(Closed) Christian girls, how did you decide ‘how far’?

posted 9 years ago in Christian
Post # 3
Member
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Hi Velveteen, I’m not sure you’re interested to hear a non-Christian point of view, but if it helps I grew up in a pentecostal church and there was a time (long, long ago) when I also felt compelled to “save myself.”

Your comment that your “motivations aren’t for sexual pleasure” and that you “don’t walk around feeling guilty” don’t ring true with me. If you weren’t feeling guilty, you wouldn’t feel compelled to seek guidance, right? And if your actions aren’t for sexual pleasure, what are they for?

You can paint it a different color, but the fact of the matter is that you and your boyfriend/fiance are two humans in love who are experiencing one another in very normal ways. The joy you feel in sharing a bed with him (sex or no sex) makes perfect sense. Regardless of how far you take it, this is intimacy.

Clearly the teachings of your religion and the Bible are very important to you. I would encourage you, however, to take some time to search your heart to determine if there’s anything inside (not inside scripture, but in the deepest parts of your soul) that tells you what you are doing is wrong.

I think we have a lot of answers within us, and often times the noise (of family, friends, society at large, and yes, even the church) cloud our own good judgement.

Best of luck to you! I really wish you the best in your relationship and the peace you find with yourself.

Post # 4
Member
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Hm. I thought I’d posted something here and i guess it never popped up. But now i’ve lost my train of thought

Long story short, I brought this issue to my father. He said we have a conscience and that we should listen to that. He also told me that marriage is essentially the committed love between us and THAT is the most important thing. What’s in our hearts and minds and what we feel. My father told me that my husband and I were already essentially married when we decided TO get married. We just weren’t going to rush through the ceremony to get the state to acknowledge it.

I dunno, I had it all stated so eloquently earlier, boo. I’m Christian, but i’m non-denominational. I’m more of a spiritual person than a church-goer b/c I struggle with what *other people* (much like the PP said about the noise of others) think including the churches. I find that sometimes my personal beliefs are not that of other peoples and that I don’t necessarily fit. And by not fitting, I’m going against my conscience also which I can’t logically do sometimes as I’m not being true to my beliefs.

Again, sorry for the sucky post. I really had it thought out much more carefully earlier.

Post # 5
Member
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

OH. Also. Keep in mind that getting married does not suddenly take away those *guilty sex* feelings. Sometimes I struggle with that still. That even though I’m married, I feel like it’s bad and want to check myself first.

For the record, we took a 13 month break before the wedding. He was military and I was worried that if I got pregnant, I’d be all alone with him being deployed and such. We did everything else, as we felt it was vital to nurtrue our relationship in that aspect. We simply weren’t going to spend our whole relationship battling it or getting married before his deployment, either. It worked for us though and many will disagree.

Post # 6
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

My husband and I also tried to take a sexual “break” for the 10 or so months leading up to our wedding. By most people’s accounts it probably wasn’t much of a break, because we were still staying over at one another’s places frequently.

Doing this, I learned more about myself and our relationship. It gives you the space, quite literally, to be able to really assess where you are and where the relationship is going, how it is going. It also made us learn how to fight better, because we no longer had sexual things to use as the universal fix-it.  On the whole, the experience was very, very valuable.

I can’t tell you where you should draw your line or when your wedding is (so how long you’re talking about drawing it for). But just as an exercise, try taking as big a sexual break as you can—try to really date your partner and get to know him deeply without bringing anything sexual into the picture. I think you will be able to figure out as you go along how long it will be necessary for you to do this, and what the benefits will be. It sounds like part of you realizes that the path you’re on is not exactly the right path for you. Give another path a shot, and so how it goes.

Post # 7
Member
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Ohhhh can I speak to this post!!  MrMike and I both converted by our own choice, before we knew each other, to non-denominational Christianity.  We both wanted to wait to have sex.  I wanted to do lots of other stuff because physical intimacy is very important to me.  For myself, stopping at not having sex felt OK, BUT the few times we tried that we had trouble putting on the brakes.  MrMike wanted to avoid temptation altogether… he knew where his line was that if he crossed, he could not stop.  For him that was passionnately kissing.  So for MONTHS and MONTHS I would get cuddles, and small kisses, but no more than that.  I will be honest and say it was AWFUL, and many times I felt very unloved becaused I need physical intimacy to feel secure, it’s just how i subconsciously experience love (5 Love Languages, awesome book).  Anyway, we just got married this past Sunday, and I’m glad we did things the way we did.  Because now we can be as intimate as we want, guilt-free, we feel good about ourselves for having waited, and most of all, MrMike has his self-respect intact because it was a BIG DEAL for him to draw the line where he did, and he really won himself over.  And of course he feels very respected by me for being patient with that.  It’s a win win.  The point is that between the two of you, you need to find out what point makes you really feel like you are honoring what God wants for you.  And have faith that everything you are giving up now will be that much more blessed when the time is right.  Good luck and God bless!

Post # 8
Member
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

We were one of those non-kissing couples. And I almost cringe to say that, because I have seen SO much self-righteousness and smugness come from the couples who are non-kissers before marriage, saying that kissers are sinning when they kiss (really, flat out saying it — to my face!!).

But it worked for us. My husband and I both have VERY high sex drives — every other day is our minimum. Not kissing probably saved us from having sex (we didn’t even START down a physical path, at least that way… I’ll be the first to admit my imperfection in other areas), but I know with some people it works the other way — they need to kiss to release some pressure so they won’t have sex.

The no-kissing rule was first proposed by me, with the stipulation that we could kiss after we were engaged. I’d never been kissed when I started dating my husband, and I thought that since I had made it that far (18) I might as well make sure the only man I ever kissed would be my husband. My resolve to keep this up disappeared quickly, but he enforced it. He then decided, since he believes in short engagements that why shouldn’t we just wait another 10 months after engagement till the wedding?

Sooo… I hesitate to give advice because I’ve been burned by the lack of a one-size-fits-all Christian sexual ethic before. I would say that you really should stop sleeping in the same bed, because 1. I know what a HUGE temptation that was for me and 2. People have dirty imaginations. Non-Christians will assume you’re having sex because that’s fairly standard to them, and most Christians will wonder because we are just as sex-saturated as the rest of America and won’t see any innocence in that. So if you’re concerned about the witness you’re giving, I would cut that out.

I’m not sure what else you do, but I would definitely be sure to maintain normal PDA standards (because nobody wants to see that, you know?) and to limit things like making out or petting in private. Basically, as tough as it may seem, keep in the back of your mind that until you marry your fiance, there’s always a possibility (however slight) that you could marry somebody else. What would you want to admit to that hypothetical new fiance that you did with your old one? That’s the standard I tried to stick to. Hope this helps.

Post # 9
Member
76 posts
Worker bee

I think that you’re going to get different advice from every single person you talk to, because, although Christian churches probably have official standpoints on how far is too far, people will always practice their faiths in a way that makes sense to them.

It sounds like you’re feeling guilty. Guilt is not a good feeling, so I think you should probably discuss your thoughts with your fiance and see what he thinks about your qualms.

I love the advice of ejs48y’s father, but I am less a Christian these days and more just a spiritual person who was brought up Christian. This very subject is one of the bones of contention for me. I took a religion course with a very liberal minded woman who was saying something similar to the father’s advice. It was pretty great.

She started out by saying that although there is a set of rules for Christians to follow, those rules come with the reality that we are not the same as Jesus and we are not perfect, therefore some rules will be bent by us and that doesn’t always mean that we’ve been evil. She also said that if you are an adult, you know when you have done something wrong. She also personally felt that it was very possible for intelligent adults to make a firm commitment before the formal ceremony takes place, the idea that when you commit to one another wholeheartedly you’re already married.

All this is well and good, but not everyone is as flexible as this wonderful woman is about interpreting the bible in the 21st century and from a Christian standpoint you can get advice on sex from both ends of the spectrum: from ideas that it’s not the end of the world, to the concept that any sexual activity outside of marriage is deeply shameful and wholly wrong. I think you can tell where I stand on the subject. Figuring out your own place on the spectrum will probably help you with these guilt feelings and deciding how far is too far.

Post # 10
Member
1019 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

Tough situation. Mr.Rain and I have what we call “the fence”. Everything on this side is ok, and everything on the other side is not. Admittedly, as we have got further along in our relationship we have flirted with the fence, even moved it back once or twice. After we were engaged we agreed that it was more important than ever to be vigilant. We do sleep together (actually SLEEP, NOT have sex) a few nights a week and it is really special. We talk about things, we cuddle… but we also know we couldn’t do this if people at church or family members had a way to find out. We are discreet, not because it is necessarily wrong but because some people might get the wrong idea.

If you are not feeling right about what you are doing, maybe it would be worth it to take a step back. We have a conciense for a reason, and if your’s is feeling guilty maybe there is a reason. Talk to your Fiance. Maybe you can try some new boundaries for a week and see if you feel better about things. I know this isn’t great advice, but these are the grey areas that need to be handled with a lot of prayer and discussion between you and Fiance. ((hugs))

MissRain

Post # 11
Member
363 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2010 - Trinity Presbyterian Church/Harrison Opera House

I’m with a few of you girls.  Fiance and I haven’t “crossed the line,” but we do share a bed sometimes.  I don’t tell my family and I don’t telly church people because I know that they think it’s impossible to avoid the temptation if you’re in the same bed.  Pray about it!  Ask for a peace and clarity about what you should do.  I’m ok with where we are and what we do as a couple, and I’m really glad we saved sex for our marriage bed.  Just a few more months to go!

Post # 12
Member
188 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

My husband and I were active before our wedding.  BUT we decided almost a year prior that we wanted to wait until our wedding to continue.  We didn’t do this because our preacher told us we had to or we felt that we were being frowned upon.  We did this because we felt that it was right for us.  Do what YOU feel is right, no one can tell you what the Spirit is telling you. 

Post # 13
Member
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

That’s a difficult question and one that my Fiance and I have struggled with, too. I guess all I can do is share my own experience.

I was pretty conservative growing up and only dated one other guy besides my Fiance. For me, sex was always taboo until marriage. But growing up, I had no idea how fuzzy that line could get between what was okay and what was not okay (I always thought that you either had sex or you didn’t, and that was all there was to it :-P). I thought there was kissing and there was sex and that was about it (no idea the progression between those two). I had heard about people waiting to kiss until their wedding day and I thought that was really neat, but it wasn’t necessarily for me. When I started dating my first boyfriend, though, I thought about it and decided I wanted to save that for the man I was going to marry. I went through this whole progession of trying to decide when that would be okay: when I knew he was “the one”?….when we were engaged?….and finally, after seeing how things escalate physically, deciding I wanted to just wait until my wedding day. So my first boyfriend and I never even kissed.

When I started dating my Fiance, we sat down and discussed those boundaries. At that point I told him that I didn’t want to kiss until my wedding day and that all I was okay with at that point was brief hugs, and he gladly agreed. As our relationship progressed, though, the physical side of it did, too (which I guess is natural), and at one point we kissed, even though we’d decided not to. That brought on all sorts of guilt and I struggled for quite a while on whether we should just go ahead and kiss then since no matter what we did, my wedding day wasn’t going to be my first kiss (honestly, I grieved a lot over that and regretted crossing even that line). We eventually decided to stick to the no-kissing rule. But about a month after we were engaged we decided together that we were okay with kissing at that point.We decided that things that showed affection were okay for us, but things that aroused were not okay (and while that may be a fine line to walk, I think most of us know when we’ve crossed it).

What we discovered, though, was that, for us, kissing really opened the door for things to escalate physically, and once we’d compromised on that, we had trouble drawing the line anymore (I understand better now why Song of Songs says “Don’t awaken or arouse love before it’s time”). The more we compromised, the easier it was to compromise further (isn’t that how sin works, though?). We have not had sex, but as my Fiance said once (we confessed all this to an older couple who’s been mentoring us): “Our clothes have stayed on, but that’s about the only redeeming thing.”

For us, our engagment has been marked by a lot of struggle and guilt because of the physical side of things, not just because we do things that others say are wrong (like kissing), but even more so because we set boundaries for ourselves and then compromised them. And when I see my FI’s guilt over this, I know that allowing or encouraging things to go past those boundaries is the most UNLOVING thing I could do for the man that I truly do love.

So at this point we’ve decided not to kiss anymore until our wedding day. Not because I think it’s wrong or a sin, but because for us, it led us to places that were sin and bound us by a lot of guilt and we want to protect each other from that. We’re not perfect and we still struggle — and sometimes fall — in our efforts to stay pure, and we have to fall back on the grace and forgiveness of God. But we’re trying to trust that God forgives us and knows that our hearts are to honor him and each other with our actions and our bodies.

So I guess all that is to say, it’s up to you and your Fiance (with the help of God) to decide what’s okay and what’s not okay for you, but I’m an advocate for saving as much as you can for marriage. And I say that as one who didn’t save all that much and regrets it.

Some good advice I read once by Joshua Harris (the author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” which challenges the typical dating model in our culture) was to keep in mind that the longer your list of things that are okay before the wedding is, the shorter a list you’ll have for whats special for just marriage.

Post # 14
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I had a friend who did not kiss until the altar, and I believe that they struggle with intimacy even now. They waited a couple days until after they were married to even have sex! They were told so many times that pre-marital sex was a sin, so even when they were married they still felt really aweful about doing it! This is NOT ok!

Why would you want to fight mother nature? The more you resist and push back those feelings, the harder it will be to regain all of it when you want to have them. Like sleeping together… you should have so much passion between yourselves that you can barley make it though the night sleeping together with out having sex.

And sex for the first time, isn’t as magical as one may think. I know a lot of Christain girls who waited, and were very let down the first night. Some of these girls werent even informed about sex and how to make it easier and whatnot.

I’m not saying that pre-marital sex is ok, because by Bible standards it is not. What I’m saying is don’t marry the first guy you want to sleep (this is why I believe so many Christians get married SO young), and inform yourself about sex read a book or watch some porn or something, lol, jk.

Good Luck! -Hope this was somewhat informative and not just a semi-rant.

Post # 16
Member
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’ll start by saying that I was raised Catholic, so keep that in mind.  Several years ago, I read an article about the most intimate part of a relationship – sleeping together.  Not sex, but actual sleep.  It is a very intimate act – you are even more vulnerable than during sex.  You have to trust the person implicitly and close to them in a way that you are not close to other people in your life.  Intimacy and sex are not interchangeable.  I think that you should look at the reason behind your religion’s prohibitions – is it to avoid lust or avoid intimacy?  If it is sex then you probably aren’t doing anything wrong.  Still, if you have questions and feel uncomfortable, then stop.  If you are comfortable, then stand by your convictions.

 

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