at this point. I’m thinking this is just the tip of the iceberg on other things you won’t want done that he will do anyway, no matter how much you object. NOW is the time to stand your ground and see if he is man enough to protect your feelings. If he won’t, then he isn’t a gentleman… he’s out for what HE wants, no matter what you want. Please realize this.

      Your reputation and keeping yourself out of temptation’s grasp is more important than losing someone who won’t honor you. PLEASE stand up for what your conscience is telling you. God may be trying to protect you from falling into sin at some point in the future and if you ignore His nudging and go the way of a man who won’t honor your objections, you will live to regret it, BIG TIME! I pray you will have the strength of character and resolve to be a woman who does not give in to doing that which you shouldn’t, no matter what a man you care for is trying to persuade you to do.

  2. (SOUTH AFRICA)  My question is are we married in the eyes of God? I have been with my ‘husband’ for a total of 4 years, we have both recently dedicated our lives to Christ. We have been living together almost from the first 3 month of dating. We each have children from previous relationships and 1 of our own.

    The question is, as our culture dictates his family has to meet my family to formally ask for my hand in marriage and then show their intent by bringing a token – in the olden days this was cows in this modern day it’s money. This follows a lengthy process where the total sum of money (dowry) expected from the man’s family to the woman’s is discussed, paid off over a few ceremonies and then a western wedding seals it all, if that is what the couple prefers, otherwise traditional marriages are also recognised in this country.

    Right now, my husband has taken the first step and got his family to have the initial meeting with my family and paid an initial amount in June 2009. Shortly after that he lost his job and has been battling to get work, meaning he has not been able to complete the dowry process as it’s financially not possible. We consider ourselves married, but are we really in the eyes of God?

    1. Hi Jacqui, The question you ask is a very, very difficult one to answer. But I will do my best (after pursuing the advice of several other godly people to give “counsel” as to what to write to you) concerning whether you are “really” married in the “eyes of God.” I do not want to give you an “Americanized” answer to your question and have been seeking God’s mind and heart on this matter, hoping that I’m able to write the words Christ would give, rather than my own opinion, or someone else’s.

      But I encourage you to pray about the “answer” I’m giving. No human being completely knows the mind and heart of God, so I encourage you to pray that the Holy Spirit will confirm to you whether or not what I’m writing is truth as He shows you. This is an important thing to do whenever you seek counsel from human beings. Seek the Holy Spirit as your “Wonderful Counselor” (which is how He is referred, in the Bible). As you do so, I pray with you that the Lord will help you both discern the will of God… even if it differs from that which any human being would advise.

      Jacqui, I need to tell you out-right, that I feel led NOT to answer your question, as to whether you are married or not in the eyes of God in your current circumstances. As one counselor advised, concerning this question, “This is where the cultural differences might be the most pronounced. Even here in our culture, there are differences about how to define legal marriage.” And I believe his discernment over this matter is a wise one.

      As we can read in the Bible, there ARE marriage ceremonies mentioned (so they can be an important public acknowledgement of the covenant agreement you are entering into — much like baptism is a public acknowledgement of a deeper relationship being entered into with God), but there is no pronouncement in the Bible that says that a certain type of ceremony is the set method that causes a couple to be recognized by God for them to be married. That seems to be more of a cultural and an individual preference. It’s a fun one– a great way to make a public profession and a celebration of personal commitments to each other and God, concerning your marriage vows, but not mandatory, from what I discern.

      A Counselor who was on staff at a church located in our city wrote the following, in response to your question, that might be good for you to prayerfully consider: “We faced similar situations with couples living together and wanting to make it ‘right’ in God’s eyes. We often suggested that couples consider this approach: Have a private ceremony to ‘make it right biblically’ and then at some later date have the formal church wedding. Many couple’s friends and family never knew they were already legally married when they attended the church wedding. However, it brought peace of mind to the couple (who were often new Christians) who wanted to be obedient to what they were learning was a biblical perspective on marriage. It was not possible for couples with children to separate prior to the church wedding, so it made sense to us to suggest this option.”

      Jacqui, I believe this may be a good option for you. Whether you decide to tell others about your small ceremony or not, is something for you both to decide, as the Lord leads. Plus, it may be good for your “husband” to continue to pursue going through the cultural “dictates” as it pertains to the dowry, when he’s able. It will probably ease your mind from living with the questions you now have, plus, you’d have the added benefit of erasing questions that might be in the minds of others that could see your current living arrangements as “questionable” Biblically, and make matters less complicated when explaining your relationship in the future.

      I pray that somehow the Lord provides the way for this to happen by blessing you both financially, as you both pursue in making this happen. I also pray that the Lord helps you to grow strong in your relationship with Him and with each other. It will take intentionality and perseverance on your parts to join Him in doing this, but I can tell you that it is well worth it! May He bless you abundantly!

  3. (USA)  Due to financial reasons (my husband died leaving me with no insurance, and I was a housewife with no income) I have to lodge my new long distance boyfriend when he flies in to visit. He already spends so many $ in tickets. I can’t bear too see him break the bank at a hotel/motel. It’s fine and nothing has happened. He learns to love my kids more by staying over, which is good. You might say, if he can afford tickets but not a hotel, then he shouldn’t visit us. Well that is a horrible prospect. The relationship cannot progress with out in person visits. We hope to get engaged.

    I go to church 6 days a week (well, I drop my kid off at a Bible school). How is that for accountability?

    I REALLY DO NOT CARE what things look like at this point because I have experienced death, and guess what? Death of my husband feels worse than someone judging me (with their mind in the gutter, what about THEIR minds forget appearances). Every time I feel a twinge of pain knowing that someone at church might think we are fornicating, I remember the bigger pain I felt holding my husband as he died, and I feel fine. I don’t need an audience for my chastity; thats gross. I’m not on display. I have already lived the benefits of a chaste marriage (been there, done that) why would I want want something less? You don’t settle when you have had the best. That’s just common sense.

    This just isn’t practical advice for very young widows, sorry. But we are rare so I get it.

    People who are fasting aren’t supposed to make a big show of it so I’m not flaunting how I’m not having sex. I think people who really know you can tell (people who are sexually active with each other behave differently in public), and strangers can stay strangers if they are going to be that way.

    And you know what? If my church has something to say about it, then why don’t they give me some money so I can house his visits then? If they want to protect my honor (like my husband used to). Yeah. I didn’t think so. So easy to complain. The Bible says a portion of tithes goes to widows and her orphans (biblical orphan means fatherless) but that isn’t happening either. So I make due with what little money I have. I think that they can shut up now honestly unless they want to give me tangible help. It is not polite to admonish unless you also offer a solution.

    Sorry for the vent but I left my old church and go to a new one (I am exploring my BFs church) because they simply do not get the plight of the widow. Only Jesus understands apparently. He is the only audience I need to my virtue.

    Good advice for the 99% though. Thats what I believed the first time around.

  4. (KENYA) This is bothering me so much. There is this guy I met this month. He says he luvs me and wants to make me a happy woman. I love him too but the problem is that I visited him @ his house and we made love. He is a God loving man and I like that. Are we doing the right thing?

    He is 32 years old and I am 23 years. He wants me to meet his mum next month. On the other side he is my mum’s friend. I feel confused!

    1. (USA) According to God, you are sinning. It’s fornication so as much as you both claim to love God you are obeying Satan and hurting God. Please read God’s word concerning this, it is NOT okay. Prayers you will seek God’s truth on this.

    2. Shania, you do not mention that your mum knows that you are in love with her friend or not as you said he is you mother’s friend. If your mum does not know anything about that then try to let her know. Do not make surprises in love. You can meet his mum as he wants you to do so. It means that the guy when he loves he loves for real so do not disappoint him. Go and meet his mum, otherwise the gap of one year is right because is less than 10 more than 5.

  5. (USA) My boyfriend and I recently decided to get married after living together for 8 years. My daughter who is 15 from a previous marriage also, whose father has passed away is having a issue with us getting married. I have talked with my pastor about it and try to explain to her about us living in sin because we aren’t married and that we will be closer to God if we do get married. I know I’m not using my pastor’s exact words but I think you will get what I’m trying to say.

    I just joined the church like a month ago and I’m trying to learn the Bible and live right according to God, or I should say walk a righteous path. How do I explain this to my daughter who I know doesn’t care to hear about fornication and probably doesn’t really care what I say about the Bible? I think she’s afraid of losing me to my boyfriend. My daughter and I are very close. Please help with advice. Karen

    1. Karen, You don’t mention what your boyfriend’s standing is with the Lord. You mention that you are trying to “walk a righteous path” but is he? Are you both mutually committed to your spiritual growth or is one or the other of you lagging behind a bit? Also, what about your commitment to marriage… are you both set on marrying because you want to spend the rest of your lives together, with no one or anything else coming between you? Is there any type of abuse going on… even concerning substance abuse? Are there other concerns that your daughter has voiced about your boyfriend that is a type of “red flag” that you should heed? He has and especially will be a HUGE part of your lives… is that a good idea, if there are warning flags waving? What about his fidelity, his conflict resolution skills, his ability to share a life with you and not want to cling onto his own private life apart from you… etc?

      Please answer these questions honestly, not just in ways that you think we’d want to hear. Now is the time to truly consider whether or not you SHOULD marry. There are a lot of articles posted on this web site that could help you as you pray about all of this. Pay attention to what God is telling you in the back of your mind, as to whether or not you are both fit to marry each other. Marriage is not just about escaping from “living in sin” but in taking a step that you know you BOTH are ready for. Marriage is for grown-ups –those who are committed to working on their relationship, and growth (individually, together as a couple, spiritually, and emotionally) to WORK to improve it for the rest of your lives together. Your daughter is right in thinking she will be “losing” you to your husband… if your boyfriend becomes your husband. Your marriage will forever change her position in your life. It’s not that you can’t still have a great relationship with your daughter (if she will allow it once you marry) –it’s just that you will not be able to keep her in the position of being first place in your priorities. She can be a close second, but she can’t overshadow your husband. Stepchildren (particularly teenagers) are very good at trying to distance their parent and a stepparent.

      Please prayerfully and honestly answer the questions I posed. They may help you in making a wiser decision as to whether you should marry your boyfriend now or ever. Don’t project your wishes into your answers, but rather be honest… allowing God to help you make the wisest of decisions. I hope you are able to do this. I truly wish you well.

    2. Karena, your life will be difficult between you and your daughter if you will continue to marry your boy lover while you daughter does not want you to marry him. So my advice is to try to convince your daughter until she agrees with you, if she does not agree and understands then do not marry your boy lover, otherwise your daughter wont stay with you for the rest of your life.

  6. My fiance is a Preacher and he just bought a house for us. He wants me to live there with him prior to our marriage. I have reservations about this… but he keeps stating that there is no where in the Bible where it states that a man and woman can’t live together before marriage, especially since they are getting married. Is this the case?

    1. Dear Marie, The act of living with each other isn’t necessarily wrong. However, it appears wrong. Like in the article above, she states from the Bible (flee from the appearance of evil). Therefore, I would say living together before marriage appears evil and is of the world. I’d encourage you not to live with him before marriage and hope you choose wisely. God wants your obedience and in return Jesus gives blessing. God bless.

    2. Marie, there is no where in the Bible where it states that a man and woman can live together before marriage. So, do not live with him in his house until he marries you. I say that because if you live with him before marriage you can do things that should be done ONLY after marriage. Can I ask you a question ”your fiance is a real PREACHER?” If yes then he can’t say this.

  7. I agree with the comments made about why it would not be a good idea for a couple in love to stay under the same roof overnight until they are married. I know that it’s possible to do it and not sin because I have done it MANY TIMES. It’s a lot easier when BOTH people have made a conscious decision to say NO to the temptation. The problem of course that cannot be rectified is the perception that others may have who may be watching them stay the night together.

    What kills me though, is that most Christians would not have a problem with you visitng your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s house during the day and the two of you being alone in the house. Duuuh! Can’t people have sex in the day!? Granted the temptation would be longer nad maybe even greater as the evening draws on and the time goes into the wee hours of the morning but if we wanted to biblically correct, an unmarried couple should really NEVER please themselves in a position to be unduly tempted to have sex, day or night. RIGHT??

  8. I know a Christian couple who don’t live together but stay in a house all day together without anyone with them. They both have children from their previous marriages. The children go with the other parent every other weekend. So they have one weekend alone. The man has his daughter every other week and weekend and allows the daughter to live with the woman. He leaves every night around 10pm or 11pm.

    With me being a new Christian, attending the same church and being the neighbor of this couple, is this right? And is this right by the man’s daughter?

    1. Congratulations on being a new Christian! I pray you keep growing in your faith and fall deeper in love with the Lord every day. I also hope that as you look at people like this couple who should know better, but do it anyway, they will not taint your walk with Christ. It’s a crying shame –literally, that many who say they are followers of Christ live contrary to the way they should. Even if they are not having sex together outside of marriage, the Bible tells us to refrain from even “the appearance of evil” because it can be a stumbling block to those who are weak in their faith. Pray for them, that God convicts their hearts and they will follow God’s lead to NOT live this way. Also pray for those children. What a horrible witness this is to them.

  9. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years but have know each other for almost six years. He lives in California and I live in Tennessee. I’m almost 24 and still living with family. I’m ready to go out and start my life. My boyfriend and I have been talking and I’ve decided I want to go live with him and his family (him, his parents, his brother, and his sister). We’ve already agreed to not have sex before getting married, and his parents, being Christian themselves, wouldn’t allow it anyway, but they’re happy to let me live there.

    I’ve talked to 3 very Godly people in my life about this and they support me moving, but whenever I mention it to my grandma, she starts crying and telling me it’s wrong and giving me reasons to feel guilty about leaving her (she’s the one I’m currently living with). I’ve been looking for answers about this situation, but I can’t find anything.

    1. Hi Anonymous, I hope this answer is not too late. I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children. We had a similar long distance relationship before we married (for 3 years I lived in the USA, and my wife lived in the Netherlands). Yes you sound ready to go out and start living your own life at age 24.

      Since you’re looking for answers… My own answer from my own experience as well as that of friends of ours who have lived with family the way you describe is… It’s not a good way to go, and at best is very temporary. You absolutely need the privacy of your own home, especially at the beginning of a marriage.

      Your grandmother, with whom you are now living, is of course upset at the thought of your moving… this is very understandable. She’s supporting her position by saying it’s wrong- also very understandable. In a way she is right. It’s wrong in the sense that you’re not married and are putting yourself in a compromising position by living in the same house, albeit with family. (That sounds good, but it only makes things more complicated.)

      My wife and I waited to marry until I had finished my schooling in the U.S. I then moved to the Netherlands, and married that same week. I am SO GLAD I waited, instead of going earlier and living with her family. WP (Work in Progress)

    2. Anonymous, That is not the right way to go and live with his family before marriage because that can lead you to have sex before marriage. It is not easy to avoid having sex when you live together. My advice is “talk with him telling him to marry you.”
      When telling him, do not tell him directly…show him by doings, then if he is an intelligent person, he will promptly see and do something according to that.

  10. I am a Christian and recently got filled with the holy spirit. I live at my girlfriend’s house as I have nowhere to stay. I sleep in her room but not in the same bed. Her brother and uncle live with us. Are we safe?

    1. Hi Malik, Your question is like asking, “Am I safe?” when walking along a narrow railing with a long fall on both sides to a concrete surface below. I don’t want to be blunt, but I would say it’s a very bad idea. Is your girlfriend also believing? The fact that you’re asking this question via this site means you know the answer already in your heart.

      I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children. My (then) girlfriend and I had the same dilemma before we were married when she visited me. (I lived then in the west of the USA and she lived in the Netherlands. We knew each other for 3 years via telephone and airmail- we didn’t have the Internet, and we visited each other 3 times during that period.) The temptation was strong to just have her stay with me, but we both knew this was not a good plan. So she stayed with a good friend of mine instead.

      It is far better if you find another place to stay. It is also far better, when and if you marry, to have your own place with your own privacy. Living with family, (either yours or hers) is asking for big problems. You’re doing well Malik, to question this line of action. You and your girlfriend deserve better than what you have now. Take care, WP (Work in Progress)

    2. Malik, You are not safe. Why in your girlfriends house + and you live both with her siblings? You are wrong. In Swaziland we used to say “You are wearing an iron jacket.” (bakugcokise lijazi lensimbi). I can say try to pack and go home.

  11. Hey, I read all the responses but I’m in a sticky position. My fiance and I are living in the same house; we don’t sleep together and we don’t use the same bathroom. I had no choice because where I used to live is not convenient because it’s a place that was rented and a bar is behind it. I have no parents and my sister’s live far away from me. I tried to rent somewhere else near to where I work but was unsuccessful. I know in my heart and the Lord knows I’m trying to live a holy life. Any advice?

  12. Please, my mum refused to give consent to my marriage and I am currently living with a man for almost 2 years now and we are having sex together. I can’t even pray or concentrate on my spiritual life and I feel I can’t live without him. Please, what do I do? I don’t have a baby yet?

    1. Adaeze, It’s difficult to answer your question because there are so many other questions that would need to be answered. I’m not sure why you are living with this man if you are not married. The fact that you “can’t live without him” is not enough of an answer. I understand how you can feel so deeply for someone that you feel you can’t live without them. But please know that this means you are putting him in a place of being a god to you. You are giving more priority to yourself and this man than pleasing our REAL God –our Heavenly Father. Can you live without Him? Which one do you want to please more?

      I’m also not sure why your mum does not want to give you the consent to marry. Is it because she sees something in this guy that is harmful to you? Perhaps he has a horrible temper, he is violent, is married to someone else while living with you, or he appears to love himself and his own needs above yours (the fact that he is having sex with you when it is affecting you so horribly makes me wonder about that one). I’m just not sure. Something isn’t right here.

      There are some parents that don’t want their “child” to marry anyone. We see that sometimes. In that case, you may need to marry despite that parent’s desire. But most of the time, there is some good reason why the parent won’t give consent. Please try to look at it objectively. Plus, is it just your mum that feels that way? Are there others who are telling you that you shouldn’t marry him? If so, consider what they are saying that you may not want to truly look at in the fullness of truth.

      I can tell you that marrying the wrong person won’t improve your ability to pray or concentrate on your spiritual life. Marrying the wrong person can make all of this even worse. Do what is right FIRST; stop living with this guy. Make sure he honors God, honors you, and the commitment of marriage first, and THEN go from there. If you BOTH honor God and the sanctity of marriage, then marrying makes sense, and you will have a blessed life together. Please prayerfully consider what I am saying here.

  13. I am a devout Christian, spirit filled woman, 37 years old. My boyfriend of 7 months lives in another state. He faithfully comes to visit once or twice a month and rents a hotel room. Recently, he suffered two tragic losses in his family. He wants me to come see him and spend the night with him for his comfort and he promises to not fornicate with me. It sounds like a very well thought out trap. On one hand, everyone is saying to keep away from the appearance of evil. If we are together, doing things that we can do in public, in private and know one knows, is it still the appearance of evil?
    Deep down, I want him to honor me but he wants me to compromise and see if he can keep his promise. So this is not a living together situation. I would yell from the roof top how wrong that is. Its a one night deal so we can spend as much time together as possible and he can have some comfort. He thinks he is too old to follow strict rules. (He’s 42).

    1. Beach Flower, I am 67 years old and if I didn’t follow the “strict rules” of scripture (which are there to protect us, not punish us) then I would have fallen into sin many years ago that could have destroyed my marriage. This man gave you a big red warning flag. To me it does not sound like he is a man of integrity who wants to protect you and your walk with Christ. That still, small voice inside of you is the Holy Spirit giving you a warning. It will never force you to do what you know is right, but it will give you every chance to DO what is right in the sight of God. Yes, it may mean losing the relationship; but if he bails on you for this, then he was never worth the time or effort.