Few days ago I got an Anonymous question on the issue about couples praying together. I’m retyping/re-blogging this again and making it an actual post.
So praying together. Is it advisable? Doesn’t praying together promote inappropriate intimacy between a couple?
Men and women were created to be attracted to one another. We desire for relationships. We need community, connection, and companionship with the opposite sex. It is part of who we are as humans. If you go back to Genesis, God made Adam first and then made Eve to be his ‘HELPER’. We are not meant to be alone. We are meant to be in relationships.
We’ve been taught in the church that desire towards intimacy was anything but good — unless you’re married — and a couple should refrain from anything that might promote such intimacy (sex is obviously out of the picture if you’re not married to the person you’re dating), but things like holding hands, hug, kiss and prayer included. Let me say this, there is nothing wrong with being intimate with your partner.
Intimacy isn’t the problem, SIN is.
When a couple starved themselves from intimacy and function like robots during the process of their dating/engagement, guess what their honeymoon would look like? AWKWARD. You can’t just switch the ‘intimacy button’ and be intimate. it’s a process and it develops and grows but it needs to be guided by God along with His Scriptures.
Many Christians couples who desire to avoid the effects of sin and idolatry in their dating relationship, they set up all kinds of boundaries and when those rules and boundaries fails, they change it up over and over again while meeting a similar fate.
NEWSFLASH: man-made rules are not sufficient for our battle against sin.
Paul says in Colossians 2:23 not to put your trust in any man made rules because they may appear with such wisdom but they don’t really stop the indulgence of flesh.
External rules don’t kill the internal roots of our sins.
We convince ourselves that if we just do these rules and modify our behaviors, everything will fall into the right place. The real danger, the real battle isn’t from the outside, it’s from the inside.
Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life (Prov. 4:23)
We don’t need those ‘man-made legalistic’ rules. We need new hearts. We need the gospel of Jesus Christ to help us grow deeper in that.
So how exactly does a couple set themselves on a God-honoring trajectory with respect to intimacy in their dating relationship? Paul gives us a great example on that.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but only faith working through love (Gal. 5:6)
This verse means, ‘Faith working through Love.’
As we focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ, we center all our relationships on Christ and we follow His example of what real love looks like. That overflowing love filled with faith is meant to lead the other person to Christ, not to ourselves. So everything we do with our partners, we count the cost. We are mindful if what we’re doing brings that person more to God, or to ourselves.
So Fill in the blanks:
For in Christ Jesus neither [praying] or [not praying] is anything, but only faith working through love (Gal. 5:6)
According to Romans 14.23 ‘everything that does not come from faith is sin.’
So get this, sin isn’t only seen in the “bad” things we do, but all the “good” things we do with bad motives, bad hearts — including praying or not praying in a dating relationship.
I’m not against RULES or BOUNDARIES. Just not as ends-in-themselves. If they aren’t leading you to Jesus, then they are simply “self-made religion.” as what Apostle Paul would say.
In conclusion: how far is too far when it comes to kissing and hugging? When should they pull back? When a couple prays, when should they pray and where? there’s tons of questions that needs to be considered. But to make this simple, I believe that there’s always a right moment to KISS, HUG, PRAY and be intimate in a God-Honoring way. It doesn’t mean you’re a dating you own each other and you’re free to do wahtever you want. NO. Use wisdom and right discernment and always put God in the center of every decisions that’s being made.
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. -Romans 12:10