What about romance and sexual intimacy? What role do they play in married life, and what are the boundaries for dating couples? Well, God has a plan here, and it is laid out in 1 Corinthians 7:1–5. I will give it to you in just a minute, but first, let’s go back to our panel of experts quoted earlier in this chapter and see what they had to say about kissing, a basic part of physical intimacy:
When a person gets kissed for the first time, they fall down, and they don’t get up for at least an hour.—WENDY, AGE 8
Never kiss in front of other people. It’s a big embarrassing thing if anybody sees you. But if nobody sees you, I might be willing to try it with a handsome boy, but just for a few hours.—KALLY, AGE 9
It’s never okay to kiss a boy. They always slobber all over you. That’s why I stopped doing it. —TAMMY, AGE 10
I know one reason kissing was created. It makes you feel warm all over, and they didn’t always have electric heat or fireplaces or even stoves in their houses.—GINA, AGE 8
The rule goes like this: if you kiss someone, then you should marry her and have kids with her. It’s the right thing to do.—HOWARD, AGE 8
Maybe Howard got it at least partially right; certain actions are reserved exclusively for marriage. Genesis 2:24 reminds us of God’s original plan in male-female relationships: “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one” (emphasis added). God joined the man to the woman, both symbolically and physically, and from this union sexual intimacy was not only birthed but also sanctioned. Adam and Eve became one in every sense of the word, and there was no shame in it. What a beautiful picture of what sex is supposed to be!
Sexual intimacy was created by God. It is natural, it is wonderful, it is divinely sanctioned; and as with everything else God created, it is good—when used in alignment with His design and plan. But sexual intimacy can be abused and used in ways that God never intended. That is the enemy’s plan, because he always perverts God’s pure design into an enticing counterfeit that lures us from God’s path. Sexual intimacy is like a fire. When confined to the fireplace, its proper abode, it brings warmth and comfort. If the fire escapes the fireplace, however, it becomes an enemy that consumes everything in its path. Satan knows he cannot reverse the will of God. He knows that sexual passion is a normal part of life, so his effort has been directed toward redefining the fireplace, taking what is natural and normal and expanding the boundaries God has prescribed for it.
Let me address the singles reading this book. If you profess godliness, then you must set in place ahead of time standards that will protect you from compromising moments when you are tempted to sin. Learn what the Scriptures say about sexual propriety, and make that part of your spiritual fabric. Refuse to entertain thoughts and opinions contrary to the Word of God. Your stand may not be popular, but it is indeed scriptural. Remember, it’s not what we think that matters, nor should we glean our moral standards from cultural acceptability. It might be okay with society to have sex before marriage, but it’s not okay with God—and that is what counts.
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