Commonly called ‘sleeping together’ or ‘moving in’ it is having sexual relations without being married (also termed fornication, while adultery is a married person having sex with a person they are not married to). It may be cohabiting in causal ‘one night stands’ with a range of partners or a long-term, de-facto relationship with one person, in which there are the privileges of married life without the commitment. However, just because it is becoming ‘normal’ and acceptable in modern society it is still a violation of God’s moral laws (Ex 20:14; Deut 22:13-29; Mt 15:19). While there is no specific prohibition mentioned, the nature of the Bible teachings places high value on sexual purity, self control and sex only within marriage with ones spouse.
Acts of the sinful nature include sexual immorality which needs to be repented of (2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19). A sexual lifestyle outside the boundaries of marriage, along with numerous other sins will doom people to hell, for “The sexually immoral…will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9,10; Rev 21:8, 22:15). However, like any other wrong-doing, the grace of God can be applied through repenting of the sin and living a changed lifestyle. Repenting involves a total change of direction. If you are already in a sexual relationship before marriage move out, apologise to your partner, repent before God and abstain from further sex until you can get married.
Live by His rules, not human desires
glory to God (1 Cor 6:13,18-20). Common excuses to justify this wrong behaviour include, ‘We really want to show our love to each other’, and ‘We will get married, we just can’t afford to get married yet’. While trial marriages to see if the partners are compatible are common even among Christians, they are still contrary to God’s way.
“There must not even be the hint of sexual immorality or any kind of impurity” (Eph 5:3). The Bible’s message is to “Abstain from sexual immorality…Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality…’ (Act 15:20; Col 3:5). It is God’s will that we should be holy, avoiding sexual immorality through controlling our inner drives, aware that God will punish all such sin that violates marriage (1 Cor 10:8; 1 Thes 4:3-8; Heb 13:4; Jud 1:7). God designed sex for our pleasure, yet He also issued guidelines for its outworking for our benefit, so this gift would be treasured and not abused. Premarital sex (either causal or living together) is sin against the marriage that is yet to be and is accompanied by secrecy, insecurity and guilt feelings – spoiling one of God’s greatest gifts.
It gives a false sense of togetherness (hormones rather than commitment) blinding you to the other things that you need to work on and pushing you into a marriage you are not ready (or maybe not suited) for. Such action erodes your trust in each other, ‘If he couldn’t stop himself before marriage, what’s could be happening after marriage when he is late home?’
The Bible states marriage is the ‘remedy’ for sexual immorality, those who cannot control their sex drives can then fulfill their passions in a moral way as “Each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” (1 Cor 7:2). Thus sex before marriage is included in the Bible definition of sexual immorality and which is condemned (Act 15:20; 2 Tim 2:22). To receive His best we must live according to His rules. Even those having sexual relations before marriage have a higher rate of marriage breakdown.
Satan uses the area of sexuality as one of his main weapons to bring people into bondage and destruction. Statistics clearly point out that this practice often results in the future dysfunction and breakdown of the relationship, followed by ongoing far-from-ideal relations with any other partner or partners.
Set in place and live with robust safeguards
does forgive the sins of the past if they are truly repented of, however the emotional weight of compromise still leaves scaring within, blighting the relationship and bringing bondage through soul ties. Exercise self-control and respect the other enough to wait, so you do not bring a guilty conscience with you into your future life.
See also: abstinence, boundaries, courting, immorality, marriage, self-control, sex, sexual sins, virgin, wedding.