Sex dating and relationships a fresh approach
We mark these as distinct relationships based on the observation that each relationship carries with it an explicit sexual ethic.
As you’ve noted, in our book we argue that Scripture recognizes three distinct types of male-female relationships—the “family” relationship, the “marriage” relationship, and the “neighbor” relationship (by “neighbor” we mean anyone who is neither a blood relative or a spouse).
139), what tensions will Christians experience who asking: How far is too far before marriage?
In many respects, the entire book is a theological and exegetical attempt to answer this question.
Our conclusion in this matter is pretty countercultural, and so my temptation here is to provide a prolonged defense and justification.
Feeling left to our own devices, we have invented our own guidelines of sexual purity. Some are fairly conservative, while others are not.The Levitical sexual codes (Leviticus 18) clearly prohibit sexual relationships between blood relatives.And all throughout Scriptures (Proverbs, Song of Songs, 1 Corinthians 7) we see that sexual relations within marriage are not only permissible, but commanded.We tell women, “Don’t give your heart away to a man who isn’t sure what he’s going to do with it.” And we tell men, “Don’t try to win the heart of a woman if you don’t know what you’re going to do with it.” We’re not against a man pursuing a woman. In bygone days, a man would woo a woman toward marriage. Women are giving themselves away—emotionally, romantically, sexually—to men who have made no promises. Yes, the trick is to happily anticipate sexual intimacy in a way that it doesn’t lead to immorality.Ultimately, the “commitment” of a dating relationship is the commitment to be committed until one or the other doesn’t feel like being committed. The time to bring on the romance is when you’re ready to bring on the ring! However, you also argue that the standard of sexual purity for the neighbor relationship, even after engagement, remains the same. Certainly once a man and woman have agreed upon marriage, it is appropriate that they have a happy sense of longing and desire to experience the relational joy of sexual intimacy with one another.For instance, most Christian women won’t make out with just any guy; but they will make out with their boyfriend. In short, we can’t slap the label “dating” on a male/female relationship and then justify engaging in sexual activity that we would otherwise deem inappropriate between unmarried men and women.So if “the bounds of the neighbor relationship are binding until marriage” (p.We work primarily from 1 Corinthians 7:9, where Paul instructs non-married individuals to pursue sexual fulfillment exclusively in marriage.The implications in this passage are clear: sexual activity is to be reserved for the marriage relationship. But how do we determine which physical activities are sexual?By this definition, passionate kissing is clearly a sexual activity, and thus to be reserved for the marriage relationship.I’ve heard a number of creative attempts to work around this logic, but none are very convincing.