I met with a friend from church one time and she was married. I asked her how far was too far to go with my guy and she said "Whatever you feel convicted about. I had no problem letting my fiancé feel and touch my body under my shirt, so whatever you think is right probably is."
What a face palm moment...
Sexual purity is a very complex subject. I have an inbox flooded with questions from couples begging me to tell them where they should stop going physically. I try to really answer this question to the best of my ability and not say something silly like my friend did above. Us married women need to hold hands with the younger generation and lead the way.
While I was navigating through all of these questions myself, I realized that the Holy Spirit didn't change between people. There are some grey areas of scripture, I can't deny that, but the Bible is clear on what it means to be sexually pure. And sexually pure is not giving your body away before you're on that alter. It's also not letting yourself be sexually stimulated or pleasured by another person. That may sound like nails on a chalk board to some of you because your idea of sexual purity is skewed because you've already crossed the line. Now, your idea of what is permissible is way further than it used to be. But once you repent, you actually do have to start over. The consequences of your sin will have altered your mind to think the things you did before are okay, but you must fight that and keep your original stance.
It's very easy to justify sexual acts with the person you love, especially if you know you're going to get married. You just have to keep in mind that they aren't your spouse yet. You still belong solely to God and they do too. So... I'm going to challenge you to change the question we're asking today.
Let's ask this instead:
How far is too far as we glorify God at the same time?
That changes some things, doesn't it? Well, it did for me.
Before asking myself that question, sometimes I would convince myself that even though I was turned on by something in particular, it was still fine because it wasn't that bad. For example, even though neck kisses were such a weakness for me, I always told myself it was no big deal and I could handle it. My failures over time proved that I couldn't. I had to reevaluate everything and be honest with myself and my partner about my triggers.
With a pure heart before God, we had to confide in one another and be as selfless as possible. We knew we were telling each other what made our flesh feel good and that the other person was going to work to take that away. I even had to throw a few clothing items away because it made my guy too tempted. It wasn't easy. But we were determined to fight. And God rewarded us in the end because of it.
So I can't tell you definitively what is too far for you while you still honor God. But be brutally honest. Do you really think God is happy when you're laying in the back seat of his car all hot and heavy? Probably not. Some people have to cut out kissing all together because it is just too much of a temptation for them and they save that until their wedding day. Some people just have to cut out holding hands because the sparks are too much. Nothing is too little or too big to give up in order to protect your purity and relationship.
I would suggest getting a piece of paper and writing down the other persons' triggers. I'm going to be brutally straight with you- It's going to be hard to keep them. Now that you know what drives your person crazy, why wouldn't you want to use that power to your advantage? But that's just selfish. If you never learn how to submit to God, you'll never learn how to submit to your husband.
You, your partner, and the Lord create what is too far for you. I can definitively say that feeling one another's body is wrong. That is your line. That is the danger zone. That's the red area. Now, figure out what you have to do to stay as far as you can away from that. I get the difficulty of that. I've been in tears over my mess ups more than I can count. There is something exciting about doing it when you know you totally shouldn't be. It's a high. But just remember that the high is cheap and short lived. Be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, not sexual attraction.
Here are some helpful tips for purity:
Have Accountability: Hang out with other couples and be open about this issue. We were so blessed to have a couple that we went out with consistently and we told them whenever we feel like we went too far and they would do the same! It was nice to relate and talk about it with other people.
Plan Ahead: Don't just "chill" together. Have an active plan of what you are going to do. Whenever we wouldn't plan anything, it would be a recipe for disaster. Napping together and watching a movie are not your friends!
Pray Together: Before you start your night, pray. Before you end your night, pray. This is a good way to remember that your relationship does not just consist of two people, but three. It will also make you picture Jesus there and trust me, you won't be overcome by sin if you feel strongly that Jesus is watching you.
Stay Out Of The Bedroom: I dated a guy once and we laid in bed to watch a sermon! A sermon!!! As we watched the sermon, the tension started to build by just being near each other. Before I knew it, my computer was closed and on the floor and we were not careful... at all.
Protect Your Eyes & Ears: Watching secular movies and listening to secular music will be a foothold for the enemy to use. Those chick flicks are like porn. They create fake fantasies in minds and gives us desires for things that aren't even real. I went to see "Endless Love" on Valentines Day with my current boyfriend at the time and we were so enthralled by how whimsical and beautiful the love was between the actress and actor that we winded up putting ourselves in really dumb situations.
Date Jesus: Go on a date with Christ at least once a week. This will help you remember that Christ is also your love who is pursuing you with all of His heart. Turn your phone off, watch a meaty scripture reading, dig into the word, worship, and pray. As you fall more and more in awe with God, the more you'll want to honor him.
You will get through this and you will make it. God is on your side and He is fighting for you. Continue to walk in a way worthy of Him, fully pleasing Him. Everything will fall into place and He will speak to your heart more than I ever could.