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SHACKING UP

Dear Ezar,
I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for more than 2 years and we will soon get married. By God’s grace, next year (2015). We want to have a beautiful wedding and so we need to start saving money. My boyfriend suggested I move into his house and save the money for my house rent for the wedding. Someone said it was not a right move to do but my boyfriend has promised to be chaste till our wedding night. He also says we need to test drive our relationship before going into marriage. Is it still wrong to move in with him?
B.L

B.L wants to know if Shacking up is good.
c
Let me start by explaining Cohabitation (the proper word for ‘shacking up’). Advanced dictionary defines it as the act of living together and having sexual relationship especially without being married.
‘Shacking up’ is not new. Couples have been engaging in it for a long time. Personally, I know a few couples who cohabit and they have told me they do so to test their compatibility before getting married. Some have gone further to justify their actions because they are not sleeping together (yet) and are trying to save expenses. I do not believe in Cohabitation and I strongly advise against it even though most of the world does not have a problem with it.
Even if living together is now accepted these days, as Christians we do not conform to the ways of the world. You may not be having sex yet, but eventually, cohabitation will promote the temptation that will lead you to. Remember Matthew 26:41.
Even if you do not sleep together, the society perceives that you do because cohabitation is closely related to sexual activity and this would damage your testimony and cause someone to stumble.
Can you be very sure you won’t make a grave mistake after crying on his shoulder one beautiful rainy night?
c1
Shacking up also devalues marriage (Hebrews 10:4). You give the control of your life to someone you are not married to. What a disaster! It weakens marriage because having lived together with the open possibility of parting and that possibility always remains even after marriage. It never leaves.
c
You do not need to test drive your relationship before marriage. I know he may give you the crazy line that “you don’t buy a car without test driving” but you are not a car. You a wonderful woman created by God not an object to be driven. When a man test drives a car and he is not satisfied with the feel of it, he moves to another car and he keeps test driving till he finds the one that suits him best. The good thing is that the car does not feel anything. Relate that to your situation, a man will always be the driver you know? He drives you in all ways, sees you are not good enough and moves to the next available woman. Bad thing is you have feelings. Your emotions will have been tampered with and you would be a miserable wreck. . Some men are endlessly “test driving” the relationship, without any real regard for the spiritual and emotional wear and tear they’re putting a woman through, all the while keeping their eyes out for a better model (hiss).The Scriptures are clear. We are not to take advantage of one another in this way. Instead, as Paul says in Romans 13:10, “Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Therefore, your boy friend’s goal should not be to date you long enough until he is confident marriage won’t be hard, but to date you just long enough to discern if he is willing to love you sacrificially, and if you are willing to respond to that kind of love. Keep in mind that no woman on this planet is ever going to perfectly meet a man’s specifications for a wife.
In answer your question, cohabitation is BAD. Marriage is a gift of God and cannot be adequately substituted with ‘Shacking up’. Shacking up is a distorted second best.