Column: Couch’s Corner

“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver” (Proverbs 16:16).

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that opinions regarding relational boundaries prior to marriage significantly differ within the realm
of Christianity.

One of a Christian’s highest goals in daily life should be to push others closer to the feet of Jesus. How much more should a believer strive to do so with a potential life partner? Seeking after wisdom is one of the most profitable ways to push your special someone towards Christ. 

The Song of Solomon instructs readers to not awaken love before the appropriate time. From that wisdom we can discern it unwise to act in a physical manner that could compromise sexual purity.

Do not settle for thinking about physical boundaries on a shallow level, but methodically and intentionally think through and talk through these topics with the person you are dating. 

If a couple decides that they are going to kiss while dating, it will be beneficial to the relationship if both parties realize what is at stake.

The act of kissing is not wrong, but if an unmarried couple isn’t careful, it could lead into dangerous territory.  

We serve a good Father who enjoys giving good gifts to his children. Marital intimacy is a beautiful gift from the Lord. The Bible commands sexual abstinence until marriage.

The Word of God is silent on specific physical boundaries between a man and woman before they are united in marriage. But the Bible does entail verses that correspond to the topic of physical boundaries.

“He who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17).

A Christian couple should desire for their significant other to feel safe and immersed in Christ-like behavior over gratifying their physical desires. The man should be gentle and caring with the young lady while striving to foster a dating environment where she knows that he has her best interest in mind and will push her towards Christ. 

If the woman observes the man treating her in this way, she should encourage him and affirm him consistently, understanding that — for the man — leading a relationship well is a joyful yet serious responsibility. 

Excessive kissing is dangerous in a dating relationship. Kissing naturally awakens the human desire to journey further physically. 

A beautiful aspect of waiting until engagement or marriage to kiss is that both parties will be challenged throughout the dating season to express their love and care for one another without kissing. 

Just because the Bible does not clearly state that a certain action is wrong does not mean that it is beneficial to the couple’s pursuit of Christ. Rather than coming as close to the line of sin as possible without actually crossing it, stay far from the line.

“The great prize in dating is Christ-centered clarity about marriage (or toward marriage),” John Piper wrote for the Desiring God website. “Romantic intimacy is safest in the context of marriage, and marriage is safest in the context of clarity. If we want to have and enjoy that kind of Christ-centered intimacy, we need to get married. And if we want to get married, we need to pursue clarity about whom to marry.” 

If a child opens his Christmas gift the week before Christmas Day, his parents will be disappointed. It is essential to understand that the child’s desire to have his gift was not wrong. What was wrong was gratifying that desire before the appropriate time. In the same way, the desire to fulfill our sexual desires is a God-given drive. It is simply to be enjoyed in the appropriate context, which is marriage.

Delay gratification. Set your relationship up for success by creating physical boundaries early on. Staying far from sex and excessive physical acts before marriage pushes a couple to enjoy hobbies and mutual interests together while anticipating marital intimacy. 

Following marriage, the couple will have the sweetness of marital intimacy in addition to their already enjoyable and God-exalting relationship.

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