Thank you for bringing up such a hot topic! This is a question many have asked and often wonder about. Some common points raised include: “Everyone is doing it, so why can’t I?”; “We have clear physical boundaries set, so we’ll be fine”; and “It’s no big deal — why make such a fuss about it?”
I’ll start by sharing my own experience. When my husband and I were dating, we made a very clear commitment that we would not travel alone together because of a few reasons. The chief reason was that, even though we had already set clear physical boundaries, we didn’t want this to be a potential area for temptation (1 Cor 6:18). Second, my parents were not keen on the idea, and we wanted to honour them (Exod 20:12). Third, we wanted to set a good example for the younger teens in our church to follow, as well as avoid speculation about what we might do if we travelled alone together (Rom 14:13). We agreed that travelling with friends would be fine, but we would not be sharing a room.
To be completely honest, I had often wished I could travel alone with my then-boyfriend (now husband). I thought about the fun memories we would get to carve out together, the many places we could visit, the convenience of planning our own trips rather than needing to organise with others. Yet, we stuck to our commitment and kept our first sweet overseas trip alone together for our honeymoon. We had to give up certain so-called “ordinary” things that couples do, but it was worth it, as it made sure that we did our best to remain right before God, honour our parents, and set a good example for the younger ones in church.
In a foreign land, filled with excitement, everything is new and fun … it is all too easy to be swept up in the moment and leave beliefs and values at the door. It may sound cheesy, but the truth is that this is what many who have had pre-marital sex or went “too far” confess to. It is so easy to keep whatever happened between you and your boyfriend hush-hush, especially when no one is around. True, you can be accountable and put measures to prevent such occurrences, but the real question is, why put yourself in such a position in the first place? Sure, nothing could happen — but what if it did?
I was convicted that it was “not OK” to travel with my boyfriend. Others might have differing yardsticks and that’s their journey, but I want to challenge you with this question: Would you be willing to give up your desires to do your best to be right before God?