A Rite for the Uncommitted
Samuel Pascoe on “Shacking Up”
It is a new millennium, and by some accounts, that is reason enough to loosen the church’s long-held and well-reasoned conviction that the covenant of marriage is the only safe, healthy, life-affirming, and godly context for sexual relations. But there is one issue on which even conservative Christians tend to loosen the church’s teaching: Many of them, not least many conservative clergy, advocate abandoning the traditional ban on marrying couples who have lived together before their marriage.
Why is this bad? some people will ask. At least the couple are finally getting married. At least now they’re making a public commitment, and one that’s harder to get out of than simply living together. The man, as used to be said, is “making an honest woman” of his live-in partner. (And vice versa, of course.)
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