Hooking-Up? Biblical Tips for Teens


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Recently I came across an article that Seventeen Magazine published called “The Hookup Handbook.”  Different emotions flooded me as a read through the tips and tricks of a good hookup.  The hottest hookup spots, tips to drive him wild and how to know when to hookup with a person all made the “tips” list.  With each passing category of advice, my heart broke more.

This term hooking up, is used casually; but it can produce dire consequences. 

As I read the article I thought, “This needs to be tackled.  This needs to be talked about, because it’s already being talked about…but in all the wrong ways.”

So let’s talk about it…let’s talk about hooking up.

First, what defines hooking up?

 Is it kissing?

 Is it touching?

 Or does it mean sexual intercourse? 

The answer is that it can actually mean all of those and more.  Hooking up is a term that is very loosely used to describe anything that happens between two people in a relationship, be it kissing or something else.  It’s a very subjective term, meaning that each person will define it in the way as it relates to them.

And it seems that we’re slammed with it…everywhere.  We see it played out on television and the movies, we hear about it in music, or read about it in articles like Seventeen Magazine’s.

But did you know that we can actually find hooking up in the Bible? 

No, if you flip to the back of your Bible you won’t find it on the topics list, but its there throughout so many of its chapters.

We see it in the story of David and Bathsheba, when David began to lust for her after he saw her bathing.  David knew in his heart that the feelings he felt for Bathsheba were displeasing to the Lord.  After all, Bathsheba was married.  But David succumbed to his lustful feelings and had sex with Bathsheba, and she conceived a child.  To cover up their “hook up,” David had Bathsheba’s husband killed on the front lines in battle.  (You can read their entire story in 2 Samuel 11)

What else does the Bible say about hooking up?

We find two passages that are relevant as we consider what God thinks about hooking-up:

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 NIV

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable.

2 Timothy 2:22 NLT

 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

But how do you apply these verses to the struggles of the flesh? How about following my own Hook-up Handbook.

Hooking-up? Biblical Tips for Teens


How to Hook Up God’s Way

1) Limit the time you’re alone with your boyfriend/girlfriend. 

I know that it’s tough because you want to spend all your time with each other, especially in the beginning of a new relationship.  There can be a temptation there the more you’re alone together.  Group dates can be a great alternative to getting to know someone without the added pressure of being alone with them and what might come with that alone time.

2) State the facts ahead of time.

It can be very hard “in the heat of the moment” to say no or to not give in to that temptation to take it farther, but if you both have a discussion beforehand about your personal limits, you’re less likely to cross that line.  If you find yourself feeling tempted, a change of scenery can help.  I know it sounds like an old school trick, but it works.  Taking a walk, or surrounding yourself with a busy task can help take your mind off of what your body is wanting.

3) Know that God desires for us to experience pleasure.

God wants us to experience things that feel good.  He desires for us to experience ultimate pleasure, but it is only in marriage that we can truly experience the pleasure God has designed.  Satan really gets us good when it comes to lust and pleasure.  Satan will tell us to do whatever feels right in the moment, to give in, that’s it normal to desire sex and that is true, but what he always fails to leave out is that sex is designed for a man and a woman in the context of marriage.  So while it can very hard to forego giving into temptation at that moment, the pleasure that God has designed for you in marriage is so much better than anything you can experience “in the heat of the moment.”

4) Talk to your parents.

Believe it or not, they have a lot of wisdom and advice of their own on this very subject.  It’s okay to ask your parents questions, as awkward as it may be for both of you, but God desires this kind of communication between a parent and their child.  It’s just like our relationship with Him, come humble, open and willing to listen AND talk.

5) Don’t let your past hookups define you.

Some of you reading this  may have already gone too far and you regret it.  Some of you may be carrying around guilt, embarrassment, or a feeling of being unworthy.  My precious child, if you ask God to remove the shame, the guilt, and whatever else you may be feeling, He will do it and He’ll forgive you for it.  No matter what decisions you may have made, not matter if you’ve hooked up or have never been in a relationship, He loves you just the same.  Satan likes to entice us with pleasures of the flesh and then make us feel shame when we give into those temptations.  God will welcome you with open arms and accept you — He gives us the ultimate pleasure of experiencing a relationship with Him.

Here’s one last tip, this one comes from Psalms 37:

Psalms 37:3-4 NLT

Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Will you be willing to trust the Lord with your future relationships and make a commitment to purity from this point forward?


Moms, would you be willing to ask your teen what hooking up means to them?

Facilitate an open and honest discussion about the pressures that hooking up can bring in a relationship. 

If you feel comfortable, sharing your own experiences can be helpful. 

Download our Dating & Relationships FREE resource and Dig Deep Guide for more on this topic.


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