How Far Is Too Far?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone to a talk on Christian dating and have heard this question asked.  “How far is too far to go physically with my boyfriend/fiance?” I’ve heard a whole spectrum of answers… making out? kissing? Hugging? Holding hands? Why is this question never answered, and why does everyone give a DIFFERENT answer?   The fact is we are all created a little differently. We have different pasts, are in different situations, are tempted in different ways, and are dating different men. I’ve put together a list of tips about discovering the answer to this question.    1.     Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  If you are expressing affection physically and your thoughts are not aligned with this passage then you should consider reevaluating what you are doing.  This is not to say if you think anything at all bad then you should never do that again, but be aware of whether what your doing is leading your heart and mind astray, because if so you will be led down a slippery slope.   2.      Know the difference between passion and affection.  You can be kissing your boyfriend passionately, or doing it to show affection.  These look extremely different, in passion it is almost impossible to be centered on Christ, because that person is consuming your thoughts, and when doing something in passion you are most likely to go further.  Showing a man affection looks a lot different, you are not doing it because it’s in the heat of the moment, you are just displaying your care and appreciation for them.   3.       Think, if someone saw me right now would I be embarrassed.  God has set a very high standard for us as Christians and its 100% wrong to compare ourselves to the rest of the world and justify our actions against other “worse” things.  Remember as a Christian your standard is Jesus! That’s who we need to measure ourselves against. So if you are doing something that you wouldn't want your parents to know you are doing, then you most likely shouldn't be doing it. This is a high standard, but God says "Honor your mother and father."  If your parents don't want you doing it then most likely God would not want you doing it.   I can tell you straight up that I’ve broken all these rules before.  I’m certainly not sitting here writing this thinking it’s easy to meet God’s standard for how we should show affection and love.  My biggest piece of advice in meeting God’s standard is don’t rely purely on boundaries, when we do that we work to keep them with our own strength, the “strength” that wants to do these things in the first place.  Pray and read some bible verses, and work to keep God at the front of your minds when you are hanging out together. Because now instead of asking how far can I push the boundary to satisfy myself, your saying how can I glorify God with my relationship but putting him first, and together honoring his commands!  

It's definitely worth memorizing this verse so that you can reference it on the spot, and eventually let it penetrate your heart and become a standard for everything you do!



  • Anonymous

    This is so perfectly relevant to what is going on in my life right now, and a few days ago I literally memorized Philippians 4:8 for that exact reason! God is so good, and He so clearly confirms things. Thanks for this post, Joelle!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this, beautifully written. This is something I struggle daily with my boyfriend. One particularly difficult issue surround oral sex. My BF says that if I swallow, that is showing affection to him and “to be closer to him” and by making him happy I’m making God happy, however if I don’t, then I’m just doing it to give him sexual release which makes him feel really shitty :( WHat should I do?

  • Joelle Janigian

    Hi Sylvia! Thanks for your support! I definitely agree with you, boundaries are still important to set, do you think that needs to be clarified in the post? Hope to see you soon!

  • Sylvia Jizmejian

    Hello, my name is Sylvia, this is my first time on your blog site….I am so proud of you!
    I do feel that boundaries are important though, but you are right in that we need the Holy Spirit to help us keep them.

  • Joelle Janigian

    Praise God! That’s so wise to memorize that verse, I think I’m going to add that in the post because it’s not just about hearing it once, it’s about letting the verse penetrate your heart and be referenced on the spot in the moment! Unfortunately your user name says anonymous, but if you want message me, so I know who this is :)

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