Boundaries: A Position of Our Hearts
When I first entered a Christian community, I was shocked at dating practices such as dating in groups and dating in public. However, after growing in my relationship with the Lord for some time, I have seen how these practices line up with Scripture, and why they are key in staying pure in our relationships. But how about when you’re alone with your boyfriend or future boyfriend?
Countless friends have recently asked me this question, and I feel as though it is such a hard battle to face and discuss. I tried my best to be understanding and transparent, and every time I prayed about this for my sweet friends, a word kept coming to my mind: boundaries.
Apart from these great group activities, I also believe that we should create boundaries in our singleness that will glorify God with our future relationships.
Why do we create these boundaries when we are single? Well, if you’re like me, I’m very emotional, and I tend to get caught up in moments. Sometimes the Bible flies from my brain when boys suddenly get in the picture and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. We create these boundaries so that we are not caught up in emotions when we’re single. When we get into a relationship, the more likely we are to compromise—even if it is with a Godly man. Having boundaries in line can help us guard our hearts and our purity. We guard against our flesh when we put boundaries into place.
Often times, we associate boundaries with rules: We can do X, we can’t do Y, and we most certainly cannot do Z. But ladies, boundaries are a good thing. They are less about rules, and more about the position of our hearts. I would never want to do something displeasing to God. I want to guard my heart, and the heart of my boyfriend, from falling into sin. I also want to guard against the devil getting a foothold (Ephesians 4:27) as he seeks to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). I want to please God with my actions! What Jesus did on my cross has to affect every aspect of my life.
This relationship we have with the Lord must impact our relationships with our brothers in Christ. If you desire a Godly, pure relationship, boundaries are necessary and good. They’re God-honoring. Boundaries keep Jesus and our separate relationships with Him front and center in our lives. I believe they are also Biblical: “But put on the Lord Jesus, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14).
[More insightful scripture references: 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Ephesians 5:3, and 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7]
First and foremost, I encourage you to pray about your boundaries. I have also listed my boundaries below to encourage and help you along!
Remember, yours may look a little different, and that is okay! Yours could be more or less extreme, but the intent needs to be the same: glorifying God with our bodies. The important thing is that we seek God first, and strive to make our relationship pure.
1. My boyfriend and I will not spend time in an apartment alone.
Meaning simply, I need my roommates or other friends to be there as well. Remember: “make no provision for the flesh.” When our emotions are deep, our temptation to be alone is strong. But being alone can open doors that we don’t need to touch.
2. We will not kiss laying down.
This is just bad things waiting to happen, my friends.
3. We will not kiss often.
If we kiss before marriage (I’m still praying through this one), we will not kiss often. Why? Because the basis of our relationship should not be physical. Physical comes after “I do.” Because I do not want the physical level to rise or take-over our minds, kissing would be a special occasion occurrence.
4. We will seek God first.
I want to make sure that my future boyfriend and I spend time with the Lord every day, and pray about our relationship separately. Our lives must both be built on the solid rock separately, before we can come together. At this point, he is not your husband. Therefore, he has no obligation or responsibility to lead you spiritually. More often than not, when boyfriends start leading us spiritually, we give away pieces of our hearts that aren’t meant for him to have.
5. We will have accountability together and separately.
I intend to have a trustworthy woman that I can talk to about boundaries. Accountability is so important! Let other people help keep you both on the track to holiness.
For the girl in a relationship without boundaries, it is not too late! If you and your boyfriend are struggling, sit down together and talk about it. Pray about it. But I will caution you: he will need to want these boundaries too. I would encourage both of you to pray about this earnestly and seek Godly counsel if necessary. Looking over the scriptures I provided above may also assist you guys in setting boundaries.
The question is not: “What can I get away with and still be a Christian? Or, How far can I go?” Rather, it is, “How close to God can we get?”
Always remember that this guy is your brother in Christ first. Only when you say “I do” can the physical component of the relationship grow.
So, if you’re single or dating someone, I encourage you to sit down and think through how you can best glorify God in your relationships! I trust that by establishing these boundaries now, we are setting ourselves up for a pure, God-honoring relationship later.
Most certainly, keep Christ on the throne of your heart. When we focus on Him, His goodness to us, and our place as His Daughters, these boundaries come naturally.
Morgan is a student at the University of South Alabama pursuing a degree in English and Spanish. Nothing makes her smile like good books, large ice cream cones, and sunshine. Read her blog here. Follow her on Instagram.
Photo: Kelly Lemon Photography