How Far Is Too Far Sexually?
- Thursday, November 24, 2011
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: There is a question that has been on my mind for some time now. As dating singles I wonder how far we should go sexually. What I mean is in the world that we live in there are people moving in together, having sex, kids, etc. I know that the Bible only favors this in a marriage. But what about things like kissing and sharing a bed (with no sexual intercourse)? It'll mean a lot to get a Christian view on this.
HE SAID: I am sure every youth and singles group from every church of every denomination has tackled this question at some point or another, because it is a struggle most people deal with in both dating and serious relationships.
The Bible is clear, although not always detailed, with what is permissible in regards to our actions within relationships. And we, in our amazing minds of creativity, reason and deduction can generate the most credible sounding explanations of why it is justifiable and sometimes even beneficial to take action with our immoral decisions.
When it comes to determining where to draw the line, which is what in essence what you’re asking, I would defer to 1 Corinthians 10:32-33.
Do not cause anyone to stumble . . . for I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
What many of us fail to recognize is that our actions impact others. Whether we are in direct contact with them or only known by social media, what we do can affect how others act and think. Our example gives credence to younger believers and we must consider the good of many rather than seek my own good.
If either of you have had a problem with controlling your actions or “stopping” at a certain point (i.e. kissing, cuddling, etc.), in this or a past relationship, then you don’t need to proceed near that road. Maybe self-control isn’t a problem and lying with someone in bed doesn’t trigger further emotions, but it still sets a poor example to others who may struggle.
I understand the temptations we face with the media, social expectations and pressures and desires of the heart (and body), in regards to relationships. Nevertheless, if we have truly placed our relationship with Jesus first and foremost, wouldn’t we want to satisfy him before we tried to satisfy ourselves? It’s just a thought.
SHE SAID: I think the longer we stay single, the more difficult it is to remain sexually pure. God has created us with “the urge to merge” so to speak, and it is very natural to be attracted to someone (“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh,” said Adam upon first seeing Eve. Maybe that was the twenty-first century version of “Whoa, mama!”).
The key is what we do with those feelings when they are aroused. Do we act on them? Or do we ignore them? Or do we figure out where to file them away until the proper time, so we’re still honoring God while waiting for marriage?
A lot of us have greatly struggled in this area in our single lives. And I must say that at this stage in the wide world of dating, I am leaning more toward “less is more.” And by that I mean I am more and more a fan of those who choose not to kiss until they marry. As in, only holding hands and that’s all.
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