Living Together: A Guide to Counseling Unmarried Couples

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9780825439247: Living Together: A Guide to Counseling Unmarried Couples

Offers a biblical perspective on the explosive and growing social phenomena of couples moving in together instead of marrying—even among Christian couples. Biblical, practical, and competent help for those who counsel and minister to unwed couples.

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From the Back Cover:

The old children’s rhyme “first comes love, then comes marriage” means little to the over 4 million couples in America who now choose to live together prior to marriage. For them, first comes love, then comes cohabiting, then comes marriage . . . maybe.

Although living together before marriage is considered socially acceptable and the “smart” thing to do, thirty years of modern social research indicate that cohabitation lays a poor foundation for marriage or for any kind of long-term relationship—a foundation weakened by distrust, misunderstanding, lack of respect, and a lesser degree of commitment.

In this much-needed book, experienced pastor and counselor Jeff VanGoethem provides solid help for both the pastoral and professional counselor. He gives insights into the mindset of the modern cohabiting couple, reinforces the biblical view of marriage as a sacred covenant, and offers practical applications for counseling situations.

“Pastors and counselors need this book. It not only provides a biblical perspective, but it also brings the best social research to bear on this important subject.”

—Kerby Anderson
National Director, Probe Ministries International

Jeff VanGoethem (D.Min., Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary) is the senior pastor of East White Oak Bible Church in Bloomington, Ill. He is also adjunct instructor at Lincoln College in Normal, Ill.

From the Inside Flap:

Acknowledgments Introduction Part 1: Cohabitation 1. What Is a Cohabiting Couple? 2. How Many Cohabiting Couples Are There? 3. Why Are Couples Cohabiting? 4. The Consequences of Cohabiting: The Conventional Wisdom 5. The Consequences of Cohabiting: The Hard Realities 6. What Does the Bible Say About Cohabitation? Part 2: Marriage 7. Marriage as a Covenant in the Bible 8. The Marriage Covenant in Christian History Part 3: Application 9. Christians, Churches, and Cohabiting Couples 10. Pastoral Counseling with Cohabiting Couples: Two Key Principles 11. Pastoral Counseling with Cohabiting Couples: Specific Guidelines 12. Pastoral Counseling with Couples Who Have Cohabited Appendix A: Cohabitation Facts Appendix B: Pastoral Remarks to Cohabiting Couples Appendix C: A Sample Church Wedding Policy Appendix D: A Sample Church Wedding Ceremony: The Covenant of Marriage Endnotes

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