As a newly engaged woman, a lover of life, a lover of God, and people I wanted to write my thoughts on boundaries in relationships. Not everyone is the same and boundaries look different when considering your past, what stage of a relationship you are in, and what the goal of your relationship is.
Boundaries are not meant to take away from your relationship physically or emotionally but add safety and freedom to it. Have you ever played a game with someone who makes up rules as they go, it’s frustrating, seems selfish, and you normally end up losing. But if you establish guidelines beforehand everyone is on the same page, it’s fair, and you are set up to win. As a woman who lives each moment to the full, is adventurous, and is intimate; it’s a joy to walk in boundaries. Before I understood the love of God is was hard for me to cherish a life set apart, now it’s my greatest joy. My life looks different. I don’t get drunk, I don’t do drugs, I don’t sleep around. Those are clear guidelines set up in scripture for believers but there is a big GREY area before marriage that needs to be thought through.
Are you above sin?
You can set yourself up for failure by being prideful. (proverbs 6:18) Because I have lived a pure life up to now does not mean that sin is less of a possibility. Wisdom, leads to fear of the Lord, which leads to humility. Because I am human, not to mention, I am unbelievable attracted to this man and no matter how strong I think I am…. There is a war going on for each decision I make. God created boundaries for his people so they would be pure and holy for his sake, it is the same in any relationship whose goal is to bring God glory.
What’s the rush?
I am engaged… meaning I am going to be married… forever. This can do one of two things, it can become an excuse, “we are going to do everything anyway” or it can become the most valued relationship I have had “I want this to be different than any relationship I have ever seen or experienced.” I will get to do many things in such freedom and experience new things so I want to wait out of joy and purity for those new experiences. Be careful of what I am going to call a “build up” things lead to things that lead to THINGS…. And if you are behind a closed door, making out, and all over each other THINGS are much more likely to happen. So don’t set yourself up for failure. Waiting now can multiply beauty and enjoyment later.
Am I cherishing the other person or using them?
GOSH- so many things have become so selfish… even the most beautiful things. Holding hands, kissing, making out, sex these things were created by God because he wants us to enjoy what he has created to bring Him glory… Everything God values he gave it boundaries or guidelines. People, His temple, His Kingdom and more practically sex. It’s not about you, it’s about Him. If you are doing something out of a selfish pursuit or a good feeling you are no longer loving and serving the other person (therefore glorifying God) you are servicing self and building destructive habits in your relationship.
Do you find yourself hiding?
Are you hiding from people, are there things you are keeping secret, or that you aren’t telling others. In marriage I believe there is an intimacy that is only for the man and woman, therefor not openly talked about. But before then throughout history there have been systems set up to protect (specifically) women’s purity. If you are hiding and withholding from your God given community that’s normally called shame. Community is one of the most beautiful things you can experience on this earth. You should have accountability, value their opinion as someone who prays for you, and as someone who has an outside perspective on your relationship. When you are the one in the relationship it can be harder to make sound and wise decisions because of your desires and emotions. It’s ok that you have a hard time (believe me, I have a really hard time some days) but it’s not ok to go ahead and make decisions leaving out wisdom.
A couple of quick questions I ask myself to sober my own mind:
- If someone looking in saw what I was doing would they think that something is different about my relationship? sidenote: this is more that just words, it's actions... even the smallest ones.(Romans 12:2)
- Is this wise? (1 Corinthians 10:23)
- Is this for now or for later?
- Does someone know besides us? (Hebrews 10:25, Galatians 6:1-2)