Surprise! The vast majority of people might be surprised to learn that married couples have better sex lives than couples who are shacking up. Because marriage is the capstone of commitment in the relationship, it adds a deeper sense of internal security to one’s sex life. Married couples are more likely to perceive love and sex as intrinsically connected. This makes sex between married couples essentially more satisfying because the spouse’s intentions and commitment is not in question. Don’t get me wrong: Live-ins are having sex just about as often as married couples—but they are less likely to say they enjoy it as much as married couples do.24

It is often hard to distinguish between a lie in truth’s clothing and truth itself, so it’s no wonder why living together can appear to be like marriage: shared living space, diminished cost of living, convenient sex, even having and raising children together. I often hear, “We are just as committed as any married couple” . . . but the numbers don’t lie. Studies show a lower level of commitment between these couples, less dedication to the continuation of the relationship and less willingness to sacrifice to preserve the relationship. Moreover, these couples report lower levels of happiness, less sexual fidelity, more sexual dissatisfaction and poorer relationships with their parents.

Living together as a married couple is not an effective trial marriage. It does not provide divorce insurance and cannot compete with the rewards and benefits of a strong, committed marriage. Couples are better off in life’s measures of success and happiness (emotional health, physical health, personal wealth, general happiness and longevity) if they are married rather than living together. People need to know that Satan’s counterfeit of living together fails to bring couples the happiness and stability they desire in a close intimate relationship. Shackin’ fails to reap the benefits of marriage.

The current generation of young adults longs for satisfying and stable relationships that provide the essential things in life:  long life, health, financial stability, a sense of well-being, and a happy sex life. Unfortunately, our American culture has deceived many into believing that they can achieve these things without engaging in the divine rite of passage called marriage. Some have accepted the flawed counterfeit known as shacking up, living together or cohabitating, and those who have chosen to adhere to God’s ordained union called marriage have become anxious about their ability to achieve it in a cynical, media-saturated world.

Their fears will be calmed through better pre-marriage education and counseling. The alternatives to marriage appear reasonable and attractive but will prove faulty over time and fail when compared to marriage. Educators, pre-marriage counselors, the Church, the media and parents must begin to proclaim the divine institution of marriage as essential to personal and family success. The Case for Marriage reminds us, “Support for marriage . . . does not require turning back the clock on desirable social change, promoting male tyranny, or tolerating domestic violence . . . Whether an individual ever personally marries or not, a healthy marriage culture benefits every [person].”25

There is a movement among young people across the nation. True Love Waits, The National Abstinence Clearinghouse, Club Varsity, and other organizations have led millions of youth to pledge to wait for sex until after they are married. These young adults have rejected the lies in truth’s clothing that many of their peers accept as the norm:

  • It can’t happen to me.
  • I’ll just practice “safe sex.”
  • It (pregnancy) just happened.
  • They’re gonna do it anyway.
  • What two people do behind closed doors is nobody else’s business.
  • I only listen to the beat.
  • Sex is a natural bodily function that can’t be controlled.
  • Peer pressure/Everybody’s doing it.
  • It’s too late for me.
  • Marriage is just a piece of paper.

The Word says that Satan often appears as an angel of light, cloaked in truth’s clothing. The Deceiver is like a mirage, holding out empty promises that will disappear and even lead you away from fulfilling the hopes you have for your life.