Straight Talk About Sexting
Q. I just started dating an amazing guy. We are both Christians and we go to the same church. Before we dated, we talked about what was right and wrong in a relationship, and we decided there would be no sex. We haven't even kissed—just held hands. However, we talk dirty to each other in text messages (never in person). We don't feel it's wrong as long as we use self-control when we're together. What do you think?
A. It's wonderful that you and your boyfriend have had an honest talk about sex and are trying to be serious about your commitment to no sex. It's impressive that you've held off on kissing so far in an effort to keep that promise to each other.
But that's why I'm confused about the sexting. I mean, it would be better for you to kiss each other and decide that's as far as you're going, than to not kiss, pat yourselves on the back for making good choices, then text about all the sexual things you wish you could do.
You are fooling yourselves if you think that holding off on everything and just "talking" about sex means you're keeping your relationship sexually pure. It's very similar to the couple who thinks doing everything but sex will keep them pure. But that's a very loose, unbiblical, and unhealthy definition of purity.
The reality is that you've just discovered a different way of exploring the sexual side of dating. It might not feel sexual since you aren't even in the same room when you're texting, but sex isn't just a physical activity.
Talking about the sexual activity you'd like to be involved in still makes sex a big part of your relationship. All that talk will make it more and more difficult to stick to the promise you've made to not have sex. When you tell each other what you'd like to be doing, it's only a matter of time before you start thinking about actually doing it. And then it's a pretty short hop from thinking about it to doing it.
Your brain is a powerful sex organ. The ideas and images you're putting in there are causing you to be filled with all kinds of lustful thoughts. And Jesus said that lust in the heart is just as wrong as a lustful act. His solution to the problem: remove the temptation (see Matthew 5:27-30). So if you want your relationship to center on Jesus and all the wonderful ways the two of you can help each other grow, then you need to stop the dirty messaging.
Carla is an editor of the Teen Devotional Bible (Zondervan).
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