What is Appropriate Physical Contact on a Date ?

Feb 2021, 04:30

Getting involved sexually is one of the saddest things that can happen to young people before marriage. Don’t assume that “it can’t happen to me” or that “I’m a strong Christian – I can handle the temptation.” Lots of strong Christians have fallen into sexual sin. Once you cross certain boundaries in physical contact with the opposite sex, it can be very difficult to stop.

By the way, this is a very good reason to begin every date with Bible reading and prayer: it will help you to remember that the Lord Jesus is present with you on your date.

A. Care in clothing. Young ladies, you should be aware that men are stimulated by sight. If you wear tight clothing, low necklines, or midriff-revealing clothes, you can “turn on” your date. Realize that what you are “turning on” is a whole set of responses: a heightened interest in your body, a flow of hormones, a direction of thought-patterns, all of which are the beginning stages of preparation for sexual intercourse. Within marriage, this is a beautiful and God-honoring part of the covenant relationship. God designed sex for marriage as a delightful and wonderful expression of love and unity. Outside of marriage, however, the Bible calls sex “fornication,” and it will bring nothing but sorrow, regret, guilt and pain. Pre- marital sex could lead to pregnancy. It could lead to AIDS or other sexually-transmitted diseases.Picture starting a fire. You get some newspaper, some dry twigs and leaves, some larger kindling and finally some logs. Now you get a match and put it under the newspaper – the fire is going to start slowly, but build up steadily and begin to catch on the logs and soon it will be sending out warmth. If you do this in a woodstove or fireplace, it is a great thing. If you are starting this fire on the living room floor – you could burn your house down! Sex in marriage is great; sex before marriage could wreck your life.

God says that sex before marriage (fornication) is something that He will judge (Hebrews 13:4), and that sexual immorality is something we should run away from (I Corinthians 6:18).

B. Guys, keep your hands to yourself. Keep your eyes on your date’s face and not on other parts of her body (Job 31:1). You, especially, as the leader in the dating relationship, need to set high spiritual standards for your dating. Many young people have found it helpful to make a covenant with the Lord to maintain sexual purity. This is a great idea. Perhaps you would even want to write it out – something like this: I, (your name) on (today’s date) make a promise to God that I will keep my mind and body pure by not having sexual relations with anyone until my wedding day. I do this because my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19), and because God has called me to be holy (I Peter 1:14-16). I will keep myself pure in what I think about and in what I do with my body because I love God, and because I desire to give my future wife/husband my body in marriage wholeheartedly.

This covenant can be made by either a guy or a girl, obviously. I would urge you to talk to your parents, pastor, youth leader or another trusted Christian adult if you think you are having trouble in this area.

C. So where is the “line” that should not be crossed in physical contact? Certainly any removal of clothing is wrong. Any intimate touching or petting is also wrong. Either of these actions is actually preparation for sexual intercourse, and is fine in marriage and wrong outside of marriage (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). Prolonged kissing is also probably a really bad idea. When a couple becomes very serious about one another (as in talking about engagement and marriage, or actually engaged), holding hands is fine. Sitting next to one another is great, as long as you are not on one another’s laps. (Young ladies should be aware that just brushing up against a young man can cause strong physical responses.) A good-night kiss (as long as it remains in control) is probably also fine for very serious or engaged couples. Situations that involve a lot of body contact, or lying on the floor in contact with each other, or sitting on one another, should be avoided. It is fine for a serious couple to be seated in church or elsewhere with the young man’s arm across his fiancé’s shoulders. Other physical contact is probably asking for trouble.

Discussion Questions:

1. Isn’t it okay to flirt just a little?

2. What about “deep kissing” or “French kissing”?

3. What boundary line of physical contact are you unwilling to go beyond in dating?

4. Do you see this as an issue that is serious enough to deserve you making a vow or covenant to the Lord about remaining pure?


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