Friday, 27 July 2012

How far is too far?

Today I wanted to address one of the hardest topics for single Christian women – sex and how far is too far… And I wanted to explain the BarlowGirl firsts!! I have a lot of links in this post because there are just so many people who have written about this far better than I ever could!! And I apologise if it’s a bit mixed up – I just wrote my thoughts down!!

In a world that is so focused on getting what I want when I want it and with making myself happy before everything else, sex has become something to be used to gain pleasure in the moment and something that can be given away with no very little thought of tomorrow. I don’t agree with this at all. Someone once told me that every time you have sex with someone you give a little of yourself to them that you can’t ever get back. Is it worth it – for a moment’s pleasure? I really want to encourage you to really think about this in light of eternity. God designed sex for the context of marriage – to be a beautiful thing that enhances your relationship in a way that nothing else can.

If you haven’t yet had sex I would encourage you to keep going and keep looking on your purity as a gift. It is such a beautiful thing to be able to give your husband on your wedding night, but it will be tough to get there without facing some sort of temptation.

And if you have had sex before – don’t worry!! You can draw a line in the past – because that’s where it is - and start afresh in God’s power and love. Every morning He gives you new mercies and new blessings, and you can wake up this morning as a new creation in Him. Your purity can begin again right now, keeping yourself accountable and pure for the future, whether you get married or not. For some this will be a harder task than for others, because sex by it’s nature is something that is enjoyable and can be addictive (especially with the right person – and that is meant to be your husband).

So if you aren’t supposed to have sex before you get married, then how far is too far and what are you supposed to do? Girltalk have a great blog post here on building relationships with guys before you get to the dating part. They write:

“Until a young man had expressed an interest in us, Mom helped keep our feet firmly planted on the ground: "Think of him as someone else's husband," she would say. "You wouldn't consider it appropriate to daydream or fantasize about a married man. And most likely, this guy you like will be married to another woman someday. Assume he is not going to be your husband unless he makes his intentions known."

That is such a wonderful way of looking at it. I know I would never have looked twice at a married or attached guy when I was dating, so to view a friend as that instead of as a potential husband leaves you free to pursue a friendship and a getting to know each other time, before moving into dating. And this is where BarlowGirl come in. I have followed them for a while now, and found this interview with them where they discussed why they don’t date. They don’t date at all – and one of their reasons is that they only want to date their future spouses. They want to be able to give their future husbands gifts that are special – their first kiss, their first date, their first dance… all because they won’t ever have done these with another guy.

Most of us will have passed this stage long ago – but I challenge you to think about it and from this point on change the way you view dating and how your life now will impact your future spouse’s life. It really does make a difference.

And if you are someone who is starting to feel a little ashamed because of past sexual sin or a past relationship where things went too far, then stop right now! All God wants is for us to bring these things to Him, to confess them and to leave them with Him. He loves us and forgives all of our sins – including those we’d rather forget about or that no-one else knows. A friend of mine sent me this song and I cried when I listened to it. We have so many things that we do throughout our lives that we aren’t proud of, but the minute you give your life to Him, God only sees our righteousness through Christ. We are more than the choices we have made, more than the sum of our past mistakes… we are remade.

So I would just challenge you. If you have to ask the question ‘how far is too far’ you’ve probably gone too far already. If you feel ashamed of your past or of mistakes you have made, spend some time confessing them, then rise a new creation with a new future and new goals. And if you are living a life that is pure and holy then keep going, but don’t get too complacent as temptation will be waiting round the corner. Our God is here to help and to be our strength when we are at our weakest, and I know that He is there right beside you as you made these decisions in your relationships.

A final word from Jeff Bethke – this is well worth a listen too…

Keep shining…  J

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