Dr. Al Mohler is writing and talking about a trend among dating believers to reserve all sexual intimacy -- including kissing -- for marriage. He says:
Over the past thirty years Western civilization has undergone a near total transformation in sexual morality. Sex education programs assume that teenagers (and increasingly pre-teens as well) simply will be involved in sexual activity. Sexual purity, abstinence, and sexual denial are written off as unrealistic, unfair, and repressive.
Even so, the Virgin Lips Movement will come as a shock to some older evangelicals. For older Christians, the expectation was, as the Bible makes clear, for sex to wait until marriage. As for kissing, that was considered to be another matter altogether. To some of these older Christians, the Virgin Lips Movement sounds like overkill and over-reaction.
I used to think this sort of thing was over-the-top. But after reading Suzanne's (excellent) article yesterday on Boundless, I no longer do. She writes:
Our culture is full of "empty words" that tell us that sexual gratification is most important. But Paul warns that choosing anything—whether sexual impurity or greed—over God is idolatry. So our choices regarding "how far is too far" aren't about the behaviors themselves but about our esteem of God and His commands.
These choices are so serious that we can potentially separate ourselves from our spiritual inheritance—not only the prize awaiting us in heaven but the power in Christ we can have now. One friend described it this way: "Getting too physical just dulls you spiritually. Pretty soon stuff that felt wrong doesn't feel wrong anymore."
And as a pastor, Dr. Mohler concurs. He says:
As any minister who works with youth and young adults knows, the "how far is too far question" is a constant. The Virgin Lips Movement represents a determination to stop that train before it leaves the station, so to speak. Consider this: In the space of little more than a single generation, we have seen the breaking down of virtually every social and cultural support for sexual abstinence. ...Now, most young couples face the temptation of romantic contexts in which intimacy -- and this means sexual intimacy -- is a likely outcome. The Virgin Lips Movement represents a serious effort to push back against this expectation and to create boundaries that will protect virtue and honor marriage.
If you're in a relationship and sin is crouching at your door, both articles are welcome sources of encouragement.