Today marks seven months since my boyfriend and I went out on our first date. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. The warm weather, the butterflies in my stomach, the nervous anticipation, the cute restaurant, and the amazing conversations. David and I have had some amazing conversations since that first date.
Surprisingly enough, living together has never been one of them.
We’ve never discussed it. It’s just one of those things that neither of us would even consider as a good option for our relationship.
Trust me, it’s not because of a lack of feelings or lack of excitement. The two of us are crazy about each other. His hazel eyes, strong arms, amazing heart, and godly leadership make me count down the minutes until I get to see him each day.
I really like this guy and seriously anticipate the future.
So what’s the deal? If I like him so much and he likes me so much, why don’t we give this thing a test drive? Why don’t we move in together for a few months to see if we are truly compatible? Why don’t we live together and see if we satisfy the other sexually?
I’ve been thinking about those questions, considering possible answers, and really pondered my reasoning for my stance. My answers aren’t mind-blowing, but they’ve helped me and shaped my perspectives.
Instead of viewing relationships, love, and romance through a narrow “I need to know if this person will make me truly happy?” lense, let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Relationships, in our modern culture, have become so extremely shallow.
Most relationships are built on a foundation of feelings. If the feelings are hot, the relationship is strong. If the feelings are not hot, the relationships is weak. Love is based off what the other person can do for me.
True love and lasting commitment are rarely seen long term.
Instead of living together and giving marriage a “trial run,” David and I are working on building good character that will carry us through the difficult times. Instead of relying on our feelings, we want to work on being faithful and committed no matter what.
Here are some of the perspectives that David and I continue to work on in our relationship. These are the reasons that we choose not to live together.
5 Reasons You Don’t’ Need to Live With Your Boyfriend
1. Marriage is about commitment (not about performance).
When you really stop and think about it, marriage is about committing your life to someone for good, for bad, for better, for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. In that case, why do we need a test drive? Even if marriage gets super hard (which it will at times), you’re in it for the long haul. You want your husband to know that you will love him no matter what. He shouldn’t have to earn your love through his performance. Marriage isn’t about performing or being “good enough” to keep the other person around. It’s about a man and a woman committing until death do them part.
And the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. Mark 10:8-9
2. Marriage is about working through the hard times.
What good would marriage vows be if they were tossed out the window as soon as times get hard? They’d be good for nothing. Sadly, this is the kind of society many of us live in. We view marriage as needing to be easy. If love doesn’t come easily, it must not be true love. That is simply crazy. Everything in life takes work. Hard work. Why should marriage be any different? If you want an amazing job, you expect to work hard for it. If you want to be good at a sport, you work hard. If you want awesome grades, you work hard to get them. Don’t ever go into marriage with the idea that you can just “quit” when it gets hard. Good marriages take hard work. Be willing to put the hard work in.
3. Marriage is about loving sacrificially.
Marriage is not about 50/50. He gives 50 and I give 50. No. Marriage is about 100/100. You give 100% of your love because it’s a choice you make. Your love shouldn’t be based on how well he is loving you. That’s not true love, that’s an exchange. “You do this for me, I’ll do this for you!” Jesus is the perfect example of true agape (self-sacrificing) love. He chooses to love us completely unconditionally. Don’t put conditions on your love. Choose to love 100%.
True love is an action, not an emotional feeling. -Love Defined
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” – John 4:9-12
4. Marriage is about relying on God’s strength.
If marriage were left up to us, we’d fail every single time. We can’t love fully without Christ’s love pouring out of us. Marriage is made up of two sinful people in desperate need of God’s love. Instead of relying on your own strength to do all the loving, cry out to God and ask Him for help. Humble yourself before Him and ask Him to make His strength perfect in your weakness.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
5. Marriage is about reflecting God’s great love towards us.
Way too often marriage becomes about our happiness, our satisfaction, our romance, our sexual desires, and our future. It’s really not about that though. Marriage is ultimately about reflecting Christ’s amazing unfailing love towards His bride (all believers) and reflecting the depth of intimacy He desires to have with each and every one of us. When a couple gets married, they are entering into a covenant (a promise that cannot be broken). When a person accepts Jesus as Savior, they enter into a covenant that can never be broken. Marriage is ultimately designed to reflect so much more than just two people getting together. It’s about Christ and His great love for us.
Marriage, as lovely as it is, is only a picture of something greater. It’s an earthly representation of something much grander. God placed the institution of marriage on the wall of this world as a representation of the gospel. – Love Defined
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Eph. 5:31–32)
Considering a different approach to marriage.
Those five reasons are some of the main reasons that David and I don’t live together. Our relationship is about so much more than our happiness and our satisfaction. Living together doesn’t make any sense in the context of how and why God created marriage.
When you learn to keep the big picture for marriage in view, it completely changes your perspective.
What about you?
What do you think about living together before marriage?
How would you defend your answer from a Biblical perspective?