What do You do When You’re Already Living Together

By CCD contributor: Zhi Xian , February 08, 2018 00:02 AM

A couple holds hands. (unsplash.com)

Pre-marital cohabitation is no longer surprising in relationships. This phenomenon not only exists in the world but within the church.

When people are stuck in the swamp of pre-marital cohabitation, from the perspectives of Christianity, what should be done?

In dealing with teenagers and teenage Christians, I discovered that people end up living together for several reasons. Some people cohabit out of curiosity for sex and a great longing for the other half, some people open themselves up to express their deep love, and some are led into cohabitation through lies.

However, what comes after the so-called wonderful visions are endless fear and anxiety.

The first is the reproach of conscience. Christians are uneasy and miserable when living in sin. The second is the requirement of the law. People are tortured by the inner conflicts knowing the Bible forbids it. The last is the worry of the Holy Spirit. When a saved person commits sin, God's heart isn't comforted, so he or she will lose the joy of Christ.

However, nothing is impossible in Jesus Christ and no hurt can't be restored by Him. For those who're living together, maybe they should return to Jesus if they want to solve the burden of their heart.

We shall talk about this in several aspects:

Attitude toward God:

1. Truly repent before God. People should realize that pre-marital cohabitation is sin which does not please God and angers Him.

It takes the attitude of heart-rending and humility of "sackcloth and ashes" for it is sin against their own body.

2. Look up to the grace of God after confessing sins. Many times Satan will accuse us, and that's when we should rely more on God's grace. We have no other way out except through him. We need to receive God's grace with faith.

3. New resolution: "Victory or failure, we're always the children of God."

4. God will never forsake us. The fact that God loves us will never change. God takes in sinners not because of their actions, but because of His love. We should look up to God steadily, call on Him, and not doubt His love for us.

Attitude toward the church:

1. It is very necessary to communicate with elders in the church. The church has its corresponding authority and rights. Sexual immorality is a sin against one's body, so the problem is beyond the person involved, but also the church.

2. Find a spiritual elder to face this with you. Some people are afraid of rebuke and unwilling to share with the church about pre-marital cohabitation; however, in reality they do need help.

Find a spiritual elder with experience in such matters to guide you, share your feelings so that he or she will give you good advice in Christ. In this way, people will gradually find a way in the Word of God.

3. Humbly accept the church's decision. Many churches have corresponding principles and methods for dealing with Christians who are engaged in pre-marital cohabitation and affairs. These methods are not to despise or expel anyone; they're merely to protect the holiness and authority of the church as well as a symbolic attitude that indicates sins are not welcome.

So people should obey these decisions and reflect on their actions in the process in order not to displease God on this matter in the future.

Attitude toward living together:

1. Stop living together. This is very important and true redemption must come with the change in actions.

2. Reflect on one's action. Those who live together must be responsible in some ways, so they need to reflect on their problems to prevent them from happening again.

3. Revaluate the relationship. Many people feel like they have to marry each other since they're already living together. I don't deny that people living together should think twice about a breakup, but they should see God's plan in their marriages. Don't regret for a lifetime over one poor choice.

Other questions:

1. I'm married but we lived together before our wedding, what should we do?

If you were a Christian before you got married, you should talk to some people in the church as well. For the condemnation in your heart won't go away and nor will the accusation of Satan stop unless you seek communication, after which the relevant personnel will tell you how to handle it.

2. Is it ok to share a place without sex?

It depends on the definition of "living." If it is a shared house and each one has his or her own room without any inappropriate actions, then it is ok. However, sleeping in one bed even without sex is highly inappropriate.

In fact, sex has many forms. We should care more about more than the final action and keep our eyes and heart within bounds. So I suggest brothers and sisters stay away from temptation for people are all weak.

3. Will my life be filled with misery if we live together before marriage?

God is graceful and compassionate, but people still have to pay for their own actions. Just like David paid a price for his sin and Samson paid for his. So there is a price to pay if we sin.

However, as long as we look up to God and submit to Him, then God will restore and bless us again.

-Translated by Grace Hubl

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