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Sexual Gratification: How Far is Too Far According to the Bible?

As Christians, we try to follow the teachings of the Bible. Yet, when the Bible doesn’t explicitly discuss a topic in detail, we often struggle with the “Gray-areas.” Sexual gratification here is referring to intimacy occurring between the sexes—without actual sex. The Bible says we shouldn’t have sex before marriage, this is “Fornication” and it’s a sin. Very straight forward; an open and shut case right? Wrong. There’s so much a couple can do to pleasure themselves, without having sex. Which influences the question, “How far is too far?”

I’m not arguing that sex outside of marriage is a sin. I’m genuinely trying to discover what’s acceptable outside of this fact, and where in the Bible it can be found.

Frankly speaking, we all have a just natural desire for sex; it’s built into us. A Christian’s sex drive does not get deactivated when they decide to wait until marriage before having sex. The desire for sexual pleasure is still present. Would you consider this desire a sin or a natural part of human nature?

During serious courtship—and I’m not referring to frivolous dating—where a close bond has formed and months have been invested, there’s no doubt physical attraction and deep sexual desires are present. Are you saying, at that point the only things acceptable are pecks on the cheek and holding hands? If the couple can practice self-control, is deep kissing or heavy petting allowed? And who determines what constitutes both?

1 Corinthians 6:18 warns us to “Flee from sexual immorality.” Are acts such as child pornography, prostitution, orgies and the likes considered sexual immoralities? But then that same verse, in a different translation, interchanges sexual immorality with fornication. Probably those acts mentioned are called “Sexual Impurities.” Nevertheless, would fondling and heavy petting the man or woman you’re courting be classified as impurities?

I know God gave us sex drive to use appropriately. I’m also fully aware that we’re not allowed to make up our rules and rationalize selfish gratifications. And yes, while He gave us sexual desires, we still have to act upon those desires with His guidelines. But again, outside of the command not to have sex, what are those guidelines?

Probably the reality is, “true Christian love is sacrificial” and nothing is acceptable until marriage.

Please feel free to jump in and answer any of the underlined questions. I honestly want answers. Also, if there’s anyone who has courted for over a year and only engaged in light kissing and holding hands, I really want to hear from you!

About Amelia

Amelia

Amelia Brown is from the beautiful island of Jamaica. She is a 28 year old Guidance Counselor by profession, but a passionate writer at heart. Most of her articles written are aimed at stimulating positive change under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. She is also a published poet and a member of Faithwriters. Outside of writing, she enjoys volunteering, cooking, and turning frowns right side up. Amelia currently lives in New York.

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4 comments

  1. Stephanie Hanouw
    Stephanie Hanouw

    Amelia, I dated a guy for 7 1/2 years (No, he is not the one I married.). We were both 25-35. Kept it clean as a whistle – only kissing! Never a moment could someone walk into a room we were in and be embarrassed. I loved him too much to put him in a tempting type of situation and visa versa. No one would have believed it and I am sure many questioned, but God knows and He was pleased.

    • Amelia

      Wow! Thanks for sharing Stephanie H, I’m sure your story will encourage lots of couples. It would be nice if you could share some tips as to how to deal with the sexual urges and temptations.

  2. How far is too far?
    Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 
    This bible says lust, others say passion…
    Lust-very strong sexual desire 
    Passion-strong and barely controllable emotion 
    If you look at these definitions along you can see they are characteristics of satan. They are weaknesses. Satan confuses and fools us because if we give into these desires we get pleasure (for a very short while) but after that there is a door that’s open that you would wish was closed. Remember your past relationships? (If you are not a virgin) Why didn’t they work out? 
    1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. 
    Kissing and fondling are things that people do before sex and leading up to sex so in many ways I feel that they are in many forms sex. Any sexual gratification is sex. Why play with satan? It’s just kissing… Your dodging so much by restraining with sex why would you allow yourself to be inflamed with heavy kissing and touching? 
    This reminds me of a scenario about someone who cooks himself a huge meal in the kitchen with all his favorite foods. The thing is… He is on a fast. He says he just want to “smell it”. It’s just him and the food. He’s been fasting for a couple of days already. What an idea right? He wants a connection with God but yet he’s putting this stumbling block in his way. He is tempting himself. 
    In the same way, someone says they have a relationship with God. But yet you are putting this stumbling block in the way of your relationship with God. Your relationship with God will show you the prowls of satan and the ways of God “the true Holy Spirit”. Satan wants us to think its ok. I have known people to think that a peck is too much and some think it’s ok. Now we are talking about heavy kissing. What’s next? Undressing? 
    My whole thing is that it is “playing with fire”. Who wants to play with Fire? 
    Who wants to get burned? 
    Sexual desires (sexual immorality) is natural. God provided us a way to deal with these natural desires and temptations….
    1 Corinthians 7:2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 
    Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
    This scripture alone tells you that you can be lustful just by looking…
    So anything beyond looking and fantasizing in ur mind is beyond lustful

    • Amelia

      Now this is a factual mouthful of a comment! Thanks for spending the time to share your views Jay.

      So it is true…Christian love is sacrificial. We have to put our sexual desires to rest until marriage, basically.

      But I have to disagree with one thing Jay, sexual desire is not the same thing as sexual immorality. God create us as sexual beings with sexual desires, that’s how He made His creatures. He’s a moral God, He did not create us immoral. Thanks for sharing!

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