- First, receive (your spouse).
- Second, to leave your parents (still honor, but depend now on your spouse first).
- Third, cleave (to have a permanent bond between you and your spouse that is meant to not be broken).
- Fourth, become one flesh (sex is meant to symbolize and deepen the oneness we experience in our relationship as husband and wife).
God very intentionally, and not without purpose, gave us these directions to follow within, not before, marriage to protect us (see Genesis 2:24). Knowing that and not compromising God’s direction is huge. There is no such thing as an appropriate time or circumstance to live with your significant other outside of being married. Living together before having made the commitment to be married is ultimately saying to the other person "I'm putting you up for a trial run. If it works and we live together well, great. It not, then I’ll leave or you’ll leave and we can easily go our separate ways with fewer strings attached."
One of the purposes of marriage is to mirror God’s image. God’s love for us who are His children is unconditional. He never leaves our side, even when the going gets tough or when we mess up. There is something so beautiful, so reassuring and so amazing about commitment. Just like God never gives up on us, Matt and I know that, no matter what conflicts arise, we have both committed to being a team for as long as we both live. There are no loop-holes for out, and knowing this serves as great motivation and desire to work through conflict, not run. It’s not even an option. You’d be amazed at what happens when you choose to work through it. You grow stronger, you become even closer and an even better than before team.
Matt and I had both made the decision when we first started dating that living together was not an option so long as we were not married. When we first began dating, we both lived in the same city and were no more than a 10 minute drive away from each other. That was the first three months. Then as life continued to happen, Matt moved to begin a new job, thus beginning a long-distance relationship. Even during this time the decision stayed the same. I can say with no hesitation that I am beyond grateful that we did not compromise the time we were physically apart for the instant gratification we may have experienced had we gotten to be together every day living with one another instead. It’s true when they say hunger is a great spice (Matt would remind us both of this often during the tough “see you later’s”). :)
Another note to mention on waiting to live together until after the wedding day...
Had Matt and I chosen to move in together before marriage, even if one or both of us went in with the intention of still waiting to have sex, we would have put ourselves in a place of some intense bait dangling right in front of our nose. Sex is an amazing gift God gives us for marriage, not before. Choosing to live together outside of being married is choosing to to settle and to compromise from receiving the best. God’s best. Settling for “okay” instead of “awesome.” Premarital sex is just like opening up a Christmas gift early. It will be a lot less exciting by the time your wedding night comes. We would not have gotten to experience the anticipation and awe factor that came with waiting.