How physical should you be when you are in a relationship? If you find your girl/boyfriend attractive, there will be a natural desire for greater physical intimacy. But the issue to think about is not what is attractive to you or what might fulfil your desires, rather how can you be thoughtful and respectful to the other person. True care for someone else ‘does not insist on its own way’ (1 Corinthians 13:5) .
Here are three reasons why you should ‘handle with care’:
Physical intimacy designed only for marriage.
Special care is needed not to stir up your own and your girl/boyfriend’s desires.
First, we are designed so that physical intimacy between a man and woman who are attracted to each other tends towards a spiral of deeper intimacy and so on, along the road to full sexual intimacy. Such a spiral of desire, however, is designed by God only to be expressed within marriage. Remember that an unmarried person can be vulnerable in this way and may be tempted to go further than is wise. Being in a relationship can make someone especially vulnerable, because of the opportunities and desires that this situation opens up. Special care is needed not to stir up your own and your girl/boyfriend’s desires. As it could be said, we cannot expect to leave a cake in the oven and not have it burnt.
Physical contact is powerful.
…try to avoid causing heartache or disappointment by carefully considering your actions.
Secondly, physical contact with the opposite sex communicates very powerfully! Even the slightest of misdirected gestures can lead to misunderstanding and hurt. An affirming hug or a peck on the cheek can easily lead someone on and be read as ‘they are really committed to me’. Unrealistic and unfair as that may seem, try to avoid causing heartache or disappointment by carefully considering your actions.
Someone else’s future spouse.
Thirdly, you may be handling your own or someone else’s future wife or husband. You have a responsibility to ‘keep the marriage bed pure’ (Hebrews 13:4)  not only for your girl/boyfriend but also for any future husband or wife. Showing restraint now will help to avoid any regrets in the future.
Even when you are approaching the wedding day, be careful! I know a Christian couple who were tempted to intimate things for the first time just a couple of days before their wedding day having previously applied good self-control. Despite mutual forgiveness and the confidence of a ‘clean slate’ following confession to God, this has had a lasting impact and a feeling of regret throughout their married life.
For those who have gone too far and are now feeling guilty, the Bible has clear direction. Turn from your sin and ask God to forgive you for your mistakes through the Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, God offers a new start, and decide to avoid making the same mistake again by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.