How far can I go? How far does God “let” me go? What are Biblical boundaries between men and women? Today’s installment in our series for you young single women is on honoring God in the dating relationship. This topic matters, friends, because, as I’ve mentioned before, purity and holiness are not out of fashion with God.
First things first:
Sex before marriage is a sin. This is God’s standard, and he sticks to it throughout the whole of scripture. Fornication (sex before marriage) is a fruit of darkness and sin. No fornicator has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Paul warns in Ephesians 5 to let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of sin like fornication, the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. So, do not be a partaker with them in fornication.
Of course, you wander down the chapter in Ephesians 5, and the very. next. verse. reminds you that you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Paul also tells the Corinthians that, although some of them were fornicators, now they have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God. God forgives the sin of fornication only because of the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus to forgive sin. But, we are told to flee sexual immorality, so flee to Christ and plea for God’s mercy —
don’t simply excuse the sin as unimportant or make God out to be ambiguous in this matter.
Sister, the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. Dear friends, do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Paul says: shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her?
For “the two,” God says at Creation, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
God commands us: Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
Or, daughter of God, do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 6.)
So, we agree that sex before marriage is sinful and not God’s will for us. But, how do we honor God in the dating relationship? How do we guard ourselves in tempting situations? Should we set physical and / or emotional boundaries for ourselves? If so, where do we set those boundaries?
My husband blessed me before we married by setting the boundaries to the marriage bed very deep and wide — we agreed that it was a very easy thing to slide from a to b to c to d….and so forth, and before you realize it, you’ve arrived at x, y, and …. z. Do you realize, this is actually God’s intent? God intends for romantic love to lead to and culminate in marriage and physical union — love that will last a lifetime. Of course, God intends for the physical union to occur after the marriage covenant takes place.
My husband and I decided that if we kept our relationship in the a, b, c range, then we would be less likely to stumble in a moment of weakness and temptation than if we were already down in the u, v, and w range. To this day, 8 years of marriage later, I love and respect my husband deeply for his commitment to God’s word and will regarding sexual purity.
Guys, do you want to build a marriage based on trust and respect? Honor God by keeping your girl pure until marriage. Stay far away from the proverbial marriage bed. Don’t touch the fringe of the bedspread, don’t touch the doorknob to the bedroom — don’t even go down the proverbial hallway to that marriage bed. I’ve seen my husband deeply in love with a woman, yet treating her with respect and love and the fear of God, and I trust him and love him for it, because I was that woman that he loved God’s way. Start your marriage off God’s way.
As for specifics….well, for the most part, I am somewhat averse to giving you detailed instruction here, because I’m cautious to tread into teritory where the scripture does not give specifics. First, please re-read 1 Corinthians 6:9-20, and discover that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you. You are not your own, and you are to glorify God in your body. Seek God, and do not quench the Holy Spirit as He guides you into the working-out of boundaries so that you can live a life of purity and holiness before God. It is God who provides a way of escape when you encounter temptation, so seek Him and ask Him for the wisdom and help to serve and obey Him. I do think it’s a good idea to decide beforehand what physical boundaries to set up, and those should be communicated between you and your significant other. It will help to keep you in the a, b, c range, so to speak.
A wise warning is found in Proverbs 6 in regard to adultery: “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent.” The answer to these rhetorical questions is, of course, no. Stay away from the hallway that leads to the bedroom — and don’t take fire into your bosom and then be surprised if you are scorched.
On a somewhat different note, I do want to speak very plainly and bluntly to you young women. A man who is not your husband has no business touching any part of you that is covered by your undergarments. I would suggest to crank your standards up even higher than that, but if you wonder whether or not he should be touching you there, even if you are not actually having sex, the answer is a big NO. I have more to say on the importance of this in the next post of this series, so hang in there, and “Have I Found Mr. Right?” will be posted soon…
Thanks, friends, and <3, amanda
Resources and Links
Looking for wisdom and help in honoring God in the Dating Relationship? I think you’ll be very blessed by these articles…
When the Not-Yet Married Meet: Dating to Display Jesus by Marshall Segal at DesiringGod.org
Practical Ways to Maintain Sexual Purity by Nancy Leigh DeMoss at ReviveOurHearts.com
God’s Plan for Sexuality by Dr. David Jeremiah.
Next post in this series on Finding Mr. Right:
Have I Found Mr. Right? (part 1 of 2)