“It’s getting late. We just started the movie. I’m getting comfortable. I feel really connected to him tonight. I’m honestly not looking forward to that fifteen minute drive home. Would it be ok for me to spend the night just this once?”
This is a popular question among Christian couple: is it ok to have a sleep over? In fact, I’ve gotten it a few times from friends. Inevitable someone hears of some other Christian who presumably spent the night with the opposite sex, or at least at their home. And so they ask: “is that ok? What do you think?”
First, like most things, when it comes to relationships there is rarely a one right answer. It’s better to start by thinking through your personal goals in life and in the relationship and then match those with your personal moral standards. Also there are two big distinctions to make:
- spending the night on your boyfriends couch (or kicking him to the couch and taking his bed) is one thing
- spending the night with him in his closed bedroom is another.
Some people tend to be overly worried about moral issues and temptation in relationships. My response to the first situation (spending the night in the home of someone of the opposite sex without sleeping in their bed) is this: if you can’t have self-control on your boyfriend’s couch you are not ready to think about a long term relationship.
Why? When you are married you will inevitably go through times of disagreement. You may go through a time when your man is emotionally distant and not really meeting your needs. It happens in most marriages. Meet nice, charming, understanding man at work. He recognizes those needs your husband is not realizing right now. If you haven’t built a pattern of self-control and boundaries in tempting situations, you will not be able to resist when this happens. People who say they would never cheat, who judge those who do, who think they are incapable of falling, these are the ones who fall.
The second situation requires some thought on your part. First you need to decide you goals. Many girls love the idea of being a virgin. It sounds appealing in Christian circles, almost mandatory, that you be in some way a virgin. But not many girls think about what staying a virgin actually means for their lifestyle choices. In other words, it’s a nice theory, but they don’t have clear picture of what a virgin really is and how to stay/be one.
In my opinion, many women can be very strong physically until you get them to a certain point. From that point on the guy has basically complete control of where they go physically. If you are one of these women and there are certain physical boundaries you don’t want to cross, your safest bet is don’t get close.
If you are one of these kinds of girls know this: guys love girls like you. Especially respectful guys. Because they know when the time comes you will be as crazy about them as they are about you. And this will make for a great relationship.
A couple areas you should be careful about: does your boyfriend have the same standards as you? Does he respect that your standards are stricter than his? Does he value a virgin? Does he think you are too uptight and need to let loose? If not, be honest with him how you feel. Don’t break up necessarily, but maybe you shouldn’t spend the night either. Don’t drink wine late at night if it turns you on. Don’t stay so late that you’re too tired to hold your own.
Other girls have a very strong sense of their boundaries. They could make out all night long with a guy and yet as soon as the physical starts going too far they stop immediately. These girls either have a stronger self-control of their sex drive or a stronger sense of who they are and their standards than others. If you know you are one of these girls, don’t think you can’t fall. Make sure you stop at your boundary every time. But in general I wouldn’t be concerned morally about you spending the night with your boyfriend.
If you are one of these girls stay strong. But remember, if you get married sex is an important part of your relationship. So mentally, emotionally, and physically begin preparing yourself to totally let loose when you are married. Just as you would be harming your relationship to let loose now, so you will hurt your marriage to hold back later.
Also remember to be reasonable. If you get your boyfreind turned on while making out with him on his bed, don’t consider it wrong or perverted that he wants you to stay.
Remember, making good decisions about spending tonight involes three things:
- Know your boundaries physically
- Know your weak points
- Have a plan and stick with it