Sleeping arrangements

What happens when an unmarried Christian couple (boyfriend and girlfriend) want to go on a trip together? Is it okay to stay in a hotel? Do they need to book separate rooms, or can they share a room?

In my opinion, there are two issues to be considered:

1. The issue of “appropriateness” versus “impropriety.”

2. The issue of temptation.

As a Christian, it’s a given that sexual acts (including, but not limited to, intercourse) are reserved for marriage. Engaging in such acts is sinful for those who are unmarried. There are also behaviors that are not necessarily wrong, but may result in being tempted towards behavior that would be wrong. For example, sleeping in the same bed, while not a sin itself, would open the door for lots of temptation, and put “forbidden fruit” within easy grasp, making it easy to succumb to temptation. Therefore sleeping in the same bed is a bad idea because of the issue of temptation. Also, even if two individuals were entirely confident in their ability to resist temptation, most people would agree that it would be inappropriate, in the same way that co-habitation prior to marriage is inappropriate. Even in the absence of any sexual behavior, sharing a bed is a very intimate arrangement, and that type of intimacy should probably be reserved for those who are married.

Sleeping in separate beds in the same room provides less opportunity for temptation, but still may allow for too much temptation to be a good choice. Particularly if there is no sofa or loveseat in the room, it would be quite easy to start out with the two individuals sitting on top of one bed talking or watching TV, and then the one invididual never makes it over to his/her own bed, which puts them right back into the problem described above. Most would agree that sharing a bedroom is inappropriate, just as sharing the same bed is inappropriate.

With separate sleeping quarters, one of the individuals must leave to “go to bed,” which greatly reduces the temptation that results from sharing the same sleeping quarters. From a temptation standpoint, my opinion is that separate rooms are called for. This could be separate bedrooms at the home of friends or family, a separate room in a hotel suite, or separate individual rooms in a hotel. In my view there is not a substantial difference between a separate room divided by a doorway and a separate room down the hall. There should be no more temptation or opportunity for temptation than spending time together normally at one individual’s house or apartment.

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