For my first 32 years, I did the “Christian” thing: No sex before marriage. Got it. There was no purity ring for me, no promise prayer or whatever it is the kids do these days – frankly, half of it was that I was just so awkward around guys and relationships that I didn’t have much in the way of opportunity. But never mind that – I was committed to purity. Check and mark.
And then I met Pat. Pretty early on (about two months), I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were going to get married. Suddenly, my thoughts began to change. I mean, THIS was the man I was going to marry! And I was 32, for goodness’ sake – clearly I had proven my commitment to God in this area. And did I mention that this was the man I was going to marry? No harm no foul, amirite??
So here’s the tough thing about relationships. You meet someone and you want to grow closer to them. You are naturally attracted to them (or at least I hope so!) and the more serious your relationship, the harder it is to keep to your boundaries.
For both of us, we also had the question of sexual compatibility. There’s no way around it – sex is an important part of marriage. You don’t want to enter a marriage treating someone as a brother in Christ…only to find out that you really only love him as a brother. So what’s a Christian to do?
For myself, I was open enough to bring my thoughts and questions to my friends and to invite them to give input and hold me accountable. I also had ongoing dialogue with Pat. We ultimately decided that it was important to us to maintain our commitment to not having sex before marriage. I won’t say that we were perfect, but we found a place that we felt comfortable with in terms of each other and with God.
For this month, the challenge is to purposefully think about your boundaries. If you are dating someone right now, ask yourself if you are okay with where you are? Have you had an open discussion with your partner and both laid plain what your boundaries and expectations are?
If you are not dating anyone at the moment, are there past actions in your life that you need to pray about and ask for others’ prayer? Have you made a firm decision about what your boundaries are for the future? What are your questions and fears about having a strong boundary? Please feel free to ask me/us and I would also encourage you to bring them to a pastor!
We look forward to hearing from you this month!