Ok, so maybe everything did not come out the way I meant it last night at Emergency Ministries and maybe some of you walked away confused? I must say that keeping focus and speaking eloquently from 8:00-8:30 on a Wednesday evening is somewhat difficult when the whole day has crashed like a tsunami of things to do. That being said, I heard of a pastor once who wrote a Monday blog each week to tell his congregants “what he meant to say” the day before. So, here is my “TAKE 2” at what we discussed last night.

It’s a touchy topic to talk about the proper boundaries for a sexual relationship largely because our culture does not really use the word ‘sex’ and ‘boundaries’ in the same sentence. Ever. We tend to see sex as one of those things that is deeply personal (which it is) and therefore accessible when I would like and how I would like. I would like to hazard a guess that there is not a teenager alive who has not at one point in their life heard of the notion of waiting until they are married to have a sexual relationship. However, this notion seems to quickly slip through our minds as 50% of teenagers are sexually active prior to marriage and 34% of teenaged girls will have at least one pregnancy before their turn 20 years old (www.kff.org, publication #3040-02).

NOTE: My apologies for stating that 1/3 of you in the room would be pregnant by age 20…it was not meant to come out like that. What I meant to say was that statistics show that 1/3 of people your age would be pregnant by age 20. Sorry to those of you I offended.

I operated from the assumption that most of you have good motives when it comes to sex and you would want to spare yourself the medical issues associated with STDs, the physical issues associated with pregnancy during your teens, and the emotional issues associated with breaking up with your lover. So, for the rest of the evening I wanted to talk to you about staying away from the ‘almost sex’ areas of your dating relationships so that you do not one night accidentally find yourself slipping down the ski slope of sexual desire and crash landing at the bottom. 

Much of what I shared from this point on was drawn from Michael DiMarco’s book, Almost Sex: 9 Signs that you are about to go too far. Though written for guys I think this book has principles that we can all learn from. You can purchase your own copy or borrow it from the library if you want to read more deeply.

#1 Almost Abstinence

When we hear people talking about abstinence (avoiding sexual contact until marriage) or when we pledge abstinence ourselves we sometimes still flirt with the fringes of sex and engage in a whole number of activities I would call foreplay (things that naturally lead to sex). The key to is stay away from these things if you don’t want to end up having sex. These things include excessive handling/fondling of each other, excessive PDA (public displays of affection), sexting both words and pictures, and sleeping overnight together.

What I did NOT say last night was that you cannot hold hands or that kissing is disgusting and has no place in a dating relationship. However, if I walk around the corner at school (or youth) and find your tongues tied together or your tongue is roaming all over someone else’s face….THAT is what needs to stop! Not only do we not want to see it, what are you doing when no one is around if this is what you are doing when people can see?

#2 Professional Wrestling

What I did NOT say was that ‘professional wrestling’ was somehow bad or that if you were on a wrestling team you were being sexually inappropriate with other people. I took this term from Michael DiMarco as a cute way of talking about how touchy teenaged guys and girls can be. You know what I mean…the ‘post exam massage’ just because you were so stressed, the tickle fight where you end up rolling around the floor, the afternoon ‘spooning’ nap…need I go on? I did NOT say that you need to live in a bubble and be void of all physical contact with other people but there is some contact that is a RED FLAG and you need to back off if you value not sliding down the hill of sexual contact.

#3 Mr. & Mrs. Needy

What I did NOT intend to do was a commercial for Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman’s movie “No Strings Attached” or for Justin Timberlake’s forthcoming movie “Friends with Benefits”. Yes, I know that Timberlake is dreamy and Kutcher is a heartthrob. What I meant to point out was this: both of these movies portray sex as a NEED that MUST be MET once you become sexually mature. The whole idea of friends with benefits suggests that this is a way to meet the NEED of sex without the commitment of a relationship. But guess what: sex is not a basic human NEED. It is a normal desire that must be controlled or else it will control you. If you watch either of these movies please do it from the standpoint of see just how ridiculous the whole idea of ‘friends with benefits’ really is.

Consider these passages from the Bible that I shared last night:

1 Corinthians 6:18
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.

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

Proverbs 6:25-29
Don’t lustfully fantasize on her beauty,
nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes.
You can buy an hour with a [prostitute] for a loaf of bread,
but [an immoral] woman may well eat you alive.
Can you build a fire in your lap
and not burn your pants?
Can you walk barefoot on hot coals
and not get blisters?
It’s the same when you have sex with your neighbor’s wife:
Touch her and you’ll pay for it. No excuses.

So teenagers, someday you are going to be someone’s husband and chances are that girl you are with is going to be someone else’s wife. Same for you girls; chances are that guy is going to be someone else’s husband and you are going to be someone else’s wife. Think about that.

There we have it: TAKE 2. Did it make any more sense this time around? I hope so. Just wait until next week at Emergency Ministries…I foresee another blog posting coming.