Q: “Gary, what’s wrong with being physically intimate before marriage? Isn’t the wedding just a formality?”
Gary Chapman: The reality is that marriage has always been a public thing. It’s not simply an agreement between two people. It’s recorded in human history and society recognizes the couple as being married—something that doesn’t happen when a couple is simply living together. I know it’s popular today to be sexually active and/or live together prior to, or in place of, getting married. However, the wedding is important. Marriage is important. When we downplay the marriage covenant by living together and become sexually active prior to marriage, we increase our chances for marital problems. In fact, research indicates that a sexually active couple who lives together is far more likely to divorce once they do get married. The reality is that you cannot simulate marriage. It’s far better to wait to come together sexually until after you’ve made that lifelong commitment to the other person.