Why Not Just Live Together?

Friday, August 30, 2019

“This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion…not to take advantage of or exploit a brother or sister in this matter…For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God…”  (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)

Carol and I do marriage prep work with engaged couples. Unfortunately, I often need to give couples a tri-fold brochure on the Catholic teaching on co-habitation, and spend time trying to explain to them why they should not be living together.

Couples come armed with their reasons for living together: It is less expensive than paying rent on two apartments. They know they love each other; a piece of paper (marriage certificate) won’t change that. It is good to “try it out” before they commit to marriage.

I am sure I come off as old-fashioned as I try to explain to them about commitment and the beauty of a sacramental relationship, or share with them statistics regarding the failure of marriages that began with co-habitation.

St. Paul does a much better job than I. In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul states quite succinctly God’s intention for us: Each of us is called to holiness. We are also called to move others toward holiness. We do this by treating one another and our relationships honorably; we do not exploit one another or take advantage of a situation. When we participate in a dishonorable relationship, we disregard our call to holiness. In so doing, we disregard God.

I will be better prepared for the next couple. Thanks, Paul.

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