Answers from 'Sex and Dating' Q&A
Yesterday I posted some of the questions from our 'Sex and Dating' Q&A panel. I received a few responses desiring to hear the answers to those questions, so here you go. (The original questions will be in italics and the answers will be a synthesis of the multiple responses from our sponsors)
“How far is too far in the mind set of a guy?”
A: There is no 'too far' was the first response. Guys in general don't have an 'off switch', even guys who love God. But, as was stated by a few sponsors, guys who love God should have self control (a fruit if the Spirit), so while the desire to go all the way is still there, the self control to not do so should be stronger.
“Is it OK to have random safe make outs? or is that just asking for something more to happen?”
A: It's just asking for more to happen. Kissing always leads to more, especially if you're making out. Your body is getting ramped up for sex when you make out. So, while making out is fun and feels great, its definitely not a good sex preventer, in fact it's a sex inviter.
“Is it worth the wait?”
A: YES!!!! More than you know.
“What should you do if your parents don’t like your boy/girl friend?”
A: Honor your parents. They are going to be around for the majority of your life, chances are this person you're dating, that they don't approve of, won't be. If you're with someone they don't approve of you'll wind up lying to them about where you are and what you're up to, which will inevitably lead to you getting caught, getting in trouble, and putting unnecessary stress on your relationship with your parents. So you have to ask yourself, is dating this person worth lying, sneaking around, and hurting your parents?
“When is it time to call it quits in your relationship?”
A: This is a tough one. Every situation is different but here are some general tips: if you're time is consumed by that person it's not healthy. If that person is causing you to sin, it's not healthy. If you're other relationships are suffering because of that person, it's not healthy. If you are being abused, verbally, emotionally, or physically, it's not healthy. If the relationship has become sexual, it's not healthy.
“Is being physically attracted important for a relationship?”
A: Yes. But it's not the only factor. Usually physical attraction is what gets a relationship started. You think, 'wow, she's really cute', so you muster up the gusto to go talk to her and ask her out. BUT, physical attraction is not what keeps the relationship strong. There has to be an emotional connection and an attraction to the person themselves, their personality and character. (My editorial comment: This is one of the reasons so many marriages fail, there is no real, lasting, deep connection between the couple beyond the physical. As the rigors of marriage and life set in and the initial romance dies out they realize how hollow their relationship really is and they quit, leading to adultery and/or divorce. You ever wonder why so many older men leave their wives for younger women....physical attraction! We are broken people and too often marriages are the collateral damage of that brokenness. Marriage is about so much more than physical attraction, it is a commitment, a covenant, with another person on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level...it is whole person commitment.)
“Can you explain the difference between love and lust? (this is a GREAT question)
A: Love is other-focused, meaning it is about what you can do to serve the other person in the relationship. This is true in sex as much as it is true in everyday life. Serving the other person's needs and desires simply for the pleasure of serving them. There is not a selfish fiber in love. Love asks, 'what can I do to serve and uplift my spouse?' Lust, on the other hand, is me-focused. It is all about what you can do to serve me. It is about making me feel good, often at the expense of the other person in the relationship. This is true in sex as well as in everyday life. The lustful person is always focused on their own desires and wants so they can feel good.
“What if I’ve already messed up?”
A: It's OK. One of the mind blowing aspects of God is that he is merciful and forgiving. His grace abounds so that we might be saved. We must repent and confess our sins, we must turn and run from sin. But God is mighty to save, there is no sin he cannot save us from. If you've been sexually active, you must repent and ask for forgiveness. But you also must live with faith in the glorious hope that Christ died for your sins so that you might know the Father who LOVES you more than you can ever know or understand. God is great!
“Should you kiss in public or not?”
A: In Middle School or High School, no. MS or HS PDA is usually over the top and gross.
“Is married life boring?”
A: NO!!!! Not at all. You get to live life, dream big, and have fun with your best friend every day for the rest of your life. It's definitely hard work but it is awesome.
“Should you continue friendships with people that are constantly focused on the opposite sex?”
A: Yes, as long as they are not causing you to sin.
“Should you try to stay friends with someone after a break up or go your separate ways?”
A: This is a tough one too, as it depends on how the relationship ended, how deep the relationship went, the sexual nature of the relationship and so on. As a general rule most people do not have successful friendships with ex's. The one who did the breaking up has emotionally moved on but the one who was dumped often takes a much longer time to move on because they were still emotionally committed to the other person. Until both have moved on friendship is a hard and potentially emotionally dangerous.
“How are you supposed to pick up the pieces after someone you thought you loved has hurt you so bad?”
A: You have to grieve. You cannot bury your emotions, you have to talk about them and you have to let yourself feel them. It is OK to hurt, it is OK to be angry, and it is OK to cry. We would suggest talking these emotions out with a friend you trust, often sharing the pain is a big step in the process of letting it go. We also suggest that you forgive the person who hurt you, by name. Pray often, ask God for strength, peace, and courage. (The student who sent this question in actually opened up to the whole group about the situation and we were able, as a group, to encourage him by name. It was a great way to close out our evening and I was proud of him for being so honest and open with everyone else, very brave.)