Almost every young person in my family lives together with their boyfriends/girlfriends before or without marriage. I receive a lot of criticism from them.for not doing the same. I simply tell them, “It is just not for me.” But one thing really started to get me thinking. My step brother, who is Protestant, has some sense of morality and he lived with his girlfriend at one point, but they slept in seperate beds in seperate rooms and used seperate bathrooms and they were committed to not having sex unless they got married. He said they did it to “live chastely.” I also heard a priest once say that it is okay for boyfriend/girlfriend couples to live together as long as they do it as “brother and sister.” I had a hard time accepting what he was doing. I was wondering if what he was doing was the “escape clause” to cohabitation without marriage. I highly doubt it is but I was just wanting to know.
Why do you want to live together? Seriously, what’s the point? Housing prices? Convenience? The good opinion of your family and “friends”?
If you are committed to chastity, what, indeed, would be the reason to cohabit with your girlfriend in this way? Honestly, all I can see is an occasion of sin.
Once I know what your intentions are, then I can answer whether or not it is a sin.
…and remember scandal.
I think there needs to be some kind of grave reason for a Catholic couple to co-habit together as brother and sister. Another one of the reasons this behavior is greatly discouraged is that it can be very scandalous for a Catholic person to do so.
My intentions were wanting to know if what he was doing was okay or not. Because he seems to have good intentions but if it is wrong I may want to let him know that what he is doing is wrong.
Dating is a time to discern whether or not this person is going to be your life partner. The world says to live together to figure that out but that is not how God designed marriage and family life. God’s design means that you come before family and friends and state your intention for marriage. The couple asks for God’s blessing. Only then can they have sex because sex makes babies and babies need both a father and mother.
Since the pill has become widely available, all the clear waters have been muddied. We as Christians have trouble figuring this stuff out now, when just some years back, it was crystal clear that married couples lived together. What your step-brother missed out on is showing the world what it is to court honorably and chastely, with God as the center of the relationship. Our call as Catholics is to model this for the world because the world has forgotten that we come from God and will go back to God and give an answer for how we lived our life. It doesn’t matter that they may have 2 bedrooms, what younger brothers and sisters and cousins and friends see is that they’ve set up a household, together, without being married. They may say they sleep in different beds but you can be sure the younger siblings will be rolling their eyes. The Lord has strong words for those who would scandalize the little ones.
When you are old enough to date and discern marriage, stand strong against the ugly current of the world. With the pill, what we see now is the explosion of, not only how many people are infected with STD’s, but in how many STD’s we have to deal with now. The huge number of people living in poverty are young women with babies that have been abandoned by boyfriends. Then of course there’s the explosion of abortions. How many babies worldwide have been slaughtered? Millions. It seems that sex outside of marriage is not good for women, or children, or families, or nations. Who will stand up and say that God’s way has blessing? If you are single and dating, this is your calling as Catholics, and all Christians.
Generally, I think it would be wrong and scandalous if he was a Catholic, but since he is Protestant, I don’t think we can hold him to the same principles, but strong encouragement to living chastely, I think, would be the best route, and trying not to enforce our beliefs onto him (like telling him that he’s wrong).
Any cohabitation between male and female outside of marriage is sinful. Period.
I would suggest that you and your “signifant other” stop looking for an excuse to justify such behavior. If your friend decides to terminate the relationship because you refuse, he/she is not really your friend.
A true friend and possible future mate will care for your spiritual welfare as well as your physical well being.
I agree with you!
However, in the world we live in, “scandal” is so overused that people don’t understand what it means–the very people that need to understand it in a classical sense.
Scandal is something to watch and laugh at on TV, especially in light of other people’s problems. Pretty sad how we are so infected by this that we become immune to it!
We should come up with a better term. Anyone?
I mostly agree with the bolded…but would very strongly suggest adding “unrelated.” Siblings sharing a house, for example, would not incur scandal, because there is no presumption of a sexual relationship.
I cohabited with my husband before we were married, although we were formally engaged, had a date set (and stuck to it). We moved in together for “financial reasons,” but these were not so dire. We also didn’t really have much reason to postpone a wedding, either. If I had to do it over, I would have just gotten married two years earlier (and skipped grad school, but that’s another kettle of fish. :p)
It’s a very confusing world out there. No one said anything to us about living together except that we were mature and responsible adults for waiting to be engaged first. :eek:
I don’t think it’s sinful if they manage to live together as brother and sister, but that would also mean even not looking at each other in the wrong way.
A lot of people don’t have the grace, or willpower to be put in temptation’s path, and resist.
It’s not the ideal situation.
Living together as Brother and Sister (seperate bed rooms, etc) is not sinful, in itself. Unmarried couples living in the same appartment/home, but in seperate bed rooms, are allowed to receive communion.
When a couple is living together in sin and want to receive communion, the priest will tell them to either (a) get married or (b) move into seperate bed rooms.
The problem with living together (in sepearate rooms) is the “opportunity for sin” or the temptation it causes. It also, can harm the marriage or take away some of that natural relationship development between a new husband & wife.
I know that some people want to do it to save money, especially in cities where appartment rent is very expensive. Or when an engaged couple purchased their dream house a few months or weeks before their wedding. If they do not have family or friends in the area, they might feel pressured to live in the same house before marriage.
Now, personally, having been a person who lived with my spouse before marriage… I do NOT recommend it (for a ton of reasons… PM me and I can tell you why).
God Bless and Merry Christmas.
you could look at each other in the “wrong way” - that would be no different than lot living together.
But, there are showers, falling asleep together once… leading to eventually sleeping in the same bed… Addtional fulling around, etc.
You would have to be a Saint or pretty asexual, to avoid the temptation for a long time (I’m sure everyone could do it for a week or two… but a long period of time… not good).
That’s why we pray “and lead us not into temptation…”
It’s not really the smartest thing to do even when sex is out of the picture.
I know people in love don’t like to think about “what if we break up” but…what if you break up? You both have the right to put an end to this relationship if it isn’t going where you want to go. Not just you but your boyfriend as well.
It’s hard enough to break off with someone you’ve been with a long time. It’s even harder if you are living together.
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.