How careful do girls have to be about saving themselves for their husbands? How should they dress, how much contact should they have, and how should they behave around boys?
Well -- how much do you want to save? How important is your future relationship; how important is your self-respect and personal richness of character? How unique and special do you want to be -- even if you never get married, how much goodness do you want there to be about you?
Women are made to be like beautiful treasure chests. The treasures are things like a lovely disposition, various talents, knowledge -- but one of the very most precious things is your affections. Physical affections (hand-holding, hugging, etc.), emotional and mental affections (day-dreaming, playing with thoughts of "someone", etc.) are all treasures to be kept in that chest.
Scripture says (in Proverbs 4:23), "Guard your affections with all carefulness, for they will affect every part of your life."
Every time you give affections to someone, you are taking out some of your precious treasure and giving it away. Those chests are meant to be kept safe, locked, and guarded until the husband opens them up -- then he can look through all his treasure with joy and blessedness.
But when the chest has already been unsealed, and the treasure given away for rotting trash, that joy is deeply spoiled. When a girl has exchanged her purity (willfully, ignorantly, or in any way) and been touched or wasted herself, it is a spoiling to the relationship. It lessens what could have been dynamic. Instead of having the first fruits for the husband to pick off the tree, he finds them already picked and laying on the ground.
A virtuous woman is so priceless because she has kept all her treasure and her affections.
"Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her: so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life" (Prov. 31:10-13).
The time to start doing good to your husband is now!
Even if a girl never gets married, her treasure inside will set her apart in worth, respect, strength, and richness from all other girls. She will be blessed and used specially by the Lord, because she has wisely cherished and watched over the things God has given her. She has been a good steward, and she will be entrusted with yet more and more blessing. A wholesome beauty will permeate and radiate from her life.
"He that hath no rule over his spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls" (Proverbs 25:28 -- a broken chest?).
"Every wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands" (Prov. 14:1).
Are you building the house of your future, or destroying it? What would your husband think of your actions now; are you doing good to him now? What are you doing with the treasure God has entrusted with you?
Remember, your precious affections are being lost anytime you "make a guy think" in an inappropriate way by your dress, words, or actions. You lose affections every time you touch a boy: someone in your family, a total stranger, a friend-any boy. You spend affections every time you dwell on thoughts like, "He would be nice to marry...I wonder what he would be like..." etc. And you lose treasure anytime you break another's seal by "stirring up" or exposing a child to things that should be preciously sealed and guarded!
Of course, you do not have to walk around in an armored or drapery suit all your life (although some women have done that. especially in other countries, like Arabia - and it is a precious thing to their husbands.) But you should be aware of the treasure that is in you, and consider it wisely. Have faith that God will bless your purity and your efforts in righteousness! "And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9).
"Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (I Cor. 15:58).
"Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).