What’s Wrong With Shacking Up?

The term “shacking up” has been in use since around 1935. Of course, the practice of a man and a woman living together, and participating in all of the privileges of marriage (i.e. sexual relations) has been going on for a lot longer than that.

So what’s the matter with it? If two people love each other, what’s wrong with shacking up? What’s the big deal about having a marriage license?

Besides, what’s the State got to do with it, anyway?

I can hear some of you. “Jan’s on another rampage. Up on his high horse, letting us heathen know how rotten we are.”

Actually, no.

But I do have some thoughts I’d like you to consider; hopefully BEFORE you and your lover share the marriage bed without being married. However, if you’ve already made the plunge, please continue reading. There may be something here worth your time.

Allow me to pause for a moment and give my definition of marriage, as revealed in God’s Word, the Bible. Marriage is the covenantal union, recognized by God, between one man and one woman; spiritually, emotionally, and physically. And in conjunction with God’s recognition, the State recognizes the union as well, when such union is witnessed by at least 2 people, and officiated by a person deemed qualified. 

Okay. That’s done.

One reason shacking up is wrong is because fornication is wrong. What’s fornication? It’s having sex outside the covenant of marriage. Maybe not sexual intercourse, but enough physical contact that arouses one or both sexually.

Adultery and fornication are birds of the same feather; only adultery takes place when at least one of the consenting partners is married to someone else. And as far as God’s concerned, you don’t even need to touch someone to be guilty of adultery.

The same is true of fornication.

Yes, that’s one thing wrong with shacking up. 

“But we’re waiting until we can afford to get married.” Have you ever heard that statement?

It’s great to wait. But why not do both of you a favor and hold off on exploring each other sexually?

“Oh, we’re careful. Nothing bad is going to happen.”

Sure. But haven’t you heard when a man and woman consummate their marriage, the two become one flesh? If they’re one flesh before they’re actually married, if they decide the “experiment” didn’t work, two people can have untold and undetected damage; which can have an ugly effect on any future relationships.

“What’s the big deal, preacher? Adam and Eve weren’t married.”


As marriage is a covenant, where everything belonging to one person becomes the property of their mate, and vice-versa, so it was with Adam and Eve.

Adam willingly (I believe) offered his rib to God, knowing what God was able and desiring to do. In essence, Adam gave so Eve could live.

Eve offered herself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually to her husband.

Both, first of all, submitted their life to their Creator God. Adam trusted God to perform the operation, and Eve trusted God with His choice of a husband.

And the two became one. They both gave their all for the relationship.

What’s wrong with shacking up? Commitment. Or, I should say, a lack thereof.

“But I love her and can’t stand to be apart from her.”

“I only want what’s best for her. I’d never do anything to hurt her.”

By taking from her the most precious part of her life, you ARE hurting her. Plus, you are saying to her and to God, “I enjoy sex, but I’m not ready to be a real man.”

That’s what’s wrong with shacking up!

Little lady, if your man doesn’t love you enough to protect your honor, he’s not worth jumping in bed with. He may be a great “lover”, but that doesn’t mean he really loves. And you’ll never know just how great a man you’ve found if you say “yes” every time he asks. Besides, you are of greater value than that.

Don’t you think it’s worth discovering?

Sure, he may give you money, whisper sweet nothings in your ear, and make you feel like a real princess. But if he won’t help you guard your precious “garden”, how can you be sure he’ll protect the rest of you?

No commitment, no bed. No marriage, no commitment.

A promise to marry, just so the guy can “score”, isn’t anything more than a password to browse the Internet.

“But we need to make sure we’re compatible with each other.”

Look. A male and a female ARE compatible sexually. That doesn’t need to be tested. How about testing the strength of your love, and PROMISE TO EACH OTHER to stay sexually pure UNTIL your wedding night? If you or your partner can’t stay sexually pure BEFORE your wedding, there’s a good chance you won’t stay pure afterwards.

Shacking up doesn’t test a thing. It only reveals how unwilling at least one person is to really care for their mate.

To me, that is what’s wrong with shacking up.

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