Dating Boundaries: Physical

By Nikki Dabney

When it comes to physical boundaries, we all want to know, “How far can I go?”

But we need to be more clear. Do we mean, “How far can I go until I feel guilty?” “How far can I go until it’s considered sexual?” What we should be asking is, “How far can I go until I am dishonoring my body, my boyfriend, or my God?”

I think the church has traditionally taught Christians to not have premarital sex by using fear – making us feel like sex is dirty and shameful. This is both untrue and ineffective. Truly understanding how amazing and powerful sex is gives us the desire to protect our purity and helps us understand why God says sex is for marriage.

Why sex is for marriage:

  • (Quick biology lesson:) When you orgasm, oxytocin is released, a hormone involved in increasing trust and human bonding, and dopamine (responsible for the euphoria) travels to the hippocampus and amygdala, which together govern memory. In other words, your body has now made a connection that associates the orgasm with your husband. God has designed sex to make your spouse the epitome of attraction to you even as you age together! Beautiful!
  • You become one flesh- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is the deepest union possible because God is a part of it. When you have sex with your boyfriend and break up, it is like ripping your own flesh apart. God wants a husband and wife to continue to unite in sex for the rest of their lives!

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” – 1 Corinthians 6:15-17

One of the best tools in determining what your physical boundaries should be is to ask yourself if that action is affection or arousal. And arousal begins wayyyy before anything sexual takes place. Foreplay (heavy kissing and touching) is designed to arouse your body to desire sex. Once you get there, your body is pressing the gas pedal. The last thing it wants to do is hit the breaks…

Scripture says to FLEE sexual temptation (1 Corinthians 6:18). Do not put yourself in a position to battle your will power. That’s why some of the best boundaries are WHERE you are rather than WHAT you’re doing. Not being home alone together, not going in a bedroom, not sitting on a bed, and not laying horizontally on the couch are boundaries that nearly eliminate the opportunity to cross lines.

Ladies, the battle is most often lost with small compromises over time. You lay down just to watch a movie, you kiss a little bit longer, you take a nap together, your hands start roaming, and on and on.

The longer you’re together, the more comfortable you are with his body and with doing more. Fight for your boyfriend’s purity. His body is not yours to excite; it belongs to his wife (1 Corinthians 7:4). If you’re fooling around with him, you are fooling around with his soul, and it is an offense against God.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God… Therefore whoever rejects this, rejects not man, but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

So search your heart, spend time in prayer, and discuss with your community what your boundaries should be. I have three close friends who have chosen not to kiss their boyfriends. Another friend decided cuddling was what got her going. Just BE HONEST with yourself. It’s not a good idea to experiment and keep going farther and farther until you learn the hard way what your boundary should have been. Don’t ask yourself how much pleasure you can get before going overboard. Value purity and protect it.

It’s easy to think that purity is a long list of don’ts that is just meant to restrict us. But God does not want to rob you of pleasure! When we take sex out of the context God designed it in, we only experience a fraction of what God designed sex to be! He doesn’t tell you to wait for you to suffer. God is for you! He’s for marriage! And He’s for sex!


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