Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Alone in my principals...

Though this song is really about a break up, it helps set a humorous stage for my post...

There’s no real hiding or denying that I’m an older, single lady. I guess in the grand scheme of life I’m not really “older.” I’m only 29, but for the culture and context in which I currently live, being single past 24 is older.

The other night I had a few girlfriends (and fellow singletons) over to cookout and watch a football game. Our conversation covered everything from religion, to football, to politics, and, of course, being the singletons that we are, dating and men. I always find it interesting to hear other Christian’s perspectives on the do’s and don’ts of courtship. I realize I tend to be on the conservative, almost uptight, end of dating “world-views,” and differences in opinions/customs/choices is always refreshing, challenging and reassuring to me.

So, we get to chatting about boys. (Yes, we are all in our late 20’s, but can still refer to them as boys.) There were several questions raised during the topic of conversation that dealt with who, how, and what goes on with dating. A few of the questions covered dating divorced men, what’s too old or too young, being set up verses an online dating service verses letting things happen naturally, and much more.

One of the more intriguing conversations, though, dealt with sex/sleeping together/the appearance of evil/etc. This is something I have discussed with several Christian friends before, and where I get the label “uptight” when it comes to my views on dating. So, what’s acceptable and what’s not for Christians who date? I’m going to list a few of the opinions that are held by many Christians I know (but not necessarily the ladies I chatted with), and then list my opinion on the topic.

Disclaimer – I know that I’m completely opinionated and I don’t try to hide my feelings. But this is my post and my blog. If you reading, just know you are getting my sole views based on personal conviction, and I do not expect or anticipate everyone or even anyone to feel the way I do. On with it…

1. It’s okay to sleep together in a bed, as long as you aren’t having sex. Therefore, napping, spending the night or any general sleeping side by side is okay.

Sheri: Well, no, that’s not okay. One reason is because I know how humans are, and I imagine it to be extremely difficult to lay and/or sleep in a bed with a man you are extremely attracted to with no hint of “hanky panky” there. Doesn’t it say that even just looking at someone and lusting is as bad as doing it? (Matt. 5:28) I can imagine being in bed with someone and the thought crossing my mind…so…its best to avoid any mattresses.

2. Since we are women of a certain age (and yes, I’m making myself sound older than I actually am), maybe its okay for us to “sin a little” before marriage (i.e. do the hanky panky…not to be confused with the hokey pokey) in order for us to keep the boys interested.

Sheri: Okay, that one doesn’t fly with me either. Yes, I understand that men are driven by sexual desire, but so are girls. It’s part of our created nature. But God has called the unmarried to be celibate. Now Paul does say in 1 Corinthians that if you burn with passion, then you should probably get married. But if you can handle it, remain a virgin. It does say, though, that passion is for married peeps...And when I say passion...I mean the hanky panky.

3. PG-13 topic - As long as you are not having intercourse, then it’s not really sex, and its okay to conduct the act with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Sheri: If the word sex is in it, its sex. Don’t be fooled by the “everything but” argument. That’s a load of crap.

4. Its okay to hanky panky with someone you are engaged to. After all, don’t you want to find out if you have sexual chemistry before you legally commit to this person for a lifetime?

Sheri: Not gonna fly with me either! I understand that hanky panky is an important part of marriage, but physical connections are NOT what make marriage work, and they are NOT what you should base your life on. Intimacy is much more than just sex. It’s about sharing your life with someone. If you have nothing to base a relationship on besides the physical stuff, then it’s going to be a long rest of your life trying to find something else to build upon.

So, I’m conservative. Big deal. I don’t think that you should have sex, sleep with, or be physically intimate with someone before you get married. That’s just my opinion. I know my limitations, and I believe my personal convictions are based on how I feel I should live my life. I do understand that most other people don’t agree with me. And that’s okay…convictions wouldn’t be called “personal” if that weren’t for a person.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the topic. I didn’t base this post on scripture, but on where I feel God has led me in my spiritual walk. If you want, I can dig up some versions to support my claim, but really, my thoughts/opinions/convictions were based on my relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Coming up next….my thoughts on falling in love and how to find “the one.”


One Girl Revolution said...

Amen sister!

kjlangford said...

Aaah, I hope I'm not speaking out of turn... but from my experience as well as just about all of my married friends... the whole "seeing if you have sexual chemistry" is such a load of crap. I don't think anyone's first time with someone (unless you happen to have had a LOT of sex and just know what, in general, works... and even then I doubt it) is gonna blow their mind. It takes work, a lot of work, on both sides to figure that whole equation out. And if you're just gonna "see" if you have sexual chemistry then you're probably going to be disappointed and not be willing to work on it after the wedding. At least, I'm guessing that's what would have happened with me.

Also, sex before marriage would have been about me and what made me feel good while sex in marriage (inexplicably) is more about my husband and what's going on with him.

Hope I didn't gross you out, Sheri! I don't want this to sound like I am unhappy or anything in that area... just acknowledging the process that takes much more effort than I ever realized.

AprilJ said...

OK.. I know this blog post is older but I tried to comment on it a few times back in September.. It's funny how the sex arguments haven't changed that much in the last 20 years!! I think, now having been married for 12 years and presently raising a daughter (and also walking my own path all those years ago), I think the focus needs to be on both physical purity and purity of the heart. I wish someone would have talked to me about giving away pieces of my heart even making out with a guy. I'm not one to say "no kissing until the wedding" by any means, I just think purity is so much bigger than just not having intercourse (which is sort of how we judged things in my Christian circle). Just my two cents (which is worth less and less as the days march on).