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.
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.
Maybe one or both of you achieved orgasm even though you didn't actually "have sex" as you define it.
Maybe you explored one another's bodies but were only partially naked.
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.
It's simply impossible for me to address all of the fantastic individual questions and comments we've received, but know that we will do our very best to incorporate as many as possible into the columns themselves and the blog discussions that follow. Quite a few of you asked questions or made comments about my statement in Biblical Dating, an Introduction that "Biblical dating assumes NO physical intimacy" outside of marriage.
In addition to what all of you saw on the blog, I have received dozens of questions and comments in e-mails, which I and the folks at Boundless have culled through to see what the most pressing questions seem to be.
Judging from both frequency and "passion," the most pressing questions arising from the last piece involve physical involvement — which I'm about to cover, initiation of relationships (especially the bit about involving the woman's father), and the practical details of how one of these relationships works.
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.