At the core of such commitment are purity, love, and self-sacrifice. The Bible uses strong words in speaking of sexual sins. Acts of fornication are repeatedly declared as sin 1 Corinthians 6: Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
Although the church typically refrains from legalistic lifestyle lists, it cannot ignore the need to speak out and address problem areas that so often beset youth and singles in the dating process. In light of this truth the Assemblies of God calls youth and singles to refrain from all forms of sexual intimacy until marriage. Such actions would include prolonged sessions of kissing, words of unique expression, actions of intimate caressing, and partial or total nudity.
Christian youth and singles must also avoid immodest dress, sexually explicit conversation, and sexually suggestive forms of media and entertainment as all model expressions that are sinful. There are also other dangers that lead to such sin.
Paul further warns everyone against lust and passion 2 Timothy 2: He tells us to beware of godless associations that can ensnare us, and to avoid talking in ways that corrupt our thinking Ephesians 5: Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Dating and Courtship Dating and premarital courtship as practiced in 20th-century America are entirely different from the process of mate selection in Bible days. But in all fairness there is a thin line between lusting and admiration, however, you should not allow yourself to go over the edge.
Below, denominational leaders offer more advice on what's acceptable in intimacy before marriage: We tell our young people to keep themselves pure and to not indulge in fondling and other sexual things.
Appropriate Intimacy in Dating
In terms of intimacy we often say, 'To what extent? As it pertains to kissing, I believe that kissing is an upstairs invitation to a downstairs situation and it is best to save yourself for your spouse. To safeguard yourself it is best to be in the company of someone else. Remember this is not a cartoon where you can stop and rewind. You can get carried away and reach a point of no return, so exercise wisdom. But you have to be careful of the time you spend alone as it is very easy to reach a point of no return.
When a woman is being kissed, her resistance is limited, then it will become difficult for the man to hold back. Don't lean to the edge; know your breaking point and have a balance system. Intimacy is a vital part of a relationship where marriage is being considered.
Communication and Intimacy - Christian Dating, Singles
The issue at hand therefore is, 'Are there ways of expressing this 'intimacy' before the covenant of marriage which we would advise against? We believe that certain expressions of intimacy are best shared within the context of a covenantal relationship that speaks to permanence, commitment and exclusivity. While we have been vocal on the issue of the 'physical' especially as it manifests itself in sexual intercourse, we may want to consider that other expressions of intimacy could well be cautioned against, including, for example, intimate social, financial, business arrangements which are entered into expressly because there is an expectation of marriage.
As it relates to the physical, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hold up the notion of abstinence and not only among the young, due to the increasing 'vagina-centricity' of the times in which we live. Our message is unequivocal though that there are certain expressions which should await the presence of a covenantal relationship marked by the features named above.
So while I would never advocate that all forms of physical intimacy should await marriage, I do counsel that there are, and should be, limits.
In agreeing to the limits it doesn't mean that we should necessarily aim for 'anything else' but penetration. Rather the approach to setting appropriate limits should underscore the values of waiting, control and respect. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
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