by Scott Croft Before continuing with this column, please review the preamble included at the beginning of Scott's first article in this series, "Biblical Dating: An Introduction." * * * A promise is a promise.Last time I appeared on this site, I said that I would lay out my position on biblical dating and then turn it over to all of you to determine the rest of the column's topics by your questions. As many of you will know from the Boundless blog, The Line, the last piece generated many posts and comments, from the challenging to the supportive, the general to the specific.We all know what we're talking about here, and these are not the things I mean to address in this column.The game changes when two people are romantically involved or "semi-involved" (a fascinating phrase I recently heard). Before you start throwing things at your computer — I can't feel it you know, you're just hurting your own computer — let's go to Scripture.
We are to do this in light of what God has done for us in Christ and in light of Christ's impending return. For God did not call us to be impure, but to lead a holy life.In Song of Songs, God has given us a holy and beautiful picture of a marital sexual relationship, and everyone seems to be having an excellent time.Even there, however, God is clear that sex is uniquely for marriage: "Do not arouse or awaken love before it so desires (i.e., before it's appropriate — within marriage)." (Song 2:7) A blog comment or two emerging from the last column suggested a different interpretation of this verse and Song in general, but the orthodox interpretation of the book suggests both that an actual sexual relationship is part of what the narrative relays, and a context (at the time of the sexual part of the relationship) of marriage.Michael Lawrence and other able Boundless authors have written before about the wonderful gift of sex, so I won't belabor the point except to repeat that the Scripture passages on sex, taken together, make very clear that God instituted sex within marriage for purposes of procreation, pleasure, intimacy, holiness, and — ultimately — for his glory. 7:3 and following, Paul says once we are married, our bodies literally belong to our spouse; he also instructs spouses to meet one another's sexual needs and to be together regularly so as to protect ourselves from falling into ungodly lust and extramarital sexual activity.God instituted sex within marriage as part of his design of the family (Gen. If you have any doubts about God's intention to give us sex as a wonderful, pleasurable gift, Song of Songs should put them to rest.Was your purpose for doing what you did to build that person up spiritually — to make that person "more holy" (Eph. Do you believe that you and your partner "honor[ed] God with your bodies" in doing what you did (1 Cor. Whatever you did, did that interaction reflect "absolute purity" (1 Tim 5:2)?