Susie talks again with Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton about his book, The Ring Makes All the Difference.

Glenn shared that more than 75% of individuals who cohabit have the intention of getting married and are using cohabitation as a test for marriage. This uncertainty about the relationship doesn’t foster healthy communication and growth.

“That’s exactly what the cohabitation proposition is: ‘I’m not quite sure about you, lets see how it would work out.'”

In his work for Focus on the Family Glenn has looked extensively at research on cohabitation. He decided to write this book to help pastors and counselors who might not be familiar with the topic understand it from a social science perspective. According to Glenn, he looked at hundreds of studies but he did not find any social scientist or psychologist who has pointed out positive factors or effects arising from cohabitation.

“For instance, so many couples are cohabiting today thinking that it’s going to lead to stronger, healthier, happier marriages, but what the research is finding is there are few things that couples do of their own free will to increase their likelihood of divorce than cohabiting together.”

Glenn shared that individuals who cohabit have a 50 to 80 percent greater chance of getting divorced if they married than a couple from the same socioeconomic status who did not cohabit.

He explained that his book is written in such a way that it should convince nonbelievers as much as believers not to engage in cohabitation. Although he finds clear Scriptural background for his position Glenn wanted to approach the topic from another angle.

“We know that our Grandmas are against it, we know our pastors are against it, not many know of us know the Scriptures are against it (and it is), but science itself is against it.”

Key Scriptures: Matthew 19:5,Genesis 2:21-26Hebrews 13:4

Marriage vs. Cohabitation