Kendra loved the new apartment. Situated in a maze of several hundred units—this one was theirs alone. Her youthful dream was finally being realized. As she unpacked the stack of boxes, it was a blend of their former lives.
Her boxes had clothes, dishes, and a collection of treasures stretching back to her early teens. For him, there were just the male essentials—clothes, TV, sound system, game console, and a large collection of DVDs. She shook her head at the scrappy collection of cast-off furniture crammed in their tiny living space.
They’d excitedly set up the bed first thing. Living together meant no more nights apart. She shivered with anticipation thinking about all the time they’d have with each other. As she unpacked her dishes, pots and pans, she imagined dinners prepared in the tiny kitchen and long evenings with just the two of them.
Like thousands of couples across America, they’d co-signed a lease together, but didn’t bother with the marriage certificate. Over the last fifty years, cohabitation has increased 1500%.
Living together is perceived to be like training wheels on a bike. Get your balance. See how smooth the ride is. It’s the post-modern way to be protected from marital failure—kind of like a condom to prevent a divorce.
Sexually-charged couples move in together and soon discover that sex isn’t everything. Life goes on—sharing a bed doesn’t get the clothes washed, the bills paid, or resolve the questions about what’s next. Women hope for eventual permanence, while men tend to see it as a test drive. Living together means that you agree to leave the back door cracked for a quick exit.
I met Kendra about four months after her lease expired. The live-in experiment failed. Those long evenings together never brought her any closer to the future she imagined.
Instead, budget bickering and his desire to go out with the guys too many nights left her alone and hurting. In the rush to live together, she’d hadn’t taken time to get to know him—besides sexually.
Sex had become a band-aid covering up an infected relationship. God invented sex—for marriage. Sex can make good marriages great, and can help struggling marriages survive, but sex was never intended to help a cohabitating couple determine if they are compatible.
Since the break-up, Kendra met Jesus. Now her most important relationship is the one she has with Christ. If and when she meets someone new, she’ll be doing it God’s way—no worries about keeping the back door cracked for a quick exit. She’s not looking for a short-term lease. Instead, she’s looking for a man who’ll make a long-term commitment. Social norms may have changed, but God hasn’t. Life has few guarantees, but we only need one—God’s Word.
And Kendra is enjoying spending a lot of time reading her Bible. She figures if anyone can lead her to the right man at the right time, it’s God—and until then, she’s moving in with Him, which is exactly the right place to live.