My husband and I work with young adults. We love it, most of the time! 😉
I am passionate about seeing couples succeed and rise above the sexual standards set by this world. I believe it is clear in Scripture that God wants us to save sex for marriage, but how does a young couple in love do this?
My husband and I encourage dating couples from WEEK 1 (while you are still thinking straight), to formulate a game plan for physical boundaries. Most believing couples know that having pre-marital sex is a sin, but not many are taught how get successfully get to the wedding day!
First, I believe that you should find a godly, trust worthy, more seasoned married couple to get advice from and to hold you accountable. The wisdom of godly married couples can be one key in making your relationship successful. I am eternally grateful to my young adult pastor and his wife who walked my husband and I through our entire dating relationship. Their advice helped keep us on track to a healthy marriage. Not only did their wise advice make a tremendous impact on our lives, it has actually helped numerous couples that we have mentored over the years!
I know this sounds super heavy for the first week, but I also think couples should make a date to openly discuss physical boundaries on the front end and pray together for wisdom. During this time, you can also discuss your past relationships, including past mistakes in this area. My husband and I recommend using “broad strokes” when discussing this together.
For example, if you are not a virgin, I think this is the time to share this part of your past so that your boyfriend/girlfriend clearly understands where you have been and how you can both move forward in your relationship. You don’t have to share specific details at this stage, but as long as you are with a godly, trust worthy person, I hope that this could be a very healing moment in your relationship.
If for some reason, you tell your boyfriend/girlfriend and they can’t seem to forgive you…this is may be an indication that this relationship will not work. If you have truly repented and have found healing in our Lord, don’t let another person take that forgiveness away from you. However, if that person breaks up with you because they always wanted to marry a virgin like themselves, I believe that is their right. They might be missing out on someone really amazing and I personally would really challenge them on this, but it is their right. Trust me, if you have truly repented of this past sin and someone breaks up with you because of this, you really don’t want to be with that person. If you have repented, you need someone who will lovingly forgive you of your past and bring healing to your heart by helping you overcome and heal.
On this date, you can also discuss what your hopes and expectations are regarding physical boundaries. When I was in college, because of seeing some close to me fall in this area of sexual purity before marriage, I made a commitment to the Lord that I wanted to save my first kiss on the lips until my wedding day. (Although I am so happy that we did this, I am not imposing this commitment on anyone else, I am just sharing my story.)
When my husband and I first began dating, I told him about this commitment and instead of telling me how unrealistic my goals were (like the guy I liked before him did), my husband encouraged me by taking a day to pray about it. He then told me that after he prayed about it, he felt like this was a wise commitment for us. 😍
I don’t believe kissing before marriage is a sin issue, but I do challenge couples to look at it as a wisdom issue. There is a natural progression that happens when you are with someone you are attracted to/someone you love…holding hands, hugging, hugging closer, kissing, making out…all of these things lead somewhere, but if that somewhere is intended by God for marriage, then maybe all of these other physical things need to be planned out a little better in order to ensure that one thing doesn’t lead to another before the wedding day.
Once you pray and set your physical goals as a couple, the next thing I recommend is to discuss a realistic plan to attain those goals. For us, if we weren’t going to kiss until our wedding day, then we decided to wait to hold hands for a month. We also decided that we would not spend time alone in each other’s apartments. Although we both had roommates, our roommates were rarely home. In our opinion, spending time alone in empty apartments is a really tempting environment for two people in love. This was very inconvenient at times, but it was well worth it! We spent a lot of time taking walks and sitting in coffee shops.
Another thing my pastor recommended was that rather than putting so much focus on what we “can’t do”, he wisely advised us to write a list of fun things that we wanted to do as a couple. Our list included things like cooking and hanging out with each other’s friends, taking a day trip to NYC to see where my husband grew up and went to high school, going on walks around beautiful Princeton, etc.
It is very possible to stay sexually pure before marriage! You just need God’s grace, a good game plan, and some self-control!