Last week I shared some of my critique of our current culture’s dating habits. This week I’ll go the next step, assuming that a dating relationship has started.
I’ll start with a question – why don’t people go to years of therapy when they smash their thumb with a hammer? It’s excruciating. I think smashing my thumb is some of the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life. It’s traumatic!
But within a few minutes or days, the pain is gone, and in a few months the black fingernail is gone. All that’s left is a good story.
Contrast that with sexual experience. There are those who try to say that sex is just a physical act, and as long as both people are consenting, they should be able to do what they want. But we know that sex isn’t just physical. It’s highly emotional, the mingling of mind, body, and spirit. When people are violated sexually, it can take years to get over, if they indeed ever do. So as a parent and a pastor, I want to reinforce that the stakes of sexual involvement are really high.
On the other hand, as a parent and a pastor, I want to reinforce the fact that sex is awesome, amazing, and wonderful. The same God that invented the taste buds that can appreciate the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake invented sex! We need to take back from the world the authority on sex. WE have the right answers.
1 Thessalonians 4 is one of the very rare passages in the Bible that explicitly states God’s will for us. When it does, it says that His will is for our sanctification, that we possess our body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles. Given this truth, may I offer a quick bit of teaching on sex and how it pertains to dating (and a big thank you to several different Andy Stanley sermons and lessons that taught me these principles).
- The Bible teaches that purity should be our aim. But purity is not the end goal. The end goal is intimacy.
- True intimacy can be define as the joy of knowing someone, and being fully known, without fear of rejection.
- Purity paves the way for intimacy.
- People think that sex is primarily physical. This is a lie. Sex is primarily relational.
- Teens are taught that they need to develop their sexual skills, when the reality is that they need to develop their relational skills.
- The best place to practice relational skills is with family, and spiritually like-minded friends.
- Sex is physical and relational glue. It’s God’s gift for people who are going from two individuals to one flesh. It’s the fun way to bond through mortgages, bad breath, work stress, and in-laws.
- The problem comes when people spend this glue outside of marriage. They bond with the wrong people at the wrong time, overlooking huge red flags in those they should avoid, not to mention stunting their relationship with God through sin.
- Because of all of this, the question of “How far is too far?” is very important, but probably the wrong question. A better question would be “How far do I want the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life to go, right before they meet me?”
- Given all of this, as your teen sets their boundaries in physical relationships, remind them of these truths:
- The further you go, the faster you go.
- The further you go, the further you want to go
- The further you go, the harder it is to go back
- Where you draw the line determines 3 things:
- The arena of your temptation
- The intensity of your temptation
- The consequences of giving in to your temptation
This is pretty dense, but really important. Read through this list over and over, figure out how to make them your own words. And TALK to your kids!!!