|24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. -Genesis 2|
When research comes out with studies that violate commitment like this one does, I think it's flawed. A marriage between a man and a woman is more about the commitment to stay together for life than anything else. It is a commitment that is based upon a belief that there is a higher moral value to commitment than just a piece of paper issued by the local county. Some argue that a piece of paper that says you are married doesn't amount for much, and they are right. A ceremony, and a piece of paper, doesn't make a marriage a marriage, but saying vows of commitment does. Especially when you say those vows before God. Now a case could be made that there is a 50% divorce rate, so does commitment really matter in the end? People divorce today because their marriage was not based upon the conviction that their marriage commitment to each other had top priority. Life keeps changing, and what was said at an altar is forgotten in time, and life takes a toll upon two people trying to make a life together. There are paths of direction often take two people in opposite directions, and because they no longer have the relationship they once had they are vulnerable to find other interests other than their spouse.
The top two reasons couples divorce, is sexual infidelity, and financial pressure. That is what research tells us, but again, I disagree. These may be the symptoms that contributed to marital failure, but the bottom line is these two people fell a part from at the core of their commitment to each other. Now, I realize that it usually starts with the dissatisfaction with one spouse, but eventually it spreads to the other, and by the time the divorce is decided upon both spouses have given up on any commitment they made to each other.
Cohabitations that do succeed in developing a relationship that ends in marriage, do so, because of a commitment. Whether they acknowledge it or not, their love for each other does mature into a commitment that ends in a declaration of marriage. Commitment to God and then to your spouse is the best foundation for a successful marriage. Two people who are committed to this kind of commitment will have a harder time giving up on each other, and straying away from their relationship.
I don't believe that cohabitation has anything positive to offer couples. What it does is give you a chance to see what life would be like living with someone else without the legal hassle of marriage. To me its like stealing candy to taste it to see if you like it. It didn't cost you anything except the time it took to steal it. Cohabitation regardless of what this research says, is not based upon a commitment, and therefore it is a substitute, a knock off if you will, of the real thing. Human nature is not that hard to figure out, and if humans can get something for nothing they usually will. If something does not cost you anything, will it be treated in the same matter in which it was received? Most of the time yes.
I would be suspect of such research, because human nature is too predictable to say there is no correlation between easy relationship and easy dissolution.
Hebrews 13:44 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
Keeping it honest and truthful...K