BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR A GOD-CENTERED MARRIAGE

The Cohabitation challenge is an innovative program to help cohabiting couples step into the covenant of marriage. We believe that marriage provides the best foundation for building healthy marriages and families. Cohabitation or living together has grown exponentially in recent years as an alternative to marriage however we believe that based on our faith that the benefits of marriage far outweigh cohabitation.

“The co-habitation challenge is an opportunity for couples to take a step back and assess their relationship with each other, as it relates to their relationship with God. When couples move out, learn about the Biblical Covenant that marriage is, and engage in the marital relationship the way that it was initially intended, they honor God and each other.”

– Pastor Bryan Carter, Concord Church

 In 2009, Bryan Carter shared a message with his church and community entitled, "Let's Just Live Together."

The message was intended to provide a biblical framework for the advantages of marriage over cohabitation. At the end of the message, he invited those present to consider three options. 

A. Move away mentally from the concept of cohabitation in their dating practices.  

B. Move out of the cohabitating relationship if you are there only out of convenience and we will pay your first month's rent.  

C. Marry now and we will give you a free wedding (dress, tuxedo, rings, ceremony and reception) in 90 days after you complete eleven weeks of pre-marital classes.

Since 2009, they have implemented the program every three years in 2009, 2013, 2016 and 2019. They married 18 couples in 2009, 14 couples in 2012 and 25 couples in 2016. 57 couples total with 80% of those couples remaining married. There are currently 50 couples who have accepted the marriage challenge in 2019 and will begin their counseling in June 2019.

ORGANIZE A CHALLENGE

This website is designed to help churches that desire to implement this program within their congregation. Our hope and vision is for churches across the country to duplicate this program. We truly believe "The Cohabitation Challenge" is an innovative approach to assisting couples to moving into a God honoring marriage with love and grace.

DOWNLOAD TOOLKIT

 Here are a few of many churches that have implemented the challenge. Bent Tree Bible Fellowship - Dallas, TX Oakcliff Bible Fellowship Church - Dallas, TX The Worship Center - Birmingham, AL Antioch Baptist Church - Beaumont, TX Mountain Lake Church - Cummings, GA Salem Baptist Church - Chicago, IL

MEDIA




REACH OUT

"Pastor Carter came up with a challenge. It was to move out or get married. After that particular service, it was a spiritual confirmation for us and we decided to take on the challenge. We wanted to be right in the eyes of God."

-Raymond Adams

"When it was your time to walk it was your time. The lights, camera, action was on you. You didn’t see anyone else but your groom or your bride."

-Tashia Guy

"We learned about love languages and how we communicate. A lot of that of that stuff we really didn’t know about. Also, one of our key things is that we are a blended family."

-Heidi Adams

"The wedding day was phenomenal. It was beyond my imagination of what she and I could have individually pulled together. I already knew that she was the one and I wanted to be married to and spend the rest of my life with. But then when [CSI] started going through the Biblical aspects, the challenges, the financial aspects, the responsibilities…it was like this is real!"

-Eric Guy

"Initially I wasn’t sure how being in a mass wedding would be for the two of us. But once we actually got to meet everybody who was going to be in it and went to rehearsals, it became more special to us and I felt like is it was something more that was going to add to our wedding day. And it really did!"

-Shoua Evans

"Getting married in the mass wedding was not a destination, it was the start of a journey because there are so many other steps that Concord helps facilitate to reach out and help where ever you are in your marriage. Whether you’re a newlywed or whatever kind of difficulty/challenge that you’re facing, Concord has some kind of resource already in place for you to take advantage of."

-Kelvin Evans

DOWNTIME CAN BE THE BEST TIME.

Sarah McCloud

Sometimes NOT filling your itinerary to the brim can lead to the most memorable moments.

IT'S A VACATION, NOT A BUSINESS/WORK TRIP.

It's so very common to pack trips to the brim down to the very minute you need to leave here to be there and do that. It makes sense–vacation time is sacred and you've earned your days off. It's natural to want to spend them wisely and get the max amount in return, especially when you're heading to a new city, state, or country.

That said, it's also just as important to remember WHY you took those days off. They are days off afterall. If you treat your vacation like you do your work schedule, are you really taking time off, or are you simply working remotely?

Here are a few quick tips on ways to take the work out of vacationing.

DISCLAIMER: These opinions and suggestions are my own based on how I enjoy traveling and by no means suited for everybody.

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UNDER-DO IT.

One of my favorite recommendations to vacationers is to leave a day completely open with no plans. That way you can fill that day with whatever you want, or nothing at all. I know this sounds absurd, especially if you're traveling abroad, but I couldn't be more serious. Having a free day to yourself takes a bit of the pressure of planning in advance, and helps reduce stress of being somewhere at a certain time. Why not walk down to a local coffee shop and sip an americano while you people watch? Who knows, you might see something that inspires you. Often times it's these days on my trips that create some of the most memorable moments.

PACK LIGHT. PLAN TO SHOP.

Shopping is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of the places you visit. Along with your free day, I also recommend packing one-too-few days worth of clothing. Treat yourself to a lighter suitcase on the way there, and a new/local outfit as a wearable memory.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stacy Abrams is a founder of TaxFaqs. When she’s not serving her clients, she geeks out on board games, cider, and challenging her friends to top her awesome karaoke skills.

CONTACT US

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