Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Is there a Bible verse that states you should not live with your fiancé prior to marriage? I understand we do not do so in order to refrain from the temptation of sexual relations before marriage, but this is just an assumption. Is this rule clearly stated anywhere in the Bible?

Variations of the word fornication (also included is fornicator, fornications, fornicate) can be found approximately 44 times in the Holy Bible. The dictionary defines this word as the following:
  1. voluntary sexual intercourse outside marriage

  2. law voluntary sexual intercourse between two persons of the opposite sex, where one is or both are unmarried

  3. Bible sexual immorality in general, esp. adultery

Fornication is a sin. It is an obvious form of sexual immorality. It can also be inclusive of other sexual activity. If a couple decides to live together prior to receiving the Holy Mystery of Matrimony in the Church, they are setting themselves up for spiritual disaster. Sexual activity will definitely take place in some form or another, whether it is intended or not. This is human nature.

When seeking biblical verses to corroborate what a person desires or any other personal ambition, one cannot merely approach it with trying to find a verse that states what is wrong with it. It is clear that this kind of terminology was not used in earlier years. Living with someone is and was unacceptable as the Lord identified this flaw to the Samaritan woman (John 4:18). He knew her sins had culminated in not only having had five husbands, but moreover, now she was living with someone who was not her husband. She was ostracized by society. That is why she drew water from the well at noon in the heat to avoid any interaction with anyone. The Lord sought this woman so that he may heal her from her weaknesses, or maybe it was an addiction, or perhaps she just had insecurities and lack of self-esteem. Whatever it may have been that compelled her to behave in this manner, she had fallen into sin, and the Lord wanted to save her and teach us all a lesson.

Though there are many verses on which to contemplate, the following verses also help sum up the answer to your question.

"Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).

"Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2).
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