Boundaries in Relationships
Maybe it's just the rebel in me, but when people talk about boundaries in relationships, my natural inclination is to cringe. "Don't put me in a box. I'm my own boss." But when we understand that boundaries are put in place to protect us, that it's God's way to protect our heart, soul, and body, it's a game-changer. Once you've gotten to the point that you know you're attracted to someone, and you've started dating, then it's time to think about setting some boundaries.
Throughout Song of Solomon, we are reminded in a message by a group of women:
"Do not awaken or arouse love until it so desires." (Song of Solomon 8:4).
There is no condemnation in Christ. I am not trying to wag a finger or judge people. I'm with you. I know God's in control. What are some ways to walk in the respect God wants us to have for others and ourselves? God gives us guidelines in our relationships, not so He can be this cosmic killjoy, but so He can protect us. God's very clear on how we are to approach purity, before and after marriage. God created sex and intimacy to be within the safety of marriage. So when you're married, He's not peeping down from heaven like, "Oh no, I wonder what they're doing down there." After you get married, He blesses it. He wants married couples to be fruitful and multiply. Procreate and recreate.
On the other hand, scripture is clear that before marriage, having sex is not kosher, it's not copacetic. If we have intimate relations with somebody, we bind ourselves to them (1 Corinthians 6:16). I'm not talking about just physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well. So be careful that you're not engaging in things you shouldn't be engaging in with a person you're not married to. Why? Because it complicates things.
Scripture is very clear that there are things we shouldn't engage with. I feel like there's this next generation of Christians that say, "Well the Bible doesn't explicitly say that I can't do this or that in my relationship...” Here’s a piece of free advice: If it's something you're not comfortable doing in front of your mama, you probably shouldn't be doing it.
I recently read an article that said there was a group of guys who vandalized a church. I was outraged. It wasn't even a Christian institution, but it didn't matter to me because it was somebody's place of worship, and they vandalized it. Now listen, I grew up in east LA, my dad's church is in the hood, and there's graffiti everywhere. I'm anesthetized to it. But when I read that they went inside the church, that they threw around the pews, and they graffiti'd their names on the wall: Johnny was here. Peter was here... I was outraged. Then I felt convicted. I was more upset that people broke into a building than I was about my friends being entered in by people who were also leaving marks: Johnny was here. Peter was here.
Our bodies are temples of the living God.
I'm seeing this phenomenon of Christians having pre-marital sex. Just because the Bible doesn't spell it out for us and say, “Pre-marital sex is wrong,” doesn't mean it's okay. It still makes it clear that sex is meant for marriage.
So in your dating relationship, set clear boundaries. Decide what’s best for yourself and your boyfriend or girlfriend: "I can't cross this line because I don't know where it will stop." Can we go into it like that and have God honor it? So even though I’m telling you not to have sex before marriage, after marriage it’s a different story. You can make up for lost time. God wants to bless sex inside of marriage. After all, it was His idea in the first place.