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Scripture calls Christians to “flee” from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians ), not to “see how difficult we can make the temptation and still prevail” or to “see how close to the line we can get without sinning.” In my view, Scripture teaches clearly that there is to be romantic physical intimacy outside of marriage.No reasonable person would argue that physical temptation does not increase — a lot — the longer two people date who are attracted to each other and who grow to love each other.As to physical intimacy, many long-distance couples have told me that because they are not physically close to one another as often, they actually experience Um, no. Be deliberate about avoiding “marital” levels of intimacy.If you’ve forgotten the cardinal rule of engagement, re-read “Tips for Engagement.” Engagement is a great thing, but it’s not marriage. Choice two is to stay in school and put the relationship on hold. Wait until a responsible time to start the relationship back up.
The longer the relationship, the higher the percentage.
If our goal is to move positively toward God-glorifying lives (rather than simply to “walk the line” by attempting to satisfy our fleshly desires as much as possible without sinning), wisdom and godliness would seem to counsel keeping relationships shorter.
Certainly, as God’s people, we don’t want to live in fear and have our lives be primarily defined by avoiding temptation rather than positively seeking after Christ. Still, where particular known areas of temptation exist, it’s not living in fear to be deliberate about taking the wiser course.
If we act like we’re married before we’ve made that commitment, we’re defrauding (and sinning).
I don’t know whether you’ve noticed this, but people involved in a dating relationship tend to get to know each other better over the course of that relationship.Let me try to deal very briefly with the most popular responses I get to this argument — especially from college students.