I saw Riding in Cars with Boys when I was a teen and the lesson from it always stuck with me. I guess a movie about the realities of teen pregnancy served its purpose to me at that time. Although it’s not quite the family movie, it’s a great depiction of what can happen when you’re young, naïve, and have no boundaries, as the girls were. Today I’m going to share my boundaries and the why behind it. As a single woman who is pursuing purity until marriage (and in it) I’m learning purity isn’t just physically abstaining from sex. It includes the heart, mind, and actions that flow from it. That’s where the need for boundaries set in for me.
“….Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” Song of Solomon 2:7
What does it mean to awaken love? I interpreted it as giving away what belongs to the right one. In this chapter she is seen with immense love without fear for her beloved. When He was near and when He wasn’t she had strong emotions for the one her soul loved. This love is beautiful but can be dangerous without the right context. Verse 7 warns us not to fan the flame before its time. This kind of freedom should be contained, this kind of love should be reserved.
She states twice in the chapter quoted above: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. In order for that not to happen, it’s wise for us to have limits to gauge what we can and cannot do and with whom….even friends. Yep! That’s right, an interest and friends of the opposite sex. As single men and women there is no doubt in my mind that we can be friends. However, in all excitement (subconsciously and consciously) to be in love, there is also no doubt that there is a potential of that swiftly turning left if we let it.
Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? It’s not blatant, but subtle. We get comfortable with our proclaimed “brother/Sister” and somehow the limits get blurred. She once had to go home at 10pm, but now she’s cool she can stay later. He once couldn’t call past midnight, but he’s your study partner, so it’s ok, right? Nah. After a few hangouts, a couple things in common and deep conversations you’re once brother is now looking like a potential bae. What was once so innocent is now an awkward crush you wish could just fly away, or worse, a relationship with the wrong one. In my attempts to pursuing purity in all my relationships, I have a few boundaries that are set up, so I personally don’t get caught up:
No sleepovers. - I think it’s pretty explanatory of why. When I wasn’t following Christ I had guy friends stay the night all the time. But I realized now that though things like traveling in from out of town sounds reasonable, I’m not comfortable with it. Although it’s a good chance that no one could ever catch feelings by simply spending the night, it’s still about my personal space and what I am comfortable with. I don’t have to bend that for convenience or familiarity, but will uphold it for integrity’s sake.
Be Straight Up and Down- This means there aren’t any grey areas to what we really are. I’ve had guy friends in the past that was “just a friend” one day, and had a pet name the next. I don’t need someone who can be whatever I want him to be, when I feel like it. It’s black or white, no hidden agendas. You’re either a friend or you’re not. Cut the games and define it.
No Late Night Phone Calls- I don’t mean emergencies, I mean casual conversations. Conversations that can clearly be had during the day, especially heart to hearts. If it’s late at night, I’m sure it can wait until the morning.
Purity in Conversation- as friends we can have the tendency to get comfortable in sharing things with one another. I try to watch what I say so there’s no awkward word image to it. For instance, when I’m talking to a female friend I can say things to them, that I can’t say to male friends like: “can I put you on hold really quick? I need to finish getting dressed”. See? Images galore.
“This ain’t no date”- I LOVE doing fun things with my friends. I’m always down for dinner, watching a game or going to a festival. However, if I notice we’re doing these things alone and consistently, then it’s time to call a 3rd party. Because this my friend, is not a date.
Yours may not look like mine, but I do encourage you to pray about it, set them in place, and pursue integral relationships at all cost. In the day that we live in, “situationships” and blurred lines are not only the norm, but embraced. Definition is necessary and boundaries are essential, so #getyousome!
Until Next Time,