Teaching your children to be virgins before marriage isn’t enough. There’s no boundaries when teaching this. This is why many young people are confused as to how *far* they can go sexually. Is petting okay? Is French kissing okay? Is some form of nakedness with each other okay? There’s a lot of guilt when boundaries aren’t clearly established.
Older women are taught to teach young women to be chaste. What does chaste mean? I have an entire chapter on this word in my book “Biblical Womanhood A Study Guide” if you want to go into depth on this word and search all of the Bible verses about it.
Chaste according to the 1828 Webster Dictionary means “Pure from all unlawful commerce of sexes. Applied to persons before marriage, it signifies pure from all sexual commerce, undefiled; applied to married persons, true to the marriage bed.” We are told in Hebrews to keep the marriage bed undefiled. What does defiled mean? “Made dirty, or foul; soiled; corrupted; violated.”
You see, there’s a LOT more to simply remaining virgins before the wedding. Many couples have done everything but have intercourse, then claimed they were virgins. Technically, yes, they were, BUT they were far from being chaste which God commands of us. I sure wish I would have been taught this when I was a teenager, since I struggled knowing what the boundaries were, and no adult could clearly tell me. The boundaries were made up in their own minds instead of adhering to the Word of God.
When you understand that you are called to be chaste before marriage, this means a withdrawal from anything sexual or impure including porn and probably even masturbation since how can one masturbate without having thoughts that aren’t pure? It means being held accountable to others while “dating” or courting a man you may be interested in. The best way to do this is to not be alone for long periods of time. This is a recipe for sexual impurity.
The way the Duggars approach this seems reasonable in light of Scripture. They don’t kiss until their wedding day. They have chaperones when they go on dates or anywhere else. When the kids are asked why they have these boundaries, they will freely admit that they want to be chaste until marriage. This is their goal, and they’re willing to have boundaries to protect this God-given goal. Is it difficult for them? Yes! But difficult doesn’t mean bad.
Many will call these goals “legalistic” (adding to God’s Word), but they’re not. They’re simply made in order to obey God’s Word. “It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:1,2).
Some may have the self-control needed in order to be chaste before marriage without boundaries, but I venture to say that most do not and would have appreciated clear boundaries before marriage. Honest men and women will admit that kissing gets their “motors running,” so how long should a couple kiss before marriage? Maybe not at all, or just not too long of kisses. Encourage them to have short engagements (a few months)!
If you’re serious about living obediently to God, then setting up boundaries in your own life will always be a good thing. Some couples once married decide to never be alone with a member of the opposite sex. This is a good boundary. Pray for wisdom in this area. Talk about it with your teenagers. If they don’t have rebellious hearts but desire to please the Lord in everything, they will want boundaries because they know that God’s ways are perfect and for their protection.
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.