In the work of youth pastoring, questions about sex, dating, and relationships come up often and I am glad for it. It is my joy and privilege to help my students walk through the tumultuous waters called relationships. Some of the common questions I’ll get are…
When and how should I date?
What does the Bible say about sex?
What should pre-marital relationships look like?
What should I do if I find a boy/girl attractive?
What should I look for in a spouse?
Among the many good questions that are asked, I know there is one question that is rarely asked, but, I bet, is frequently thought about. What question is that?
Is making out a sin?
Should non-married Christians partake in kissing of the French persuasion? Is it OK for them to play a few rounds of tonsil-hockey? Is Jesus pleased when His redeemed partake in the tongue tango?
Now, in today’s sexualized culture, this question is laughable to many. Making out, by today’s insane sexual standard, is akin to holding hands or even hugging for that extra second. However, as Christians, we are called to not conform to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). We must be in the world, but not of the world; being sanctified by truth, not seduced by lies (John 17:14-19). So what does the renewed mind think about making out?
Not wanting to disappoint, but I will not be teasing out the specifics here. However, I do want to offer you one answer I think all Christians need to think long and hard about. It is offered in an essay by a pastor named Gerald Hiestand. His thesis is:
[F]idelity to the trajectory and ethic of Scripture necessitates reserving any and all sexual activity for the marriage relationship. Or to state it again, the New Testament conveys—both theologically and exegetically—that all premarital relationships are to be completely non-sexual. Or one more time: premarital “making out” is a sin. (p. 14).
In the essay, he argues as follows:
1) All sexual activity must be reserved for the marriage relationship.
2) Some forms of kissing are sexual. Therefore,
3) Sexual forms of kissing must be reserved for the marriage relationship. (p. 19)
Again, I am not wanting you to just agree and move on, but I want to challenge you, my beloved reader, to think deeply about the topic of sexual purity in a sexually impure world. If you are unmarried, this has direct affect on how you date. If you are married, this will affect the counsel you offer others in dating. This affects how we instruct our children and the church’s youth. We need to think long and hard; making sure our answers are God’s answers.
I believe that the church has purchased far too much from the world when it comes to sex, dating, and relationships. It is about time we grab our receipts and return our purchases.
HT: Andy Naselli