Thursday, August 27, 2009

Physical Boundaries In Dating: Fun Times!

Occasionally during my time as a Briercrest dorm intern, youth pastor, camp counselor, camp director, and now relationship counselor I have had the honor of talking with Christian couples. Sometimes about what's working and sometimes about what's not. Many times I have had couples come to me and tell me they were struggling with staying pure. Almost in every single case when I would ask them what their physical boundaries were as a couple, "the rules," they say something like . . .

"Um, well, we're not really sure. . ."

If a couple has no agreed upon rules, I'd estimate their chances of staying pure are at 4-9%. If they do have rules it goes up to about 30%. If they have very specific rules the chances rise up to about 40%. And if they discuss rules and introduce them before they get serious their chances at staying pure rise to about 80%. And (this may be controversial) if a couple discusses and agrees to specific rules before they start seriously dating and the guy takes the lead in staying pure, the chances go up to 90%. Of course these numbers are based on anecdotal stories shared with me, so take them with a grain of salt.

Rules seem unromantic to many, but for a dating couple they are so necessary. Boundaries make relationships safe and enjoyable. I often tell dating couples that if they can't talk about their sexual boundaries that they aren't mature enough to be dating! One way to go about establishing them is to consider three things; the commands of God, the conscience of the girl, and the conscience of the guy. If the couple knows where the boundaries are, based on God's word and each other's conscience's and commit not to push past them their chances of staying pure are very good.

Did you have rules when you were dating? When did you implement them and how successful were they? How important was the other person's conscience to you? My theory is again that as long as no one's conscience is betrayed and God's commands about sex and lust are obeyed your chances of enjoying purity are excellent.

By the way, I think sexual purity is one of the best aphrodisiacs.

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