This question is one that teens often ask when they hit the dating "age". I know this is a blog on marriage, but this is a continuation of the last posting and the answer can effect future marriage relationships. This is not an attempt to condemn anyone who who has dated or who went further than they wanted or anything like that. This posting is about a speaker that came to a church DNOW weekend for our youth group and her thoughts lend me to think not only about my relationship with my husband but also about how to approach dating with my daughters.
So HOW FAR IS TOO FAR? is a question that often gets asked when teens hit the dating age (which there is no magical number). The speaker (Crystal) had a very basic, but well thought out answer. It also turns the thinking back to the one asking the question. TOO FAR is anything you wouldn't wanted your future spouse to do once you are married. Huh? Think about the last post and how a part of you is left behind in any relationship then reread her answer. Whatever I do dating is taking away that experience with my future mate. The reaction to that question is your answer. I know this hit home with me and my oldest daughter-- in a positive way. Take this a step further, there is another person involved in a dating relationship so whatever is done is also robbing their future spouse of that experience. So really, four lives can be totally effected by what someone views as "too far."
Teens often want the answer to the question "How far is too far" because they don't want to feel guilty about what they do. The real question they need to ask themselves is "Is what I am doing pleasing to God or holy?". Our goal in life is to live a holy and pleasing life to Christ, so anything we want to do needs to be held to that standard, not by how it makes us feel or what a friend says or what you think. The Bible is a good place to start your search for answers-- it is our instruction book for life.
Now, take all this information to the next level. Your marriage relationship can be effected by all the experiences you had in a dating relationship-- whether it was mental, emotional or physical. I know I was often thought of as a prude and too goody-goody in high school/college. I don't really care because I can see how Christ was protecting my future marriage relationship. That is a prime example of not understanding the WHY of something as it is happening (why don't I ever have a boyfriend) but now many years later I see it as a HUGE blessing from God. He didn't allow me to have serious boyfriends and I can see how that has been such a positive thing now that I am married and my husband and I entered our marriage relationship as pure/whole individuals. Now all we know is one another and have no baggage to burden our physical relationship. That is an amazing gift!!!
More thoughts on marriage and keeping it whole will come later!