Research by the Marriage Foundation and the University of Lincoln in England reveal that unmarried couples are four times more likely to split than married couples.
5.3 percent of cohabiting relationships end each year (2009 to 2012) in comparison to 1.3 percent of married couples, both among couples with children under sixteen years old.
Experts admit that this goes against the standard assumption that low income and poor education result in broken homes, especially as education rates increase. Clearly another element has been at work, and cohabiting appears to be it (Steve Doughty, “Most Family Break-ups Involve Unmarried Parents: Co-habiting Couples Four Times as Likely to Separate,” DailyMail.co.uk, December 1, 2013).
God created the institution of marriage with the first married couple (Genesis 2:18-25 Genesis 2:18-25  And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her to the man.
 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
American King James Version×), Adam and Eve. Although many people choose to reject it as a blessed command from God, it provides what cohabiting does not—a fundamental commitment. The value of this commitment shouldn’t be overlooked, even by those who follow God’s way. Commitment is a natural, healthy part of living a full human life.
Committing to marriage and working through imperfections in both husband and wife are a part of the growing process. Cohabiting doesn’t provide that very vital commitment that helps people to persevere through rough times. Love is a miracle, but it isn’t magic and does require effort and dedication.