How to set boundaries whilst Christian dating

So you’ve just met someone new, you get along great and you’re enjoying the rush of affection that comes with the honeymoon period. Well, now is the perfect time to lay down some ground rules. You may be thinking, ‘Hang on, I’ve just found someone I really click with, and you’re telling me to put on the brakes?!’ Not exactly – we’re not saying that you should go and put in place a ‘NO TOUCHING: EVER’ rule, but it is important to remember the ways in which we can honour God in the way we do relationships – and in turn, honour ourselves and our partner.

I’m about to get rather personal, so please be prepared for teenage angst and cringe-worthy stories about awkward fumbling in dark corners (you have been warned).

I met my husband Tim when I was 16 at a friend’s fancy dress party. I was dressed as Audrey Hepburn and he was dressed as the Energizer bunny (when I say dressed, I mean he had two batteries taped to his back). He tried to hold my hand that night, I got freaked out because no one had ever made a move on me before and then we went our separate ways.

While the Bible does not clearly outline the ‘thou shalt/shall nots’ of dating (dating isn’t even a concept in the Bible), from what I’ve seen, typical Christian dating begins with sly glances at each other during worship, a lot of prayer and deep consideration. This is often followed by a few casual dates before the eventual mutual decision that yes, this person loves Jesus, I could see myself with them long-term and we’re going to make things more serious. Well, Tim and I were not typical. After the hand-holding incident we were friends for a few years before sharing a few lust-driven kisses followed by one long, awkward summer during which we were NOT dating but would use every moment alone to… well, you get the idea.

So when we eventually decided to make things officially official, we basically just continued along as we’d been doing before but with a little bit more of an emotional commitment and the change of our relationship statuses on Facebook. Inevitably, this did not go so well. We eventually realised that our lack of physical boundaries were preventing us from connecting on a deeper emotional and spiritual level. While we weren’t having sex (or were even remotely close to that point), the guilt we felt from what we were doing prevented us from taking the time to talk to each other and actually discover who the other person was.

So, we decided to have ‘the chat’ and boundaries were drawn. We made the decision to focus on continually talking to one another and develop a level of intimacy that way, rather than spending our time being physically close when we were actually together. Our relationship became a long-distance one, which certainly helped with the maintaining of physical boundaries on a practical level. Many hours were spent on Facetime discussing everything from faith to football and we developed a relationship that was deeper and more intimate than one fostered by kisses and cuddles alone.

Discover why setting boundaries is important or how following Christian principles can help whilst dating.

More Precious is a blog that includes contributions from girls all over the world, sharing stories of their journeys of faith and their walk with God. Their vision is to encourage girls from a young age to be strong and distinctive in their Christian faith throughout their most formative years. They want to build up girls to place God at the heart of their decision-making and entrust Him with their fears and insecurities, their hopes and dreams. Find out more about on MorePrecious