some last thorts on this ‘HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?’ question…
i want to expand a little on the TAKE YOUR TIME principle i mentioned. We live in a time of INSTANT GRATIFICATION – microwaves and sms’s and takeaway coffee. This has affected our minds and lifestyles and we have gotten completely caught up in it and it is NOT ALWAYS A GOOD THING because there is NO SUCH THING AS AN INSTANT RELATIONSHIP.
Some processes SHOULD NOT BE RUSHED. You have probably heard the story of the caterpillar in the cocoon struggling to break it open so that it can enjoy new life as a butterfly. If you sit watching that process you probably think, “How cruel. Let me help you little ‘pillar.” And so you take a knife and carefully cut a hole in the cocoon so the butterfly is free to emerge. When it does emerge its wings are all weak and broken. And the butterfly inevitably dies. Why? Because PART OF THE PROCESS of becoming a butterfly is FORCING ITS WAY THRU THE WALL of the cocoon which in turn STRENGTHENS THE WINGS enough so that they will be STRONG ENOUGH to later carry the butterfly in flight.
It’s the same with relationships. We hook up with people on mxit and facebook and RUSH INTO A RELATIONSHIP, but if it happens without us getting a chance to know the person properly, then at some stage when we do get to know them, we might be quite surprised. TAKE YOUR TIME getting to know people before rushing into relationships. Take your time with physical stuff once you are in a relationship.
i can’t remember if i’ve mentioned this already, but physical stuff leads to physical stuff. The first time you hold her hand IT IS ELECTRIC and you don’t wash your hand for three days and catch yourself with a goofy smile thinking back to it. But then the novelty wears off and it’s the first kiss and that is IN-CRE-DIBLE. For a while and then it becomes normal. And so on. The sooner you head to the next stage of physical stuff the sooner you will want to continue and suddenly you will find yourself in a place where you are not ready to be and it becomes a lot more difficult. So just don’t rush it is what i’m saying – often the physical stuff can take the place of actually spending time with the person and hanging out with them so put some more focus on that because in the long term it will be A LOT MORE VALUABLE to the relationship.
The other picture i wanted to share is that of sex. I believe and have experienced that SEX IN THE PLACE WHERE IT IS MEANT TO BE [in the context of the committed relationship that marriage is meant to be] IS PHENOMENAL. I never had sex before i got married but i cannot understand how it could be any good outside of this place. It is such an INTIMATE ACT and EXPRESSION OF LOVE that having it with someone you are not going to continue to be intimate and loving to just seems CRAZY.
The picture i have heard used to explain this before, which i think is brilliant, is that of TWO PIECES OF PAPER being GLUED TOGETHER. Because in one sense that is what sex does. It UNITES YOU INTIMATELY far beyond just in physical ways. So two people who have sex outside of a committed marriage relationship is like trying to carefully separate those two pieces of paper again. It’s IMPOSSIBLE. No matter how careful you try to be, there will always be part of each piece of paper left behind on the other piece. And so every time you have a sexual encounter you LEAVE A PIECE OF YOURSELF with that person. After many such encounters the paper starts to look pretty awful.
i wouldn’t even say this is specifically a Christ-following thing [except from the point of view that God’s rules for life are generally to look after you and protect you from harm]. It just makes A LOT OF SENSE. It is important that we start by TRANSFORMING OUR MINDS [because we live in a society that says it is all about having sex with your boy/girl person] so that we can live differently in that area.
i would imagine as well that if you have slept with two, five, ten people before you get married then there is NOT A LOT TO LOOK FORWARD TO in terms of your partner. It just becomes one more time and there is the danger of comparing it to past encounters and someone not measuring up. But when you can stand in front of that special person on that day in front of your friends and family and God and declare, “Hey, I SAVED SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR YOU” [and the more the better, why not?] then that becomes AN INCREDIBLE GIFT and something that will REALLY CONNECT THE TWO OF YOU DEEPLY from then on.