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“Every rung represents a new physical act you share in a relationship. The higher you climb, the more physically satisfying and intimate the experience will become.

However, with each step of the ladder, it becomes increasingly more dangerous.” Rungs 1-4, Illian explains, represent activities that are permissible and can be beneficial—holding hands, hugging and cuddling, kissing, French kissing.

This may sound harsh, and believe me, I used to think it was too; but, after being on the single side of life, and the married side as well, I see how God’s standards for purity are there to know why He forbids sex before marriage, but the little bit of knowledge we do have shows premarital sex can lead to disease, depression, anxiety, insecurity, shame, and heartache (just to name a few). If you are a believer, then the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you and you when you are entering dangerous territory because the Holy Spirit communicates it to you.

However, to keep the standards that are set is a whole different challenge.

But there are ways couples can help themselves stick to their rules.

To offer them help with this vaguely marked boundary, Jason Illian, author of first reminds singles of a simple biblical principle stated in 1 Corinthians : “‘Everything is permissible for me’—but not everything is beneficial” (NIV).

Illian then illustrates that statement with a helpful set of guidelines while comparing physical actions with rungs of a ladder.

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If you are externally following “the rules,” but you are lusting after your girlfriend or boyfriend in your mind, your heart is not pure before God.

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  1. Romans 8:1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.