Did you know all you need is love? Love is a many splendored thing. Love lift us up where we belong. Love is on the way. Love is all around. Love changes everything. But suddenly there are ch-ch-changes. Someday you will say at last my love has come along. In fact, there ain’t no mountain high enough where I won’t wanna hold your hand. I’ll stand by you. I can love you like that. I’ve got a blank space baby and I’ll write your name. It’s a love story. And my heart will go on.
Love is the topic of like 90% of secular songs. Sometimes a country song talks about a car or a female belts about girl power, but let’s face it – it’s mostly love. And love is awesome. God created us to be married and honor Him through our marriages and family. But just because you’re in “love,” it doesn’t mean all is well and dandy and perfectly simple. In fact you have a WHOLE bunch of new stress now that you are in a relationship, especially as a Christian girl in a non-Christian world! Now you are probably thinking – oh, here comes the why dating is bad, etc. lecture – and you would be wrong. I see absolutely nothing wrong with high school dating if you are mature enough to create a value system and stick to it. The issues with dating, especially from Christian perspectives, are usually physical.
You know why the physical part of a relationship makes you feel so good? Because God designed it that way. The physical nature of your relationship with a boyfriend/fiancé/husband is one of the main reasons that relationship is different from the others. I LOVE those butterfly feelings when someone you like touches your arm or holds your hand for the first time. I am not a hugger/touchy-feely person so when I feel that way with someone, it is extra special and meaningful. The problem is when the physical becomes too much of a priority. When that little kiss escalates into something more. When your values become second to getting caught up in the moment. When the only part of your relationship you like is physical – or if that’s what you like the most. Being in a relationship with someone is so much more complicated than if they are a good kisser or not!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God in your body.” You only have one body and by keeping yourself free from sexual sin, you are in fact respecting your body and therefore what God has given to you. Interesting to think about, huh?
As you get wrapped up in the sentiment and excitement of this season, I want you to ask yourself a few questions:
- When you are with your guy, do you feel better or worse about yourself? Can you even really be yourself?
- Do you feel like you ALWAYS need to look cute for him? Need makeup? Or is it cool if he sees you sweaty and gross after soccer practice?
- Do you do things in private you wouldn’t do in public, or you would be embarrassed about?
- Do you still have friends outside of your relationship? Boys and girls?
- Is God at the center of your relationship?
Your answers need to be objective. For example, I know there was a guy I dated once that would kind of make little jokes if my naturally-curly hair wasn’t blown out and straight. So I made sure I never saw him if my hair didn’t look good. It’s not like I was a potty mouth or a chain smoker and he asked that I stop. It was my hair. It really annoyed me that it mattered yet I did it anyway. It’s fine to dress up and look nice for someone, but when it becomes a fear of repurcussion if you don’t – teasing, criticizing, etc – that is not okay.
As far as the physical part goes, the Bible is clear on what your boundaries need to be and it is your choice if you don’t follow them and you will have to deal with the consequences if you don’t. But there is SO MUCH more to your dating experiences than physicality. Some of the happiest, closest couples I know are not all PDA and touchy in each other. They are just truly incredibly close friends that feel safe together; they bring out the best in each other and think of the other person first’ they can talk about anything, fight about anything and laugh about it later. When you are dating,
Dates come and go. Never, ever, ever put aside your friends for a guy! Naturally this will happen a little but make a point of doing things without your guy. Do stuff in groups. You need friends when that guy dumps you, or acts like a jerk, or when you just want some girl time. I hardly keep in touch with any of my previous boyfriends, but I text, see, Facebook, think of, pray for my friends from high school even to this day – guys and gals. Friends will hold you accountable and help you take off the rose-colored glasses that blind you to the truth. You need friends throughout you’re entire life. Until you get very serious with a guy – I am talking engaged and married- friends need to be equally if not more important than he is!
Lastly, it is a lot harder to keep God the center of your life if the guy you are into does not – I am telling you from experience! Obviously your parents and the people who love you wish that any one who you are in a relationship with is a Christian, the reality is that may not always be the case. When I was growing up I had hardly any friends who went to church- it was a tourist town in Northern Nevada; when I talk to girls in the south, it is very easy for them to find good Christian guys and good Christian friends. Some of their youth groups are bigger than my school!
You need to decide how important your faith is before you start thinking seriously about dating someone who does not value the same things. Not to say you can’t start bringing them to church or helping to grow your faith, because that does happen, but it is a lot harder especially if you find yourself wavering a little bit. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with the darkness?” Of COURSE this would apply to anyone you have a close relationship to – especially your husband! Imagine telling someone who has no clue about the Bible “Oh the Bible says I should wait for marriage to have sex.” They’d wonder what the big deal is. But if you tell that to a Christian guy, at least he will understand where you are coming from. (Disclaimer: not all Christian guys are morally perfect – duh! – but at least they will understand what you are talking about!)
I hope you feel loved this week. I hope you have someone in your life who treats you the way you deserve to be treated. I hope that he respects you and your body and your faith. If you have this, stop what you’re doing right now and thank God. If you don’t, stop what you’re doing right now and ask God for clarity and strength to change how you see yourself.
#JournalJourney: Was there ever a time you thought you were in love? Then when you look back, you realized you weren’t? This happens SO many times. We have such a longing to be in love, we want it so badly, sometimes we try to make it exist where it doesn’t. What are the most important qualities to you in a future boyfriend? What about a husband? Are those different? Why? Are you praying for this future lucky guy? You may not have met him yet, but God knows exactly who He has for you, so it’s never too early to start praying for him!
Scripture: Hebrews 13:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8