Hello gorgeous people, today I continue the series that is titled Saving Yourself. On the first part of this series, I touched on the topic of Abstinence (Sex before marriage). I talked about how we as believers can practice abstinence before marriage, and the benefits of it (check that out if you haven't). Today I continue the series with another aspect of it called Boundaries. After my horrible relationship experience (Revisiting Ground Zero), I was honestly sick and tired of relationships. It was as if nothing was working out, I usually gave my all to my relationships, but nothing seemed to pan out. So I began to look back on my life to see where I must have been doing things wrong. It's funny (intentional) how God starts to put things in your path when you need them the most. For me, I stumbled upon this Christian woman's page on Instagram, who was always talking about relationships and how Christians needed to date the godly way. Some of her mindsets I found a bit extreme initially, but as I grew out of the pain and the hurt of the past, I began to see much more clearly. If I wanted to see different in my life, I had to be willing to do something different. Different strategy=Different results (thanks Kate).
I love this picture above because it reminds me of a passage of scripture in the Bible, where the writer of proverbs talks about wisdom being present when God set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries (Proverbs 8:29) and also in Acts 17:26 the writer says; “From one man He created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries". We all know what happens when the sea or the ocean goes past its boundaries; there is a possibility for great chaos. And also when people try to cross boundaries illegally to other nations, there is always trouble. So it is safe to conclude that it is a wise thing to have boundaries, not just in relationships but all aspects of life. And if there are no boundaries, chaos is bound to spring up.
“Our best teacher isn’t experience, but evaluated experience” John Maxwell
I had to look back and evaluate where I was doing things wrong. As a Christian, I always knew that at the back of my mind, that sex before marriage was a sin and was displeasing to God, but I did it anyway. And whenever I indulged in premarital sex, the relationships never led anywhere. It always left me empty and lonely. As I began to feed myself with the word of God and learn from others who decided to save themselves for marriage, I began to see; clearly, I was the common denominator in all these relationships. Although I was seeking the right thing, I was going about it the wrong way. I never had any standards, and I did not have any boundaries in place. My conversations with guys were not intentional; I was scared to ask in-depth questions from the get-go, which came from the fear that they will leave me (If they go because you ask questions, there were never meant to be there, to begin with). So we have to have healthy boundaries in place so that we can build healthy relationships.
I have noticed that why a lot of females, maybe even males may find themselves in “situationships" (Commit-less Relationships) is because there are no boundaries in place. For instance, boy meets girl, boy is feeling girl, boy starts feeding girl with what he believes girl's ear is itching to hear, and girl falls, line, hook & sinker. Boy then wants to hang-out with girl at her house, and at mostly odd hours, girl obliges because after all, this is a guy that I am "talking to," surely he must like me, and I am also feeling him. Boy comes over to girl’s house, and one thing leads to another, and within a short amount of time, they become intimate. Then boy starts thinking clearly, and girl isn't, and it now becomes a vicious cycle of girl chasing after boy, who masked himself as someone who wanted her in the beginning. I can't tell you how many times I have found myself in such situations, just because I was looking for love. Why I fell most of the times was because I did not have standards and boundaries in place. There is this saying that goes "if you don't stand for anything, then you will fall for everything."
Let us define what boundaries are; according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Boundaries are unofficial rules about what should not be done, and also limits that define acceptable behavior. You see when you have the big picture at the forefront of your life each day, or when you know your why it will be hard to make little compromises along the way. Don't be afraid to stand for what you believe in; the right one will adjust his belief system to fit yours if you both are not on the same page. This reminds me of a scene in the movie Hacksaw Ridge (fantastic film, check it out if you haven't), in the movie the main character refuses to back down on his beliefs, and his boss told him, (after he had proved that his faith was true) these people don’t believe the way you do, but they believe in how much you believe, and they want a piece of it! So we must not allow fear to lead us.
“You say I am allowed to do anything, but not everything is good for you. And even though I am allowed to do anything, I must not become a slave to anything”. Paul (1 Corinthians 6:12)
If for example, I had boundaries in the past, I wouldn’t let a guy who I am not officially dating come over to my house, with me alone at home. I wouldn't entertain sexual conversations with a guy, I wouldn't allow a guy touch me inappropriately, and we wouldn't spend our times together at each other's homes but rather in public spaces. If a guy wants to come over all the time or wants you over to his all the time, without any effort to properly date you, then that is a red flag. The guy is probably looking for just sex. Be careful not to fall prey to these bad guys or even girls (guys get played too).
Both parties interested in a relationship with one another should define what they expect from each other in a relationship from the beginning. They should state what is acceptable and what isn't. If both parties are Christians, they should set rules in such a way that they don't fall into sexual sin. Once there is an attraction, and once the mood is right, it is effortless to fall prey to sexual immorality. If your goal is to honor God (as it should be with all Christians), then boundaries must be set in place to avoid such situations from happening.
What Boundaries May Look Like
Not hanging out alone after certain hours
No sex before marriage
No kissing/holding hands or being overtly affectionate before a relationship is defined
No sexual explicit conversations
The Benefits of Boundaries
Reduces the chances of heartaches (even if the relationship ends, both parties are not as messed up)
Decisions are made with a clear head
Also if the relationship doesn't work out in the end, lines were not crossed
Respect is gained
Trust is built
When you put boundaries in place, you get to build your self-discipline, which not only helps you in your single life, but will also show up when you get married. You guys will be able to build a level of trust that will not be easily broken, because it is not all the time that you both will be available to satisfy your sexual needs. But if you are both disciplined, and have built self-control, you will be able to exercise restraint when you are apart. And as a believer, you get to enjoy intimacy with God without any walls or barriers, stopping you from communing with Him. I believe our number one reason to save ourselves should be to honor God, and when we put Him and His desires first, He will in turn honor us. (Check out the story of Joseph, Genesis 39)
Have any of you put boundaries in place in your relationships? How did it work out for you? Are boundaries necessary? Share your experiences with us so we can learn! Thank you all for reading! Remember to like, share and comment below! Have a blessed day.