This is a great question and one that many couples find themselves asking when they are dating.
First, let me say it is natural to feel the way you are feeling. God made attraction so we’d get married! But it is also important to understand the magnitude and strength of those urges. The root of many things that are detrimental to our destiny originate in our sexuality.
It is essential to set healthy boundaries early in the relationship to ensure that you remain in line with the plan and purpose God has set out for both you and your partner. God cares deeply about purity because He knows it’s for your good to not awaken your sexuality before marriage. You must remember God isn’t keeping anything good from you. He’s keeping the best for you!
Equally important is to know that if you have already crossed the line, it isn’t too late. The enemy loves to convince us that once we have crossed the boundary, we can just keep going since we have completed the act already. This is a lie! There is always room to get back in line with your convictions (which should be based on what God says in His Word about avoiding immorality.) First, confess it as sin to your girlfriend or boyfriend and to God. And then receive God’s forgiveness. Jesus paid the price for that broken boundary, and His ministry is reconciliation between you and God.
So here are a few helpful tips:
- Clearly express your boundaries to the other person. Talk about the Scriptures that address this and commit to honor each other by not pressing the issue or using manipulation (guilt or pouting) to get your way. (I Corinthians 6:18, 2 Timothy 2:22)
- Ask God to put the urges to rest by praying for your purity and for your boyfriend/girlfriend. (Matthew 6:13. Matthew 26:41)
- Choose safe places to hang out. These are spaces with accountability and no potential for lines to be crossed.
- Find a couple of wise and godly people who will look you in the eye and ask how you are doing with this. The only way to be held accountable is to let someone hold you accountable. Check in with them often, and give them permission to check in if they do not hear from you. (Proverbs 24:6)