What Does the Bible Say About Premarital Cohabitation

What Does the Bible Say About Premarital Cohabitation?

In today’s culture, premarital cohabitation has become increasingly common. Many couples choose to live together before getting married, considering it a way to test their compatibility and strengthen their relationship. However, for those who hold a deep reverence for the Bible and its teachings, the question arises: What does the Bible say about premarital cohabitation?

The Bible does not explicitly mention premarital cohabitation, as the concept of cohabitation was not common during biblical times. However, the Bible provides principles and guidance that can shed light on this issue. Let’s explore some key passages and principles that address premarital cohabitation:

1. God’s Design for Marriage: The Bible clearly establishes marriage as a sacred union between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24). It emphasizes the importance of commitment and fidelity within this covenant relationship.

2. Sexual Purity: The Bible repeatedly calls believers to abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). Premarital cohabitation often involves sexual intimacy outside the bounds of marriage, which goes against this biblical principle.

3. Fleeing from Temptation: The Bible encourages believers to flee from temptation (1 Corinthians 6:18). Living together before marriage may potentially increase the likelihood of engaging in sexual activity before the proper commitment of marriage.

4. Holiness and Sanctification: The Bible urges believers to pursue holiness and sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:7). Premarital cohabitation may not align with this pursuit, as it can blur the lines of commitment and undermine the sanctity of marriage.

5. Honoring Authority: The Bible emphasizes honoring authority and submitting to societal norms (Romans 13:1-7). Premarital cohabitation may be seen as disregarding societal expectations and the institution of marriage.

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6. Setting an Example: The Bible encourages believers to set an example for others through their actions (1 Timothy 4:12). Those who claim to follow Christ are called to live in a way that reflects biblical principles. Premarital cohabitation may send a conflicting message to others.

7. The Importance of Marriage: Throughout the Bible, marriage is held in high regard and considered a sacred covenant. Premarital cohabitation may not align with this view, as it can devalue the significance of marriage.


1. Is premarital cohabitation a sin?
While the Bible does not explicitly mention premarital cohabitation, it does call believers to sexual purity and holiness. Engaging in sexual activity outside the bounds of marriage is considered a sin according to biblical principles.

2. Can premarital cohabitation harm a relationship?
Premarital cohabitation can have negative effects on a relationship. Studies have shown that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to experience higher rates of divorce, lower relationship satisfaction, and poorer communication.

3. What if we want to test compatibility before marriage?
Compatibility can be tested in various ways, such as open and honest communication, spending quality time together, and seeking premarital counseling. It is important to remember that marriage requires commitment, and testing compatibility through premarital cohabitation may not necessarily guarantee a successful marriage.

4. Can we live together without engaging in sexual activity?
While it is possible for couples to live together without engaging in sexual activity, it can be challenging. The Bible encourages believers to flee from temptation, and living together may present increased opportunities to engage in sexual immorality.

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5. Is it okay to live together if we plan to get married?
While it may be tempting to live together before marriage, it is important to consider biblical principles and the potential consequences. It is best to honor God’s design for marriage and wait until after marriage to live together.

6. What if we have already lived together before finding Christ?
If you have already lived together before finding Christ, it is important to seek forgiveness and make a commitment to follow biblical principles moving forward. God’s grace is available to all who repent and seek transformation.

7. How can we honor God in our relationship?
Honor God in your relationship seeking His guidance through prayer, studying His Word, and seeking accountability from other believers. Strive to live in alignment with His principles of love, commitment, and sexual purity.

While the Bible may not explicitly address premarital cohabitation, it provides principles that guide believers in making decisions that honor God and reflect His design for marriage. As Christians, it is essential to seek wisdom and discernment in navigating the complexities of relationships, always striving to live in a way that brings glory to God.

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