Folks have to draw their lines where they feel comfortable. I knew a couple who so didn’t trust themselves that they didn’t kiss before they were married. I’m not going to stand here and say they were naïve, because as I said, folks have to draw their lines where they draw their lines. However, even within dating, there are various levels of physical intimacy and dating is a time to learn about being intimate with one another.

Before you think I’m backdooring my way into discussing premarital sex again, we’ve covered some of that ground before: chastity as discipline, “the talk,” the church and sex, biblical loopholes part I and part II, drawing a line, “you burning” part I and part II, and even a guest blog of further musings on the topic. In short, while there is a gift of celibacy, there is no gift of singleness. However, what I’m talking about today is intimacy as sharing of one’s self. Even physical intimacy is opening up one’s self on a basic level and it a reason why intimacy should be protected and treasured.

But let me come at this from another angle first. I’ve seen people use all manner of intimacy for all sorts of reasons during the course of a relationship: a balm to make themselves feel better, a bandage for a wound in them or in the relationship, as glue to hold the relationship together, a trap to keep their partner in the relationship, something to make their partner love them more, and even as a way to fix someone (which, mind you, if that’s how you’re going to fix me, it’s only incentive for me to stay broken).

And, mind you, these are some of the “positive” uses for intimacy. There are “negative” uses, when it is used as a weapon: revenge, spite, or even withholding it as punishment. There are times intimacy can be all of these things (sadly), but when it is primarily about one of these things, it is out of balance and out of purpose.

All areas of your life—money, materials, relationships, time—are about spiritual formation. I like to think of the various biblical admonishments as guard rails: nothing is going to keep you from going over the edge if you are determined to, however, they do help provide a line to help you stay on the right side (read: keep you from abusing your freedom or being abused by it). If you teach a line, people will go to the line.

Our lives are not our own; we have been set apart for the sake of others. Sexual purity is no different: how we view, do, and approach sex sets us apart from the rest of the culture. Yes, in some ways we’re going to be countercultural, but that’s true to who we are. It’s not about moral purity, because morality is secondary to the idea of holiness (set apart).

Okay, maybe I did back door this topic a little.

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