25/01/2019

How Far is Too Far?

So this topic is something that I frequently get asked about, and to be honest it is pretty nerve wracking to write about. Why? Because it’s a sensitive/ hot topic that not many people speak about. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read my first blog about this topic, I highly suggest it- mainly because it’s hilarious and I share a story about the cop’s catching us kissing (Can’t Touch This: Physical Boundaries)

Want to know what I find interesting? The most asked question is “How far is too far?” This question is kind of scary to me. Why? Because it’s possible that people answer it purely based on opinion, which causes some people to throw out their gut feeling/conviction and that’s pretty dangerous.

Dating is SO fun and so is falling in love. But what isn’t fun is being filled with shame, guilt, temptation, and messing up. But we all experience these feelings in some way for different reasons during our lifetime. So how can we protect our hearts and minds? How do we keep Christ the center of our relationship? How do we have pure minds and hearts?

Well to have a pure mind and heart is very difficult. None of us are born with pure minds or pure hearts. We can be impure with or without having sex prior to marriage. And impure in our mind and hearts even when we’re married. This is such a difficult subject to talk about because so many people can feel triggered. But can I tell you something that is exciting? You and I both, no matter our past experiences or lack thereof, can be pure. But, it takes seeking Jesus, asking for forgiveness, respect, and LOTS of prayer.

Dating Luke has been SO amazing and filled with so many great memories. But there have been so many tough conversations, tears, hard days, and rough nights. But we both have prayed and asked the Lord for guidance and grace. And guess what? We both have seen the Lord strip our hearts and our minds, and BUILD us up.

Boundaries are important. But even more important than just “rules” to follow is the position of our hearts. How do you bring this up in conversation? First, pray that God would help you communicate your heart.

It really comes down to wanting to honor the Lord, not letting deception creep in and fill your mind and heart, and being open with God.

Before one can lead a relationship in a God honoring way or lead anyone, they must first learn how to lead themselves. This isn’t easy but it’s necessary. Luke and I stayed dating during fundamental years of having to learn how to lead ourselves. We stayed together but it was hard. Luke had to learn how to protect his heart and mind behind his own closed doors before he could ever lead me. I had to also work on my own pride and pray for grace and humility.

Many years this looked a lot like one of us disagreeing with the other, and one of us feeling convictions and the other not. But I will never forget the moment where Luke’s heart was being shaped, molded, stripped, and strengthened. He had to learn how to lead himself before he truly knew how to lead me.

How far is too far is the question being asked, and my more complicated answer is this:
Too far is when it goes against what scriptures say, when one person or both are convicted, when you have to ask the question “how far is too far”, when you walk away feeling frustrated, when it becomes cyclical and you have said no more & it continues.
My simple answer to “how far is too far”:
When you cannot justify it as being glorifying to the Lord.

Some questions that I have been asked in regards to communicating about boundaries with your significant other…
Just talk about it. Show them that you not only respect yourself and your future but you respect them and their future. But an easier, less confrontational way of bringing it up is by sending them my first blog Can’t Touch This:Physical Boundaries & this one (haha I have had many of you message me saying you did this and that it helped).

How do you recover after you have gone past your boundaries even if its only minor? Pray. Go to Jesus about it. Remove yourself from the scenarios that get you there. Truly dedicate your time and conversations to being God honoring.

What boundaries do you suggest between/anywhere from kissing to sex?

Ha- this is a loaded question. And I often don’t answer this because many people disagree and I know that some people may even be tempted to justify something and go past their conviction because someone may say what their boundaries are (I know this because I have wondered if something is okay just because someone I trust would do it). So I would say- If one person has personal convictions toward something, ALWAYS respect it. Don’t touch anything that is covered by clothing. This also goes with speaking about all of the above as well.

Do physical boundaries get harder when you’re engaged?
Yes & No. It’s a complicated answer. It’s crazy because you’re the closest you’ve ever been to being married but ALSO have and excitement and motivation because you’re the closest you’ve ever been to being married.

Can I still be pure if I have gone too far in my past?

Oh my goodness, YES! I love you for asking this question! WE all have the ability to be PURE. That is what is so beautiful about Jesus. He makes that possible. None of us had a pure heart or mind from the day we were born. We all were born in to sin. If you have gone too far physically or even within your mind and someone has told you that you can not be pure again- THAT IS A LIE from the ENEMY. Purity is a GIFT from Jesus & I know that when you go to Jesus and you live to honor Him and ask for forgiveness and accept Him as your Savior, He washes us white as snow. No sin or past memories can hold us or claim us and mark us as impure – they’re not that powerful. The one who decides on whether we are pure is the one who gives us this gift, and that’s Jesus. We see this over and over again in the Bible. We are all imperfect, broken, impure people before Jesus.

My boyfriend and I keep messing up and we both are so frustrated, what would your advice be for this issue?
Honestly, I wish I could sit down with you guys and just say, 1. You’re not alone. But that doesn’t justify this. It just means that you shouldn’t stay quiet about this struggle. Ask someone you love or respect to help you. 2. If you need to get out of a space or make a commitment to not hang out alone during certain hours, do that. 3. PRAY. 4. Spend time with Jesus. The more time you spend with Him the more the Spirit will give you discernment and clarity.

There are many more questions that were sent in but that would make this blog too long so I will try to write another one soon. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with anymore questions that you would like me to cover. I am praying for you and just want you to know that you are not alone. You CAN keep Christ the center of your relationship and you CAN have a relationship filled with love and respect.

Dating for 6 years is hard work. We have prayed MANY prayers and cried many tears as we both battled, struggled, wept, prayed, read scripture, listened for God and strived to honor Jesus. This hasn’t been easy but waiting and working hard together has been SO good for us as we’ve built a foundation of trust, godly leadership, communication, and love for one another that goes beyond just the physical aspect of our relationship.

Thank you for reading,
Tay Ruth

Photo taken by: Eliza Niforatos

One response to “How Far is Too Far?”

  1. Katherine says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, Tay! In my past relationship, I would justify certain actions that I didn’t feel good about by telling myself that other godly couples do it all the time. I, then, later realized that it was super unhealthy for my relationship, and wished I hadn’t gone that far. Keep sharing truth!

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