The Beauty of Boundaries Day 5 – Boundaries in Dating
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22, ESV)
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14, ESV)
I’ve been in a place where I did not honor 2 Corinthians 6:14. It’s not one of my better memories, even though the guy I secretly dated was nice, respectful and thoughtful. But he was missing something that was crucial for me as a Christ follower: Christ!
One of the first boundaries we should seek to establish is whom we let into our hearts. If we choose outside of God’s plan for us, we are not choosing His best, and that’s tragic. If we do not share with someone in our faith, we will constantly be called to compromise, and this will set us up for a less-than-desirable situation. So first, let’s only consider dating someone who is like-minded in our faith.
Second, we need to set boundaries for our physical relationship. The Bible is clear that we should remain pure. We cannot remain pure while dabbling in sexual activities outside of marriage. This includes all forms of sexual acts, not just sexual intercourse. We might try to reason that other acts are not as serious and do not carry the same risk for pregnancy and disease. But purity means we remain pure in both body and mind. And so we must set boundaries to protect us from falling into sexual sin, even in God-honoring relationships. Temptation is always present, so we must remain on guard.
Another boundary to establish that might not often come to mind but is also important for your consideration is choosing someone who challenges you spiritually. Being a Christian isn’t the only prerequisite to a healthy relationship. We should choose someone who will put God ahead of ourselves—yep, you read that right. We will never choose better than when we choose a partner who will faithfully place God at the center of their lives, challenge us to do the same, and live it out by example. Do not conclude that you will “fix” them if they are not where you want them to be spiritually. Instead, choose wisely only after you see evidence that they seek to place God first.
Dating around isn’t for the believer. Make a boundary for yourself that you will only date someone who is a qualified candidate for marriage. Sure, it may go south somewhere along the way, but choose someone who meets qualifications that are in line with Scripture. Someone known for “getting around” is a poor testimony and not someone you likely can place confidence in to be there for you through thick and thin.
Dating is an exciting time and challenges our emotions in ways we never experienced before. It can be easy to allow our emotions to guide us, but a word of warning: emotions can’t always be trusted. Instead, think with a level head and search Scripture for guidance as you pray for the Lord’s leading in your life. Choosing well will impact the rest of your life—and choosing poorly will as well. Protect your heart. Ask godly people for their perspective. As they seek to love you and want to see you living out a godly life, their opinions really do matter.