Marriage Matters

Is Cohabitation “Just as Good” as Marriage?*

This article was posted on: November 19, 2019

“Let marriage be held in honor among all.” Hebrews 13:4

Culture tells us that cohabitation is a substitute for marriage. However, God’s Word and social science research say something very different:

• Marriage(without prior cohabitation) has a positive effect on worshiping God regularly.

• Children from always married families are more likely to enter legal marriage as their first union.

• Cohabiting couples are significantly more likely to worship Godless frequently and to think of worship as less important.

• Women who cohabitate more likely to hold favorable views about divorce.

• Early adolescent dating and sexual intercourse increase the likelihood of choosing cohabitation over marriage.

Cohabitation is not a substitute for God’s way. Can you use this information to help your children see marriage as God’s place for sexual relationships?

This chart shows that women who never worship God and who come from non-intact families are more likely to cohabit than women who come from intact families and worship weekly. If a woman grows up in a cohabitating household, she is more likely to cohabit herself. Non-intact families breed non-intact families. A cohabitating culture does not offer stability and health to the next generation in the way that marriage surely does.

For links to the research behind these statements, please visit
*It bears emphasizing that these patterns hold for the groups involved, not for all the individuals who make up each group. There is naturally a wide variation among individuals.

The Catholic Diocese of La Crosse
3710 East Ave. South
La Crosse, WI 54601

Subscriptions & Advertising 
Pam Willer

Story ideas, submission inquiries
Erik Archer

Individual Subscriptions

Find us on Facebook

Your Faith


Copyright © 2023 Diocese of La Crosse. All Rights Reserved.

To Top