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Is it OK for Christian singles to live with the opposite sex?

I have two friends (a man and a woman) who work for a college campus ministry organization and live in a house together.


What do you think about Christian singles living with members of the opposite sex? I have two friends (a man and a woman) who work for a college campus ministry organization, and live in a house together.

All told, there are four young men and the woman living in this house. My male friend has a girlfriend, but the rest of the young men and the woman are all single. I say that unmarried men and women should not live together, whether they are dating, cohabitating or just roommates. I seem to be the only one in my Bible study with this opinion.

Since my friends are merely roommates, and not romantically involved, everyone else seems to think their living arrangement is acceptable. I say it’s not, since it is not a good witness and goes against what we all profess about couples not living together before marriage.

What are your thoughts?


You are dead on. It is a very poor witness for Christian singles of the opposite sex — in ministry no less! — to be living in the same house together. They are damaging their credibility as Christians and especially leaders in ministry.

What if a single young guy and girl who attend their campus ministry meetings want to move in together “just as roommates”? What will their counsel be? “Well, the two of you shouldn’t do that, because it looks bad, but if you can find about 3 or 4 other guys or girls it’s OK.” Huh?

Christians who believe it’s OK to have opposite-sex roommates or housemates (we’ll leave cohabiting for another time) have made two very significant mistakes in their thinking.

One, they have agreed with the feminists, who for 40 years have tried to get us to believe that, outside a few plumbing issues, men and women are essentially the same, that there is nothing uniquely masculine about men, nor feminine about women. We can be great buddies, fight alongside each other in combat, share public restrooms, and live together! This flies in the face of scripture. Men and women aren’t the same. To throw a girl in the mix of a bunch of guys living together, and think it’s essentially the same as throwing another guy in there, is a victory for the feminists. “Oh, we won’t be tempted sexually, we’re just friends!” And all the feminists said, “Amen!” (Of course the feminists wouldn’t care so much about temptation — casual hook ups are like shaking hands).

Two, as Christians these young people have a responsibility to live in such a way that it benefits and builds up others. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 says, “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” In a college setting, where the hook-up culture is doing everything it can to tear down healthy relationships between guys and girls, Christians should be making every effort to live as counter-cultural to that as possible. Opposite-sex roommates send a weak message to a world that desperately needs a salt-saturated standard.

I hope you’ll keep urging them to change their living arrangements, for their sake, for the sake of those who are watching them, and for the Lord’s sake, who commands us to “do all to the glory of God.”



Copyright 2007 John Thomas. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

John Thomas

John Thomas has been a Boundless contributor since its beginning in 1998. He and his wife, Alfie, have three children and live in Arkansas, where he serves as executive director of Ozark Camp and Conference Center, a youth camp and retreat center.


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