How far can we go in touching each other?


I have been in a relationship with this girl for quite a few months, and well it's hard for her to show her emotions toward me through words; she is a feeling person, and I'm one too, but not as much. When we're alone, we just hug tightly, play with each others hair and that's about it. To be honest, we want to do more, but we don't want to do things that will sexually stimulate us. When she comes over, she wants to hug me, nibble my ear, kiss my cheek and my neck, but only to show her affection; of course, she enjoys doing it, but she doesn't mean it to get me stimulated or something. She is a "feeling" kind of person, as I said. I want to do the same thing to her, to show my affection and feelings toward her, but nothing sexual. We are also thinking of holding and probably squeezing (sorry if that sounds wrong) each others behind. One of the reason we want to is because we think it's enjoyable, but she said that she would do this only to show her affection or to grab my attention if I'm not giving her enough attention and not when she just wants to touch me. We want to "hold," not sexually touch or rub each others behind when we walk together or when we hug each other sometimes. We are both Christians and want to follow God. We will not have sex until married, or even show each others private parts, but we want to do those things. However, would God allow us? Thank you very much!


The way to stay away from sin is to not walk toward it. You are determined not to have sex before marriage, which is the proper attitude, but notice that you are now looking for a line not to cross so you can get as close as you can. There is a reason why sin is described as a slippery place (Psalms 73:18). The person fools himself into thinking he is able to remain standing because he is standing at the moment and his feet is solidly under him. It isn't until some thing happens requiring him to move quickly that he suddenly finds himself flat on the ground. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall" (I Corinthians 10:12).

The problem is that because you haven't reached a point of strong sexual passion, you convinced yourself you have some room to spare. But I can't help noticing that you said she doesn't mean to get you sexually aroused. That implies that sometimes she does inflame you with the things you two are already doing. Yet, you want to discount this because it wasn't her intentions. A person's intentions doesn't define what is right or wrong.

A related problem is that what boys and girls find sexually arousing are different. She might look at some actions as innocent fun because it doesn't impact her. But Christians must think about how their actions impact other people. "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" (Philippians 2:3-4). If you two are serious considering marriage in the future, then both of you need to consider the impact your actions have on the other person.

Think in these terms:

  • Do nothing that will cause the other person to be sexually aroused.
  • Do nothing that you would not do with your parents in the room.
  • Do nothing that you would not want someone doing to your brother or sister.

As you two become comfortable and familiar with each other, it is easy to lower your guard against sin. That is why I tell couples that they should avoid spending time alone since there is too much temptation to take liberties.

You don't have to touch more and more body parts to express growing affection. The fact that you spend time together enjoying each others company is adequate to say you care about each other. Love doesn't need a push, it grows best at its own pace. Once you are married, you can be as intimate as you want.

"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field, that you do not arouse or awaken my love until she pleases" (Song of Solomon 2:7).