My fiancé, Luke, and I have noticed that when we may be tempted to go past our boundaries, God has protected us. At least we feel it’s God’s way of protecting us. Here is an example:
Get your popcorn ready, this is gonna be a good one. This is a story for, “what not to do.” I am willingly sharing our embarrassment to help you from putting yourself in this situation. Also, Luke has approved all of this.
Our Bonnie and Clyde story:
One time when were in High School we decided to go to a dark parking lot to kiss (yikes, yes… this is one of those stories). This parking lot was in my neighborhood. We got in the back seat to kiss, and then we were talking for a while. Luke suddenly said, “Oh my gosh, someone is driving towards us!” I freaked out and got onto the floor of the car, thinking it was going to be a “bad guy.” But oh my gosh- It was the police! Luke and I did not even say anything to each other, we just panicked.
They had their massive search lights on us and made us get out of the vehicle. I’m not talking about a simple flash light…I mean the light that could light up the whole neighborhood. Luke got out first and put his hands in the air and they asked “What are you doing?” Luke quickly and nervously replied “I was kissing her.” I then got out from the floor of the back seat, and put my hands up (which I am sure they were like…why is this infant-of-a-human-being on the floor of the car?). There were 2 cops questioning us (so many questions). They were playing good cop/bad cop. They asked us when our curfew was, and it was at that time around 9:45 pm, so not close to our curfew which was 12 am. The “bad cop” told Luke he must bring me back home early to be a gentleman.
You know they were probably internally cracking up at these two dumb kids. We laugh about it all now, but- who knows what could’ve happened if they didn’t show up? No worries, stories not done…
The police asked us to not only go back home early, but to also tell our parents! Are you kidding me? Why would I EVER want to go back home and tell my parents? All I could imagine was me saying, “uh hi…we were in the back seat of the car in an empty dark parking lot, and oh by the way, the police caught us? Ok, I’m going to go lock myself in my room now, and here is my phone and all my privileges.”
But, being the obedient kids we were, we both went back and asked my dad to come into his office to talk with us. We told my dad all about it and I can remember him staring at us. We told him how the police said they would send our court date in the mail and how we broke a code and we told him the code number. We wanted to be super honest with him since the cops basically warned us there would be a court date letter in the mail.
When we were telling my dad, Luke’s head was hanging so low I could probably lift my foot an inch from the ground and kick him. My dad looked at us and said, “they’re just messing with you. But thank you for telling me.” I’m not sure how he didn’t burst out laughing in that moment. Unfortunately, both of our dad’s went on to call us “Bonnie and Clyde.”
But then my mom gave us a “don’t put yourself into a situation where you can see it going down hill” talk. Side note: we never got any court date in the mail and the code number was indeed fake. Let’s just say that put the fear of God into us, and the embarrassment was our punishment and huge lesson. So please learn from our embarrassing, funny, and oh-so real mistakes.
There isn’t much in the Bible about dating. Which makes it kind of confusing for many of us who believe in Jesus and want to date in a way that is glorifying Him.
I am not a guru, a counselor, pastor or professor. I am a friend who has dated her high school sweet heart for 6 years and is now engaged to him after dating so long. We both had never been in a serious relationship before one another. But have learned A LOT about communication, forgiveness, and protecting one another.
When you read this- know that I am not saying these ways are “absolute” but more what Luke and I have done in our relationship and have seen work for us.
Here is a list of 3 priorities that Luke and I have set, not in any order:
1. Priority: Respect one another in each other’s convictions.
Physical boundaries are a must. Especially when you are wanting to remain pure before marriage. Just because it’s not sex does not make it right. Purity includes the way you think and talk to one another. This is not easy when you are dating for a long time, but needs to be addressed. If one person feels convicted about something, the other person should respect that. If there is a conviction but no boundary set or change to occur, it can cause a spiral- which can then lead to arguments and more issues (going too far/breaking up).
2.Priority: Protect your relationship, significant other, and friends from falling into temptation.
We learned early on that it is not a good idea to ask how “far” our friends have gone, especially when we looked up to them. People have different convictions and if you hear your best friend has gone further than you
3. Priority: Make Jesus the focus of your life, which will then lead into being a focus in your relationship.
It is important to identify the center of the relationship. Ask yourself, is the center of the relationship Jesus, myself, or him/her? Having Jesus at the center of the relationship means you must first have a personal relationship with Jesus independently.
Luke and I had to say what we were comfortable with and what we were not comfortable with. This was vital so that there was no miscommunication or “grey” areas. Before we were “official,” one of us did not feel comfortable going further than kissing, which then sparked conversation. After communicating a lot at the age of 15/16, we both grew to have the same convictions within dating. We both agreed that we would not go further than kissing. That has taken discipline and communication. This means it is fundamental that we take ourselves out of dangerous situations. If we find ourselves crossing our boundaries, we must quickly remind the other and get back on track before it’s too late. This is something we continually have to work on. We told each other that the ultimate form of respect and love that we could ever show each other, before marriage, was by protecting the other in this way.
We learned that you have to adjust some to your surroundings. For example, moving away to college gives you a new independence. This is when you must communicate. If your goal is marriage, then that is why it is so important to communicate frequently. We realized it was really up to us on where we wanted our relationship to go. We could easily make our own decisions and reap the consequences.
Around the 5th year, we noticed we were growing deeper in love. We both opened up to one another and began to show deeper trust by confiding in the other. This depth of communication was not easy and was painful at times. But it was growing us closer together. This is good and a natural progression when you date for this long. It would be strange to be in a relationship with someone and not see growth in any way. So, if you are growing closer in relationship, which then makes you grow physically- that is human. However, this also means you are falling more in love and need to reinforce boundaries. Remember- we recognized that the greatest way to show each other, before marriage, that we truly loved and respected the other was protecting each other in this way.
I think God gave Luke some super natural strength, because he became such a good leader in our relationship. Luke would say “Tay, this is not me rejecting you, this is me showing you that I love you. I want to protect you.” Therefore, we wouldn’t go any further than our boundaries. I am so thankful for this. *Side note: do not be concerned about what he/she may think of you if you want to have boundaries…if her/his intentions are right, he/she will desire that too even if it means giving up some things.
WARNING: This made me grow more in love with him. When he showed me that he could lead me in this way. He was respecting me and I saw how he treated me differently, in a good way. I wanted to do the same back for him. It does not mean it’s easy. This means it takes strength, forgiveness, communication, perseverance, and praying.
But there are still times and days where we have to build each other up and remind one another what the end goal is, which for us, it’s glorifying Jesus. We practiced showing grace to the other, and forgiving each other. No one is perfect except Jesus. We have made mistakes in our lives as individuals and still make mistakes, but we work together to be more like Christ, and in a relationship this is a great way to keep one another fixed on Jesus by cheering the other on in perseverance…
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
My dad once told us to never believe a man if he told us, “I love you too much I cannot wait any longer.” Because if a man told us that, he was not telling the truth, and he did not love us. Because, love is patient. It rejoices with the truth. Again read the above verse.
So, after reading this, you may be asking yourself…”now what?” At times we have to re-evaluate our habits and desires. Do you feel like your relationship is healthy? If not, what is causing it to be unhealthy? Are you both following convictions and walking in the truth?
The best way to get back on track is to communicate with each other and go to God. Pray for your relationship- never stop praying. It’s so important.
If your significant other does not respect your boundaries, is there a conversation that needs to be had? (Yes).
Is it wise for you to continue that relationship if they are pushing you to do things that you aren’t comfortable with even after communicating? Pray about this, seek wise counsel.
Maybe you’re in a relationship right now and you feel like you have gone too far and you both are in agreement…it’s never too late to seek God and start fresh. It does not mean it will be easy, it means it will take strength, discipline, forgiveness, and prayer. But it’s so worth it, and it will make the two of you so much stronger. This also has the potential to increase your love for one another.
Maybe you have a past that you wish was different. Well the good news is, your future isn’t your past! I am so proud of you for desiring a healthy relationship! Jesus gives us an opportunity to be pure through his eyes by accepting Him. If you’ve accepted Jesus and yet you are regretting your past…don’t let the power of the gospel be forgotten!
Thank you for reading,
*(If your convictions are to not kiss before marriage, I respect that and I am cheering you on! That is such a sweet and great decision. If that is what you feel your conviction is, don’t let anyone pressure you into anything. I have friends who waited to kiss until marriage and they do not regret it. You will never regret waiting. Proud of you!)