The Meaning of Holding Hands
by Motte Brown on 10/10/2006 at 5:30 PM
Many Christians agree that sex is off the table in a dating relationship (and for the purposes of this post I won't go into the different types of sex). But what about lesser forms of physical intimacy like light kissing, hugging or holding hands? Are these OK?
I guess it depends on whether or not you're OK with being considered "off the market" while in a dating relationship.
In an article published yesterday called "A Simple Show of Hands," The New York Times explores what hand-holding means in today's sex saturated culture; saying that as it did in former generations, it still communicates a form of commitment, maybe even more so.
'Hand-holding is the one aspect that's not been affected by the sexual revolution,' said Dalton Conley, a professor and chairman of the department of sociology at New York University. 'It's less about sex than about a public demonstration about coupledom.' ...
To hold someone's hand is to offer them affection, protection or comfort. It is a way to communicate that you are off the market.
Though certain kinds of intimate expressions may fall within Paul's instruction to young men in 1 Timothy 5:2 to treat "younger women as sisters, with absolute purity," dating couples should also be concerned about what these expressions mean — to each other and to those around them.
In the Boundless article "Physical Intimacy and the Single Man," Matt Schmucker explains that we — men particularly — must be careful with the implied commitment of seemingly "innocent" forms of physical intimacy.
The single men in our churches must be encouraged to ask themselves, 'in your relationships with single women, are you painting a false picture and committing fraud?' What may be considered innocent — holding hands, putting an arm around her in the pew, some 'light' kissing, long talks over Starbucks coffee — all send the message to a sister that reads, 'You're mine.'
So the question is, is the person you are holding hands with "yours" or just "yours right now"?