For many Christians in courtship, the level of intimacy has always been a topic of confusion, we all know that intimacy is what helps in building strong bonds, and for Christians who are courting, building a strong bond before marriage Is important. Now many courting couples are usually confused on this based on the physical aspect of intimacy, but it is important to note that intimacy is not just about the physical bonding, but about spiritual, emotional and psychological bonding.
The English dictionary defines intimacy as a feeling or atmosphere of closeness, towards someone, that doesn’t necessarily involve sexuality. This therefore means that intimacy is far beyond physical bonding. For Christian couples in courtship, there is the need and importance for intimacy, especially in the spiritual, emotional and psychological areas, there is the need for a deep connection and bonding between the intending couples, although if boundaries are not properly put in place, intimacy could lead to unintended ugly results, especially in the physical aspects.
We are going to be solely focused on the physical level of intimacy on this article, this is because there is need for more light to be shed on the appropriate level of physical intimacy, this intimacy or bonding needs more boundaries then any other forms of intimacy, or else sexual immorality could very well easily seep into the bonding process.
Now physical intimacy involves all the physical show of affection care, encouragement, love and affirmation and these includes, hugs, pats, light cuddling, pecks, forehead kisses, and so many other forms of affection. It is necessary and important for courting couples to understand that these physical show of affections and care are to be shown or done without anything remotely sexual in mind. The bible tells us to greet one another with a ‘holy kiss’ (Romans 16:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:6, 1 Corinthians 15:20) this ‘holy kiss’ better relates to all forms of physical show of affection and care that is not sexual in any way.
When these physical shows of intimacy are not put in boundaries, they could turn wild for example, pecks and light kisses could turn into deep French kissing, light cuddling could turn into heavy petting and fondling, and all these can easily get one sexually aroused, and then sex happens. One major thing to note is that in the bid to avoid going past boundaries in courtship, Christians should not shun out any form of intimacy in their relationship, because this is important in building strong bonds like earlier stated.
In creating these boundaries, courting Christians must first know what easily gets their partners aroused, and they can get these information by communicating with their partners, for some persons, they can’t go past the stage of holding hands, because anything relatively closer or more intimate like hugging, pecks, could get them sexually excited. For other persons, hugs and pecks do not get them sexually excited about their partners, so before these boundaries can be set, partners must first know each other’s weaknesses, for example if you know that that tight embraces easily gets your partner aroused, you would try to limit giving hugs, and especially in private places.
Another thing to do is to make sure that parts of the body which can be highly sensitive for both partners should be avoided. Like earlier stated, the best way to ensure these boundaries is for Christians in courtship to talk about each other’s weakness, and strength, so that one person doesn’t lead the other to sin.
Most importantly, Christian couples should know and understand that Godly relationships do not have to be completely empty of any kind of physical intimacy, but they should know that whatever forms of intimacy that is being initiated should and must glorify God.
Just to be clear, it is advisable that any form of intimacy beyond hugs, forehead kisses, pecks on the cheeks, light cuddling, holding of hands, should be avoided, some people may say that light pecks on the lips are ok, but I say otherwise, because light kisses on the lips could one day turn into something else, after all kissing is basically intentionally putting one’s flesh up for temptation, and that is not a very wise decision as Christians.
Lastly Christian couples should pray and seek God’s face in their relationship, and ask for the holy spirit who is the great guide and teacher to guide them and to help them not fall into temptations.