Pure love dating

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I'll start by putting my position right on the line: I believe the Bible to teach that all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin, and all romantically oriented physical activity is sexual activity. As the questions above indicate, however, many single Christians have questions about whether premarital physical activity at some level beyond kissing is OK.

We need to address the whole spectrum ("just kissing" included). First, the fact that "romantically oriented" is in italics above is important.

Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his holy spirit." Look closely at verse 6.

Some translations render the word "wrong" as "defraud." To defraud someone is to deceive that person — in this context, to imply a commitment that does not exist by committing acts with someone that are appropriate only in the context of a particular relationship (i.e., marriage) in order to satisfy my own "passionate lust." To commit sexual immorality with and against someone, far from showing the "love" to which Scripture calls all believers, is to act like those "who do not know God," and this passage calls such acts "sin." Now, one obvious counterargument to the point I intend to make is that the Scriptures I've cited above just beg the question of whether kissing and other sexual activity violate those passages.

In Song of Songs, God has given us a holy and beautiful picture of a marital sexual relationship, and everyone seems to be having an excellent time.

Even there, however, God is clear that sex is uniquely for marriage: "Do not arouse or awaken love before it so desires (i.e., before it's appropriate — within marriage)." (Song 2:7) A blog comment or two emerging from the last column suggested a different interpretation of this verse and Song in general, but the orthodox interpretation of the book suggests both that an actual sexual relationship is part of what the narrative relays, and a context (at the time of the sexual part of the relationship) of marriage.

We all know what we're talking about here, and these are not the things I mean to address in this column.

It might have been last night or last week or last year or back in high school or college.

Was your purpose for doing what you did to build that person up spiritually — to make that person "more holy" (Eph. Do you believe that you and your partner "honor[ed] God with your bodies" in doing what you did (1 Cor. Whatever you did, did that interaction reflect "absolute purity" (1 Tim 5:2)?

Was there "even a hint" of sexual immorality in what you did (Eph. Whatever you did, as you now think about it, does it inspire a comfortable peace or an uncomfortable shudder to remember that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit observed it all?

Many wanted to know, did I really mean no physical intimacy? Isn't it sex outside of marriage that Scripture explicitly prohibits?

How can you say definitively that other things are wrong? Shouldn't our physical relationship "progress" as other aspects of our relationship deepen? I understand most physical stuff is wrong, but what about just kissing? With respect to pre-marital, romantically oriented kissing, we're clearly talking about an area about which reasonable believers can (and do) disagree.

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