The Marriage Play House: We Fall Down When We Shack Up

We fall down, when we shack up
We fall down, when we shack up
We fall down, when we shack up
Oh yeah
Cause a saint is just a sinner
who played house
with no vows.

This We Fall Down Remix is brought to you by the Let’s Get Married Fellowship Choir of the Bridegroom and the Bride Church of the Latter Day Aints.

“Where in the Bible does it say that a man and a woman should not live together (i.e. shack up) before getting married?”


Don’t get excited.

Any time I hear someone say that it’s because they are already in the situation, been single for a really long time, or they want an escape clause because marriage is for-eh-vaaaaa!

Some time ago, I saw a minister ask this question on a nationally televised show. Needless to say, he had a baby out of wedlock with the woman he was “shacking up” with.

And, therein lies the problem.

I’m not saying a man and woman who are interested in one another can’t live together and not sleep together. But, why would you want to?

I’m not talking about two regular friends living together, though that’s been known to bring about some messy morning-afters as well. But, this is you and your man. Your guy. Your schnookums. Your boo. Who smells really good, has a smile that melts your heart, and has quite the athletic physique (or not).  Either way, you just love everything about him.

How would you manage that? I’m asking for a friend :).

I Got This

We saints like to play this pretend game that we can be strong, we can hold out.  We quote a scripture, we say ten Our Fathers, we bathe in anointed oil, but we are lying – mostly to ourselves – definitely to God!

God gave us a sex drive. And, He made sex to be gooodt, because if not? World population = zero.

We want marriage.  But, somehow we think that we have to do whatever it takes to engineer and manipulate the circumstances.

All while ignoring the truth that – anything done out of order brings chaos.

See, when we go off and shack up, we are out of order.

God is a God of decency and order.

There is a process and a protocol for everything. Even the way the temple was built was measured out in specific cubits (1 Kings 6:2-7). There is a specific way to bring offerings. The Feasts and Festivals occurred on specific days in specific seasons in a specific manner. There was heaven, earth, daytime, nighttime, birds in the sky, animals on land, separation of land and sea, and then man. And then woman. And then haywire. Adam and Eve – out of order.

Dating, courtship, engagement, and marriage follow protocol as well. And, nowhere in there is shacking up option.

God’s Protection Trumps Trojan

It’s all for your protection. Listen to me y’all, hear me good: God’s order is for your protection!

Some people really don’t want love, they want help! They can’t afford a nice place on their own, but if they manage to convince you to settle for this arrangement, they have a nice place and a roommate who also gives it up without a real commitment.

There is a value that women (and men) have that we don’t realize is there. So, we often lower our worth and values when we’re presented with the chance to have “something real.” But it’s not real. It’s a cheap imitation of real that offers temporary circumstances. It’s an imitation that can leave you disappointed or hurt – without legal protection should that person leave or die.

Typically, no one plans to be in a position where they have to take legal action – but why would a man want everything else with a woman except a legal contract that binds the two of you together in the eyes of God and the law?

Authenticity or Nothing

There comes a time when we as adults should be done with imitation relationships, imitation friendships, and imitation crab meat (even though that last one may have to wait until I get my money right). But, we cannot settle for less than what God has for us or requires of us anymore. We cannot play house – play being the operative word.

Are you or your significant other gun-shy about commitment? Then neither of you are ready for any commitment whatsoever.

If you’re agreeing to live together before marriage because you think it will keep him/her, how else will you compromise your values to keep him/her? If you think you aren’t worthy of marriage just because you haven’t seen it in your family, how then will you break the generational chains that hold you there?

Let’s get whole in Christ. Let’s honor him with order.

We fall down, but (when) we get up…

Let’s be saints who understand God’s order… of those vows.

So, what’s the play call?


And, while you wait, find your identity, purpose, and worth in Christ. Ask Him to show you the areas where you need His healing, guidance, and love – first.

While you’re healing, make a list of the character traits (the inner things that reflect godliness) you want in your husband (or wife).

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Editorial StaffKenisha JohnsonLisaDr. Arleezah Marrah Recent comment authors
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Dr. Arleezah Marrah
Dr. Arleezah Marrah

Excellent article. We need to continue being bold talking about sex and living together in the church.


Hey Sis,

Thank you for reading.

I’ve only heard one Pastor address the issue. We were at a Women’s Conference and she said something like, Don’t y’all come and ask me to bless your homes when you are shacking up and living in sin. I never forgot it.

Hopefully, there will be others willing to jump in and tackle the topic. It’s quite a thing these days.

Kenisha Johnson

I enjoyed reading your post! May God continue to bless you and use you in sharing his word!

Editorial Staff

We appreciate you reading, sis, and for your kind words. God bless you!