Cohabitation: the New Dating? Part 1

Lisa Cherry —  February 1, 2012

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By Lisa Cherry

I knew our culture had changed, but honestly I did not realize it had changed this dramatically. I was researching some statistics for my book Unmask the Predators when a most disturbing set of data fell in my lap.

It seems that "playing house"—cohabitation—is now accepted as thoroughly mainstream.

Two thirds of America’s buster generation—those born 1965 to 1976 who are the parents of today’s teens and children—agree with this statement: Living together outside of the bonds of marriage is morally acceptable.

And according to one pop survey, two thirds of today’s couples are cohabiting before they walk down the aisle of marriage.

Maybe you are like me and that is shocking. Or maybe not. I presented these stats to my older children, and their response was, “Mom, we are not a bit surprised. We see it all the time.”

I guess that’s why the bridal registry folks that helped Kalyn and Adam prepare their gift requests gave them such funny looks when they presented separate addresses, and why the bank personnel acted like it was big deal to figure out how to combine their names into one account. They were statistical anomalies!

Perhaps that’s why a 2006 article on this issue in US Today did not label cohabitation the new marriage but the new dating. Whoa, that is scary!

Why have we seen such a change? And should we believers who are raising the next generation be alarmed?

I want to address both those questions in this series of posts. My answer to the last question is a resounding “YES!”

Understanding this watershed issue is vital if we are to successfully launch the next generation of Christ followers. So today I encourage you to open a line of prayer to the Lord on this issue. And let’s meet here over the next several posts to figure this thing out!

Image courtesy of Henk L.

Don't miss the other posts in this series:
I Just Live with My Boyfriend Because it is Cheaper,” Cohabitation Part 2
Fornication? What’s That?—Cohabitation, Part 3
There Go the Brides, Cohabitation, Part 4
The Cute Little Couple Next Door Could Destroy Your Kids: Cohabitation, Part 5
What if Dad and Mom Messed Up Sexually? Cohabitation Part 6
First Love or First Lust? Cohabitation Part 7