How Far Is Too Far Sexually?
- Thursday, November 24, 2011
I’ll pause here a moment for the chuckles. I know. At one point in time, I thought people who restrained themselves in that kind of way until marriage were a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs. Why wouldn’t you want to kiss someone you were dating or engaged to marry? What’s the harm of that? Isn’t that normal?
Yes, an approrpiate smooch is a normal expression. But still, I can see how wise this type of precaution can really be—especially for two people who are highly attracted to one another and do not want to cross any physical boundaries that would be inappropriate and also want to be mindful that their bodies are temples of the living God and should be used to honor him accordingly (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Years ago in my high school youth group at church, I remember hearing somewhere that hands should never be where a swimsuit would cover you up. So for women, that means anywhere from the top of your thighs up to your collarbone (basically). And for men, from the waist down to mid-thighs or top of the knees. I think that’s a good place to start if you are unsure of where you can or can’t touch someone or what areas may or may not be “hot spots.”
I’ve also heard to treat the person you are dating as someone else’s future husband or wife. You wouldn’t do anything inappropriate with someone else’s spouse would you? It’s another practical safeguard to help you treat the person you’re dating with the utmost respect and to do your part in helping to protect his or her purity.
And then I’ve also heard (again, in youth group), that “it only takes a spark to get a fire going.” But maybe that was about something else . . .
Anyway, you’re right in that the Bible is very clear that sex was created only for those who are married (Genesis 2:24). And to me that extends to the “appearance” of sex as well, which would include sharing a bed with someone . . . even when there is no intercourse involved (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Pure and simple, when you lie next to someone you are dating or are attracted to, you are just inviting trouble. At that point, the temptation to take baby steps toward intercourse is great. So why would you even want to put yourself into that type of situation?
In the end, if you are walking with the Lord and seeking him in your relationship, you will be open to the conviction and leading of the Holy Spirit. But also use your God-give brain power and do your part. Make smart decisions about how and where and when you spend time with someone you are dating. If you are careful and intentional about your physical boundaries in your dating relationship, then I believe you can be protected from the harmful consequences that can happen when purity is not the goal.
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor at Crosswalk.com. She loves God, her family and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who's counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
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