“Why is it ok to hold hands during engagement?” You don’t get to ask that until you agree with me. If you want to charge me of inconsistency within my view that’s fine, but my view is not wrong because I might be inconsistent within it. If you say, “ok, I’m persuaded,” then you can help me think about consistency. Until then, let us just keep trying to persuade each other of the truth.
Some have accused me of adding to the Law of God. I get it. But is that a fair critique? I believe God wants us to uphold the sacredness of marriage, for the sake of Christ and the gospel (Hebrews 13.4). Implication: any affection that you would show only your spouse should be reserved for your spouse. Hardly a stretch, is it?
But you might say, “no, having a girlfriend or boyfriend is ok.” Please show me the text of Scripture that talks about girlfriends and boyfriends.
You might say, “holding hands is ok, as long as you don’t kiss.” Or, “kissing is ok, as long as you don’t french kiss.” Or, “French kissing is ok as long as you don’t touch private parts.” Or, “anything is ok as long as you don’t have sexual intercourse.”
Where do you fall in that spectrum when it comes to dating relationships? And how did you come up with that standard? Am I really the one adding to the Law of God?
I have chosen the title that I have chosen to get more people to read. And I think it has worked. I do believe what I have posted as the title of this post, but I also am using “holding hands” as representative of the greater problem, namely, romance outside of marriage.
This is a part of my repentance. I do not believe I upheld marriage well before I was married, so I am simply trying to live out repentance here. It has been interesting in some of the pushback and some of the conversations that have sprung from the last post. A couple issues worth tackling:
- Christians seem so afraid of the “sin” label– we sin way more than we realize. So it is really not that shocking to me to call something sin if it does not meet God’s standard of perfect righteousness. I believe the only way to uphold the sacredness of marriage is to reserve all the benefits (that are exclusive to marriage) for marriage. Anything outside of that is sin. Some have accused me of adding to the Law of God. I would simply respond by saying that none of us believe we are only commanded to obey the things that are explicitly stated in Scripture. We all believe that the necessary implications of Scriptural commands are also commands, don’t we? That is all I am arguing. If I am wrong, I will repent. I am open to being persuaded. But I am not wrong just because you disagree with me, or just because most of 21st century Christian America disagrees with me, am I?
- Christians have gotten very confused on the issue of commitment– I understand this whole thing is not a simple issue, but I do think the idea of commitment is fairly simple. When two people are dating, they are not committed to anything but finding out if they want to marry each other. They are not committed (or intending) to marry each other. If you were intending to marry each other, you would marry each other. So engagement is the intent to marry. Dating is not the intent to marry. And until you actually intend to marry, you should treat each other like brother and sister. But once you decide you want to marry, then go for it, by God’s grace. Don’t commit to commit to marry; commit to marry! What am I missing here?
I would highly recommend Sex, Dating, and Relationships by Hiestand and Thomas. They do a good job of laying out all the ways God intends for men and women to be in relation to each other.
I really do invite feedback and pushback. Please do not just tell me you disagree with me. Tell me why. Use Bible. And certainly, please do not just tell other people that you disagree with me and get mad about it. Let’s try and think through this together. The glory of God in marriage is at stake.