Does cohabiting prepare a couple for a great marriage?

According to the Rwanda culture, a couple is supposed to share the same roof only if they are married. Just like the Bible scriptures state; Mark 10:6-9 “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘

According to the Rwanda culture, a couple is supposed to share the same roof only if they are married. Just like the Bible scriptures state; Mark 10:6-9 “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate.”

But with cultures not being static, many things are bound to change from generation to generation. In the earlier days, our forefathers selected marriage partners for their children without the children’s knowledge.

Today, we select who we plan to spend the rest of our lives with or without our parents’ blessing. Although cohabiting was considered immoral only a few years ago, currently people first cohabit before they get married. They do this because they want to know how things will work out when they are married.

Last weekend I visited a couple that has been cohabiting for the last two years and asked them what they thought of marriage. They explained to me that they are getting married this year and the only thing that will be different will be the ring and marriage certificate. They further said that matrimony should not be determined by a ring and a paper but by the harmony two people share.

Given the fact that many marriages end up in divorce these days because most people marry for convenience, the cohabiting couple told me that marriage is much bigger than what people consider it to be.

According to a 2010 survey conducted by Pew Research Center in America, 69% of cohabiters expect to marry their partners.

In an article by Dan Delzell ‘Five myths about living together before marriage’, he states that the five myths include ‘living together first will tell us if we are right for one another’. The second and the third myth are ‘living together will show us if we are sexually compatible and we are just as committed to each other as a married couple’. The fourth and fifth myths are ‘our friendship won’t suffer by moving in together’ and ‘we can love one another just as much without marriage’.

So does that mean that cohabiting will lead to a great marriage? Or will it deter marriage? This is a question every young woman should ask herself before she steps into the cohabiting sphere.

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