Why are boundaries necessary in Christian dating?
While the Bible doesn’t give us any clues on how we should date, Ephesians 5:3 does say that there be ‘not even a hint of sexual immorality among you’. If we’re thinking ‘how far can I go before crossing the line?’ then we’ve already gone too far. Sexual sin does not just exist within our bodies, but also in our minds. Scripture doesn’t just tell us not to ‘approach’ the line, but to turn and flee from it. We are all called to pursue holiness and purity in our personal lives – and so if ‘how far can I go?’ is a question you regularly ponder, I would challenge you to examine your motives.
After all, what is the purpose of dating and relationships? The Bible says that relationships can help us show the love of God to other people. 1 John 4:12 says ‘No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.’ Scripture also tells us that relationships exist to encourage and support each other in our walks with God. So if you’re just in a relationship to ‘get some’, then you’re contradicting what a relationship is about.
‘Purity’ sounds like an old-fashioned term, but if we believe in the gospel then we believe in purity. Through Jesus Christ dying on the cross for us, we have been forgiven of all of our past sins, even sexual sin. Through Jesus we are washed, sanctified and justified, becoming a new creation – a totally new person, free from everything we have done in the past! Romans 6:6 says ‘For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin’. Our old selves have died, so to continue to sin is actually to deny what Jesus did on the cross.
The purpose of this post is not to call you out or incriminate you, but to remind you that you are loved with an everlasting love by a God who is faithful to forgive everything. If you’ve overstepped the mark in your relationship, you’re not the only one. All have fallen short of the glory of God and ALL are justified freely by His grace (Romans 3:23-24). Take this as a challenge to strive for God’s plan for your relationship. The best example of a Godly relationship the Bible gives us is Christ’s relationship with the church: presenting each other as holy and blameless, sacrificial and wholly focused on glorifying God.
Boundaries are not about what you can’t do but about what they allow you to do – grow a deeper relationship with your partner. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 says ‘For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.’ Not only does God call you to live a holy life, but He calls your partner to live a holy life too. In choosing to pursue purity together and by encouraging each other to live a holy life, the spiritual aspect of your relationship will grow deeper which in turn will strengthen your emotional relationship.
For more advice on boundaries, read how to set up relationship boundaries whilst Christian dating.
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