Read: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23
As relationships progress, the desire to grow closer together will follow. Now, a growing desire for sexual intimacy isn’t a bad thing. Sex was created by God to be celebrated within the context of marriage, but the world, seeking immediate pleasure instead of God’s way, doesn’t understand how to correctly handle the gift of sex. With a megaphone in hand, the world has used movies, music, tv, commercials and magazines to shout that sex is something we should all be doing. The world wants us to believe that when we live without limits and boundaries, we can enjoy a life of freedom, but godly limits and boundaries are the only way to experience true freedom.
A mature, Christian relationship recognizes that freedom is found when we use God’s gifts in the way they were intended. In this case - saving sex for marriage. So what do we do when we find that desire for our significant other growing, and we’re not married yet? Do we slip into a pit of guilt that leads to putting up walls in the relationship or do we cave into our desires and contend with even greater shame and guilt? No! We’ve got to begin praying for guidance - to ask God to help us hold that desire in check until marriage.
Part of the way we follow God’s design for keeping intimacy in check during dating is by setting guidelines. We’ve got to respect our significant other and ourselves enough to not let ourselves slide into the “danger zone.” Do you find yourself struggling the most when you’re home alone together? Maybe movie night at her place when her roommates are out isn’t the best idea. Are you tempted to head over to his place after texting late at night? Maybe give yourself a phone curfew. And don’t forget the importance of seeking godly counsel like we talked about earlier this week. Ask a trusted friend to check in with your relationship - to remind you of the guidelines you’ve set, and make sure you aren’t headed toward the “danger zone.” When we do strive to save sex for marriage, we get to enjoy it fully in the way God intended - something we’ll discuss more next week.
Pray: God, as I find myself growing in this relationship, remind me of the importance of setting boundaries. Give me guidance as I seek to honor you in my relationship, and give me the wisdom to save these desires so I can enjoy them fully in marriage. In Jesus’ name, Amen.