Adult children of divorce rarely vocalize “I’m afraid,” but fears creep along the corners of our minds like bugs in the shadows. Amidst those things we dread are inadequacy, conflict, and abandonment, but the fear of marriage lurks closest to the surface. When we see our parent’s marriage collapse… and our neighbors’, half of our friends’, and their parents, and even people at church, it’s no wonder we approach the nuptials with foreboding.
Those brave enough to push through their trepidation, find weak or missing templates for achieving a successful marriage. Consequently, a trial-run makes sense on the surface. An old Barry Manilow tune, “Why Don’t We Live Together” sums up the sentiment; “Why don’t’ we live together. Only the two of us, we’ll learn to trust. Don’t have to say forever, ‘Cause we know the rain could start and break our hearts….And still have our wings to fly, if love should die.”1
These lyrics came to mind after reading a recent survey of cohabiting couples from PostiveSingles.com. To my surprise, 45% of their respondents didn’t think living together was a good idea. Additionally most of their members believe marriage is the best solution for a stable relationship.2 The Bible agrees stating, “because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”3 But is this realistic in the 21st century?
This series will look at some commonly held “advantages” to cohabitation:
- Economic benefits – we’ll save money living together
- We need to confirm our compatibility before we tie the knot
- Without the marriage certificate, it will be easier for us to part ways if the relationship doesn’t work out
- Though he isn’t enthusiastic about marriage now, he’ll come around after he sees how great living with me is.
God lamented that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”4 Let’s allow His truth to allay our fears and illuminate our path to the relational happiness we desire.
1Barry Manilow, Trying to Get the Feeling, 1975, Written by Phillip Galdston & Peter Thom
31 Corinthians 7:2, English Standard Version
4Hosea 4:6, English Standard Version.