Question:

I love your site. I sent the link to my girlfriend. We are not romantically involved; we just only touch the upper part of our bodies, and we keep our clothes on. I asked the pastor where I go to church and he told me that it is a good question, but if she does not want it then do not force it. So we are on a ‘holding pattern’, or ‘yellow light.’ So do we go to ‘red light’ or ‘green light’?

Bless you, brother in Christ!


Answer:

A few things puzzle me about your note. You ask if you should stop, start, or wait about "it," but you don't say what "it" is. You say you have a girlfriend, but not romance, so I assume you think romance means making out and having sex. I'm guessing that is what you mean by "it." Which leaves me further puzzled that you, who claim to follow Christ, and a preacher would think that sex is fine between a boyfriend and girlfriend if it is consensual.

A repeated warning in the Song of Solomon, given even just before the wedding is: "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases" (Song of Solomon 3:5). The warning is given each time the heroine in the play begins to think about having sex with her fiance. The point is that if you try to rush love, you'll lose it -- like a startled deer. It has to mature at its own rate. And the proper time to awaken love is when you get married.

"Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband" (I Corinthians 7:1-3).

Sex outside of marriage (fornication) is not an option for Christians.

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

If you want a wife whom you can trust and respect, you must treat her in kind. Girls, to whom you have not made a permanent commitment to through marriage, are not there for for your sexual pleasure.

I noticed the same thing too when I read it in the sent folder. I meant to put foreplay for the start of the message, but I forgot, so please forgive me.

If I understand you correctly this time, you are asking if it is proper to have sexual foreplay with your girlfriend.

Let me draw your attention once again to Paul's statement: "Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:1-2). By "touching," Paul is referring to sexual touching or foreplay. It is called foreplay because it prepares the body, both male and female, for the act of sexual intercourse. Sex belongs only in marriage, so doing the things that prepares the body for sex when you are not married is not a reasonable or righteous thing to do.

The reasons are many:

  • Your body is made to complete the act of sex once it is started. What you plan to do is similar to putting a potato chip in your mouth and then say, "don't eat it." You might hold out for a while, but you won't last long. Jesus taught his disciples to pray: "And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" (Luke 11:4). But you want to walk right into temptation and give the Devil a head start.
  • "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:27-29). Once you start down this path of foreplay with someone you are not married to, you are not innocent of sin. If you touch a hot coal, you expect to get burnt by it. If you claim you didn't intend for it to burn you, everyone would laugh because the nature of a hot coal doesn't change because of your intentions. Touching a woman sexually leads to sex; you're intentions won't change this.
  • Your thoughts will not be proper while engaged in foreplay. You will be thinking about getting your penis into her the whole time, yet you are not married. Thus, you will be dwelling on thoughts of fornication. "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:20-23).
  • Your actions would fall into the category of lewdness. "This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ" (Ephesians 4:17-20). William Barclay describes lewdness as "shameless greediness," "bestial pleasure," and "pure self-enjoyment." The Complete Biblical Library states, "Those under the control of this sin do not care what others say or think, as long as they can satisfy their desires." That well describes what happens when sexual desires are inflamed through foreplay. Those involved are focused on the pleasure and don't think about matters of righteousness. I can't tell you how many people tell me: "I don't know what came over me. I didn't intend to go that far. I just wasn't thinking."

Save your sexual expressions for your wife. Quit thinking about playing with fire. "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries" (1 Peter 4:1-3).

Bless you. I will send this to her.