When an unmarried, cohabiting couple is saved, what advice should they receive regarding marriage?

When an unmarried, cohabiting couple is saved, what advice should they receive regarding marriage?

The Spirit of God has likely convicted them about their relationship before salvation. Nonetheless, depending on the personalities involved, this is a delicate issue. There can be no compromise on the sanctity of marriage (Hebrews 13:4). No matter how long this relationship has existed or how much a couple may say they love each other, cohabiting apart from marriage is sin.

To continue this is a bad testimony. It leaves a weakened conscience and limits spiritual growth. It dishonors the God who designed marriage.

If the new believers raise the question, a scriptural answer will leave no doubt that they should live separately and resist temptation by not staying under the same roof. If the new believers do not break their relationship and don’t ask advice, the person or persons who have had the most to do with their salvation will best understand their personality, will know the best way to approach them, and should give them scriptural reasons for ending their relationship.

Living apart will give the couple an opportunity to begin building their relationship on something more stable than a physical relationship. At this point, they should confront the question of whether or not they are prepared to make the life-long commitment marriage involves. For others to assume that they will marry is unwise and unfair. If they decide to marry, they should allow adequate time for building a solid Christian foundation for their relationship before marrying.

D. Oliver