How Far Is Too Far Before Marriage?

When we ask, "how far is too far" what we're really asking is, "what can't we do" when we should be asking "what can we do" in order to relish in the beauty that is a pure and divinely gifted relationship between us and our beloved.

Sex talks are awkward. But why is this the case? It’s because people have taken this beautiful, enjoyable and purposeful activity and distorted it into a casual, immoral and weird thing to talk about.

So, let's do an icebreaker. Everyone say "sex" five times. Done? Good.

Stop it. No more awkwardness. This gift from God is a beautiful and wonderful thing when performed within biblical parameters.

So now that you're no longer squirming in your seats...let's talk about sex!

How Far Is Too Far?

This question boasts a defensive approach to relationships- and that is dangerous. When we ask, "how far is too far" what we're really asking is, "what can't we do" when we should be asking "what can we do" in order to relish in the beauty that is a pure and divinely gifted relationship between us and our beloved. Your beloved is a gift from a loving Father; love them like Jesus, pursue purity out of obedience and investment, encourage them and challenge them to be holy as God is holy. Practice these things and purity will fall into place.

The notorious questions that so many ask but so many try to avoid answering. This question is prompted for a variety of reasons by a variety of people. If we're honest most are asking because they want to know what they can get away with. Some are asking so they can schedule that not sex but still intense event for later in their relationship and some are curious as to what the Bible says about it.

But I feel it is reasonable to say that if a couple desires to walk in purity with each other while pursuing the Lord then this question will be avoided.

However since it is a question being wrestled with then it is a question deserving of attention.

The first two facts which a healthy boy or girl feels about sex are these: first that it is beautiful and then that it is dangerous. -G.K. Chesterton

Most of the time when we think "purity" we think physical but we should be careful not to isolate this answer to a mere physicality because there are other contributing factors that should be considered as well that if ignored can really set us up for failure. I’ll address the physical “do-nots” then further discuss two other considerations, emotional purity and spiritual purity. Why are these important? Because if we’re pursuing spiritual purity then we will further develop a desire for physical purity and if we’re being proactive with our emotional purity then physical temptation will be reduced. Between these two pursuits we’re setting ourselves up for success in regards to physicality.

John, I just want to know how physical I can get with my girlfriend or boyfriend so just answer the question!

Sheesh, fine!


This is not a black a white answer so I broke it up into tiers of “be carefuls” and “do nots” for the Christian couple (pre-marriage obviously).

The be-carefuls...

For some, kissing their girlfriend or boyfriend may not serve as a gateway to more advanced maneuvers while for others kissing is a locomotive with failed breaks. Know yourselves; know what you can handle within pure forms of affection. I have failed time and time again in this capacity. Establish boundaries early in the relationship. People have different freaky-buttons and fetishes. Be mindful of this and be careful. If pinching your boyfriend’s elbow with your toes makes you want to expedite the baby making process then by golly establish those boundaries! (That was a weird experience…trying to come up with a weird fetish to fit a blog lol)

The do-nots!

Sexual immorality is not just the traditional method of intercourse. It’s sexual activity in its entirety. Oral sex, dry sex or any mutual engagements involving sex organs are flat out do-nots. Don’t do it. At this point it is too late, you’ve gone too far and continuing in this impurity will inevitably wreck your relationship.

Gentlemen, if a one piece bathing suit covers it, then you shouldn’t be touching it skin on skin. Ladies, respect yourselves and your boyfriends by supporting this boundary. Also, ladies, you’re not off the hook. Too often the fault is put on the guys when the ladies have just as much a responsibility to pursue purity with their boyfriends.

That’s one of the beauties of a Christian relationship. It’s teamwork. It’s pushing through an obstacle together because you both have a common goal in mind.

What may be fine for you may not be fine for them. Where a girl may find simple pleasure rubbing her hands across her boyfriends chest, he may be crazy aroused by this. Communicate, communicate and once you’re done communicating communicate some more. What is simple for one may be harmful to the other’s pursuit of purity.


If it hurts you don’t let it happen.

If it hurts them don’t do it.


Physical engagement means so much more when the participants are emotionally involved. That said if we are concerned about physical purity we should be asking how far is too far in regards to emotional involvement as well. If we intend to stay physically pure we must be proactive by assuming humble and pure hearts, which should in turn reduce the temptation to engage in overly physical activity.

We often see emotional attachment as a right-of-passage to physical affection. We care about each other this much so we’re justified to show this kind of affection. Be careful. Infatuation has a way of fogging our reason.

The more we care for our relationships the more effort we should exercise in order that these relationships may thrive. If that means not being too swift to deliver the lovey-dovies so soon in a relationship then so be it.

Words are powerful. So. Very. Powerful.

Who doesn’t appreciate affirmation? Even if it may not be your official “love language” we all agree that encouragement is always nice…and it bonds us together.

It’s time for me to be transparent: One area that I’m weak in is that I get too caught up the novelty of different events in life, one being relationships, that I get too involved with the sentimental stuff (letters, dates, affection) while neglecting the reality of a healthy relationship. No, I’m not a player, misogynist or polyamorian. On a number of occasions it has gotten to the point where this novelty has completely distorted the reality of relationship building but all along the emotional development ensues and thus the heartache is real.

When we expedite emotional development we only increase the challenge of physical purity.


As co-heirs of grace and advocates for the kingdom we know that our depravity hinders our ability to do good outside of the Holy Spirit. We must continue to seek the cross everyday. Recognizing the purpose and power of the cross reveals the beauty and power of grace. But grace is not just a pardoning of our sin (though that's pretty awesome). Grace is also sanctifying. God's grace pardons us but also reveals the righteousness that we've been credited through Jesus.

As we walk in grace in pursuit of the cross the more we will desire to reflect the holiness of God. We have a responsibility to seek such holiness and to challenge, encourage and develop this desire in each other. This spiritual development will create more and more of a desire to seek purity in all areas of our lives to the point that "how far is too far" will not be an issue because our hearts will be transformed to ask the question "how can I exercise purity as pleasing to God, the same God who gifted me with my beloved? How can I invest in the life of my beloved to further our pursuit of the cross?" Grace and purity are not mutually exclusive. It is because of grace that we are pure.

"Grace is not something to be spent- rather it is something be invested in." -Joshua Smith

Friends, you were bought with a price, for a purpose and by a God who has covered you in grace and adopted you into royalty. The love of the Father is incomparable and steadfast. You are his beloved child and his intent for purity in your life is for your benefit and for his glory.

Be blessed.

Be encouraged.

You are loved and appreciated.

For the gospel//


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