I grew up in a semi Christian home where my mom was a strong believer, but my dad was just a really good man with no desire to go to church. As a result, I became a hypocritical Christian. I said and did one thing in church in order to keep my mom happy, but lived a completely different lifestyle outside of the church.
This hypocriticial spirit followed me into my dating life. I said one thing, and actually did something completely different. I even got caught up in a relationship where I began to compromise with a lot of my already preset standards. Yes, even as a man, I had standards for myself. This relationship really helped me to see where my heart was with God.
It was from this relationship that God spoke to me and said, “Jamal, If you continue compromising now, you will compromise for the rest of your life.”
This was a MAJOR turning point in my relationship with God and also my relationship with women.
After that relationship, I didn’t involve myself with another serious relationship for 5 years as I allowed God to really deal with my heart.
The next serious relationship would be with my current wife. When we started dating, I was determined to do it “God’s Way” and be “pure”. But, as we grew closer, all of this was questioned and the age old question came up. How far is really too far to be considered “pure”.
Is holding hands to far?
Is kissing too far?
Is being alone in the car too far?
Is cuddling too far?
Is looking into each other’s eyes too far?
Is laying in the bed with your clothes and lights on too far?
What is really TOO FAR?
I asked God this because I seriously wanted to honor him, but I quickly realized that the standards we set were always so easily manipulated. I stumbled upon two verses that really helped me shape my thinking.
- Someone may say, “I’m allowed to do anything,” but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but not everything encourages growth.” 1 Corinthians 10:23
- The pure in heart shall see God. Matthew 5:8
These verses helped me to see that even though others may say oh its cool you can do that, but just be careful with this that it opens the door for legalism. Purity is not a line to be crossed, it’s a direction of the heart.
The second verse I mentioned says, the pure in heart shall see God. If at all times we kept our minds focused on God versus focused on crossing the line, then we actually will stay on the right path towards honoring God.
My wife and I didn’t focus on crossing lines, but rather honoring God with every decision we made. Was it easy? Absolutely not. Did we have weak moments? Absolutely yes.
We were blessed to experience our first kiss after we got engaged, and waited until our wedding night to have sex. Did we do it perfectly, nope. But, we did our best to keep our hearts pure before God and thousands have been blessed by our story.
My desire to maintain physical boundaries was an outward expression of my heart’s desire to honor God and stay away from compromise.
Stop focusing on the line, and start focusing on honoring God and I guarantee you things will become a lot more clearer in your pursuit to be holy and pure in your relationship.
BMWK, How far is too far?