"A Fallacy in Judgment"


I recently stumbled upon your website while I was searching the internet for biblical scriptures and interpretations of them. I am in a quandry and was hoping that you may be able to give me some guidance.

I am a Methodist and my boyfriend is Catholic. We have been dating exclusively for three years. We are graduating from college and moving to Washington DC this summer. We had planned on moving in together into an apartment. We decided on this for various reasons such as a our commitment to each other, our love for one another, our dedication to the relationship (and also to save on a little rent money!) He and I both discussed all aspects of this decision and came to the conclusion that this is what we wanted with all our hearts and souls. It was not a hasty decision by any means.

We love each other with everything that we have and everything that we are. We know we are with the person that we want to marry; there is no doubt in our minds. We are simply waiting for him to get settled in his new job and me to get settled in graduate school. Our full intention is to be with each other forever. We both completely want to live together because we enjoy each others company immensely. In fact we have been planning this for about a year.

However, his father is completey opposed to this idea. He says it is immoral, unethical, and that we are "bad" people to even consider the idea. He has said that his son was not raised with these morals and values. He says that it is not a Christian thing to do. He says that the Bible says it is wrong and that he is appalled at the idea.

Is this true? Does the Bible prohibit unmarried couples to just live together? I may be wrong, but I think his father has made a fallacy in judgment. I think the Bible does not condone premarital sex. I think that is the issue at hand. I have made the point to my boyfriend that simply because we are living together does not mean that we will be having sex. I also made the point that there are tons of people who do NOT live together and still engage in premarital sex. I do not believe that the situation is an either-or type of situation. You know, he believes that either we live together and have sex, or live seperately and do not have sex. I believe that is a very simplistic view of looking at things and think that there is a serious error in judgment. His father has never come out and said anything about "sex", but I strongly believe that this is where his real problem lies.Should we tell him that us living together has nothing to do with us having, or not having sex!

I would sincerely appreciate any guidance or thought you may have about this situation. I am unsure what I should do at this point.

Best Wishes to You,



Dear Bonnie,

First of all, congratulations on your engagement. I pray often for young engaged couples because it is such a crucial period. Numerous studies, which I am sure you are aware of, show that the success of your marriage depends so much on what you do during this time.

I agree with you that it is possible for a couple to live together and not have sexual relations. Mary and Joseph did it. Of course they had a few things going for them other couples do not. :-)

No doubt you are correct that your boyfriend's father is concerned that if you are living together you will be having relations - or at least that most people would conclude that is the case. Since that is not your intention, I won't go into the biblical teaching against pre-marital sex. However, Bonnie, there is a deeper problem than the realism of two young people in love living together without severe temptations. Besides the commandment against the use of sex apart from marriage, Jesus has another commandment which is extremely important for you and your boyfriend. It's the one where tells us to honor our father and mother. (Lk 18:20)

You and your boyfriend are adults and therefore not bound by the same obedience as children. Still if you are going to have long and prosperous life, the most basic thing you must do is honor your parents. (Eph 6:1-3) That does not mean you have to do everything they say. For example, if they require one to go against God's laws, then we must "hate" them.

I do appreciate the practical issues - wanting to be together as much as possible, saving some money while settling in a new job and going to graduate school, etc. Still, if you put Jesus and his commandments in first place, I promise you everything else will fall into place.

I hope this is some help, Bonnie. My prayers are with you and your boyfriend as you face this most important decision.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

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