I have a question about physical intimacy between Christian females. I’m not sure if this is something common with Christian girls or what, but it concerns me. I’m referring to cuddling, touching, long hugs, etc. It doesn’t appear very sexual, but if I was dating a girl and she did any one of these things with a guy it would definitely be regarded as cheating. Is it different if she does it with a girl? Some people have commented that if they didn’t know the girls, they would have thought that they were lesbians.
So how physically intimate can two females be before it is considered sinful? And, how should I address this if a believer that I know is engaged in this? My concern is that if a girl is getting emotional and physical attention from a female, can a boyfriend even compare? I don’t ever want to be in competition with another female for my girlfriend.
You are not alone in your observations. There are others who have noticed this behavior between girls and expressed great concern. Bottom line, it is a behavior that is not wise in any way. As always, we have to filter the issues of our life through what God’s Word says. While I can’t show you a scripture that addresses two female believers engaged in public cuddling and touching, there is pleeeenty of teaching about whether this is wise and characteristic of a follower of Christ (by the way, I can’t show you a Scripture that says not to eat desiccant, but clearly it is not wise).
First, sin always starts somewhere. This kind of behavior may not be sin, but it certainly could create an atmosphere that is conducive to sin. David’s stroll around his roof in 2 Samuel 11 was not sin, but it put him in an atmosphere that led to a number sinful choices. In Proverbs 4:14, Solomon instructs his son, under God’s leading, to not enter the path of the wicked and not to proceed in the way of evil men. Notice that he does not say, “do not become wicked or evil.” He instructs us to not even enter the path – not to enter into the way of those that make wicked decisions – not to find ourselves in situations that could lead to sin. Ephesians 5:3 says that, “among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.” We were made for relationship. But we must fight to stay pure, not even allowing a hint of impurity to creep close to our relationships. We need to fight for purity in our earthly relationships in order to glorify our relationship with our Creator.
Second, is it the wise thing to do? Proverbs gives us great instruction in the way of wisdom (Proverbs 4:11). We always have to ask, “Is this the wise thing for me to do right given my past experiences, current circumstances, and future plans?” (see Andy Stanley’s book, The Best Question Ever). I can’t envision a set of experiences, circumstances, and plans that would promote this practice as wise.
Third, does it cause someone else to stumble? Perhaps their motives are pure, but as Paul notes in 1 Cor. 8:13, he will not engage in activities that may cause another to stumble (his example was food, but the underlying and timeless principle is clear). This kind of behavior not only may cause the girls involved to stumble, but it may cause the guys observing it to stumble in their thoughts. Guys can easily pervert the scene in their mind which does not lead to a good place. Jesus gives us a strong warning about causing others to stumble in Luke 17:1-2. These girls need to know that this kind of behavior could certainly cause others, of both genders, to stumble.
Fourth, does it glorify God? 1 Cor. 10:31 teaches us to glorify God in all we do - not just when we sit in church or get the promotion at work we really wanted or get accepted into the college we hoped to attend or when that girl you have noticed for months finally notices you. It is easy to glorify God in this stuff…but we are to glorify him in the hard stuff too - keeping our thoughts and motives pure around people; not coveting the stuff of the world; not giving in on small things that no one except God would ever know; protecting our relationships – with guys and gals – from impurities. These are the hard things that we have to be disciplined in to glorify God.
Lastly, as you have wisely noted, if the girls are getting the attention they need from another girl, they are setting a dangerous precedent and may learn not to expect it from a guy – this works against God’s creation. God created man and woman to become one in marriage (Genesis 2:24) – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. If the physical and emotional needs are fulfilled by a girlfriend, their marriage will never be what God designed it to be.
So, where do you go from here? Consider the instruction of Proverbs 27:5-6 which says that an open correction is better than love that is concealed. True love shares truth and any temporary wounds that come from a friend are faithful. Overlooking opportunities to share truth in love is deceitful and, in effect, becomes the enemy of your friend. So pray for wisdom in your words (James 3:17) – wisdom that represents purity, promotes peace, is gentle in spirit, reasonable and rational, and full of mercy, grace, love, and truth. Also pray for the right time to talk to her. Proverbs 25:11 talks about how truth spoken in the right circumstances (at the right time) is beautiful. God will give you an opportunity – be real, be honest, be humble…be like Jesus.