Thursday, April 15, 2010

dating boundaries.

Every three weeks there is a group of approximately 30 college girls that meet together for a ladies' bible study. The sessions are geared toward leading a "pure life". Last night we got together to hear a young woman's testimony. I really love hearing other people's testimonies because I like to know that I'm not the only one with a past. I like to see how I can relate to others and exchange advice. She spoke about her high school/college years and the unhealthy relationship she was involved in. Growing up, she never had a loving, relationship with her father. So she always looked to a guy, a relationsip, or sexual behavior to fulfill that insecurity. She continued to sleep around hoping to find happiness and comfort. Finally, she was introduced to God and the church by a friend of hers years later. A lot of prayer, and a softened heart- she decided that she would take 6 months with no guys in her life. No dating guys, no calling, no guy friends- nothing. She had never developed good relationships with girls or with herself so this would be a time of healing.
During those months she become closer to God than ever before. She prayed to Him, talked to Him, and journaled every day developing a relationship with Him. She was baptized into Christ and accepted Jesus as her Savior. At the end of 6 months with no male contact whatsoever she was prepared, guarded, and ready to find her husband.  One day she was introduced to her best friend's older brother. (Lots of sweet, funny, romantic details here)...they started dating. She told us that they had both come from a "sexual past", therefore they were each now living their life for the Lord and were no longer looking to make the same mistakes.

What caught my attention was the BOUNDARIES they set for themselves-- I haven't really put a whole lot of thought into this until now. I'm really glad she brought this up. If you have an unclean past and are longing for a Christian relationship but maybe you think that you cannot remain PURE- you can! With God's help and setting a few boundaries in your relationship- I listed a few below, pay close attention!

*Do not go on dates alone ALL the time. Try going out with friends and other couples.
*Hold off on kissing Make him work for it. Make him WAIT for it. Whether it's weeks or months. (I have my own standards for this one which will be another post- however I did not take it so seriously until she brought this up) This sooner you kiss the sooner you will have that desire to go a little further. Also, the longer you kiss only makes it harder to stop. I know it sounds a little juvenille, but it's the truth.
*Don't spend all hours of the night together. For some reason these mistakes tend to happen at night, and you have no business staying at his place until 3:00am.
*Don't lay down together. Not on the couch, and especially not on the bed. Eventually, this only leads to unpure desires. (Since you/and or him have crossed the line with someone before it will be real easy to do it again) An innocent kiss, laying on the couch can trigger unpure desires and lead to a mistake veryyy quickly.
*Don't spend every single day together. We've all done it. I know I have. When you're in a serious relationship you feel like putting your life on hold to be with him every single day. It's not good because you get too comfortable with each other. Save this for marriage!
*Invest quality time with other GIRLS. Your friendships are one of THE most important treasures in life. Besides, when things go wrong in your relationship you will need friends! We are all guilty of putting our girls on the backburner when we're falling head-over-heels for a new guy. Don't do it! You need them!

Those are just a few thoughtful BOUNDARIES you should consider when dating. I know that I am looking for a husband and I do NOT want to make the same mistakes I have made in the past. So in order to do this I discuss boundaries when I date. I have a list of all the qualities I look for in a man- and I will not bend on these. I suggest every single young woman to do this- writing it down makes it concrete. Keep it in your Bible or in a journal.


K said...

I used to think this whole boundaries thing was completely restricting and no fun. But now I really see, you know? I think that for the past few months God has been trying to really stress this whole purity thing to me. I always saw it as just a "no sex" thing. But it's so much more than that.

Anonymous said...

This was great, and I couldn't agree more. Before even "looking", a girl should know her boundaries and where she stands...otherwise, if she waits to think of it when she's already fallen for a guy, than its going to be so much harder to make good boundaries and stick to them.
Great post!

Hayley Kathryn said...

K- I know I had always just seen it as "no sex". But it IS more than that- you can't just draw the line at sex. You must draw it much much earlier to prevent temptations!

Briana Kate said...

So very very true! Good words! :)

Sarah said...

Thanks, these will be really helpful once I start a relationship with a guy! I didn't have some of them you have. Some of boundries that I have that you didn't list are limiting hugs to "side hugs" (I'm a big fan of side hugs anyway...they're a lot less awkward, lol ;D) and trying to not be in a room alone together, and if we are, leave the door open and put something in the doorway so we can’t shut it.

God's girl said...

This was a good reminder! My love language is physical touch so it is really hard for me not to touch. Because of that, I lavish all my touch and hugs on my girl friends and sister. For me, I had to make it a rule years ago not to even HUG guys unless it was a side/shoulder hug. Not only for me, but to avoid the "appearance of evil", and also because you never know which guy struggles with lust or porn, and that frontal to frontal hug could trigger something in them. I want to be pure in those areas. I want to avoid the assumption that I have "something going on" with another male, because I am waiting (again!) for my new husband.

It is refreshing to hear a younger woman define these guidelines, because when I was your age, I didn't set them for myself, and ended up in many traps. Now at 35, 2 kids later, and divorced, I've learned a few things:)

Many times throughout the years, I have heard "through the grapevine" that my neighbors thought I was a lesbian because I never had guys at my house. At the time, I wanted to rush out and bring some man home and say, "Look! I like men!", but didn't because I know that I don't have to question my integrity and my character because God sees it all. I long to be pure even in my thoughts, which is a whole other thing. Purity is so much more than not "touching" or being's a lifestyle.

Sorry for my rambling. I'm just encouraged by your desire to live pure before your King & your Savior. I read "When God writes your love story" and it is awesome!

Hugs as you venture on this beautiful journey! Blessings! Heav