Can this level of emotional intimacy happen between people who have been dating for a shorter amount of time? But the longer a couple dates, the harder it becomes to avoid it.Scripture calls Christians to "flee" from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians ), not to "see how difficult we can make the temptation and still prevail" or to "see how close to the line we can get without sinning." In my view, Scripture teaches clearly that there is to be romantic physical intimacy outside of marriage.

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As your general comfort level around each other rises, that momentum grows even more. We'll assume, per another clear principle from Scripture, that both members of our college couple are Christians.

On most college campuses, that likely puts the two of you in the same relatively small social circle.

Certainly, as God's people, we don't want to live in fear and have our lives be primarily defined by avoiding temptation rather than positively seeking after Christ. Still, where particular known areas of temptation exist, it's not living in fear to be deliberate about taking the wiser course.

Let me try to deal very briefly with the most popular responses I get to this argument — especially from college students.

" As a quick refresher, we can "defraud" our brother or sister in a dating context by showing or encouraging a level of intimacy — either emotionally or physically — that the Bible seems to reserve for marriage and marriage only.

If we act like we're married before we've made that commitment, we're defrauding (and sinning).

They see each other every day, are with each other's families every holiday (and often know their partner's family as well as any son or daughter-in-law does), they travel together, spend most of their non-working (or studying) time together, they daily confide in one another (and maybe one another), and are without doubt, closer emotionally with one another than with anyone else on the planet.

This is exactly the level of intimacy that is reserved for marriage only and that dating couples should make every effort to restrain until the appropriate time.

This section explains who took part in the research and how the results were analysed.