That’s a pretty simple yet unpopular question for Christians, whether you are planning to date, in the midst of dating or engaged. How do you avoid things you will regret? How do you live inside of a romantic relationship, yet avoid sex? How far can you go? Over the years, I have found it helpful to draw a definitive, clear line between affection and foreplay.
Differentiating Affection and Foreplay
Foreplay in a dating relationship that values purity is like teasing a dog with a steak. When you are alone with your date ask yourself, are your actions kind toward the other? We are reminded that the Apostle Paul calls sexual promiscuity fraud (I Thess. 4:6)! Affection is something you offer the other. It is an expression of regard, admiration and loyalty to your friend, not simply an avenue of self-gratification.
So, when you are alone together, what boundaries will you set? If you draw the line between affection and foreplay, between giving and enticement, you will be able to tell where your desires are coming from. In the smallest of actions you can see the difference between pure desire and lust.
For instance, if you are honest with yourself and your feelings, you will admit that passionate kissing and extensive use of your hands can excite you sexually and carry your thoughts away – that’s foreplay. The Song of Solomon continually admonishes you to not stir up or “arouse love” before it’s time. Don’t go there in the first place and you will have no regrets.
Where you draw the physical line becomes difficult to see because the world sends a very different message. The message we hear every day is not about purity; not about genuine affection for each other; not genuinely loving another person.
Whether you are a teen being pressured by your peers or a mature couple influenced by music, the Internet, TV and movies, the world is not on your side. Who is? A Christian counselor can clarify the message of those who are on your side – God, the Bible, your church and family. A Seattle Christian Counselor can show you what it means to love and respect one another while dating or being engaged and lead you into genuine purpose and specific goals for your dating life.
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