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From the Pastor's Desk

Does living together build a stronger marriage? A majority of people mistakenly believe living together is an effective way to test a potential marriage to determine if a couple is compatible. Researchers tell us cohabitation is nothing like marriage. They are very different kinds of relationships.

Cohabitants, compared with their married peers, tend to have:

  • Less healthy, more volatile relationships

  • Break up rates fives times higher

  • 2 to 5 times higher levels of serious physical violence and emotional abuse

  • A decreased sense of ongoing happiness and fairness in their relationships

  • 2 to 8 times higher levels of sexual infidelity

  • Less equitable sharing of finances

  • Much higher rates of risk-taking behaviors such as dangerous driving and drug and alcohol abuse

  • Men in cohabiting relationships are less likely to help out with house work

"You wouldn't buy a car without driving it first, would you?" That is what people think. But surveys show people who live together before marriage have a 50 to 80% higher likelihood of divorcing than married couples who never did.

Living together especially takes advantage of women. Men are more likely to be just having fun and want to keep it that way. Women are the ones hoping for something that is not likely to happen.

And even if he does eventually marry her, his commitment level will be far less. If he had problems committing to marriage to begin with, he is far less likely to be committed after saying "I do." The statistics just prove what the Bible has told us all along.

- Pastors Mark and Jennifer

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