Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Don't Cohabitate Before Marriage

This is the first installment of the  "Spouseisms" blogs in which I will offer pearls of wisdom about marriage, some more hilarious than others. :)

Don't Live Together Before Marriage

Is there any surprise where I stand on this issue? If you know me, you can hear my voice when I say, "Seriously?! You better not!"

Really, though. This is not God's plan for marriage. Marriage is wonderful work when done right and cohabitating before marriage does not start the couple off on a solid foundation. 

I'd love to just pull out a solid "Because I said so" right here, but I know you Millenials. That won't cut it. I can't cover it all, but here is some research and stats:

  • Living together is more stressful than marriage. -- There is some security in knowing that Mark is covenantally (is that even a word?) and contractually bound to me. If we want out, we've got to see a judge.
  • Cohabitating cuts down on commitment. -- Glenn Stanton, author of The Ring Makes All the Difference, said "The message of living together is, 'I'd really only like to take part of you. And maybe some time later I'd like to take all of you.'" Son. I don't think so. You want it all, cellulite and frizzy hair, or you get none. Incidentally, the 'cohabitants' that do end up married are  45% more likely to get a divorce than those that waited to live together until marriage.
  • It's bad for the kids. -- Aside of being confusing and embarrassing for the children of unmarried couples, it poses a safety risk as well. Studies show that having an unrelated adult in the home poses the greatest risk for children. And, yes, it is confusing and embarrassing for the kids. Even Brad and Angelina's kids are pressuring them to get married. Lead them, Kids, lead them!
  • The compatibility argument is ... bleh.-- Listen. If one of you is male and the other is female, you are compatible. It's like Legos. Honestly!? I can't even believe this is a real argument.
  • Married people are healthier than non-married folks. -- Seriously. If you are gymmin' it up, and eating all organic, but living together before marriage, you are wasting your effort! Way back in 1858 a British guy named William Farr was the first to say "Marriage is a healthy estate." What a guy. It's still true! Contemporary studies have shown that married couples have lower instances of pneumonia, cancer, surgery, and heart attacks. Married couples even have fewer colds! Dig that! (Parker-Pope, Tara. 2010, April 14. NY Times. "Is Marriage Good for Your Health?")  
Here's the deal. If you're single, rock the singleness status for Jesus. If you're ready to get married and commit and you have the blessing of your parents. Score one for marriage! Let your marriage be a picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church. (Another post.)

This is for the one on the fence thinking it would be easy just to move in together. No, it won't. And, for the ones already living together outside of marriage: you don't have to stay there. It will rock your world as you know it, but it WILL be worth it.

I am so tempted to say something about if you like then you should put a ring on it, but that may be distasteful. :)

Well, here are SOME of my Spouseisms. What are your reasons for not living together before marriage?

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