(Closed) not supposed to live together for 4mths

posted 6 years ago in Christian
Post # 3
Hostess
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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
Member
4193 posts
Honey bee
  • 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
Member
1390 posts
Bumble bee

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!

Good luck!

Post # 8
Member
7339 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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
Member
41 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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 # 11
Hostess
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

@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
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

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 # 13
Member
1390 posts
Bumble bee

@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
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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
Member
4193 posts
Honey bee
  • 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.

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