Hooking Up vs. Holding Out:
Helping Singles Find a Healthy Sexual Balance
(Part 5 of 7)
Forbidden Fruit vs. Not-So-Guilty Pleasures
When teaching young people about boundaries in dating or courtship relationships, it’s easy to focus on all the things they shouldn’t do. NO touching below the neck… NO getting horizontal… NO… NO… NO! There’s certainly a place for such warnings in youth ministry, but what young people really want to know is, “What CAN we do?”
So why not focus on the great things they CAN enjoy without guilt or shame? I’ve asked guys and girls to make lists of ways that a romantic relationship can be fueled without starting any sexual fires. Her list includes:
- Affirm not just my physical beauty, but also the character traits you admire in me.
- Take me to church and youth activities so we can grow spiritually both as a couple and as individuals.
- Hold my hand, or give me the kind of hug that makes me feel safe, not seduced.
His list includes:
- Tell me what you respect about me.
- Help me with little things like homework or shopping for my sister’s birthday present.
- Do nice things that make me feel special, like baking me cookies or helping me wash my car.
Our sex-saturated society teaches young people that unless someone is trying to push your envelope or get your clothes off, they must not be very into you. By teaching teens the difference between loving activities and lustful activities, we can equip them to enjoy the healthiest romantic relationships possible!