What Does The Bible Say About Shacking Up

Shacking up is a complicated topic, and the way the Bible deals with it is no different. The Bible’s overarching theme is that of redemption; and all areas of life have implications in the Christian faith. In this article, we’ll delve into what the Bible says about shacking up, explore the background behind this topic, and offer some insights on how to approach it.

In the New Testament, Paul admonishes the Corinthians not to be “unequally yoked”—essentially, not to shack up with someone who wasn’t a believer. This is a strong warning against combining primary relationships such as marriage and cohabitation with non-believers. Paul makes the argument from both an Old Testament and a New Testament perspective, citing the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis as a prime example of not being unequally yoked.

The Ten Commandments also point to the importance of covenant unity. Many have interpreted this to mean that a Christian should only marry another Christian, and shacking up before marriage is something that should be avoided. This interpretation is further supported by the New Testament’s teaching that marriage is a “one-flesh” union, a union that should only take place between two people who are committed to each other in obedience to God.

When it comes to shacking up, the Bible does not explicitly forbid it. Nevertheless, there are a number of views about it among Christian leaders. Some believe that shacking up is wrong because it leaves open the possibility that a couple will engage in premarital sex. Others feel that shacking up is wrong because it puts the focus on physical pleasure rather than on the commitment to one another that is required for a successful marriage.

Experts also point out that shacking up can be emotionally and spiritually damaging to both parties involved. It can lead to hurt feelings and broken trust, as well as hurt and confusion in the relationship. It can also lead to doubts about the ability to have a fulfilling marriage when it finally takes place. For these reasons, shacking up is increasingly being seen as something that should be avoided.

The Bible often emphasizes the importance of waiting until marriage to have sex. This is a strong signal that shacking up should be avoided. When considering the topic of shacking up, the most important thing to remember is that physical intimacy is part of a much bigger picture. It should be part of a relationship based on commitment and love, which can only be found in marriage between two people who are devoted to each other.

Love and Commitment

Love and commitment are two of the most important building blocks of a successful marriage. Without these two things, it is almost impossible to have a successful relationship or marriage. The Bible teaches that a Christian should only enter into a commitment of marriage when both parties are ready to make the commitment. This means that shacking up should be avoided and that true commitment should be sought before entering into a marriage.

The Bible places a great deal of emphasis on love and commitment. God calls us to love and to put our complete trust in Him. In the same way, we should also put our trust in our partners and be committed to one another. Shacking up can often interfere with this commitment, as it may lead to a casual relationship rather than a serious one.

Shacking up can also lead to confusion, as neither party knows the other’s commitment level or intentions. This can be especially damaging in a Christian relationship, as the foundation of such a relationship should be based on a shared commitment to God and His commands. Without this commitment, it can be difficult for a couple to move forward in the relationship.

One of the best pieces of advice for anyone considering shacking up is to remember that it shouldn’t be seen as an end goal. It should be seen as a means to an end, a stepping stone towards something more permanent and meaningful. Before entering into a relationship or marriage, couples should make sure that they are both completely committed to the idea and that the relationship is rooted in a secure foundation of love and commitment.

Accountability and Setting Boundaries

The Bible teaches that friends can provide a helpful source of accountability and guidance. This applies to relationships as well, as it is important to have friends and family who can provide advice and guidance on important aspects of relationships. When it comes to shacking up, it is especially important to have friends who can offer guidance and help establish boundaries.

Having accountability in a relationship can provide a sense of security and assurance that both parties are on the same page. Friends and family can ask the tough questions that need to be asked, as well as provide encouragement and prayer as a couple goes through difficult times. When it comes to shacking up, having accountability from a trusted Christian source is invaluable.

It is also important for couples to set and respect boundaries within their relationship. For example, if a couple does decide to shack up, they should set ground rules on intimacy, money, chores, and other areas. This is especially important for Christian couples, as boundaries are not just about rules, but about setting expectations for the relationship. If a couple is going to really stick it out, they must learn to communicate openly, honestly, and frequently.

The Bible also talks about the importance of honor, which is an important aspect of setting boundaries. It is important to show respect and honor to one another, and to make sure that each person’s needs and opinions are respected. Setting boundaries in a relationship is also about learning to work as a team, and showing that you value the other person’s opinion and concerns.

The Benefits of Marriage

The Bible also mentions the many benefits of marriage and why it should be entered into willingly and joyfully. Marriage provides an excellent opportunity for the couple to learn and grow together, become more in tune with each other, and embrace the joy and love that comes with sharing a life together. There are many advantages to getting married rather than shacking up; such as the establishment of a more solid and secure foundation, financial stability, and the potential for more children and a more substantial inheritance.

In marriage, both partners have a better opportunity to deepen and sharpen each other through encouragement and support. Marriage also brings legal and emotional benefits, such as the ability to share financial responsibilities and gains, the assurance of commitment and companionship and a strong degree of stability and security.

Marriage is also spoken of in Scripture as sacred and something to be cherished and maintained. Those who choose to uphold their marriage vows, and commit themselves to one another without compromise, are seen as examples of godly faithfulness. Even though there are legal and economic rewards, marriage should always be entered into as a spiritual union of two people who love and honor each other, and strive to live out God’s commands as individuals and as a couple.


Shacking up is a complex topic, and one that should be approached with care. The Bible’s instruction to not be unequally yoked, the assumption that marriage should only take place between two believers and the emphasis on pure love and commitment are all strong indications that shacking up is not the way of the Christian faith. Instead, it is important to recognize the value of waiting until marriage, being accountable to trusted sources, and setting appropriate boundaries.

Ultimately, marriage should be entered into joyfully, and with the understanding that it is a spiritual and emotional union that should provide a deep level of security and intimacy. When it comes to shacking up, the Bible does not offer an explicit command, but the overall message is clear; shacking up should be avoided, and marriage should be sought with reverence, commitment and prayer.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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