Shacking Up? Sure! Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, right? (WRONG!)

There's a new book on the market that suggests "shacking up" is just fine. It's called, "Shacking Up: The Smart Girl's Guide To Living In Sin Without Getting Burned" (by Stacy Whitman and Wynne Whitman)

The Publisher at says: The must-have guide for any woman who's ever thought about saying "yes" to the other big question: Will you move in with me? More and more couples are choosing to live together before tying the knot-for convenience, to save money and, most importantly, to see if they're compatible. While living together can be an exciting way to take your relationship to the next level, it can also present a host of new questions and challenges.

With its fresh, girlfriend-to-girlfriend manner, Shacking Up walks you through every step of the cohabitation process, from making the initial decision to breaking up or getting married. Beginning with a readiness quiz to help you decide if you and your honey are prepared to take the plunge, authors Stacy and Wynne Whitman provide a wealth of hands-on advice from lawyers, psychologists and financial planners as well as entertaining, true-life stories from couples with shacking up experience.

Topics include: breaking the news to your family; managing and merging your finances; protecting yourself legally; real-estate decisions; and day-to-day dilemmas such as chores, privacy, and keeping the spark alive. Whether you opt for wedding bells or decide he's not the one for you, Shacking Up is a stylish, empowering handbook for staying smart, savvy, and true to yourself along the road to happily ever after.

In other words, we now have an "empowering handbook" that urges and condones sinning! Never mind what God says, and never mind actual "commitment." And never mind the fact that they are ignoring Scripture's command to obey our respective government's laws:

Romans 13:1 Everyone is to obey the governing authorities. For there is no authority that is not from God, and the existing authorities have been placed where they are by God. 2 Therefore, whoever resists the authorities is resisting what God has instituted; and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (CJB)

While man-made governments may not be based on Torah, the fact remains that law enforcement is there for a reason, and our job as citizens is to obey it. You wouldn't arbitrarily decide to do 80 miles per hour in a school zone that is posted as 15 mph, just because you don't like the government's rules; so why ignore any other rules - such as the marriage license and certificate rules.

Just like our obedience to Torah, we cannot cherry-pick which laws to obey, because they were put in place for our safety. Humans have proven over and over again that, left to their own devices, they will always go astray. Without rules, there would be total chaos!

These days it seems to be the "in thing" to live together prior to marriage - even for "religious" people. Their rationale: "By living together before marriage, we'll know how compatible we are." Or, "We're married in God's eyes!" In other words, no commitment necessary; if we don't work out, we'll just split ... After all, we're no longer living in the Dark Ages....."

Let's face it: "Shacking up" - no matter how much "in love" a couple might be at the time - is NOT a commitment! Take a look at what God says about premarital sex.

1 Corinthians 6:15 Don't you know that your bodies are parts of the Messiah? So, am I to take parts of the Messiah and make them parts of a prostitute? Heaven forbid! 16 Don't you know that a man who joins himself to a prostitute becomes physically one with her? For the Tanakh says, "The two will become one flesh"; 17 but the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. 18 Run from sexual immorality! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the fornicator sins against his own body. 19 Or don't you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don't belong to yourselves, 20 for your were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God.

1 Corinthians 7:1. And concerning the things of which you wrote to me, it is praiseworthy for a man not to approach a woman. 2. But, on account of sexual temptation, let each have his own wife and let a woman have her own husband. 3. And let the man render to his wife the kindness which is due; and so also the woman to her husband. 4. The woman is not the sovereign over her body, but her husband: so also the man is not the sovereign over his body, but the wife. (AENT)

YHWH has always been stern about His "do's" and "don'ts", including sexual sins. Leviticus 20:10-21 goes into great detail about sexual immorality, advising people of the serious consequences of immoral behavior that includes death in certain instances.

Immorality is a world-wide epidemic, and getting worse. Societies throughout history and around the globe have embraced sexual standards that are called sins in the Bible. Fornication - any unlawful sexual intercourse including adultery - is not just tolerated in our society but is actually being encouraged. This sin is being committed even among believers, as many couples "live together" and have sex before marriage. The Bible, however, tells us to flee this sin. The problem is, "the world" doesn't care.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-23: 21 But do test everything - hold onto what is good, 22 but keep away from every form of evil. 23 May the God of shalom make you completely holy - may your entire spirit soul and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Matthew 15:19 tells us: For out of the heart come forth wicked thoughts, murder, adultery and other kinds of sexual immorality, theft, lies, slanders....

Our lives as Torah observant believers are a living witness to others and we cannot break the laws of God without hindering others from coming to Messiah. We must live our lives in purity before a sinful and wicked world. We should not be living according to their standards but according to God's standard in the Bible. No couple should live together outside the bonds of marriage!

Many say they live together before marriage to see if they are compatible as they don't want to divorce. This may sound like a justifiable reason for committing the sin of fornication, but in God's eyes it is still sin. Statistics however, show that those who live together before marriage are more likely to get a divorce than those who do not. Living together shows a total lack of trust in God and a failure to commit to Him the choosing of a mate. Believers who are living in this situation are out of the will of God and need to repent and seek God as to whether this person is the right one for them. If it is God's will for them to be together they should marry. Otherwise, they need to change their living arrangements.

As believers, the goal of any relationship should be to cause the people in our lives to love and know the Lord better. Living together is shameful and selfish as the parties do not care what others think or how they might affect their families and others. They are living to please their own lust and selfish desires. This type of lifestyle is destructive and especially so for children whose parents are living a bad example before them. No wonder our children are confused about right and wrong when parents degrade the sanctity of marriage by living together out of wedlock! How can living together cause children to love and honor God when their parents break the laws of God before them because they are lustful?

Young people today need to be taught to abstain from sexual intercourse and remain pure virgins before marriage. So many problems in marriages today stem from the fact that they are not virgins when they marry. Young people are bringing wounded emotions and diseased bodies into their marriages because of prior promiscuous affairs. Sexually Transmitted Diseases are so widespread that the statistics are shocking. The Bible is right when it says fornication is a sin against one's own body....

The sin of fornication is not only defined as illicit sexual intercourse between those who are not married but also is an umbrella for other sexual sins as well. The Bible also speaks of the sins of incest and homosexuality as fornication:

Leviticus 20:12 If a man goes to bed with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to death; they have committed a perversion, and their blood is on them. If a man goes to bed with a man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they must be put to death; their blood is on them.

1 Corinthians 5:1 - It is actually being reported that there is sexual sin among you, and it is sexual sin of a kind that is condemned even by pagans - a man is living with his stepmother!

What God Has in Store for the Sexually Immoral....

Revelation 21:8 - But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who misuse drugs in connection with the occult, idol-worshippers, and all liars - their destiny is the lake burning with fire and sulphur, the second death."

All prostitutes and pimps are fornicators. Couples who just "live together" according to the Bible, are committing the same sin that whores commit. Singles who "make love" fall into the same category. Just because society has accepted this type of living does not make it right. The Bible must be our standard of what is right and wrong. We must change our standards if we do not want the wrath of God to fall on us. God hates sin but He loves the sinner. If anyone repents and calls on Yeshua today He will help them to come out of any illicit relationship and heal them of all past hurts.

God gave us the laws in the Bible for our good. They are not meant to deny us any good thing but they are given so we can enjoy the proper sexual relationship in the proper time. If we obey the words of the Bible and "flee fornication" and glorify God in our bodies, the Lord will bless us beyond what we could believe:

Psalm 145:17-21: 17 ADONAI is righteous in all his ways, full of grace in all he does. 18 ADONAI is close to all who call on him, to all who sincerely call on him. 19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 ADONAI protects all who love him, but all the wicked he destroys. 21 My mouth will proclaim the praise of ADONAI; all people will bless his holy name forever and ever.

And please consider this:

Betrothal in biblical times was viewed as more of a business transaction between two families than a personal, romantic choice. It includes dowry or bride price agreements, so that a broken engagement required repayment of the dowry. After betrothal, the couple looked forward the wedding celebration, the bride’s move into the groom’s house, and the consummation of the marriage.

The best-known example of betrothal is that of Yeshua's mother, Miriam, and her fiancé, Yoseph. When Yoseph learned that his betrothed was pregnant (before he understood the miraculous nature of the conception), he thought that Miriam had violated her betrothal! His only recourse, he believed, was to divorce her, or "put her away." Matthew records the account thusly:

Matthew 1:18. Now the birth of Y'shua, the Mashiyach, was like this: While Maryam his mother was betrothed to Yosip, without them being united, she was found pregnant by the Ruach haKodesh. 19. But Yosip, her husband was just and did not desire to expose her, yet he was thinking in secret that he would dismiss her. 20. While he was thinking these things, a messenger of Master YHWH appeared to him in a dream, and said to him, "Yosip, the son of Dawid, do not have fear to take Maryam as your wife, for he that is begotten in her (is) from the Ruach haKodesh. 21. And she will bear a son and she will call his name Y'shua, for he will save his people from their sins."

22. And this all happened that it might be fulfilled what was said by Master YHWH through the prophet, 23. "Behold, a virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call his name Ammanuel, which is interpreted 'our El (is) with us'" 24. When Yosip now rose from his sleep, he did as the messenger of Master YHWH commanded him, and he took his wife. 25. And he did not know her until she had given birth to her first-born son, and she called his name Y'shua. (AENT)

Betrothal (a commitment!) was a serious thing - so serious that the couple was already referred to as "husband and wife!" (You didn't just "live together" - you made a COMMITMENT designed to lead toward marriage!) The fact that a "divorce" was required to break the betrothal shows that their premarital contract was legally binding. If, even during the betrothal period, Miriam had been sexually intimate with someone other than Yoseph, she would have been guilty of adultery.