Photo by Chas Petersen
“Falling in love can save you thousands of dollars”
For a little while now I have been thinking about writing an article about the importance of waiting until marriage to live together. When my husband sent me an article featured on Yahoo titled “Falling in love can save you thousands of dollars,” I knew I had to respond. This article claims that proposing the idea of moving in together, instead of proposing to getting married, will mean saving a lot of money, but have you considered the consequences. Now before I get too far I want to go ahead and put a disclaimer on this article, this topic is being addressed and written from a Christian perspective.
Money over Marriage
I couldn’t help but laugh when I read that the “savings [of living together] could make the proposal a little more compelling.” I mean if my husband had said to me 3 years ago that marrying me would be totally worth it for how much we would save in rent I would have laughed and walked away. Who can claim true love when getting married for money purposes? Sounds a little fishy to me. Luckily, two paragraphs later there is a “warning” against moving in with someone just for money reasons – which is kind of funny since isn’t this the point of the article? However, just a few paragraphs later they claim “money is the most common source of discord among American cohabitating couples.” Wait, but wasn’t that the driving purpose behind moving in together in the first place, according to the article? “For money” looks like it belongs on the con part of the pro/con list.
“I always believe in having an exit strategy”
The ending sentence of this article is one of the main reasons I believe that living together before marriage is not good. When people live together during a dating relationship, there is always a voice in the back of your mind reminding you that you can leave at anytime. Sadly there is nothing restraining this thought process from slipping from a dating relationship to a marriage relationship when you have lived with these ideas. When you marry for better or worse, till death do you part there is no “exit strategy.” These words automatically mean that the word “divorce” is not in your vocabulary. You probably should not be thinking of marriage in the first place if you are planning an exit strategy from the beginning, and this could be a sign of some deeper issues that need to be considered before you even begin any relationship. Additionally, if you live with “an exit strategy” always available before marriage, how hard will it be to let go of this once in marriage.
Knowledge before Commitment
I have heard people say it is extremely important to live together before getting married because there is so much you need to learn about the other person before making such a large commitment. I completely disagree. First, let’s remember how the divorce rate has climbed over the last several decades and how morals and standards have changed along with this rate. Secondly, even before you move in together you have to ask tough questions – even the article affirmed this belief. Third, you will never fully know everything about the person you live with. I thought I knew everything about my husband before we were married, and even though we have only been married for a little over a year and a half, I know we will always be learning new things about each other – it happened just this last weekend. As new situations arise in life, there will always be something new to learn about each other, and no amount of living together before hand is going to prepare you for the rest of your life.
A Female Perspective
From a purely female perspective, I cannot imagine living with a man who has all the privileges of being married, but none of the long-term responsibility. I personally do not see the appeal of wasting precious time being in a relationship with someone who has not fully committed to the long term and is just enjoying the benefits from “playing house” until they decide if you are a “good fit” in their life. Building a home together is a physical, spiritual, and emotional process that deserves to be taken seriously. The door to your heart should not be left open for just anyone to come and go as they pleased. You are worth more. You are worth the wait.
Let’s be honest, fighting sexual temptation before marriage is difficult, but doing so while living together… well we can pretty much assume this is not going to happen. Genesis 2:24 gives us a good look into what God has in mind for couples who are committed to having a biblical relationship. When a man and woman come together, they are to become “one flesh.” We see a continuation of this text in Matthew 19:4-6 where we see again that in marriage “they are no longer two, but one flesh” and that “what God has joined together, let not man separate.” In Hebrews 13:4 we find that “marriage is honorable” and that we need to protect and respect what God has created for husband and wife.
Living Together in Marriage
My husband and I have been living together since June 24, 2012 – yes this is the day we got hitched! Although we did not get any “shacking-up discounts” during our several years of dating, we are however benefiting greatly from the choices we made before we were married. Neither of us believes in having an exit strategy, we are both committed to growing together – forever – and learning about each other along the way, and we are glad that we were able to do so while following God’s biblical plan for our lives.