25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish
Sanctification is a big word. Basically it means ‘to be made holy’. Jesus makes us holy through walking with us daily. You are being made more and more into the person you were created to be. Jesus is loving you into wholeness. And this process continues for the rest of your life. In the same way husbands ought to sanctify their wives with redeeming love.
The question I must ask is ‘what is my wife (or girlfriend) becoming?‘ How do you know what a leader is like? Look at the followers. Sometimes you meet a lady and all you need to do is just look at their faces and you will literally see the wrinkles, the spots, the tiredness in her eyes and many times it’s because of the men in her life. The Bible says men have the ability to sanctify. In other words men have the ability to ‘love their wives into loveliness’. Love her into the lady you want her to be. “Oh, she isn’t submissive” you say, then love her into submission, she doesn’t treat you with any respect, love her into respecting you. Redeeming love. The way that you love her will redeem her. It will right the wrongs she has experienced and heal the wounds she carries. She should be growing in confidence, in holiness, in her relationship with Jesus because of you.
That means if you have a girlfriend, and you are asking how far is too far? Well, the real question should be: ‘is it giving her confidence in her relationship with God?‘ If it makes her feel guilty when she is at church or spends time alone with God, then it’s too far! Pray for her, encourage her, challenge her, put to death your own sin for her.