Scriptures

Practical Singleness Lesson 11

Introduction

The Perfect Match

In many ways finding the right person is easier than the relationship itself, why?

Well simply because you both want to glorify God in and through your relationship but with emotions and hormones running at an all-time high you really need to be extra careful not to mess the relationship up because of those feelings and emotions.

‘He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him. Then the man said, ‘At last, here is one of my own kind– Bone taken from my bone, and flesh from my flesh. ‘Woman’ is her name because she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one.’ Genesis 2:22-24

What do you think Adam’s first words were to God when he saw Eve?

Wow, she is very good! I’m pretty sure that Adam not only said ‘wow’ because Eve was the perfect match but because of her inner and outer beauty.

Danger, Danger! Avoid Situations Which Bring Added Temptation

‘Avoid the passions of youth, and strive for righteousness, faith, love, and peace, together with those who with a pure heart call out to the Lord for help’. 2 Timothy 2:22

Paul told Timothy to flee youthful lusts. Only you know the situations that cause you temptation. We know that good intentions can only go so far, but with Jesus’ help, you can have victory over sexual impurity in your life.

‘Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires’. Song of Songs 8:4

Keeping Christ in the Centre

Remembering that Jesus is at the centre of your relationship goes a long way to keeping your relationship pure. After all, even with married couples, Jesus is there, when they kiss, Jesus is there, when they make love, Jesus is there. The most important thing we can do when we’re in a relationship is glorify God in and through it.

‘The most important one is this: ‘Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment more important than these two.’ The teacher of the Law said to Jesus, ‘Well done, Teacher! It is true, as you say, that only the Lord is God and that there is no other god but he. And you must love God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength; and you must love your neighbour as you love yourself. It is more important to obey these two commandments than to offer on the altar animals and other sacrifices to God.’ Mark 12:29-23

‘Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God’s glory’. 1 Corinthians 10:31

‘How hard it is to find a capable wife! She is worth far more than jewels’! Proverbs 31:10

More than Friends but Less than Lovers

When you enter a relationship with the intention of marriage, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re eventually going to get married anyway, so what you do before marriage is irrelevant, this is not the case. Your brother and sister in Christ and you need to treat them like your brother or sister in Christ, yes you are more than friends but until you get married you need to stay less than lovers.

Whether couples eventually get married or not both couples should always be able to say Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:12

‘We are proud that our conscience assures us that our lives in this world, and especially our relations with you, have been ruled by God-given frankness and sincerity, by the power of God’s grace and not by human wisdom’.

Rules and Boundaries

To help each other glorify God in your relationship talk to each other about rules and boundaries but also make sure you put them in place and stick to them. This way you both know what to stay clear of. Holding hands may be ok for some but it may lead your mate on to wanting more. Have boundaries set in place to help each other.

Are there any areas of weakness? Is holding hands ok? Is hugging Ok? Is laying on the settee together ok? Is kissing ok?

Talk to each other about what is ok with each other but more importantly listen to each other, try not to compromise your own rules and boundaries.

Sometimes we love the other person so much that we want to demonstrate how much we love them, so we compromise our rules and boundaries. This can have devastating effects on you both, so be careful not to allow our feelings and emotions to overtake our faith and beliefs in God.

You also need to know in the event of rules and boundaries being broken it’s not necessarily the end of the world or your relationship; you can talk about it, pray about it if appropriate ask God for forgiveness, and try not to let it happen again.

I know of one couple who were talking about rules and boundaries but never got around to putting them in place. The guy says well I’m happy doing anything except having sexual relations. The woman said well I’m happy with hugging, and holding hands but I don’t want to kiss as she knew this could lead to other things. The guy didn’t listen to what she said and after a few weeks she broke her boundaries and they both got into all sorts of emotional problems. Guilt, shame etc.

Remember saying ‘NO’ to something doesn’t mean you don’t love them, in fact, I would argue that if a person says ‘NO’ to something it’s because they love you so much that they don’t want to hurt you or the relationship in any way.

In today’s society if a woman offers herself to a man for sexual relations and the man says ‘NO,’ most of society would come to the conclusion that he doesn’t ‘love’ her or he has something wrong with him. I would say he is demonstrating just how much he really does not only love her but respects her as a person and wants to save that special moment for his marriage.

Is It Okay For Christians Who Are Dating To Kiss? What is a kiss?

This is a touch with the lips to show affection or as a greeting. There is nothing bad in this provided the devil will not take advantage of it against the people dating. There is a psychology that comes between two people of the opposite sex when they are too intimate especially when they kiss each other.

In the Western world, kissing may possibly be done in good faith according to the above definition. However, even in that setting, the devil has been taking advantage of it there. Give the devil a foothold, he will go a mile to destroy you and your testimony. Ephesians 4:27.

Below are the arguments for and against kissing in a relationship but if you read closely you will find that they both argue the same point.

In Favour Of Kissing

The Bible does not really tell if it is okay for Christians who are dating to kiss. Some people don’t have any problems with kissing when you are dating someone you would like to marry but others do. However, kissing could lead to some situations that could be embarrassing to Christians.

Now not all forms of kissing, even before marriage are wrong. There are plenty of examples in the Bible of kissing, Genesis 45:15 and Acts 20:37, that’s kissing people other than their own spouse. Additionally, the Bible commands Christians to

‘Greet each other with a holy kiss of love.’ Romans 16:16 / 1 Corinthians 16:20 / 2 Corinthians 13:12 / 1 Thessalonians 5:26 / 1 Peter 5:14

Should Christians kiss while dating?

Well, I read another survey conducted by Christians and here are the results. Out of 271 poll respondents, 134 said kissing is acceptable while dating, while 71 said it was not acceptable and 66 were unsure. Many of those who said kissing is acceptable added that it should be disciplined, and the couple should discuss guidelines early on in the relationship and make a commitment to not cross those boundaries. Those are wise words.

Not In Favour Of Kissing

When one is dating, there is the likelihood that there will be too much closeness. If we are really Christians that ‘have been translated into the Kingdom of His Dear Son’, Colossians 1:13

we should leave kissing with the people in the world. The people in the world that are dating may do so. The devil may graduate from lusting into sinning which can ruin/destroy our life. It can also ruin our testimony.

It is not OK for those dating to kiss because you are not yet in holy matrimony. When you kiss yourselves while dating, the devil can take advantage of it.

Even if you are not dating and you kiss yourselves with an ulterior motive, you have sinned. Check your motive. Is it of God? If it is not of God, refrain. The devil is cleverer than you are. He may get you into his kingdom if you are not careful.

‘But among you, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, because these are improper for God’s holy people.’ Ephesians 5:3

Anything that even ‘hints’ of sexual immorality is inappropriate for a Christian. The Bible does not give us a list of what qualifies as a ‘hint’ or tell us what physical activities are approved for a couple to engage in before marriage.

However, just because the Bible does not specifically address the issue does not mean God approves of ‘pre-sexual’ activity before marriage.

By essence, foreplay is designed to get one ready for sex. Logically then, foreplay should be restricted to married couples. Anything that can be considered foreplay should be avoided until marriage.

So, there you go, two different arguments, one in favour of kissing but with warnings attached and the other with saying not to kiss because it may lead to something else.

There are some things we need to make our own minds up about and this could be one of them. please bear in mind there’s a huge difference between a kiss on the cheek and a full-on snog! You may be able to handle that snog, but your partner may not.

There is something to be said about ‘prevention is better than cure’.

I believe that everything is a matter of the heart.

‘Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captive you with her eyes’. Proverbs 6:25

Find Someone You Can Trust To Talk Too

Sometimes when you or both of you are not sure about something it’s good to talk to a mature member of your congregation not only for advice but also to ask if you should continue doing something you’re not sure about. The Scriptures tell us we should confess our faults to one another.

‘So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed’. James 5:16

Sharing our sins, if what you are doing is sinful, and struggles in a safe group setting helps the healing process and cause spiritual growth.

‘Stupid people always think they are right. Wise people listen to advice’. Proverbs 12:15

‘Get all the advice you can, and you will succeed; without it, you will fail’. Proverbs 15:22

Church Involvement

We need to remember that we are blessed with a spiritual family to help us with everything we may face within our Christian lives. Being in a relationship is no exception, if you or your relationship needs help, then ask someone you trust.

Below are some Scriptures to remind you that your part of a holy family who love you and want the best for you and want to spare you the misery of dealing with guilt and shame.

1. Church family reminds us of reality.

2. Church family provides protection.

3. Church family provides accountability.

‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people to be his very own and to proclaim the wonderful deeds of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light’. 1 Peter 2:9

‘So then, you Gentiles are not foreigners or strangers any longer; you are now citizens together with God’s people and members of the family of God’. Ephesians 2:19

‘In union with him you too are being built together with all the others into a place where God lives through his Spirit’. Ephesians 2:22

‘Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer’. Hebrews 10:24

‘Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed’. Jeremiah 17:9

‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us’. 1 John 1:8

Your First Thoughts

Please write down your own thoughts on this part of the lesson whilst they are fresh in your mind.

Evaluation Questions

These questions are designed to help you think through the topic discussed so that you may have a true view of yourself.

1. What areas are YOU most likely to be tempted?

2. What places should YOU avoid to reduce the risk of being tempted?

3. What rules and boundaries would YOU put in place as YOU enter a relationship?

4. What are YOUR thoughts concerning kissing?

5. What benefits can YOU see for asking for advice?

6. Describe in YOUR own words the blessings which come from involving YOUR church family?

Final Class

Communication

We will discuss: As in all relationships the key to a good long-lasting one is communication, take the time to listen to each other. I will provide my Top ten communication tips. We will end the study by raising awareness that you are both still individuals who need to continue to serve God in the role He has blessed you with.

Next Class Preparation

Please read 2 Corinthians 1:12 / Proverbs 18:2 / Proverbs 24:26 / James 4:1-2 / Proverbs 11:9 / Proverbs 15:1 / Ephesians 4:25 / Romans 12:17-21 / James 1:19 / Ephesians 4:26 / Luke 17:3+4 / Romans 14:19 / Genesis 1:27 / Genesis 2:18 / Titus 2:3 / 1 Peter 3:3-4.

Go To Practical Singleness Lesson 12

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."

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