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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Two decades ago, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead was on my radio program. At the time, she was one of the co-authors of a study done by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University that came to this conclusion: “Cohabitation is replacing marriage as the first living together experience for young men and women.”

What was true then is true today, but there is even more evidence of changing attitudes as well as additional social research on cohabitation. A survey by Pew Research asked American adults when it was acceptable to live together. Two-thirds (69%) said it was acceptable “even if they don’t plan to get married.” Another 16 percent said it was acceptable “only if they planned to get married.” Only 14 percent said it was “never acceptable.”

That may explain why living together has gone from rare to routine in the secular world, but also explains why so many Christian couples also see living together as acceptable. In the 1960s and 1970s, only about a half million were living together. One study from a few years ago estimated that over 18 million Americans were cohabiting, and nearly a quarter of them were people over the age of 50 years old.

Paul taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.”

Living together outside of marriage not only violates biblical commands but so much of the social research also documents that cohabitation before marriage puts a couple and their future marriage at risk. If you want a good marriage, don’t do what society says. Do what the Bible teaches us to do.viewpoints new web version

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