Many people always ask me what are some boundaries they can set in their relationship. I don’t always post about it because I feel what works for some may not be needed for others. And little boundaries for you can lead to my downfall. However, I felt there are a few that should be universal! Let’s jump into 6 boundaries I believe we all can establish in our relationships!
1. Avoid being alone in compromising situations.
I believe this point had to be first for a couple of reasons: people often realize they’re about to make a decision they’ll regret when it’s too late, and people hate being told what to do. I just want you all to understand that I don’t have all of the answers. I can only speak from my experiences and things I have seen. If what I say doesn’t line up with scripture, feel free to disregard it.
I learned many years ago that we haven’t “missed the mark” when we commit an act, but we were off track leading up to the moment. We often repent for sins like fornication or adultery, but did we not see it heading there during the flirting, lustful pictures, etc.? Jesus said adultery happens in the heart the same way it happens in our body (Matthew 5:27-28). If you’re trying to maintain boundaries with them, please avoid being alone often! I’m not saying that every date must be a double date, but if you’re tempted to do things you’d be ashamed to know is public knowledge, then go out on double dates. I’m not saying you can’t stop by someone’s house without fornicating, but if you’re tempted to whenever you’re alone, don’t go to their home if you two will be alone. If you like going to the movie theaters, the choice is yours. But if you go there and you two always feel tempted to do things that lead to or are sin, stop going there. I know it’s hard to understand my tone by reading this instead of me saying it, but please understand I’m not yelling. I just want you to never let pride be your downfall. If you know it’s possible that a certain situation can cause you to fall, why go? Don’t set yourself up for sin or a disconnection with God just to be connected to them.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
2. Be careful with your physical contact.
I’ve heard people say they cuddle together and nothing happens. That doesn’t make it right or wise. They could’ve lied to me that nothing happened, but I am not the judge. The point is this: if it can cause you to want to sin or think inappropriate thoughts, it shouldn’t be done. I can guarantee that most couples who lie in bed together are not discussing Romans 8. Let’s just be honest.
I’ve had people ask me well how can I touch them without it becoming a sin? The honest answer is, I don’t know. Why? Because what I do to protect myself may not be what you need to do. There’s some people who can touch someone on the shoulder and mean nothing, but there are some that will touch you hoping for a reaction. Or maybe you’re a hugger and that’s just your thing. But what if you hug them and they get a little, “excited”? You can’t say, “wait I don’t want sex, I just like hugs” and you’re aware what it’s doing to them each time you’re hugging closely or too long. Every couple is different because there are no two people exactly the same. So I’m not going to say holding hands is a sin, but I will say please don’t hold hands if it sparks something in you that’ll cause lust.
If you have to ask yourself, “well where can I touch them or how often and it not be sin?”, you’re clearly looking for a physical relationship and probably should stay away. They are more than a body and if you’re worried about how much can I touch, you’re not going to help them in their walk with God and desire for purity.
“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7)
3. Have spiritual leaders that’ll help you.
I don’t know how many of you have a couple you can lean on for advice, guidance or prayer, but I believe we all should pray for some to be in our lives. Most of my mistakes in life have been due to a lack of accountability. When I have godly leaders surrounding me, I see that iron sharpens iron and I grow closer to who God is calling me to be. I believe the only thing stopping us from listening to others is pride. We have to learn to admit we aren’t perfect and can learn from others. My parents have been married for 30 years. I know they don’t have it all figured out and they’ve been married for quite some time. Most of the things I do to honor my wife is something I’ve learned from their examples. Most of the times I’ve heard I was wrong in what I’ve said or done was because they weren’t afraid to correct me in love.
While I am an advocate for spiritual leaders to have in close proximity, I am strongly against controlling or “toxic” leaders. Limit the amount of outside influences that give you two advice. The Bible makes it clear that a ton of advisors can lead to better decisions, but that’s when the leaders are pushing you into your calling. Not every “good friend” is a friend that is hearing from God. Not every person who tells you “do this” or “don’t do that” wishes the best for you. Some people simply like to control you or are too carnal to help you cultivate the type of relationship that you want to build.
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14)
4. Don’t rush to post them.
I’ve followed people on social media that have had 2 or 3 different “love of my life” in the span of a year or two. Did she expect to have her heartbroken? No. Did he believe they were a blessing from God? Yes. Learn to wait until you see this relationship going somewhere before you think social media needs to be aware. I wouldn’t make fun of these people because I know their intentions aren’t always wrong, but I have to admit it shows our lack of maturity. When we feel obligated to post them on social media, it shows that we are desperate for social media validation. I’m not sure why that pretty girl or handsome guy you just exchanged numbers with last week is already in your profile pic. Use discretion.
I know this will sound cliche, but learn to wait on the Lord. Don’t rush His timeline because you want to be like everyone else on social media. I know all of your friends are married and you’re single and hoping you’re next. Don’t allow your expectations to cause you to act out of character.
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalms 27:14)
5. Keep your issues off of social media.
I don’t think I can emphasize this one enough! No one on Facebook cares that he ate your last Chick-fil-A nugget. I’m sure there aren’t people on Instagram that like to see you post sad song lyrics for 3 days because you’re on a break and want everyone to know…. I mean, unless they’re childish and love drama. In today’s generation I believe we have become more connected to our phones which causes us to lack basic communication skills. We run to Twitter before we go to prayer. In order to have a godly relationship, you have to learn to keep God at the center and not social media.
When you slander and bash someone on social media, you make yourself look bad for treating them less than human and you cause some people to even resent them as well when God calls us to love and forgive. Imagine if the relationship doesn’t work out and no one will ever desire to be with you because they know you’re going to post “read receipts” and talk about their mother or something crazy? Learn to deal with conflict in person and in love.
“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9 ESV)
6. Make prayer, studying the word and fasting a habit.
I don’t recommend couples being alone in bedrooms or dark spaces talking about they’re “praying”. We all know that can possibly end up in laying hands, but not in Jesus name. Not even being funny, it is possible to have pure intentions and still fall into sin. I believe that the reason sin is so deceitful is because it can come from a root of innocence that simply wasn’t thought out. Eve didn’t plan to disobey God, but the devil made the fruit look desirable. We have to be careful that our good intentions of seeking God doesn’t end up in sin because we we wanted to seek God all alone in a bedroom. Like can we have a picnic and talk about God? Or read our bibles at a park? Or pray while walking to a museum? Why do we only want to seek God when we are alone in odd places?
That is not to say everyone has an issue with lust, but understand this:
Samson – the strongest man
Solomon – the wisest man
David – the man after the heart of God
They all fell into temptation with their lusts so it’s up to us to not become prideful. Seek God together, but remember to guard yourself from a situation you can be tempted in.
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
There are tons of boundaries one could set, but I do know that if the boundary isn’t biblical, I can never tell anyone it’s mandated to follow. Some things are simply personal convictions that we use to honor God. Maybe you have your own boundaries that I didn’t get to list. If you have any or heard of any, please list them below. I believe we can help another couple grow through our wisdom and our mistakes.
Grace and peace,