Draw the Line.

I am so excited that we are on part two of our series about love and relationships. If you have not read the first post of this series, “Set the Cornerstone and Look in the Mirror”, then I recommend you do that. I was so blessed by the feedback on the first post, and I hope that this second post is equally as helpful to you. 

This time, I wanna talk about boundaries. A lot of people’s first thought about boundaries is not a positive one. Many teenagers think of boundaries as something that holds them back and keeps them from having any fun. Our whole culture seems to have a stigma towards boundaries and rules. 

With teenagers, if they are someone who has set boundaries, then they may be laughed at. People may say you are over the top for setting rules for yourself. They might think you are weak, because you don’t do all the things they do. I know because I have had this kind of stuff said about me, simply for having boundaries. 

However, all this could not be more false. Boundaries are not a sign of weakness, they are a sign of strength and maturity. There is no weakness is saying that you are not going to have sex until after you are married. You are showing that you have the strength and self control to wait. You are actually showing yourself to be courageous by having boundaries. Sometimes courage comes in the form of action, but there are also many times that courage comes in the form of drawing the line and saying “no” to something. 

People may say that you’re over the top, however, most of the people that would say that, are the ones who have no boundaries and a past full of regret. I would much rather have boundaries and have to say “no” to a few things, then say “yes” to those things, and end up with a bunch of regrets. 

Boundaries are also so important when trying to find Mr. or Mrs. Right. You can find out a lot about a person’s character just by the way they respond to your boundaries. The right person is going to respect your boundaries. The wrong person is probably going to push back, or even want to break the boundaries you have set.

You might be worried that if you set boundaries, then no one will want to date you. However, the only people who are not going to be interested in you, because of your boundaries, are the people that you would not want to date anyway. If someone does not honor your boundaries, then what makes you think they will respect and honor you in a relationship? If you want to marry a stong godly person, then that person will have no problem conducting a relationship in accordance with your boundaries. 

You might be asking, “Well, where should I set my boundaries?”. Well, I am not going to spell out for you exactly how you should or should not date. I think you should draw the line for yourself. However, Brent Crowe wrote a book, called “Chasing Elephants”, and I HIGHLY recommend that you read it.  If you are serious about making godly decisions and setting boundaries, this book is a must read for you. Brent Crowe writes 16 questions that are a grid, designed to help you make wise decisions. 

So, I picked just a few of those questions that I think go best with what we are talking about, and put them below. (I still want you to go buy the book, though, because the rest of the questions will revolutionize the way you make decisions. Trust me, it did that for me.) I want you to answer these questions in regards to dating, so that you can decide for yourself where your boundaries should be. 

  1. Is this decision (in our case dating) being made under the control of the flesh or Holy Sprit (Galatians 5:13-26)?

  2. Will this decision hurt a brother spiritually or set a spiritual death trap (Romans 14:13)?

  3. Will the decision damage reputation (Romans 4:16)?

  4. Will the decision glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31); Will the decision make a big deal about Jesus (Galatians 6:11-16)?

So I hope you will pray about exactly where to put your boundaries. Are you going to be alone in a room with a guy? Are you going to kiss? Are you going to say the words “I love you”? These are things you need to think about when setting your boundaries. 

Anyhow, once you have your boundaries set, it is key that you hold to them. Don’t just talk the talk, you have to walk to walk. You have to hold to your boundaries. Don’t lower your standards, because a guy is giving you attention. Do not compromise what you believe, because a pretty girl is flirting with you. And I know, this is much easier said than done.

In Daniel chapter 1, we see Daniel being taken to become a servant of the king. In verse 8, it says that, “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank”. The purpose of me telling this story is not to forbid you from eating meat, it is to help you hold to your convictions. Daniel knew what he was and was not going to do. He had already set his boundary, so that when the food was brought to him, he knew he was not going to eat it. 

So, set your boundaries now, so that when the moment comes, you know what to do. You cannot wait until the heat of the moment, because, odds are, you will end up lowering the standard, because that’s what feels right at the time. You have to draw the line, so that when the time comes, you will not cross it. 

One of the best ways to hold to your boundaries is tell them to someone else. Accountability is critical in dating. When you’re in the middle of a relationship, you might not see something that seems so obvious to everyone else. Listen to the words of the people that love you. My best friend, Allie (who is more like a sister), has been my best accountability outside of my parents. She is never afraid to just tell it to me straight, and remind me of the boundaries I have set. I encourage you to find a godly friend, or adult, to just share your boundaries with. Ask them to pray for you and to hold you to the standards that you have set. 

Finally, after all this, remember that the right person is worth setting boundaries for. Your future spouse will be so grateful that you saved yourself just for them. Even if you do not know them yet, you are telling your future spouse that you love them by setting boundaries. The hardship of the journey is not even worth mentioning in comparison to the payoff in the end. It will be worth it. 

If you have any questions or prayer requests, you are welcomed to email me at christy@tonynolan.org or just leave a comment below. God bless you and thanks for reading.

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