“How far is too far?” That seems to be the question that many teens are asking, as they fumble and flit around the edges of sexual purity, wondering what sorts of things are acceptable and what sort of things aren’t. There are different answers, of course. Some people in return ask the rhetorical question “Instead of asking how far you can get to the edge of the cliff, why not just stay as far away from it as possible?” Or they might say “You shouldn’t do anything that you would be ashamed of doing if Jesus was in the room” or “If you have to ask if you’ve gone too far, you probably have.” Good advice all. For most Christians, the answer to the question of “how far is too far” is..well….not very far at all.
My take? If you’re asking the question, you can’t go far enough. Chances are you’re some kids engaging in a lustful, disjointed and disconnected make-out session, fumbling around with physical theology and sacred sexuality, which then leaves you feeling guilty and ashamed in the wake of passing gratification, and you think you’ve gone too far? You’ve taken one shuffle-step in a journey of a thousand miles, the end result of which is that warm, familiar, satisfying, one flesh sexual union between a man and a wife in a marriage covenant. And you think you might have gone too far? You’re not even in the running, because you don’t know what “far” truly means.
“Far” is an old married couple who after a lifetime of sex are dealing with the scourges of physical impotency. “Far” is a husband and wife consoling each other after another negative pregnancy test, bearing each other’s burdens in tears. “Far” is a young married couple who are delighting in each others bodies. “Far” is the encapsulation, iteration, and culmination of a biblical view of sexuality, incorporating the body, soul and spirit. At its heart it is theological- ultimately being Christ-exalting worship and a picture of union between Christ and his Church. Marriage and sexuality were designed by God for mankind so that through it mankind might glorify God.
And so here you stand, two kids toying with a spiritual mystery, and you think you’ve gone too far?
And not only have you not gone too far, but at this rate- using these means, you will never get there.