Q: #66. Is it ok for Christians to live together if they aren't having sex?
By: Steve Shirley
A: No, it is not. I assume from the way you phrased your question that you know sex apart from marriage is wrong, however, for those who do not, let me first explain this.
God created sex, and it is good in His eyes (Gen 1:28)(Gen 9:1,7)(Gen 35:11), but it is meant ONLY for the marriage relationship (Prov 5:15-20)(Mal 2:14-15)(1 Cor 7:1-2)(Heb 13:4). Sex between two unmarried people is called fornication. Jesus called it an evil sin (Mt 15:19)(Mk 7:21). We are told to flee fornication (1 Cor 6:18), because our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). See my study: Fornication, for more verses showing this is sin.
Ok, as for why living together is wrong, even if you aren't having sex, here are seven things to consider.
First, we are not to give ANY appearance of evil (1 Th 5:22)(Eph 5:3). Even if you are not having sexual relations, you are giving the appearance that you are by living together unmarried.
Second, our lives as Christians are to be examples to others (1 Cor 11:1)(1 Cor 4:16)(1 Th 1:6-7). If people know we are Christians, we are setting a poor example, and we will destroy our testimony to some.
Third, you are tempting God. When you put yourself in this situation, and then say to God "God help me not to give into the temptation to have sex," it is quite unlikely you will get the help you seek. Trying to ask for God's help, after disobeying what you should have done in the first place to avoid the situation is tempting God, and this is sin (Deut 6:16)(Mt 4:7)(Lk 7:21).
Fourth, you are going to be a "stumbling block." What this simply means is that
by living together, your actions are going to be setting a barrier in the path
of some people that will bring harm to the cause of Christ. If a Christian, or
even a non-Christian sees you living with someone, and they know you are a
Christian, a number of things might occur. Here are just two examples:
You may reinforce to the non-Christian that Christians are all hypocrites
because they claim to be followers of Christ, but just go ahead and sin
A weak Christian, or non-Christian may believe that living together is wrong,
but since they see YOU doing it and know you are a Christian, they may come
to the conclusion "Hey if he/she is doing it, then maybe it isn't wrong, so I
can do it too." (1 Cor 8:12) says, when you do this and wound the "weak
conscience," of the brethren, YE SIN AGAINST CHRIST.
Please see my study: Are You A Stumbling Block? for more on the dangers of this sin, and what the Bible says about it.
Fifth, yes, maybe YOU do not have any problem at all living with your partner without having sex, but I will almost GUARANTEE you that the person you are living with (especially the male) is not finding it nearly so easy. By living together, you are continually setting temptation before your partner, and causing him or her to struggle to keep their thoughts pure. You are being a "stumbling block" to them as well.
Sixth, Satan can use the person you are living with to tempt you to have sex (Prov 1:10)(Prov 7:21).
Seventh, if you do indeed plan on marrying later, statistics have shown over and over that those who live together before getting married are far more likely to get a divorce in the future than those couples who did not live together before getting married.
I will end with this verse:
(1 Cor 10:12) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.