Traditional Family Values Part 8: The Issue of Cohabitation

Traditional Family Values A 12 Part Series

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In our previous discussions, we have explored the foundational principles of traditional family values

This week, we will address the issue of cohabitation. Understanding the Christian view on cohabitation and its effects on society helps us appreciate the importance of commitment within marriage.

Christian View on Cohabitation

Cohabitation, or living together without being married, has become increasingly common in modern society. However, the Bible provides clear guidance on this issue, emphasizing the importance of sexual purity and commitment within marriage.

1 Corinthians 6:18 instructs, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” This verse highlights the importance of avoiding sexual immorality, which includes cohabitation without the commitment of marriage. The Christian view is that sexual relations should be reserved for marriage, where there is a covenantal commitment between the couple.

John 4 gives us a perfect example of how Jesus lovingly interacted with a person who chose to cohabit before marriage. In this passage, Jesus was passing through a Samaritan town on the way to Galilee. There He meets a woman at the well drawing water and engages her in a conversation. Jesus addresses her living situation directly but with compassion and grace, demonstrating that while sin must be acknowledged, it can be forgiven and redeemed through God’s love.

Problems with Lack of Commitment and Increased Temptation

Cohabitation often lacks the same level of commitment as marriage. Couples who live together without being married may find it easier to separate when conflicts arise, leading to a less stable and secure relationship. This lack of commitment can also increase the likelihood of infidelity and other relational issues.

Moreover, cohabitation can lead to increased temptation and compromise. Living together without the commitment of marriage often means engaging in sexual relations outside of the covenantal framework designed by God. This can lead to spiritual, emotional, and relational consequences that affect both individuals and their relationship.

Scholar Galena Rhoades notes that by living together, couples may develop a thought pattern of “what if this doesn’t work out,” which can undermine the sense of commitment essential to a thriving marriage.

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Living Together Before Marriage: Culture vs. the Bible

In modern culture, cohabitation is often seen as a practical step in a romantic relationship. Couples may live together for convenience, financial benefits, or to test their compatibility. However, these reasons can undermine the commitment and sacredness that God intended for marriage.

God’s design for marriage, as established in Genesis 2:24, is for a man to leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, becoming one flesh. This union is part of God’s good and perfect creation, meant to reflect His covenantal love and commitment to His people.

Cohabitation is a distortion of this divine plan. It presents a counterfeit of the marriage covenant, offering the semblance of intimacy and partnership without the full commitment and sanctity of marriage.

The Rise of Cohabitation and Its Effects on Society

The rise of cohabitation has significant implications for society. Studies have shown that cohabiting relationships are generally less stable than marriages. Couples who cohabit before marriage are more likely to experience marital dissatisfaction and divorce compared to those who do not live together before marriage.

Furthermore, cohabitation can have adverse effects on children. Research indicates that children born to cohabiting parents are more likely to experience instability, lower academic performance, and behavioral problems compared to children born to married parents. The lack of a stable family structure can impact a child’s development and future well-being.

Addressing Cohabitation with Grace and Truth

When addressing the issue of cohabitation with loved ones, it is crucial to approach the conversation with grace and truth. Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman provides a model for how to lovingly confront sin while offering hope and redemption.

John 4:16-18 shows Jesus pointing out the woman’s sin without condemnation, instead offering her the living water of eternal life. Similarly, Christians should address the issue of cohabitation with compassion, focusing on the hope and transformation found in Christ.

It is important to communicate that cohabitation is not part of God’s design for relationships and that sexual immorality is a serious matter. However, the conversation should also emphasize God’s grace and the possibility of repentance and forgiveness.


The issue of cohabitation highlights the importance of commitment and the biblical principles of sexual purity and marriage. By understanding and embracing these principles, individuals can build stronger, more stable relationships that align with God’s design. As we continue this series, let us strive to uphold the sanctity of marriage and promote the value of commitment within our relationships.

Call to Action

As we reflect on the issue of cohabitation, let us commit to promoting the biblical principles of marriage and sexual purity in our own lives and communities. By encouraging commitment and providing support for those considering marriage, we can help create a more stable and loving society. Let us pray for wisdom, strength, and guidance as we uphold the sanctity of marriage and support one another in our journey of faith.

Here are the current series as of this post, and you can see the entire series on the SERIES LINK.

  • Part 1: Introduction: The Bedrock of Civilization (link)
  • Part 2: The Biblical Foundation of Marriage (link)
  • Part 3: Marriage as Essential to Human Happiness (link)
  • Part 4: The Universal Institution of Marriage (link)
  • Part 5: The Role of Parents in a Traditional Family (link)
  • Part 6: The Biblical Perspective on Divorce (link)
  • Part 7: The Covenant of Marriage and Overcoming Challenges (link)


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Jeff Bayard
Diligent Content Manager and composer at the Virginia Christian Alliance, curating and managing articles that uphold Christian values, conservative ideals, and the enduring principles of the U.S. Constitution. With a keen eye for detail and a heart for truth, ensuring that our content resonates with our readers and stays true to our mission. Work: A seasoned professional at a leading freight forwarding company, dedicated to helping logistics and supply chain professionals eliminate disruptions, increase shipment visibility, and accelerate sales growth. With his extensive experience and expertise, Jeff ensures seamless and efficient operations, driving success for his clients.