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What Does the Bible Say About Living Together Without Marriage?

The Bible’s answer

The Bible says that God’s will is for people to “abstain from sexual immorality.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) As used in the Bible, the term “sexual immorality” includes adultery, homosexual acts, and sex between a man and a woman who are not married.

 Why does it matter to God whether couples marry or not?

  • The marriage arrangement comes from God. He instituted it when he brought the first human couple together. (Genesis 2:22-24) He did not intend for a man and a woman to live together without the commitment of marriage.

  • God knows what is best for humans. He designed marriage to be a permanent union between a man and a woman that would benefit and protect all family members. Consider a simple illustration. Just as the instructions that come from the manufacturer show you how to assemble a piece of furniture correctly, God’s instructions tell us how to build successful family relationships. God’s standards always benefit those who follow them.—Isaiah 48:17, 18.

    A manufacturer’s instructions show you how to assemble a piece of furniture. God’s instructions tell us how to build a successful family

  • Sex outside of marriage can have serious consequences. For example, it can result in unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and emotional turmoil. *

  • God gave men and women the ability to procreate by means of sex. God views life as sacred, and the ability to procreate is a precious gift. God wants us to treat that gift with respect by honoring his arrangement for marriage.—Hebrews 13:4.

 What about living together before marriage to test compatibility?

The key to a successful marriage is not a preliminary “trial period” during which either partner can freely leave. Instead, relationships thrive when both partners are strongly committed to each other and work together to overcome problems. * Marriage strengthens commitment.—Matthew 19:6.

 How can couples build a strong marriage?

There are no perfect marriages. However, couples can build a successful marriage by applying the Bible’s advice. Here are some examples: