I hate having to be responsible for villagers with their suicidal AI so I have a tendency to board them in their homes until I can safen up a village with walls around drops and caves and removing harmful plants and putting more light etc.
But since villagers wander off during the day, I want to keep them in one place. Approaching a village at night is a matter of luck and can be bad if many mobs are up, so I go to minimum RD when near one, and then raise it only at night when they are staying inside so the mob cap doesn't kill me.
Is this considered cheating, since I'm abusing the game mechanics to make sure villagers can be corralled out of danger?
If you have to ask then it sounds like you are feeling guilty about it, so I'd say yes, otherwise, you are free to play singleplayer however you like (the only exception is if you are doing a speedrun or something to set an official record).