How Far is Too Far Before Marriage?
As I was going through school today, I asked a couple teachers what they wish they would have asked when they were teens. This was the most common question they had.
Society shouts a plethora of opinions and stances over this question. Some that I’ve heard through my years of High School being: “It’s your body do what you want”, “anything consensual is good”, “sex is good for your health”, and “what is your body-count? (the amount of people you’ve had sex with). These quotes stem from a need to self-please, to fill a whole, yet often end up doing the very opposite and leaving us empty and hurting.
So, you like a guy… like “really” like him and the question comes up. How far should I go with Him? When you love someone, creating boundaries is really hard, yet the lines you draw at the start will leave lasting marks on your relationship good or bad.
The Bible is our guide, although there is not a list of clearly explained bullet points about what you can and can’t do. Frankly, I think when we look at it with the question “How far is too far?”, we are unintentionally seeking to half-heartedly follow God based solely on the principles and commandments he has given us. Instead the fruit of an intimate relationship can be so much more. Instead of looking at it as “How far can I go?”, I challenge you to look at it through the lens of “How close to God do I want to be?” Our obedience in practicing self-control with physical intimacy can draw us closer to the God who made us.
Alright, now that that is off my chest, let's look at some basic biblical truths that the Bible talks about.
Sex is good.
Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. - Proverbs 5:18-19
Yeah, that verse is kind of strange, but really sex is a good thing! I feel too often the church condemns sex in itself and forgets to speak of the beauty it holds in the proper time. Sex is good and a biblical design.
Sex is to be enjoyed only in marriage.
Yup, I said it… Sex is made for marriage and to be done in marriage only. I don’t say this to condemn anyone who has had sex outside of marriage. God still loves you. You are not too far gone. Yet, he has so much more for you when you come to Him. He wants you to experience sex in the way it was designed.
“One of the reasons is that the physical union of sexual intercourse is meant to be the physical capstone of an emotional, spiritual union in a lasting covenant.” - John Piper
Fornication and Adultery
These are two common words used in the Bible. What do they mean?
Fornication- sex between two people not married to each other
Adultery- voluntary sex between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse
These are both sins. They miss the mark of the way God designed sex to take place. Pre-marital sex and adultery affect more people than the two “participants.” The sin of sexual immorality affects future spouses, family, children, parents, friends, mentors, etc.
“Sexual activity before marriage clouds one’s objectivity about their partner before marriage and builds a pseudo-intimacy with that person which ends up feeling like love, but is really just self-gratification.” (Physical Intimacy and Dating: How Far is Too Far? preengaged.com)
But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate. - Mark 10:6-10 (HCSB)
The media is truly wreaking havoc on the original design of sex. The “golden” standards of physical intimacy are plastered in movies, social media, and music. What used to be viewed as inappropriate, graphic, and explicit, is now trendy and encouraged. How are we to stay pure in a World of overexposure?
Intimate touching is prelude for sexual intercourse.
It is a build up. Once you start “getting physical” it is hard to stop. I wish I could tell you a list of the "okay" things and the things that lead to more. I truly can not draw the line for you. You know your body/mind/heart/motives better than me. Be mindful. Don’t put yourself in the position where you awaken sexual desire before you have the space in the commitment of marriage to go all the way.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.- Song of Solomon 8:4 (NIV)
Commitment and intimacy are a balance. The more you commit to someone, the more space you have for intimacy with them. When your intimacy level is high and commitment is low, the relationship is generally short and you are left feeling "used". Even intimacy and commitment create a healthy relationship balance.
Talk about it.
Pre-decide your physical boundaries. Pray through them. Seek the Lord in them. Talk about them with your boyfriend. Don’t settle in the moment for going farther than you wanted to. Don’t entice a guy to touch you because you believe that is the only way he will stay with you. If it is, he is not the one. He is not ready if he pushes you to go further than biblical boundaries before the commitment of marriage.
Stay tuned for Part 2
We want to answer questions that we were too afraid to ask growing up.
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