There are too many passages to mention in this space that communicate God's command to live for God's glory and to "love" one another — defined as putting the spiritual good of others above our own desires. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
We are to do this in light of what God has done for us in Christ and in light of Christ's impending return. For God did not call us to be impure, but to lead a holy life.
It is certainly true that no passage of Scripture says — in so many words, at least — "thou shalt not kiss before marriage." Having said that, I submit that there is a strong argument to be made from Scripture that there is no room for any sexual relationship outside of marriage.
Many wanted to know, did I really mean no physical intimacy? Isn't it sex outside of marriage that Scripture explicitly prohibits?
How can you say definitively that other things are wrong? Shouldn't our physical relationship "progress" as other aspects of our relationship deepen? I understand most physical stuff is wrong, but what about just kissing? With respect to pre-marital, romantically oriented kissing, we're clearly talking about an area about which reasonable believers can (and do) disagree.
I am obviously not saying that hugs and kisses of affection or greeting to relatives and the like is out of bounds. In some cultures, kisses of greeting — between members of the same sex or of the opposite sex — as well as hand-holding and other forms of physical expression during normal, non-romantic social intercourse, are more common. You might even be able to talk me into the notion that brief, "non-leaning-in" hugs of greeting, sympathy, etc.
between men and women who are not romantically involved are OK.
So marriage is a unique relationship, and the good gift of sex is not only allowed but commanded within that relationship. More specifically, 1 Tim 5:1-2 reiterates the "family" metaphor among believers and instructs us about how we are to treat our fellow members of the body of Christ: This is a didactic (teaching) passage generally instructing us about how to relate to other "family members" among God's people. With the exception of husbands and wives, there is no sexual dimension to "familial" relationships.
Still, the overwhelming majority of believers will only share that relationship with one person in their entire lives. Also, look at that phrase about how younger women should be treated — absolute purity.Maybe you just caressed one another above the waist as you kissed. Maybe it was just a long, lingering kiss goodnight.Would you describe whatever you did as "holy and honorable," or was it done to satisfy the "passionate lust" of you or your partner or both (1 Thess. Were you honest with the person about making a commitment to him or her before the Lord, or did you defraud or deceive that person in some way?We all know what we're talking about here, and these are not the things I mean to address in this column.The game changes when two people are romantically involved or "semi-involved" (a fascinating phrase I recently heard). Before you start throwing things at your computer — I can't feel it you know, you're just hurting your own computer — let's go to Scripture.In Song of Songs, God has given us a holy and beautiful picture of a marital sexual relationship, and everyone seems to be having an excellent time.