Q: Is Being in a Relationship with Someone Before Marriage Okay?My 2 cents....
It's very healthy to 'hang out', to do things together. To really get to know the person that 'might be the one'.
You've heard me say before…"don't go down dark alleys"…. well, that's how it is when you're in that limbo state before marriage. And we know the concern here is sexual temptation...
By now, you should know your weaknesses and things that could push you over the edge.
For some, holding hands or even kissing 'hello' & 'bye' are nothing big. It may not be an issue with you, but the other factor is 'what are his/her weaknesses?'
One thing you have to hold onto is that you have to be the 'strong one'. You can't expect him/her to be strong against temptation etc.
Back to "don't go down dark alleys"…This is putting yourself or your girl/guy friend in a place of temptation. Communication from the very beginning is the best investment in your relationship. Be mature and talk about this subject together... it's much easier to be on the same page of desiring to be pure.
Watching out for 'traps'...Picking a movie heavy-laden with sex or lust in it. Meeting in private settings. Alcohol, drugs (LOL… well, I gotta put that in there)--deadened senses can have you in a trap before you know it! For girls… provocative clothing (going swimming might be better done with your girlfriends). And I mentioned holding hands & kissing… again... can be no big deal…but a monitor on the types of 'touch' are important…. because we know very well that one thing can lead to another, so mutually set your boundary, else you'll be justifying the next trap and the next... and satan will have you saying 'but that's not sex' and perverse, lustful or whatever spirits enter in to harm your relationship. Massage, holding around the waist, stroking his/her back or hair… these are potential danger zones.
The safe zone...One really good suggestion that keeps you in a 'safe zone' is to go out with other friends as a group, or family…or just doing everything very public. It's absolutely the best suggestion I have for you. Make no 'secret places' for sin to get a toe in...
Luke 11: 33-34
“No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness."
Pre-covenant-covenants...One more thing... be careful as you progress in your relationship. Don't get trapped in pleasing society, parents etc.... go by what feels right in your relationship with God. Thinking "I've got to have this and that, before I get married," can be putting a bulls-eye on your relationship. Long engagements as required by a church or because it's what Mom and Dad did or expect... or fear of shame in going to the Justice of Peace and declaring your covenant before God (as if it were not valid).. take these things captive and speak with God and your mate for the real solution.
True, there is self control to be learned in the pre-covenant stage, but realizing that circumstances need not be 'storybook'-- that unrealistic expectations can become more of a cage then real preparation, is key.
Raiding the cookie jar...Never... I repeat, NEVER pledge a covenant to make having sex 'okay'. I can't tell you how many ruined relationships I come across because of this. Remember the lamp stand scripture above? Make the commitment public... make it a celebration and then enjoy the perks. If you raid all the chocolate chips from the cookie dough before you bake it, you'll wreck the cookie! "Secrecy" points to decisions based on Lust.
If you did screw it up (a very common blunder these days), know that satan has a doorway wherever there is sin... EVEN IF you have premarital sex AND THEN get married... you still have to break the evil soul ties that entered in that moment you turned from the truth. They don't magically 'right' themselves and will plague your marriage until you confess the sin and make it right in Christ Jesus.
Being free...If you do head towards "With this ring, I thee Wed"...focusing on the heart of what pledging yourself to another is about, and then committing to honor it is far greater than the fancy wedding, the dream honeymoon, etc. If you've spent your 'dating'/healthy relationship time in pursuing God in equal yoking, being transparent in communication and doing what's best for 'your other', you'll have set a solid foundation for the blessing unto the thousandth generation!
"..and showing covenant faithfulness to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:6 (NET Bible)