Sexual Boundaries: Where Are They?
Holding hands, kissing, sex, where do you draw your line? This is an important question that even I tried to avoid answering. It’s just intimidating, right? How are you supposed to know where you draw your line?
A little over a year ago I started dating. I love it. Although, I’ve only dated one guy, that’s about all it takes to learn some of the most important lessons about relationships: everything from communication to kissing.
The boundaries of purity seemed simple to me before I started dating: don’t have sex until you’re married. Just don’t do it. Seems pretty easy; however, I found it is much more complicated than that.
There comes a time when you need to have a serious conversation, with yourself and your significant other. Of course, I don’t mean you have to literally talk to yourself – that would be strange. I do mean that you must seriously contemplate and establish your boundaries.
I had to have this talk too, and I probably did it a little late. About a month in to our relationship, I decided I really needed to talk to my guy. Finally, it came up. We were lingering beside my car and we discussed our thoughts on purity. We told each other our physical boundaries and the emotional connections to those choices. It was such a relief to have discussed something so vital; it brought us closer. It also lifted a huge weight for me. I finally knew that part of him. That doesn’t mean I knew everything about him; I knew his views on sex. Yet, that is a really important part of someone and it speaks volumes about who they are.
Before you ever have the boundaries conversation with your other half, you need to clearly define your own boundaries. Once you enter a relationship, well at least once I did, I realized there is a lot more physical interaction between kissing and sex. You have to decide where your “line” is before you are put into a compromising situation. The last thing you want is to not have thought about it and end up doing something you regret, simply because you didn’t think. Knowing your boundaries ahead of time will save so much unnecessary heartache.
Almost as important as purity itself, is the reason why. Why did you choose purity? Now, applying the Bible’s truth is great, and reason enough for anything, but you need to find out why you want to stay pure. There are the practical reasons like, avoiding STD’s and unplanned pregnancy, but I believe it is much more than that. For one thing you want to protect yourself emotionally, because unless married there is unfortunately always a lingering possibility of the relationship ending. By giving up such a gift, you risk intense pain if the guy decides he’s done. God wants you to have a unique bond with your husband. By saving sex for one person, you are essentially saying that you were committed long before the two of you were married. Purity will strengthen the marital emotional bond and commitment as well.
The Bible verse I believe best explains the reasons for purity is, 1 Corinthians 13:4. It says, “Love is Patient.” Although that is about as obvious as it gets, somehow I never understood it. Until one day last year when I thought, “Wow, love is patient. If we truly love someone we need to be patient with them physically until we are bonded by marriage.” Clearly we need to be patient with our men in other situations, and with other people; however, I find it so beautiful that this verse can apply to our purity. True love is patient. So, if you truly love this guy – you can wait. 1 Corinthians 13:4 is a great verse to meditate on if you are struggling with establishing your boundaries.
Personally, I have decided I am comfortable with holding hands and kissing. That is my line; my boundary. So, although I can’t tell you specifically where to draw your line, I can tell you that it is necessary to contemplate your boundaries. I recommend having this conversation with your man before any opportunities for compromise arise. It can bring you closer when you both come to an understanding on boundaries; and if you disagree, it probably wasn’t meant to be! Also, remember I never said waiting would be easy. There will be times when you are tempted. You have to be strong, and you are. Pray about it, and share an understanding with your man so you don’t cross the line. You can, stay true to your convictions. Be true to yourself!
Written by: Hannah Packham