You still shacking?

Feb 09, 2021 11:51 pm



Read Time - 3:50

Yesterday I told you that it was National Marriage Week, so this week I'm writing about about reasons marriage matters.

Today's reason is likely to cause blowback.

So be it.

When it comes to relationships, few things tick people off more than suggesting that they get married instead of shacking. Or as the old folks used to call it, "playing house."

But, the statistics reveal that cohabitation is not the ideal path to a happy marriage.

Let's start with stats about what's already happening.

According to the US Census Bureau: (1)

  • 18 million adults are cohabitating

  • Of those 18-24, “cohabitation is now more prevalent than living with a spouse: 9% live with an unmarried partner in 2018, compared to 7% who live with a spouse.”

  • Looking next to 25-34 years of age, a full 15% choose to live together without marrying, an increase of 3% in the last decade.

  • And according to the Pew Research Center, “Cohabiters ages 50 and older represented about a quarter (23%) of all cohabiting adults in 2016. Since 2007, the number of cohabiting adults ages 50 and older grew by 75%. (2)

Now, you may be reading this and saying, "Who cares? What people do is their business."

Keeping with the statistics, you're 100% right. What people do is their business.

And, people's business has a impact on those in relationship with them. As a result, we have an obligation as our brother's (and sister's) keeper to at least point out the potential obstacles in their path.

Here are stats showing the negative side of cohabitation:

  • Cohabitation is linked to higher divorce rates (3), and according to one study, doubles the risk of divorce (4)

  • Cohabitation relationships are more violent than marriages (5)

  • Men and women who cohabit are more likely to cheat (6)

  • Couples who cohabit have lower pre-marital satisfaction (7)

If you'll notice, I've not even brought Christian values or bible verses into this email. So far, I've stuck to the research.

While Christians are quick to throw out a fornication bible verse when talking about cohabitation, it's worth noting that just because one is shacking doesn't mean they're fornicating. Granted, odds are that fornication is happening or is close to happening. But, it doesn't mean it absolutely is.

(Besides, you don't have to live with someone to fornicate.)

Still, why put yourself in a position that puts you on the path to sinning in God's eyes?

I've spoken with lots of couples who were living together and planned to marry. They cited the multiple advantages associated with living together, the two biggest being combining finances and seeing if they're a fit.

I get it. Truly, I do.

At the same time, what is it costing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and relationally to get these advantages?

Here's my question: what's keeping you from getting married?

Is it something financial? Are you unsure of your partner? Are you afraid of commitment? Are you afraid getting married will mess up the relationship? Is it better to be unmarried so you can come and go as you please?

If you're reading this and you're shacking, I encourage you to

  • Research the potential obstacles you're likely to encounter by not marrying.

  • Research the advantages that accompany being in a marriage relationship.

  • Check your heart and see if you're violating your conscience by shacking instead of marrying.

  • Consider if shacking is leading you to sin against God.

  • Ask your partner if he/she is ready to get married, and if no, why not.

  • Consider that being in a covenant relationship may be exactly what's needed to take your marriage to the next level.

If you're reading this and ready to take the next step, let's talk.

I've helped many couples move forward, and would be happy to help you.

Until tomorrow, this is Kevin reminding you that marriage matters.

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