Post # 1
This is my first post on this board…so hopefully this topic hasn’t been overdone already. My fiance and I started living together pretty much from the start mainly because we are so close that we love being together. When we first started dating we weren’t really all that spiritual. We ended up buying a home together because we got a heck of a steal on a foreclosure. Neither of us thought there was anything wrong with living together. And to be completely honest neither of us were virgins when we met and we do sleep together.
When we started looking for a church to eventually find a pastor to marry us we ended up at our current church, which we love. We have become much, much, more spirtual and have really changed our lives in big ways…except for living/sleeping together. Our pastor knows we live together and wants us to live apart for the 4 months leading up to the wedding.
My fiance works road construction, so in the summer time I barely see him as it is, and for him to be able to function it is best for us when we can lean on each other and help each other out with house chores and dinner. He works 18 hour days in the summer and barely can function.
Anyways, I understand that the Bible does not actually state living together is a sin…it is the premarital sex and the temptation. We asked our pastor if we could just live in separate bedrooms and have no sex for the four months and he said no. We are willing to not have sex (and yes we would 180% stick to it) but our living situation makes it convenient for our pocketbooks and also because he needs the support while he is working. We don’t know what to do. We want to honor God and make him proud of us, but we also know lying to our pastor and still being in the same house while he doesn’t want us to be is a sin.
Also, I can’t help but question why the certain period of time is 4 months. I don’t feel like 4 months will take away our sin of past premarital sex…only God can do that.
Any suggestions or thoughts? Thanks soooooo much!!!!!
Post # 3
Honestly, this “rule” sounds like your pastor’s own personal preference.
I’m a Christian, and so is my husband. We personally didn’t believe in living together or sleeping together before marriage. But our pre-marital counseling with our pastor and his marrying us were not contingent upon that fact at all.
Changing your living situation now would be a financial and logistical imposition, if not an impossibility. Does your pastor just “want” you to live separately, or does your church require it?
I’m always surprised by churches that refuse to marry couples who cohabitate, especially today. I’ve belonged to a couple of churches throughout my life, as has my husband, and we’ve never encountered a church that enforces that belief so strictly upon couples wanting to marry.
Like I said, we waited till marriage for all of that, but I know that’s not the norm today. It’s just what was right for us. And at this point, I think your pastor needs to work with you to make the best of the situation.
Post # 4
I find it really odd you can’t live in the same house but have separate bedrooms. I have a friend who is a very devout Christian and their pastor asked pretty much the same thing, but they already owned their home as well. They abstained for the 6 months they were engaged and lived in the same house. I admire your faith and determination, and I don’t think it’s anyone else’s place to judge (even a pastor). I find the 4 month time period odd too. I wish I had other advice to give you, but if you feel you can abstain and in your eyes and hearts living in the same house is not a sin, I think you are fine. As you say, only God can judge. Best of luck!
Post # 5
Also — I happen to be Catholic, as is my Fiance and we live together and own our home, and are getting married in a Catholic church with no issues at all — it’s odd to me how some churches are “okay” with it and others are not. I think it is honestly a matter of preference from church to church and priest (or pastor) to another.
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
I’m really surprised your pastor is asking this, considering how many couples live together before marriage. Is he making this a mandate- “I won’t perform the ceremony unless…” ?
Also- does he know how ridiculous this is? How is one of you supposed to find a reasonably priced short term rental? You’re not. Also- you own a house, so why shouldn’t you both live there? You’ve have to move things out, get duplicates… you’re probably looking at expenses of over $2,500! (assuming you can find something for $500 a month- no idea what prices are in your area- might be more around $750-$1,000)
I think you need to tell your pastor NO, we’re not going to do this. My Fiance and I don’t live together, but there’s no way I would let him dictate this- I would find another officiant. (and I also agree that 4 months is completely arbitrary.)
Post # 7
I’m not religious so take my opinion for what it’s worth to you, but I find that demand to be completely unreasonable and would look for a different church or pastor. In a broader sense, I think that unreasonable demands like this, or the intense feelings of guilt that religious leaders can evoke is a big part of why people leave religious traditions. For me it was more about hypocrisy than anything, but if someone told me I had to live apart from Fiance, I’d be out the door.
Do keep in mind that there are other churchs, religions, even pastors in your own faith who will not make these demands on you. In terms of what the bible says about living together, the bible says a lot of things. A LOT. And we disregard almost all of it in present day. Certainly women having their periods aren’t stoned for going into public anymore. What your pastor is asking of you is his own personal interpretation of the bible and what god wants you to do. If you believe he’s right then you don’t really have a choice. If you question his authority and think he may just be flexing his muscle on you, then you might want to find a different way to be comfortable with your faith. Ultimately only you, and you alone, can decide if what this pastor is asking of you will actually please god or be the right thing.
Personally, I look towards spirtual guidance where I am treated like the adult I am who can make her own decisions. This is my personal preference but I would hate to be treated like a misbehaving child based on my choices!
Post # 8
I’m Catholic and so is my Fiance, we do live together and the priest at the church had no issue with it. I guess it depends on some, they might have their own preferences.
Post # 9
This is silly. I agree that it is just his personal preference. I am a virgn, my Fiance is not. We are both Christians. I NEVER wanted to live with a man until I got married. However, due to our situation (financial and I didn’t want to be apart anymore… we lived in separate towns), we moved in together several months ago. We sleep in the same bed, but we don’t have sex. My parents were a little surprised that we decided to live together, but they know us and trust us. If anyone truly knows you, they will trust you too.
I don’t have much advice… just my own story to compare. I understand the “no sex before marriage”… I am there! However, I do not understand why your pastor is asking you to slip up for 4 months when you’ve already been living together for a while. Did you ask him why? Maybe he has a different reason. Maybe you should just ask the pastor if your SO can sleep on his couch for 4 months since you don’t have the $$ to provide other housing… isn’t that one reason why you moved in together in the first place?? Explain the money situation to him and see if he suggests anything else.
Post # 10
Thanks for the great comments already! It is strange to me because the church is very open on many different aspects and really isn’t the “Holy Roller” type of church. The main focus is to love God and Jesus..so when our pastor said this it was kind of a shock. He does demand this..not just ask it. He wants us to have a plan to him next week of how we are going to follow this through. I don’t want to lie to him…I really don’t. But the thought of just living together and in separate bedrooms is very appealing.
Post # 11
@best10612: Totally unreasonable. I’d refuse, and present him with a plan that is the best you can do within your current circumstances. Reach out to another pastor in the church for support if need be. In reality, no pastor should be alienating a faithful member of the church in this way.
Post # 11
I don’t think the 4 months is to make up for the past… I suspect it’s more to do with making your wedding day more special, so that going home together doesn’t feel like any other day but the start of something new and exciting. I’ve heard of a couple living together and then one moving out about 3 months before the wedding, even though they had separate bedrooms the whole time they were living together. Honestly though, it’s between you and God how you work it out. The most exciting thing is that you’re in a relationship with God! I hate it when people use their “sin” as an excuse not to get close to God. God doesnt put the barriers there, we do. He doesn’t need you to change… Changes happen as your relationship with him grows. And it sounds like you are such a good example of that. Anyway, I can’t imagine that giving up sex would be easy at this stage, but i think it is really impressive that you are willung to commit to that and I do think that God will reward you for it in your future marriage. I don’t really have any advice on what to do about your pastor though! That’s tough… Maybe you can compromise and stay with family just for a week or two leading up to the wedding?
Post # 12
@frugaldiybride: His reasoning behind it was that the statistics show that people who live together before marriage have higher statistics of divorce rates. He also said it was because the only couples he went against his rules with and let them live together before marriage all ended up in divorce and so he will not do that again.
However, it is funny because my Fiance and I blew his pre-marital inventory test out of the water and he couldn’t believe how high of scores we got on the test and said that couples who have never been married before never score as high as we did…to the point he almost thought we cheated!
Post # 13
@kimmy13 I think the whole idea of sacrificing and suffering and being apart for four months just so that you have something to look forward to at the start of your marriage or so that it isn’t just like any other day is pretty warped. Shouldn’t the start of your married life be exciting enough? Just my personal thoughts on that issue. I’m already looking forward to the wedding, I don’t need to make myself miserable leading up to it so that it’s extra special, you know?
OP I would find a different pastor. You shouldn’t have to lie. And you shouldn’t have to meet his demands.
Post # 14
Man, honestly? I’d drop the pastor. But, if that isn’t an option for you, I’d say you are going to follow through. Sucks that it is being demanded of you.
Post # 15
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
@best10612: those stats are true, but they don’t say that *every* couple who lives together will get divorced.
I’m a religious person, and I think his demands are completely unreasonable- I’m getting really worked up over this. :)- I haven’t met with our minister yet for our counseling, but if he demanded something like this, I would get another officiant. I think he’s so out of line to set “rules” like this for you. You can sleep in separate bedrooms, if that’s okay with both of you, but neither one of you should move out. Would he be okay if you both lived in your parent’s home and stayed in separate rooms, for example?
Your minister would have to approve it, but it’s possible you could still get married at your church by another officiant.