Many old fashioned one’s such as myself would answer no to this question. Though modern day thinking, even among Christians, is quite the opposite, statistics do show that marriages in which the couples lived together before saying I do show a higher rate of divorce. Why is this? It would make more sense to the common way of thinking that just the opposite would prove true. I think the problem is the ‘common way of thinking.’ As Christians, the Bible says that we are not of this world. We are, in fact, to conduct ourselves opposite this world. Romans 12:1 “And be not conformed to the ways of this world, but be ye transformed…”
I have a son who recently married at age twenty. Obviously, he was too young, but I could not convince him otherwise. After many long discussions with him and his bride-to-be, we decided to the best thing to do was to support them both. And we did just that. Unfortunately, six months later, my predictions came true, and they are now on the brink of divorce. It hurts to see your children make mistakes. But as an adult, I understand he has the right to make his own mistakes, and I had no choice but to let him. Watching my son standing on the railroad tracks of life while a train headed right for him was very difficult. And watching that train run over him was even worse. Thankfully, it didn’t kill him. So I guess the moral of this story is “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
In a conversation with a my niece regarding this recent event, she was convinced that she was right for living with her spouse before marriage. We were at the wedding of another niece who had also lived with her spouse before marriage. These two relationships seem to be strong and can hopefully withstand the test of time. I didn’t try to argue with my niece for I knew it would do no good. All I could say was “I’ve been happily married for 27 years now and can speak with the voice of experience. I did not live with my husband before marriage and to be honest, I think it made all the difference in our relationship.” I also said I don’t think the relationships depend on whether you live together before marriage, but rather that you took the time to actually build a lasting friendship. Because true friendship can cover a multitude of sins and forgive those nagging idiosyncrasies we all must learn to live with once we do marry. I guess what this all comes down to is – Where does your personal conviction lie? If you consider yourself to be a Christian, then how far will you allow yourself to go in bending the rules so-to-speak? Do we really have that right to call the shots and put God in our own box or accept Him on our own terms? Is this true obedience? Or does ‘Obeying God’ even apply here? Who are we to tell God which of his laws apply to us and which one’s don’t? Are you willing to take God at His word or not?