In this context, what exactly is perfect purity or what does it mean to be perfectly pure? There are two specific aspects to purity: a pure body and a pure heart. Again, society has defined physical purity as a simple physical attribute. But true physical purity is much more than simply being a virgin. Physical purity is a state in which you are completely free from any sexual taint. Although we have allowed Hollywood and others to convince us that some activities are ok, the truth is quite different. Any physical contact between a dating couple that is an expression of affection is sexual in nature and will likely cause feelings of desire that cannot be legitimately fulfilled outside of marriage. Because a desire that cannot be legitimately fulfilled outside of marriage (lust) may be created, that contact should be avoided. This means that a kiss between a dating couple, a hug, or even holding hands outside of marriage will stir a desire for more and should be avoided. These simple contacts, innocent as the world calls them, can be akin to a single spark. Alone, a single spark is harmless, but when the spark is near gasoline, an explosion can occur. If the simple touch is the spark, the new hormones and unfamiliar emotions of a teen in a new relationship are the gasoline.
Let’s examine how holding hands, outside of marriage can, so easily, lead to a sin. As humans, we were designed by God to show affection to one another. We were not just designed to show affection, but we were designed to show different types and degrees of affection. Just ask yourself this simple question: which do you love more – your dog or your mother? The love between a husband and a wife is different from the love between a mother and a child. Both of these types of love are different from the love between two friends. Just as there are many different kinds and degrees of affection, there are many ways to ways to show that affection ranging from simple kindness with words and gifts to overt physical expressions of love. Now, as if this is not complicated enough, the same physical acts, in different contexts, have different meanings. As an example, let’s look at a hug. Simple enough, right? Imagine, Daddy comes in the door after a long day at work. His daughter comes running up to him and wraps her little arms around him. Is this hug a sexual act? Of course not. However, let’s look at another dad. This dad is coming home after a long deployment in the military. His eyes meet with his wife’s eyes for the first time, and they run toward each other to meet to share an embrace. Is this sexual? After all, it is just a hug and a kiss, but does it have the same meaning as the daughter’s hug? Not only is the hug in the second example sexual, but it is also in its proper context. It is a prelude to things to come that are proper, appropriate, and blessed by God.
Now, when affection is expressed outside of marriage, with the emotions and passions that are typical between a dating couple, that affection is out of order. That is, they are creating, desires that cannot legitimately be fulfilled. When a young man touches a girl romantically for the first time, something happens inside of him. He wants more – he wants to touch her again. He has a desire for her touch. However, those simple touches do not satisfy him for long. As time passes, he wants more intimate contact. Society has made it acceptable for that physical relationship to continue and progress. This progression is natural, and beautiful, but it is reserved for a man and his wife within the bonds of marriage. In the wedding ceremony, there is another point where the preacher pronounces the couple to be “man and wife.” It is only after this point when he looks at the groom and makes another proclamation, “Sir, you may now kiss your bride!” Only then is the physical relationship between the bride and groom sanctioned by God and proper. Any romantic physical contact before this point is out of order.
Unfortunately, Satan has taken human sexuality and perverted it so that it can be as sinful as it is beautiful. In the right setting (marriage), sexual activities are an appropriate expression of affection. Proper sexual activities, within the context of the bonds of marriage, are also an expression of the love and sacrifice between Christ and the body of the church. The sexual relationship between a man and his wife are symbolic of the all-consuming love that Christ has shown for the church as well as the type of sacrificial love that the individual members of the church should show for Christ. However, outside of marriage, that picture of the unity of Christ and the Church is no longer present and the sexual activity no longer is a picture of something that glorifies Christ; it is merely the fulfillment of a physical desire.
Am I Ready?
Our society has trained us to believe that we should be concerned with the physical attraction more than anything else. According to society, as long as the physical attraction is present, little else matters. The result is a conquest for the one who is the most outwardly beautiful person you can find. After all, when was the last time the hero of the movie rode off into the sunset with an “ugly” girl? But again, we must consider what the purpose of dating is, and what the constraints of dating are along with the desires of our flesh. Because our flesh desires a physical relationship, and a physical relationship cannot be legitimately accomplished outside of marriage, we must ensure that we take every step possible to prevent the possibility of sin. In Romans 13:14, Paul tells us to, “…put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Contemporary dating (where you have two people off alone together, who have been taught that anything they want to do is ok), is a recipe for failure. This style of dating not only creates a provision for sin, but it encourages the sins. Continue reading