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Introduction: Breaking the Silence 9
Chapter 1: Sex and You 15
(Freedom, frustration, and foreplay)
Chapter 2: Sexual Purity 31
(No, it's not an oxymoron.)
Chapter 3: Pornography and the Internet 41
(The high-tech porno pipeline)
Chapter 4: Lust 55
(I want them nude, NOW!)
Chapter 5: Masturbation 61
(Cold showers and open doors)
Chapter 6: Sexual Addiction 69
Chapter 7: Accountability 77
(No more dirty little secrets)
Chapter 8: Everything but the Kitchen Sink 85
(You mean there's more?)
Chapter 9: About XXXchurch 99
(What's a Christian porn site, anyway?)
Chapter 10: A Final Word 107
(Now we've got a question for you...)
The Goofballs Speak 113
(If you want help)
How far is 'too far' sexually when you are not married?
Well, this is the big question for many young people, so it's probably a good starting point. The simple fact is that God does not map out word for word in the Bible what is and is not okay. It sure would be nice if he did.
But the Bible does give us a lot of guidance regarding the age-old question of 'How far is too far?' Repeatedly the
Bible says not to be sexually immoral. The Bible does not say just to avoid the act of sexual intercourse outside of marriage,
but to avoid sexual immorality. In other words, God wants us to be sexually pure.
So sex is more than just intercourse?
The defi nition of sex needs to be widened to consider more than just intercourse. There are many sexual acts that are not intercourse. Is the action done to cause arousal? If so, it's sexual.
It is hard to be sexually pure in mind and body if you are constantly pushing the limits of what is, or is not, okay. When you push the physical or sexual boundaries when you're dating,
it can be like a drug. What was exciting at fi rst starts to seem less exciting---so you move on to the next level because you want to feel the next 'high.'
Why is reserving sex for marriage so important?
Sexual intimacy binds people together physically, emotionally,
and spiritually. Each of these three elements is distinct from the others, yet they are dependent on one another at the same time. Sex is a beautiful mystery and a blessing when it is handled appropriately, and it is completely destructive when it is not.
Sex is the most physically intimate action you can participate in with another person. And the steps leading up to intercourse---from holding hands, to hugging and kissing, to touching another person's naked body---are all part of it. The level of intimacy that takes place in all physical actions leading up to and including sex binds those two people together physically,
emotionally, and spiritually. The physical is only a representation of what is really going on inside both people emotionally and spiritually. When two people end a relationship that has gone far physically, it rips them apart, because they have made themselves so vulnerable to each other on every level.
I love my boyfriend, and he says he loves me. He tells me he wants to go a little further. How do I decide what is okay?
First, I do not question your ability to be in love. Many people fall in love as teenagers, marry their high school sweethearts,
and stay married for over 50 years. And within marriage, their sexual activity is blessed as a symbol of their union.
I don't want to fall into the trap of trying to tell you exactly how far your actions should go. Instead, I would remind you that God asks that you honor him in everything you do.
Many students date and display affection in ways that bring honor to God. However, they've usually set strict boundaries regarding where not to go.
These boundaries need to be established together---
thinking not only of what you can handle but also of each other. If holding his hand causes him to fantasize into the land of arousal,
then stop holding his hand. If his giving you a back rub gets your hormones rushing, then don't let him do it. Your lines should entrench you into staying on the purity side of things.
Once the ball of physical activity starts to roll, it can be nearly impossible to change direction. And once you have gone to a certain level of sexual intimacy, both of you will more easily go back to that level the next time.
I have two friends who recently got married. Both were in their mid-twenties and had dated many people before they dated each other. Each of them was so in love with who God had made the other one to be that they decided not to kiss. After dating for over a year, they were married. When they kissed on their wedding day, it was the fi rst time they had ever kissed. That is truly a love story. Today, they are very happy and learning to explore each other's bodies as any married couple would do.
So what do you do when you're 'turned on' and in love but not married yet?
Try playing a great board game like Scrabble. This will take your mind off those thoughts---or at least you'll spell some pretty outrageous words! But I guess spelling is a lot safer than what you had in mind!
On a more serious note, rethink your alone time with your boyfriend or girlfriend. It is easy to fall into temptation since you are in love. It's tough to fi nd a couple who can honestly say they are not tempted to experiment, so why put yourself in that situation? You need to place some strict parameters around the relationship. Establish these parameters at a time when the mood is spiritual, not sexual.
One idea could be to establish ending times for dates.
When you just hang out till the wee hours of the morning---and no one else is up but the two of you---you have walked onto the front lines of failure.
You could also consider going on group dates. Lots of people make for lots of fun. The pressure for intimate action is limited because of the size of the crowd.
You could also get an accountability partner, maybe an older married couple who can help you and your boyfriend or girlfriend to be accountable and sexually pure before you are ready to get married. (For more on this, see chapter 7 about accountability.)
My boyfriend and I got close, but he never actually went in me. I am still considered pure and a virgin, right?
This question is asked of us often: Am I still a virgin? Technically speaking, the word virgin is defi ned as one who has had genital sex. However, the bigger issue is purity.
When you ask if you are 'still pure and a virgin,' you are really asking two different questions. Once mistakes have been made, purity is lost. However, we must realize that with God's help, purity can always be restored. Always. Too many people get bound by their past mistakes and give up on the pursuit of purity.
Regarding your statement, 'he never actually went in me,' I am concerned about how you got that far along. When two people plow through that many physical boundaries, they are nearing the point of no return. This is a place that must be avoided---not because of rules or regulations, but because you are committed to the best plan that God has established for you. That plan is one mate for life. And that can be defi ned only within the commitment of a marriage.
Set parameters with your boyfriend before you get caught up in the heat of the moment. This will prevent anger,
frustration, and a strained relationship if you miss the mark.
My girlfriend and I are trying not to have sex before marriage, even though her mom said it was okay. So to honor our commitment we just help each other masturbate.
It feels comfortable, so what is wrong?
There is more than one thing wrong with this. But let's address what is right fi rst. Your commitment to abstain from sexual intercourse is admirable.
Now, let's consider her mom's permission. I believe honoring mom and dad is crucial. However, when our parents tell us something, we still need to be sure it aligns with God. If it doesn't, we can't use 'parental permission' as a license to sin.
At this point in your life, you and your girlfriend are accountable for your own actions. Adjusting to another area of lust and sexual sin instead of having sexual intercourse should not ease your conscience. Look at what 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (The
Don't you realize that this is not the way to live?
Unjust people who don't care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don't qualify as citizens in God's kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I'm talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list.
Posted October 28, 2013