19: Cohabiting Before Marriage Does Not Equal a Better Relationship…


Moving in, shacking up, cohabitation…


Call it what you want.


It’s been a hot topic of years.


Some people see no issue with it.


Some people are firmly against it.


Some people are still on the fence.


One thing is for sure, I know where I stand.


I am firmly against cohabiting before marriage.


Not for my own personal reasons though.


I am firmly against it, because in the sight of God it isn’t right.


To some, it may feel or seem like the natural next step in a relationship.


To some, it may seem utterly harmless.


I can totally understand both of those positions.


However, I have one question:


From God’s perspective, is it the RIGHT thing to do?


Let’s abandon emotions, feelings and this worldly culture … at least for a moment.


Instead let’s look at things from the only perspective that matters: God’s.


When I do that, the answer to the question, “Should I move in with someone before marriage?”, becomes extremely easy to answer.


My answer is “no” and I truly believe it is the right answer, especially if someone desires to live their life in accordance to God’s will, purpose and Kingdom Principles.


For me, the matter of moving in with a woman I’m dating has nothing to do what I, my woman or anyone else may want, feel or think.


All that matters, to me, is doing what is pleasing to my Heavenly Father.


His original will and intention is for men and women to live with one another only after they’ve entered into a covenant of marriage with Himself and one another.


Therefore, that is what I plan to do.


If you’re interested in learning more about why you should seriously consider thinking twice before moving in with someone before marriage, I highly recommend that you listen to the latest podcast episode, “Want to Avoid a Relationship Disaster? Don’t Move In Too Soon”:





If you know someone who can benefit from this, whether they are single, in a relationship or engaged, please share it with them, by pressing ‘click to tweet’ below.


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Episode Title: Want to Avoid a Relationship Disaster? Don’t Move In Too Soon


Guests: JewelFollow Her on Twitter * James


Music: Sam Smith – Good Thing * Mali Music – Heavy Love



  • We think five years ain’t too much, but a lot of things can change within that time.” – Jay


  • “You can be living under the same roof as somebody and not be committed to them whatsoever.” – Jay


  • “We’re not going to move in together until you have a ring on your finger and we have a date set.” – James


  • “If you’re under the age of 25 you shouldn’t even be thinking about moving in with anybody. You should either be living with your parents or have your own spot.” – James


  • “I equate moving in to marriage… they come as a package deal for me.” – James


  • “I told him I wasn’t going to have sex with him, until we got married, and so he proposed… like a month later.” – Jewel


Key Lessons:

  •  The importance of addressing red flags before moving in with someone
  • The benefits of waiting to move in together


Hot Topics & Takeaways:

  • The perceived benefits of cohabiting
  • Kingdom Citizens and Christians who move in together before marriage


Experience is the Best Teacher:

  • James shares how his perspective of cohabiting before marriage has changed since entering his 30s
  • James explains why it was so beneficial for him and his current girlfriend to attend church together


Fun Times & Stories

  • James tells us exactly why his experience with cohabiting with an ex-girlfriend was a DISASTER
  • James shares the story of how he refused to enter into a jewelry store at an ex-girlfriend’s request


Hold Yourself Accountable:

If you are a Kingdom Citizen or someone who desires to live in accordance to God’s principles, laws and commandments, then you must be willing to refrain from moving in with someone before you’re married.


Apply the Principles:

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”  2 Timothy 2:22(KJV)


Take Action Now:

  1. Make a decision to live according to God’s principles.
  2. Discuss with your partners the importance of sticking with your convictions.
  3.  Make a decision to do what’s right in the sight of God, not you or your partner.


Show Some Love:

Please leave me a comment or a private message answering the following question:

 Do you believe people should wait until they are 25 before they consider moving in with someone?

  • singlemomsmile1
    June 28, 2014

    I would like to say great job to everyone. It’s great to hear a man like James be so open and honest about his past relationships and what he has learned from them. There is nothing worse than a person who won’t own up to their mistakes and who won’t take advice from others. Keep striving! Jewel is one smart woman and we need many more of her to help educate the masses.

    Like my previous post said I don’t agree with cohabitation. I always knew that it was not a foot in the door to get to marriage. I agree with Jewel. It just gives a man the benefits and comforts of marriage without having to make the necessary sacrifices. I am a true caretaker that’s why I’m a mother and a nurse. I really enjoy taking care of people, helping them work through issues, and helping them feel their best. Within reason there are no limits to what I do for the people I love.

    You spoke on the topic of being lucky to not have kids with the people you were with. When I met my daughter’s dad he was the 40 something year old Love and Hip dude giving the side eye to marriage, moving in etc. and I was the young, gullable 27 yr old. I got pregnant 6 months after meeting him. How did I get caught up with someone who I desire to cut ties with? Low self esteem, weed, and self hatred that’s how. I did have enough sense to not have more than one child with him. Like Jewel said I think women feel a couple of more kids will make him do right. Wrong! I saw how it was going down with my daughter so I made sure to not have another. I’m glad I have my one though because after a life threatening illness I had total hysterectomy at 34 and I’m unable to have anymore. I saw down the street but God saw around the corner!

    I do understand where James is coming from but I don’t think 25 is necessarily the magical age one should feel they are ready to start moving in. Heck, I didn’t figure who I really was until I was in my 30s. And at 36 Im still sorting me out. Thats why I’m single. If it weren’t for me having my daughter I doubt I would have gotten my life together. I knew she needed me. Such mature decisions of marriage, moving in, and kids have to be made on a case by case basis. You can’t tack an age on it. We don’t know a person’s background and what traumas they may have been through that causes them to make their decisions. I’ve met many mature level headed 23 year olds that made me say “Why wasn’t that me back then?”

    So no moving in and no premarital sex in my book if you want the relationship to go the distance. All of that clouds judgements and opens the door for problems. We can’t change our pasts but just knowing God’s plan for my life is far greater than any of my mistakes.


    • Jay
      June 28, 2014

      Thank you so much for the kind words Ariel. I am so glad that you enjoyed the discussion with James and Jewel. Like you stated, they both shared so many honest experiences and valuable insights.

      You and Jewel are right. There are plenty of men who are willing to play house with a woman and reap the benefits that a woman should only be supplying to her husband.

      Wow! I’m so sorry to hear that you’re unable to having any more children Ariel. However, like you said, God saw fit to bless you with your daughter before that occurred. That in itself is truly a blessing!

      You make an excellent point about the age issue. I agree with what you said and I’ll definitely be sharing that on the next podcast.

      “We can’t change our pasts but just knowing God’s plan for my life is far greater than any of my mistakes.”

      That statement is REAL!!!

      • Autumn
        June 28, 2014

        The play house statement is really real. I remember something Jewel said. She said she wouldn’t have sex until marriage so her partner proposed. What if he had married her just to have sex with her? If you state a standard and the person meets it, it’s sometimes difficult to realize they aren’t *really* meeting it. In that case, I think it’s good the Jewel lived with him and got to know and then got rid of him before they married.

        But as I said last podcast, it doesn’t take cohabitation to really get to know someone. It can work that way as it did for Jewel, but it just takes a long, long time of spending time with a person to get to know them. Going on day trips. Being in their home (I don’t mean sex, just really spending time) and them in yours. Asking the right questions. Eventually who they really are will shine though.

        So much time! But I do think time weeds out a lot and we just have to get used to the idea of spending years getting to know a person to really find out who they really are.

        • Jay
          June 28, 2014

          I agree that in time a person’s true colors will be revealed.

          However, the next question usually is: how much time will it take?

          That’s the tricky part, because some people can’t go very long without revealing who they truly are. Yet, some people can go a very long time without letting a person see the ‘real’ them.

          It seems to be a gamble either way it’s played.

  • Autumn
    June 28, 2014

    Gosh, I had a long comment that I wrote while listening. I was waiting to answer your last question and the podcast timed out. I refreshed and poof went the comment. Sigh. I’ll try to recreate it a bit here.

    I do wonder why James didn’t just break his lease? Why not just pay the money instead of endure ten months of misery?

    I’ll answer your last question. I don’t think it’s a matter of age. It’s a matter of culture and maturity. There are some cultures where young people marry young and live together and it lasts. I think whatever age anyone is they can choose, if they want, to treat cohabitation as seriously as marriage. It’s not the same, no, but it can still be an important step in a relationship. It can even be the final step in a relationship for people who don’t follow Kingdom Principles or who don’t want to get married. But like marriage being work, any long-term romantic partnership is work. If cohabitation is just for convenience or to split the rent, then well, people get what they put into it. And a 50-year-old, while less likely to cohabitate for these reasons, could still do so. Being older guarantees nothing if the person hasn’t done the work on themselves.

    I think what Jewel said about having an escape plan is a good idea. Also what James said stuck with me, “You’d have to do a lot of work on yourself before I’d marry you.” That was a pretty mature statement for his under 25-year-old self. 🙂 It’s those kinds of conversations people need to have before marriage or cohabitation. I see them similarly, though not exactly the same. I believe any relationship is as serious as you and your partner choose to make it.

    I had more, but that’s all I can remember from my draft. I so appreciate the candor that you and your guests share with us. I do feel there is a common thread to these podcasts. The quote that comes to mind throughout is what Courtney said in the first May podcast:

    “Is it fair for you to be doing serious-type stuff if you’re not serious?”

    It’s an idea that keeps coming up in the RTRL podcasts. Moving in, marriage, sex, this is serious stuff that requires both people to commit and be ready. And you may disagree, Jay, but I believe people can have mature, serious and thoughtful relationships even if they don’t follow Kingdom Principles. Whether they are young or old. It’s about doing the work, the sheer work and commitment on yourself before and with your partner in a relationship. At least that’s what it’s about to me.

    • Jay
      June 28, 2014

      Awww…I am so sorry you lost your comment. Destiny’s Truth told me that’s happened to her before too. Sorry about that.

      Those are great questions! I’ll see if I can get James to swing by and answer them for you.

      Amazing answer and excellent point. If I hadn’t already recording Monday’s podcast, I would have definitely included your email. You can be sure that I’ll be shouting you out on Friday’s episode.

      “I believe any relationship is as serious as you and your partner choose to make it.”

      I agree with that statement 100%!!!! The key word is ‘AND’. It can’t just be one partner. It must be both.

      You’re right about that common thread. Sadly, I don’t think that’s a question most people stop to ask, ponder or answer.

      No doubt that’s it’s possible for people to have serious and thoughtful relationships even if they don’t follow Kingdom Principles.

      In fact, there a many people who fit in that category.

      However, not knowing a principle doesn’t mean that it doesn’t apply.

      Principles are eternal. They aren’t like laws that can be changed. Principles don’t take into account whether people like them or even know them. They apply regardless and always.

      Take the principle of gravity for example. None of us knew what gravity was until someone taught us about it. However, the principle of gravity was always in effect, even when we didn’t know about it.

      The same applies to God’s Kingdom Principles. They will always and eternally apply. Even if we are unaware of them or don’t like them. It doesn’t matter. Why? Because they are principles.

      • Autumn
        July 1, 2014

        I think the principles totally apply. People just may not call it that. I actually think it’s admirable for people to be following the principles and not even know it. Kind of like understanding how gravity works even if you’ve never taken a science class in your life.

        Human beings are capable of so much. One thing I like about these podcasts we listeners get to explore that, not matter what we call it. We can still rise and be our best selves in relationships. The podcasts remind me of our potential. If we work hard. 🙂

        • Jay
          July 1, 2014

          Wow! That’s amazing! Our potential is so valuable and God definitely desires for all of us all to maximize it!

    • James J
      June 29, 2014

      Hey Autumn,

      Thanks for listening! Ima try to answer your question as concise as I can. So both of our names were on the lease. We were splitting the rent in half each month. The way that it was explained to me from the leasing office, if one of us broke the lease, that person would be responsible for the remaining monies left on the lease, and that person who stayed STILL would be responsible for paying rent each month. If I moved out before the lease was up, my security deposit would have been lost as well. Also, their were items in the place that we purchased together, that I wanted, and she wanted as well. So that had to be agreed upon as to who gets what, and that alone was a battle.

      Their were bills that were in my name, that I couldn’t afford to pay if I was to move to another residence (i.e., having electric bill at 2 different places, and not living at one of those places). Another thing, the fact that we were on one of those family share cell phone plans, where I was the primary account holder. If I were to just cut that line off, I would have had to pay a termination fee, cause it was in the middle of the contract. It kinda worked out that the cell phone contract ended when the lease ended.

      They’re probably some other details that I’m missing, but those are the things that are coming to me right now. Thats the thing about cohabiting, you do things like you’re a married couple, but your not married. All this bill stuff, I thought at the time it made sense, and made things easier. I didn’t take into account that one day it would go bad. During that breakup time, trust me, I went through all the scenarios in my head, and I discussed them with my closest friends and family members. At the end of the day, in my mind I figured get through this time, and after that I would never have to see her, or deal with her anymore, as opposed to breaking a lease, and potentially get sued or taken to court on some stuff. Which is why I feel the way I feel about cohabiting! Just in my situation, things could have been a whole lot messier than they were. I wouldn’t wish that experience on my worst enemy.

      But hey, I learned from that, and it makes for a very interesting story, and a great podcast!

      • Autumn
        June 29, 2014

        Thanks James for coming back to answer my question!

        It really seems like you guys really co-mingled. I mean that is one of the benefits of sharing space is splitting things, but you guys really shared everything. I’m not sure if I’d share all of that even if I were married! I know that’s the point of marriage (sharing) but I’ve been in too many roommate/housemate situations to easily do that right off the bat. People can be really funny about their stuff and what they are contributing, especially when they get annoyed. It does sound like breaking the lease in your case would have been a costly decision. It’s interesting that in a roommate situation, people go into it knowing that the roommate might leave after a year. They are ready to pay double rent for a while until they find someone else. But a couple in love? Aren’t thinking about what happens if they fall out of love.

        I can see why you’re so careful going forward. Moving in is serious business!

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