Christian dating boundaries keep us from giving too much of ourselves away before we completely commit (marriage) to the other person.
Setting Christian dating boundaries can make the experience enjoyable and comfortable when done right and with the right person. We Christians know that limitations keep us from awakening love too early. They keep us level-headed and give us a chance to know the other person without emotions clouding our judgment.
So then, how are Christian dating boundaries set, and what should be included on the list? Learn more about Christian dating boundaries and what to include in your list here!
What do Christian Dating Boundaries Mean?
Christian dating boundaries are physical, emotional, and spiritual limitations set by both parties in a relationship. As Christians, we know that God intended sexual intimacy to be reserved for marriage. Setting these Christian dating boundaries helps us navigate a godly relationship and keep ourselves from temptation.
How do boundaries protect us?
First, let’s get one thing clear; boundaries are not a form of punishment. Boundaries redirect our focus and help us set our sights on God instead of our partner. Our emotions can fog our brains and hearts when we do not protect ourselves. The right person will understand why you’re setting boundaries, and they might even have boundaries themselves. If they think it is absurd, then maybe it isn’t worth the time to date them. The limitations we establish in the relationship keep us aware of potential red flags and protect us from being manipulated or controlled.
What are Healthy Boundaries in Christian Dating?
Signs of Healthy Boundaries in a Relationship
Signs of a relationship with healthy boundaries are that you’re both taking the time to get to know each other. You’re not in a rush to let them in your life because you’re not confusing infatuation and attraction with love.
You feel confident and emotionally independent, even in a relationship. Because you know your worth and that only God makes you content and complete. And it goes both ways because God is at the center of the relationship. You’re happy with or without the other person. You want their company but not to the extent that you’re constantly looking for it. Also, you and the other person feel good, happy, and secure in your own spaces because God is your happiness and peace.
You both admire each other; when you say “no,” they respect it and don’t push further. You both don’t tempt each other into crossing each other’s boundaries. Your relationship is free from manipulation and gas-lighting. When one of you is in the wrong, there is accountability, and you’re not afraid to apologize. When either of you expresses your feelings and concerns, there is no judgment, only support, and understanding.
Why is setting healthy boundaries in Christian dating important?
Setting healthy boundaries in a relationship is essential because it keeps our focus on God and our higher purpose. We are only human; we are easily swayed by intense emotions like love, joy, sadness, anger, etc. So try as we might, we are not always in control.
When we get too comfortable and lay our defenses low, others might take advantage of that. To prevent that, you must discuss your boundaries with the other person. Let each other know of your limitations towards emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy.
Setting boundaries aren’t there to punish either of you. It’s there to redirect you to become and stay dependent on God alone. Without setting limitations, it is easy to get lost in your emotions and associate temporary pleasure with love.
How to Set Christian Dating Boundaries?
Set emotional boundaries
As Christians, we must all remember Proverbs 4:23; above all else, guard your heart. Setting boundaries around your emotions is one way to do that. This is essential, especially when you’re dating. The more you’re committed to the relationship, the more you’re emotionally connected to the other person. So guard your heart against being swayed by emotions and keep the main thing, the main thing.
When God says to guard your heart, He doesn’t mean you cannot allow yourself to feel anything for the other person. You can develop feelings for them but not to the extent of becoming emotionally dependent on the other person. Don’t share everything yet when you’re still at the beginning phase of the relationship.
Emotional intimacy can quickly become unhealthy when we allow our emotions to control us. When something feels good, we tend to overindulge. Before we invest our time and emotions and commit to the other person, take the time to know each other first. There’s nothing wrong with taking things slow; all the good things in life take time. Remember, we all take our best foot forward when meeting someone new.
Set physical boundaries
God has been very clear about this; sexual intimacy is a gift of God for those who are married (1 Corinthians 7:1-2). You must limit physical intimacy because it is easy to mistake love for lust. Do not allow yourselves to be tempted into pushing the limits (Song of Songs 2:7). Keep you and your partner from getting into situations that will cause sexual tension.
Though we think our self-control is strong, emotion and pleasure will easily break that because we are only human beings. You and your partner should constantly place God at the center of your relationship besides setting physical boundaries. Pray that you may not tempt each other into crossing your limits and keep faithful to each other’s promises. Put God at the center of your relationship, and in everything you decide, seek His counsel before anything else.
Set spiritual boundaries
You and your partner must have a relationship with God. It’s good to pray and go to church together but remember, your spiritual journey is different from your partner’s. So there will be times when you have to pray, read, and worship alone.
Getting to know God is a personal journey; though others may offer support and insight, we must go at it on our own. And though it may seem helpful, having the other person with you constantly during your alone time with God may keep you from seeing His valid message for you. We never need a translator or a second opinion to understand God’s message for us, and our hearts know what He is trying to teach us.
Set boundaries on the words and promises you say
“I love you” is so easy to say when you feel good and feel an intense connection with the person you’re dating. However, when we do not guard our hearts, it is easy to mistake love for infatuation. Don’t get it wrong; we’re allowed to love and be loved. But we must remember that love is not just an emotion but also a commitment. Sometimes we forget the weight and the possible implications of saying these words.
There needs to be a balance between the words and promises we say and the level of commitment we intend to pursue. Do you know this person enough to commit to a serious relationship with them? Have you already prayed to God about this relationship and the future you wish to build within the relationship? We must understand that though saying “I love you” and promises for the future may seem romantic, it is unfair to express them when you do not intend to see it through to the end.
Why are Christian Dating Boundaries Important?
The boundaries remind you to take the relationship slowly and look at the bigger picture. The dating phase is exciting; however, it is only the beginning. There is no need to go all out for someone that you won’t end up marrying in the end. The limitations we establish during the dating phase ensure we do not invest too much of ourselves too early. Because if we do, it’s more heartbreaking every time you both break up than the last.
We don’t establish boundaries; it leads us to expect so much from the relationship. Life isn’t a fairytale where you meet the right person for you in a snap; it takes constant work, compromise, and understanding for both sides. So do not rush into it. Take your time to get to know each other; the good, the bad, and the ugly. It will all be worth it at the end of it all.
In a healthy relationship, there is respect and understanding. You both understand why there are boundaries and respect each other enough not to tempt the other into crossing them. That’s a sign of love, respect, and commitment. Not only that, but you are both obedient to God’s teachings about love and intimacy.
Setting boundaries protect us from investing too much of ourselves into someone who might not be the right person for us in the end. These limitations also help us focus on the main thing; taking our cross up daily and following Jesus. Remember Matthew 6:33, and everything will fall into place when we seek God first.
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