Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cohabitation, Shacking Up, and Living in Sin

Last week, an article in the newspape about “Cohabiting Couples” caught my attention. As I read the morally impartial article, I thought to myself, 'When did “living in sin” or “shacking up” become amoral cohabitation?'  You see, I'm an old man, so I can ask myself questions like this!

I turned to my trusted internet resource “Wikipedia” for the answer; it defined “living in sin” or “shacking up”, not surprisingly, as “living with and having sex with a person to whom one is not legally married.”  But then Wiki further explained that these phrases are associated with negative attitudes of the church, but in modern times, are used in humor (meaning, derisively).

Yes, indeed, in our modern times, 'cohabitation' has been normalized.  Consequently, many new believers will be in such relationships.  How should we address them?  I'm quite sure Jesus doesn't want us to throw stones at them. But to love and teach them.  In the morally depraved city of Corinth, there were undoubtedly some 'cohabitating' converts.  But with compassionate understanding of sexual temptation, Paul admonishes them to be married (1 Cor. 7:2). Maybe things haven't changed that much But then, neither has the need to be compassionate, yet truthful (Eph 4:15). And  that won't be easy in a culture that rejects all moral absolutes.


  1. Hi Dr. Greg,
    Good post. They say it takes about a generation for a cultural change like this one. At a personal level, this is like someone who has gout and does not change his lifestyle as a result. In the beginning, the pain is small and irritating. As the acid crystallizes, it finds its way into joints and the pain increases. As that continues to happen, the crystals cause the joints to painfully push things like fingers in directions other than their original design. Pain management, and side effect management from the medication become the norm. So it is with condoning, then flirting, then embracing a sinful lifestyle. The almost too quiet nudges from the Holy Spirit are not heeded, leading to more pain later. Spiritual joints are pushed out of shape and nothing is running according to the master design. Most of that pain is spiritual, so it is not experienced as deeply, until it is too late. But it is there nonetheless.