The Sweet Christian Bride

Boundaries for Purity

by admin on July 18, 2011 in Purity with 2 Comments

Sexual purity before marriage is celibacy for God’s sake.  This means that all of the cousins of sexual intercourse are intruders that stand between you and God.  Remember… for God’s sake, not for your own. 

Oral sex, anal sex, genital to genital contact, petting, masturbation, and other means of sexual stimulation are not celibacy no matter how badly you want them to be.  They do not help your future marriage bed flourish, and they do not draw you closer to the Lord God.

I’m being blunt and direct because there is too much kidding going on in this day and age.  I know how easy it is to justify any sort of sexual act and claim purity because it wasn’t intercourse.  And I know how easy it is to shift your calibration of what purity is towards something it’s not because you’ve already “crossed the line.”  I know how gray this can become, which is why I’m talking in black and white as a reality check, not as an elimination of grace. 

So how intimate can you be with your fiancé?  First of all, let’s better articulate the question.  How intimate can you be with your fiancé as you honor God?  Not, how intimate can you be with your fiancé and not actually sin?  There is a difference of intent in these questions.

Steering clear from the cousins of sex, where you draw the line between non-sexual intimacy and sexual intimacy will largely be a function of how you and your fiancé respond to stimuli.  What might be romantic to one is arousing for the other.

You will each have your own triggers.  The goal is to avoid ever activitating a trigger.  You do this by setting up boundaries that keep you coming short of any trigger.

The biggest challenges in identifying triggers are 1) being honest enough to admit them, 2) wanting to stay away from the “fun” that triggers allow, and 3) believing that you are not invincible. 

These challenge are all part of the same face of our sinful nature: we are drawn to sin because it feels good, it’s easy, it’s popular, it’s (fill in the blank).  This is why prayer is so necessary in maintaining purity: God can change our hearts. 

You don’t want to build scaffolding for yourself on a foundation that wavers.  Pray that God changes your desires to be conformed to His.  Pray that God reveals your sins and your triggers.  Pray that God guides you in creating good boundaries.

If you know that having your neck kissed will cause you to lose control, then you and your fiancé need to agree that he will not kiss your neck.  If cuddling while lying down blurs the line for him, then you both need to agree that you will not cuddle.

Somethings will trigger you but are fine for him, and vice-versa.  In those situations, you need to mutually create the boundary anyway because if one of you falls, you both fall. 

If you aren’t sure what your triggers are, then pray for God to show you and, in the meantime, set your boundaries very conservatively.  It is much easier to give slack to your boundaries than to tighten them up.

Triggers aren’t just physical either.  Timing is a common trigger for many people.  The later it gets and the more tired you both become, the less energy you have to execute self-discipline.  Or perhaps it’s stress that gives you the thought that you just want the freedom to enjoy yourself and to be in control of your life.  All of a sudden, your perspective starts shifting from what glorifies God to what glorifies yourself; your boundaries will shift with it.

For most of us, stopping intimacy right before our trigger is often ineffective because we have already established patterns that cause our minds to anticipate the end result.  That anticipation can be enough to arouse us.  For example, if having him touch the small of your back is your trigger for arousal, but it’s really difficult for him to stop putting his hands there, then you both need to back track and figure out what “steps” in the pattern typically lead up to his hands touching the small of your back.

If it only happens when your shirt sits loose over your waist, then try wearing a tank top underneath your shirt that you can tuck into your pants.  That way your skin on the small of your back is not easily accessible.  Or if his hands find themselves there when you are kissing for an extended period of time, then you need to kiss shorter, differently, or not at all.  Break your pattern.

Again, the hardest part of setting boundaries and identifying triggers is deciding that you really need and want them, but they are worth the sacrifice.  If you don’t believe me, ask God what He thinks.  His way is unequivocably better and keeps you from setting yourself up for failure.

By Lindsay
  • There are currently 2 Comments.

  • The Sweet Christian Bride
    • Emily says:

      Purity is especially hard for engaged couples so thanks for the tips!

    • jessica says:

      thank you for this post because whilst reading it, i felt that it was talking directly to me. i can relate to these aspects and have found ways to make my relationship with God better and more about Him rather than about myself. God bless you and please continue sharing His word.