Sunday School Lesson 32PREMARITAL COHABITATION
BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 18-20
Cohabitation is not a modern trend. It dates back through most of history. In the Roman city of Corinth, sex outside of marriage was common, so much so that the converts to Christianity had written to the Apostle Paul about the problem.
His reply is in 1 Corinthians 7:1-3. Paul instructed that to avoid fornication, every man should have his wife and vice versa. This menace is becoming rampant in our society today.
1. MEANING AND REASONS
2. CONSEQUENCES AND REMEDIES
MEANING AND REASONS
By using the word “cohabitation’ here, we are referring to the practice of a man and a woman living together and sharing the intimacy of sex, without being legally married. It entails using ‘a husband and wife model’ without being legally married (Hebrews 13:4).
In some circles, especially among youths or young adults on campuses, it is erroneously called ‘couples life’. There is also a new dimension of the opposite sex living in the same apartment (sometimes due to job placement), having different rooms but sharing common facilities (sitting room, kitchen, bathroom, etc). They can be referred kitchen diaspora or away couples’
People of the opposite sex cohabit for some reasons: financial struggle, test of compatibility, trial or experimental marriage, social or cultural practices, abuse of liberty, ignorance of the consequences, etc.
Living together before or outside of marriage, for whatever reason, is ungodly and should not be practised or encouraged by believers (Romans 1:21-22, 32).
CONSEQUENCES AND REMEDIES
Premarital cohabitation primarily exposes the man and woman to self-imposed temptations, prominent among which is sexual immorality (Acts 15:20; Romans 13:14; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13; Ephesians 5:3).
There is also the problem of appearances: an unmarried couple, living together, is assumed to be having sexual intimacy. Even if that is not the case, the appearance of sin is there (1 Thessalonians 5:22; Ephesians 5:3).
They have put themselves in a compromising position where emotions and availabilities can combine for sinful effect. This can also cause others to stumble or be offended (1Corinthians 8:9; 10:31-32).
By living together, they would have created a bond so strong that it can only be severed with heart-slicing knife’, resulting in intense (sometimes lifelong) pain for both partners.
Furthermore, should either partner later get married to Somebody else, their spouse will experience the pain of knowing they are the 2nd /3rd/4th/5th person on their spouse’s list of live-in partners. Premarital cohabitation sucks the novelty, joy, and fantastic feeling out of the days, weeks, months, and years following the big day.
Nothing is really new except the cloth and the jewelleries. Therefore, it is dishonouring to God and a contamination of the temple of the Holy Spirit (a believer’s body) for a man and a woman to live together before or outside of marriage (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:19) Premarital cohabitation reverses God’s order (Genesis 2:24).
Productive life-time would have been wasted with a person that one may not eventually get married to.
Emotional trauma (as a result of rejection, depression, obsession, etc) can also set in after an eventual breakup. Many destinies have been destroyed through cohabitation.
Unplanned pregnancies and abortion usually accompany cohabitation. Loss of interest in marriage as well as hindrance to potential suitors is imminent. On the long run, there is a possibility of violence or untimely death.
In order to guide against the evil consequences of premarital cohabitation, we should be aware of our own tendencies toward sin. Rather than flirting with what could lead us into sin, we should take preventive measures to avoid sin (1Thessalonians 5:22).
If you are already entangled in the act of premarital cohabitation, first, tell yourself the truth that you are wrong (1 Corinthians 11:31-32) and repent whole heartedly (1 John 1:8-9). Then, seek the attention of a Christian counselor (Proverbs 11:14).
Break away from the act of cohabiting with the opposite sex (1Corinthians 6:18). Cry to God for the grace to live a life that is pleasing to Him and to have a good testimony before men (Acts 24:16, Colossians 1:10).
CONCLUSION: Premarital cohabitation contradicts God’s idea of a union between man and a woman. Hence, it is a sin that youths must guide against and repent of genuinely.
1. Describe the term ‘premarital cohabitation’.
2. Why is it dangerous to cohabit before or outside marriage?