What Does the Bible Say About Shacking Up? Answer

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What does the Bible say about shacking up?

In our modern American culture, living together without being married is often called “shacking up”.
But what does the Bible have to say about that kind of lifestyle for Christians?
Living together without being married is also commonly referred to as cohabitation.
So, what does the Bible say about shacking up, living together, or cohabitating before marriage?
Let’s get started with a great, short video (5 minutes) on the topic – “What does the Bible say about Shacking Up?”

There were some great things to think about in that video, and you may want to get out something to write with, watch it again, to take a few notes.

At one time, living together without being married was considered shameful, because it brought with it the stigma of fornication, sexual promiscuity, and even children born out of wedlock.

1 Corinthians 7:9 “But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”

This verse is referring to young people that have developed a relationship. If they are not able to show self-control sexually, that it is better for them to get married, rather than to commit the sin of fornication.

1 Corinthians 6:18–20 “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

“Fornication” is defined in Websters 1828 Dictionary as: The incontinence or lewdness of unmarried persons, male or female; also, the criminal conversation of a married man with an unmarried woman.

So, when asking the question, “what does the Bible say about shacking up?”, you are automatically asking a question about fornication. That is really at the heart of the issue.

You may want to check out our other article “31 Revealing Bible Verses About Fornication

Another Bible verse about shacking up can be found in:

1 Thessalonians 5:21–22 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

Notice that this verse does not say “abstain from evil”, it says “abstain from all appearance of evil”. Shacking up with someone that you are not married to, whether you are actually having sex or not, is still a violation of scripture.

According to the Bible, the scriptures clearly teach that shacking up gives the appearance of fornication, which is evil.

Let’s consider some statistics on couples that are shacking up.


(by NowSourcing. From Visually.)
The statistics are clear that in America, lifestyles are changing. However, as Christians, we should be more concerned about living a lifestyle that pleases the Lord.
What does the bible say about shacking up? It has plenty to say, but the problem is getting “Christians” to obey the Word of God.
There is no shortage of clear scriptures on the subject.

Matt 5:32 “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” 

John 8:41 “Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” 

Acts 15:29 “That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” 

Rom 1:29 “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers” 

1 Cor 6:13 “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. ” 

1 Cor 7:2 “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 

Gal 5:19 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness” 

Col 3:5 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” 

1 Thess 4:3 “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication”

We hope that these scriptures, in response to the question – What does the Bible say about shacking up, have been a helpful resource for you. 


Men’s Devotion – Hopeful Realism

Men’s Devotion – Prove All Things


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