Four Ways to Remain Pure While Dating

Four Ways to Remain Pure While Dating

1. Learn and commit to God’s will. God created humans male and female and blessed their physical union (Gen. 2:23-24). When God governs the sexual relationship, it’s not to limit us, but to reveal His beautiful and fulfilling design.

God created sex for the committed bond of marriage because it has the potential to create new life (Gen. 4:1). A mother and father are the best environment for raising children. While creatures in the animal kingdom were created with other suitable reproductive strategies, God made human sexuality monogamous, humans who are the image bearers of God. Furthermore, God made sex a powerful mutual experience that strongly unites two people (Prov. 5:15-20). Introducing that too early—that is, before the honeymoon—is bound to create confusion and heartache!

God very plainly commands His children to avoid sex outside of marriage (Deut. 22:13-27, Prov. 6:20-35, 1 Thess. 4:3-8, Rev. 14:4). God condemns sexual sin (1 Cor. 6:9-11, Gal. 5:17-21). “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). Don’t sin, and don’t lead your partner into sin.

2. Set reasonable boundaries. In the early days of a relationship, these will need to be your own personal boundaries. Don’t assume your date automatically has the same commitment to purity you do. 

Boundaries are sensible in many areas, but especially sexuality. “Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). One author suggested that young men and women are like a rocket with engines that have already ignited but must remain on the launch pad for months or years. Self-control in this stage is difficult, so pre-setting boundaries during a time of calm strength will help keep you from driving off the cliff in a time of weakness.

  • Set rules that limit physical intimacy. “Lasciviousness” (Gal. 5:19) describes not just going too far, but any behavior that inflames sexuality. One handy rule is that if you can’t do it in public, you probably ought not do it together.
  • Determine in advance to avoid places and situations that only lead to no good—such as being alone in the same house or being someone else’s bedroom. God promises a way of escape with every temptation (1 Cor. 10:13), but that still requires faithfulness and maturity on our part. Often, the way of escape is early in the process. After you’ve parked the car and climbed into the backseat, you can’t complain that God made it too difficult for you to get out of temptation; at that point, the outcome is virtually a foregone conclusion.
  • If you take care of how things look, you automatically take care of how things are.
  • Avoid every form of and even the “appearance” of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

3. Communicate the boundaries. If you grow closer as a couple, you should discuss and agree upon the rules. Especially as you consider getting engaged. Voice aloud the sentiment: “I want to be a virgin on our wedding night!”

I’m getting way ahead here, but after you’re engaged might be a good time (with caution) to begin to communicate more deeply about your expectations for the sexual relationship of your marriage. It is also important to communicate past failures and experiences. Sexual intimacy is one of the major points of potential marriage conflict you want to have already sorted out. It’s healthy to be excited about marriage, but “do not awaken love” too early (Song 8:4). Oh, and don’t schedule a really long engagement.

4. Seek forgiveness if you fall short of your commitment. Repent, be healed (1 John 1:9-2:1) and start your commitment anew!

 --John Guzzetta