By: Laura Noelle
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” – Isaiah 43:1
It doesn’t really matter.
These four words have sabotaged the best of us when attraction for a guy captures our hearts.
Growing up, I was committed to purity, attended Silver Ring Thing, wore a purity ring and signed commitment cards. I was familiar with courtship and decided I wanted my first kiss to be on my wedding day.
Easy to keep when there aren’t any prospects around you! I never thought sexuality would be an issue for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Once in a serious relationship with my first real boyfriend, my convictions starting wavering. I craved connection and physical touch, and his touch sent shivers up my spine.
Before I knew it, I was giving up more than I had ever wanted to. Time and time again, I whispered these words to myself: It doesn’t really matter anymore—I’ll probably end up marrying him anyway.
But there’s a problem with that self-talk: it’s not really the point. Whether we end up marrying the guy we mess up with or not, we’ve still compromised our purity: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
It’s all too easy to mess up with a boyfriend. Hormones and emotions can be an overwhelming combination, no matter how old you are.
No one ever told me how addicting being close to my boyfriend would be, or the shame and deep pain I would feel every day as a result of compromising my beliefs. Or how empty and alone I would feel every time he said goodbye and left my side.
Retrospect made me aware of how much my relationship with God was wavering during those times.
I didn’t want to think about what He thought of my decisions. I didn’t want to face the fact that He was saddened by how I chose to view and use my body, which is His temple. Every time I chose my boyfriend’s arms over God’s, the lines blurred a little more and the chasm widened.
Establishing clear boundaries gives us a clear outline of how we can respect God and our boyfriends before marriage.
Being physical is tempting, but it’s also a compromise because you are playing with the body and soul of someone who doesn’t belong to you yet.
Spend some time in prayer, asking God to give you guidelines for thoughts and behaviors regarding boys and relationships, even if you don’t have a boyfriend yet.
When you do have a boyfriend, be sure to tell him up front what your beliefs are. If you don’t want to kiss, explain to him that you care more about growing a friendship with him than being physical too soon.
Redeeming the Broken
If you have messed up with your current boyfriend or past guys, know that you aren’t alone. And while God isn’t glorified by our mistakes, He is always willing to forgive and restore our hearts.
If mistakes are in your past, you may want to spend time in prayer and counseling to work out any lingering issues, especially if you have experienced abuse or shame.
Being able to forgive yourself and those that have hurt you is key to having future healthy relationships and having people help us to this path can be helpful!
If you are currently struggling with your boyfriend, take heart. God still forgives you. No, He does not condone a lifestyle of sin, but He does offer grace and mercy to seeking souls.
First, take extra time to pray, read Scripture and truly seek out what God wants to speak to you.
Second, know that trying to fight physical temptation on your own with your boyfriend will likely be disappointing and unsuccessful.
Seeking guidance and counseling from parents, youth leaders, teachers, pastors or therapists will provide not only support, but also encouragement and much needed accountability for you both.
Through my experiences, I discovered that God’s love is unfathomably deep, and His grace and mercy are beyond my understanding. Nothing I do can change that, but my choices do have a direct impact on the blessing He puts on my life.
As we learn to hold out for God’s best, we find that He wants to protect our hearts, but we have to make decisions that align with His design.
Q4U: Have you gone farther with a guy than you meant to? What safeguards are you putting in place to prevent that from happening again?
More About Laura
Laura Noelle is the author of Broken Silence, a young adult novel about the impacts of a painful past on relationships and life. She is currently a seminary student specializing in youth ministry, and co-owns AngelInk Illuminations, an organization dedicated to spreading written and spoken words of hope and healing to hurting hearts.