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Is it OK to live together just weeks before our wedding?

Would God really want my fiancé to move out for such a short period of time, even though we're not having sex and have put limits on physical contact?


My fiancé and I have been living together for several months now. We’ve just recently moved into the house we’ll be living in after we’re married. I too have children involved. In fact I have two of them — a 7-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl who look to my fiancé as Daddy because they neither see nor hear from the sperm donors. Here’s my question. The wedding is in three weeks, and we’re both trying to do what God wants for us — not only for our marriage but also our family. Would God really want my fiancé to move out for such a short period of time, even though we’re not having sex and have put limits on physical contact?


Blessings for writing. I congratulate you on your upcoming marriage, and on your desire to follow God and do the right thing. One of the right things to do — and God is quite clear about this — is not to live together unmarried, no, not even for a day. The fact that only three weeks remain until the wedding is irrelevant. Here are four good biblical reasons.

  1. Three weeks is long enough for everyone you know to be convinced that your relationship with your fiance is unchaste — even if it isn’t. That’s a serious matter. God says we should stay away not only from wrong, but also from the appearance of wrong.
  2. Three weeks is long enough to send the wrong message to your children about how unmarried people should live. There aren’t any words you can say to them that will make this bad example OK. On the other hand, to show them that you are willing to change what you are doing and suffer the inconvenience of a temporary separation, just to please God, will send a strong and powerful good message — one which they may not appreciate now, but which they will thank you for some day. God holds us responsible for every detail of the example that we set our children.
  3. Three weeks is long enough to be tempted, no matter how strong your resolution to be chaste. The biblical saying “Pride goes before a fall” applies to pride about your strength of resolution, too.
  4. By being willing to please God even when it involves inconvenience or frustration, you will develop the muscles of spiritual obedience which your marriage will need to stay strong. A healthy marriage depends on God’s will, not self-will.

Two cautions against self-deception: Don’t tell yourselves “We can’t find him another place to live in such a short time!” It’s easy, if you’re really trying. If he were living in an apartment and it burned down at breakfast, by suppertime he’d have found a temporary place to stay, wouldn’t he? With a guy friend, whatever — he wouldn’t be sleeping on the street. And don’t tell yourselves “It’s too late to set a good example for the kids and our friends, because we’ve set the bad one already!” It’s never too late. You can set the example of changing your behavior when you realize that you’re not doing the right thing! What a powerful example that would be!

May God always help you to do the right thing, now and throughout your coming marriage.

Grace and peace,


Copyright 2002 Professor Theophilus. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

J. Budziszewski

Professor J. Budziszewski is the author of more than a dozen books, including How to Stay Christian in College, Ask Me Anything, Ask Me Anything 2, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide, and The Line Through the Heart. He teaches government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin.

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