Courtship: Touching

  • I Corinthians 7:1 “…It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”

Many examples have been given through the years of young couples who went “too far” before they were married. Many married couples regret not waiting to kiss, etc… until their wedding day. There is no reason, though, for any marriage to harbor these ill feelings if parents and their teens follow God’s simple exhortation here in I Corinthians 7:1. 

As I explain in “Outside of Marriage: Touching”, God does not outright command, “Thou shalt not touch” because some touching will take place between men and women: doctors and patients, emergency situations, hand-shaking, etc…. So, although touching between men and women is not absolutely forbidden, God does make it plain that touching outside your immediate family should be limited between men and women. With this in mind, then, every parent should limit their teenager’s touching of the opposite gender; even and especially in a relationship. 

I also explain in “Outside of Marriage: Touching” that the word “touch” in I Corinthians 7:1 is the same simple word for “touch” used throughout the New Testament. There is nothing sensual or seductive about the word “touch” in I Corinthians 7:1. It is the same word used in the Bible every time Jesus or anyone else touched someone. So, God wants even the simplest of touches between male and female to be limited. 

If you stay as close as you can to the Bible, then every scenario and conflict is easily resolved. Hugging in courtship? Before marriage, no. “It is good for a man not to touch (hugging is touching) a woman.” Holding hands in courtship? “It’s just hands, preacher.” Before marriage, no. “It is good for a man not to touch (holding hands is touching) a woman.” Kissing in courtship? Before marriage, no. “Come on, preacher! They love each other. It’s going to be real hard to keep them from touching.” This is why, dear reader, God immediately replied to I Corinthians 7:1 with verse 2 that explains the need for marriage. Yes, the young couple are very physically interested in each other, and they can fulfill their desires within the bounds of marriage but not before marriage. 

I Corinthians 7:2 “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 

Others argue that in courtship the two are practically already married. However, they are not yet married. And many courtships and engagements have broken up at the last minute. If that were to occur with you allowing touching between the couples before marriage, then those two young people for the rest of their life will have an intimate sensation of another who is not their spouse. That is not good. What is good is for a man to not touch a woman.