Fantasy is Too Far

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, February 23, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” ~Matthew 5:28

Dating is a serious issue inside of the church. Some say, “date.” Other say, “don’t date.” It’s an important question that needs answered, but it is only important for the sake of young people maintaining their purity throughout their youth. Whether a couple is officially dating or not, the question among young couples (and I suppose unmarried older couples, as well) is, “How much touching between the two is too far?”

I am about to lay down some very strict guidelines regarding Christians dating and touching. Before doing so, I want you to be aware that I do not claim that I achieved this level of purity while courting my wife, but this is the ideal among Christians and should be strived for among each couple. These standards have historic and Biblical significance and thus should be taken seriously. Having said that, it is possible to achieve this level of purity leading up to marriage. Successfully abiding by these standards will result in greater satisfaction once a couple is married, as their relationship will have always focused on pleasing God before pleasing themselves.

To answer “How far is too far?”: fantasy is too far. This is a difficult truth to deal with, but it is the truth. I can only speak from my experience as a man, but I do not know a male alive who has courted a young lady that did not fantasize. It almost seems as though it is impossible. Maybe it is. This is not to put burdens on people that are too heavy to bear, but to sober us before we judge young people too harshly for doing seemingly stupid things. Why do I start off with fantasy?

I do this to warn young ladies against doing things that might provoke their boyfriend to become switched on. Pardon me for the lingo, but I’m doing my best to keep this PG. It is important for young ladies to understand the vulnerabilities of young men in the realm of sexuality. I can think of three areas where both people in the relationship need to be particularly careful not to arouse lustful thoughts.

The first area is appearance. I would comment on how guys should dress, because I think boys have as much of a responsibility to dress modestly as girls, but I honestly do not know what or if girls become particularly tempted by the appearance of their male friends. What I can say is that mainstream dress for girls is horrendously thought provoking. I don’t say this to condemn how young ladies dress, but to warn them against luring the wrong types of guys. There is a trend in our culture of young ladies ending up with bad boys and having train wreck break-ups. Discerning males (if ever a thing existed) will attempt to avoid provocatively dressed women to honor God. Bad boys see the scantily dressed girls and say, “Game on!” The Apostle Paul wrote, “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).

The second area is touch. Girls, when you touch a guy in any sort of way, you unintentionally tap into his carnal instincts. The thought patterns of a guy once touched are, “She likes me.” If you hold hands with him, his thoughts are, “She is willing to be close to me.” Kiss him, and that’s pretty much all she wrote. There is no more rational thought at that point and you are running the risk of going all the way. Guys, physical touch is not necessarily wrong, but avoid it as long as you can. Ladies, avoid your urge to cozy up to your guy; you are lighting a match near gasoline. The Bible says to “Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity” (1 Timothy 5:1a-2). Brothers and sisters do not engage in intimate physical conduct like lovers do.

The third area is private time. Avoid situations where the two of you are alone, by yourselves, with no one else around. Men’s natural instincts in situations like this are to go all the way. A guy thinks to himself, “No one will ever know. It’s just her and me. It will just be once. We’ll just see how she responds.” Girls that genuinely feel loved by their significant other will probably reciprocate more times than not if her guy friend advances. Private time should be spent in public and should be non-existent in private quarters until the two are married together. Proverbs 7 describes a scenario of a young man, walking down the street all alone, who is confronted by a prostitute. Neither have the resolve to run from temptation. But Joseph, in the book of Genesis (chapter 39), wisely runs away from a woman who is tempting him while they are by themselves. Granted, he was falsely accused and arrested, but that’s beside the point.

Fantasy is too far, and we must avoid creating circumstances that facilitate impure thoughts. If you set up proper boundaries in these three areas, you should be able to avoid most vulnerable situations. If you are able to keep your mind clean and focused on God, you will be able to appreciate the other person beyond your sexual desires. You will appreciate him or her for who God created them to be. We all fall short of these standards in one way or another, but the more pure you are leading up to marriage, the more satisfaction you will experience once you are married.

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