Firstly let me make something very clear, your engagement ring doesn’t guarantee any marriage benefits, you are still boyfriend and girlfriend until you take the vows before the Lord and a priest joins you.
How far can you go without a marriage license? It would be really nice if the Bible said “with thy lips together thou may kiss, but with thy lips parted thou shalt not kiss” or “above the waist you shall touch freely, but below the waist you shall not touch.” Because such detailed limits are not given, some will suggest that God does not care if we KISS, slip a hand under a blouse, up a skirt, or into a pair of pants. It is increasingly common for Christians to believe, and even teach others, that as long as the penis does not enter the vagina, it’s “not sex.”
All sexual activity is sex. God’s design of sex doesn’t merely include the act of sexual intercourse. It’s also everything that leads up to that act, and everything on the sexual continuum is meant to end in that act. It’s called foreplay, and it’s a fundamental part of God’s design for sex. In Matthew 5:28 Jesus said, ‘’But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart’’. This implicates that it is the thought that counts to God and this is also why the bible says in 1Timothy 5verse 1, ‘’….Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. When we are dating, we are brothers and sisters and the key words in that verse where treating one another with absolute purity. During the dating period, your body belongs to God and after marriage that is when the Lord shares your body with your spouse. You will belong to him, and him to you.
Ephesians 5:3 says amongst you, there should be not even a hint of sexual immorality. When we talk about sex, it is not just the penetration of sexual organs. Sex does not begin with the penetration but it begins with cuddling, kissing, romancing and these are what we call the foreplay. A couple can never truly enjoy sex without the foreplay. The foreplay is the whole big deal in sex and penetration will be just the finishing phase. This is why the bible says treat one another with absolute purity and that there should not even be a hint of sexual immorality. The moment you start kissing your partner, you will stimulate sexual feelings and arouse that person. Yes Paul said greet one another with a holy Kiss but 1Timothy 5:1 tells us about purity. Would you greet your sister/brother with a French kiss?? The moment we indulge into things that causes sexual stimulation, we will be already committing adultery/fornication as it is the fore play of sex and foreplay is the whole game or big deal of sex. Some partners don’t even need to reach the penetration as this alone can reach orgasm. Foreplay belongs to the marriage bed and the bible says in Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
In Genesis 26 we read that God told Isaac to stay with the Philistines in lieu of going to Egypt. When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he told them that Rebekah was his sister, because she was beautiful, and he was afraid that the men would kill him to get at her. In verse 8 we read, “When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister?'” This shows that there is a type of activity which is only appropriate with a wife, and not appropriate with a sister.
Kissing, cuddling, and romancing outside of the bonds of marriage neither proves nor enhances true love. Rather, it proves, demonstrates, enhances a physical attraction that is Biblically classified as lust when not consecrated in marriage. This truth bears itself out not only in our emotions, desires, and common sense, but literally in our physical bodies. The moment two people begin kissing or touching each other in a sexual way, both the male and female body — without going into unwarranted detail here — begin “preparing” for sex. God has designed us that way, and when we begin any sort of sexual activity, our bodies know exactly what’s going on — even if our self-deluding minds deny it.
Why didn’t God spell it out for us in the Bible? Actually we think He did, but because we are products of the society we live in we don’t see it. Up until very recently it was commonly accepted that stimulating the breasts or genitals directly or indirectly WAS SEX. In the days before reliable birth control many prostitutes made a living doing everything but intercourse. So when Paul says “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her?” (1 Corinthians 16a NKJV) those who read it would not have thought he was referring only to intercourse, but to any and all of the ways a prostitute of the day would pleasure a man. Even married couples might regularly resort to sex without intercourse in order to not conceive. So perhaps our failure to understand that things like oral sex and petting to orgasm are unacceptable outside of marriage is our fault, not God’s.