So our church just finished up a series on Sex, Love, and Relationships. During the series, we asked people to submit questions, some of which we answered and some we were not able to get to. I told our church I would answer them on my blog this week.
The first question is, “On a blunt physical level, how far is too far, and at what point do you lose your purity? Is it possible to regain purity?”
How far is too far? When have you crossed the line so to speak? I think it’s better to think of these things as safeties and boundaries rather than lines and rules. In other words, we are not setting up lines to cross, we are setting up safeties so that we can please God in our relationship by being pure. Our number one goal is to please God. We please Him by faith. We already know we can’t follow God, have a heart for God, please God, or obey God unless we receive power from Him. In a godly relationship, you should agree upon these boundaries ahead of time. The goal is not to set up lots of rules and regulations, otherwise your relationship feels more like a duty than a gift. If both people are pursuing God wholeheartedly (this will be the topic of another blog), your goal will be to please God and honor the other person. God is a loving father. He sets up boundaries for our good. He knows if we live outside these boundaries we will be hurt. His goal is protection not unecessary rules and regulations.
A word to men – you are responsible for guarding the purity of the woman God has given you! It’s on your shoulders buddy! If you don’t protect her purity and you end up engaging in sexual activity before you are married, you will regret it later. When she is your wife she may have issues respecting you because you didn’t protect her purity. She will most likely have resentment towards you. a
Here is a great principle to protect purity in your relationship: stay away from anything that invokes lust in you! Jesus said if we look at a person to lust after them, we have already committed adultry in our hearts. (Matthew 5:28) He is just as concerned about our heart and mind as He is about what we are doing with our hands. Some people choose not to kiss until they meet at the altar, and now I see the reason why – kissing (especially passionate kissing) leads to other things. While this is awesome and noble, it’s not realistic for everyone. My wife and I did not choose to do that, but we had to back up a few times and re-evaluate our safeties and boundaries. I think the best approach is to set clearly agreed upon boundaries that you stay within and ask someone to keep you accountable to those boundaries. If you don’t you will constantly be approaching and crossing lines. It’s always harder to back track than it is if you respect agreed upon boundaries.
Men and women are also very different in these things. Once a man gets going, it is very hard to turn back! He wants to go all the way. A woman on the other hand takes longer to get to that point. The pastor of my first church used to say, “men are microwaves and women are crock pots!”
Is it possible to regain your purity once you have lost it? The answer is yes!
1 John 1:9 ESV If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I was actually in that boat at one time. Before coming to Christ I had multiple sexual partners. I even struggled with it briefly after coming to Christ. Then God did some supernatural work in my heart and I was able to keep my purity. By the time I walked down the isle, I felt totally pure, had no guilt over my past, and was able to say I guarded and protected my wife’s purity in our pre-marriage relationship. If you have gone too far or gone all the way, there is still hope! God can and will forgive you. At that point, it’s important to get some help and advice about your relationship.
Here are some quick tips to guard and protect your purity in a relationship:
– spend alone time in a crowd. This way there is no pressure to cross physical boundaries and you can get to know the person without the pressure of a physical relationship. Once you cross physical lines, you will automatically default to those.
– If you decide to kiss before the altar, I would keep it to short kisses (no tongue) upon meeting and leaving. KEEP IT AT THE DOOR. If you are alone with no one else around, avoid kissing. If you need to, go out for coffee or do something where there are people.
– Find people to keep you accountable in your relationship – a married couple is preferable. You shouldn’t be afraid to submit your lives to people that want to help you.
– Don’t get into a relationship with someone who is not of the same faith and moving the same direction as you. We will talk about this next time!
Obviously, I can’t give a comprehensive answer in a short blog like this, but I do hope this helps. What are your thoughts?