To the girl who struggles with boyfriend boundaries,
Girl, I'm glad you're here reading this. Before we get to what I'd love to speak into your heart and situation, I'd love to share with you my story and how I got to where I am today.
“Boyfriend boundaries” basically means having good rules set in place so that the two of you aren’t in a situation where you could go too far sexually. And let me tell you right off the bat, that I wasn’t immune to this temptation.
I honestly thought I would be the perfect example for everyone. Me, the pastor’s kid and missionary kid who never had a boyfriend in high school OR even all through college. Then at the age of 27, I found myself in the worst position of all. I (finally) had a man in my life - one I desperately wanted to love me back.
In an effort to try and win his affection, I began to spend hours alone with him at his apartment. I started dressing differently, thinking that maybe if I wore the “perfect outfit”, he would love me. I waited longingly by the phone and anytime he texted me, I would cancel what I was doing and run to him. I would tell myself that he treated me right, and honestly, I almost believed it.
But the truth of the matter was, he did not treat me right. He didn’t love me. And in an effort to convince him to WANT to be my boyfriend, I made a mistake. It happened so fast and I barely even knew what was happening, but one night after we decided to “just be friends” I drove to his house at night and we went too far. I praise God that we didn’t go “all the way”, but what happened did NOT reflect who I am as a daughter of Christ.
To be honest, afterwards I thought to myself, “See? We are totally gonna end up together”. But a few days went by and he never called. Finally, I phoned him but had nothing changed. He still didn't love me. I tried to keep the phone call light and make him laugh, but when I hung up the phone, I had to face the fact . . . “He still doesn't want me.”
Lowest point of my life.
Girls, the movies make casual “hooking up” look cool and fun. But what I experienced was being all alone after that phone call and feeling SO unwanted it stung my eyes with tears.
Depressed yet? Don't be. What comes next is the best part. Now, first, I had to let some people into my journey and be honest about the mistake I made. I had to submit to some discipline. I had to reconnect with God. And I had to go through a time of waiting. But girls, Our Father has been so so good to me.
A year later, God sent me the most wonderful, romantic, strong, masculine, loving, Jesus-filled guy I could ever dream of. And just out of the blue, this guy romanced my socks off. He was honest with me, no games, no waiting around unsure of what I meant to him. We talked about our love for Jesus and it was natural and good. He even served at his church looking after the toddlers (awwwwwe).
After a month of dates, he asked me to be his girlfriend and only then did we have our first kiss. And right after that we talked about boundaries and how we are going to manage them. We found accountability partners and decided to read the Bible and pray together regularly. We let people into our relationship and decided to be transparent and honest.
And let me tell you - there is nothing better than that! We had so much fun and still have so much fun. We encourage each other in Christ, and when one of us takes a stand to do right, we support each other. Like if he says, “ok sweet heart, I think it's time for you to drive home now before it gets too late”, I LOVE HIM even more for being so strong. And vice versa - if he mentions he wants to come over after we have decided that he would not come over when I’m alone, and I say, “actually I think it would be best if we go out tonight” he supports me and leaves me at the end of the evening with a big smile. He never makes me feel bad for following our boundaries. He actually helps me keep them.
He proposed to me on my 30th birthday underneath the mistletoe on an outdoor ice rink especially prepared for us. I never thought I would meet such a man. I never thought a year earlier when I was bawling my eyes out in the car over someone else breaking my heart, that I would be romanced like this. I never thought honouring God in a relationship could be so much BETTER than pushing the rules. But His ways are higher than ours.
Girls, that's the kind of guy you want. When your relationship pushes you to become MORE like Jesus, it's not boring, doesn’t make you feel stressed or ashamed. It feels fresh and clean and . . . right.
So my friend, a few parting thoughts for you. Wherever you are in your relationship right NOW, or wherever you’ve been in the PAST, please hear these words today:
DON’T SETTLE. If you feel you need to compromise who you are to win a guy over, it will end in pain. You were made for SO much more, and you WILL find someone who truly brings out the best in you, who wants to protect your heart, and your purity.
KNOW YOU’RE WORTH IT. Wait for the man who loves Jesus more than a girlfriend, who puts God’s plans and desires ahead of his own and encourages you to do the same. Not just someone who goes to church or is okay that you do. But someone who talks about his faith and actually lives it out, too. You’re WORTH a guy like that. You really are.
GET SOME ACCOUNTABILITY. If you feel the need to hide what’s happening, that’s a bad sign. Instead, invite people IN to your dating relationship. People you can be honest with and who can encourage you. Let them help you pursue purity.
START FRESH AGAIN TODAY. Even if you have made mistakes, even if you have already gone "all the way", even if you've repented and then go right back to your mistakes . . . remember it is never too late to start fresh again today. We serve a God of new beginnings and second chances (or thousandth chances). Don’t believe the lie that because it’s already been done, that means that’s just who you are now. It’s completely not. You are forgiven and loved and covered in grace. It’s not too late to start BRAND NEW.
So, remember, you are worthy of being pursued, as Jesus pursues us daily. You are worthy of being romanced. You are worthy of real love.
You are loved.
Jillian is a key part of our GIRL365 team, and a youth ministry veteran. She's a girl with an kind and honest heart, and is passionate for Jesus, her first love. She's getting ready to tie the knot this summer, and we're super pumped for her! You can read more of her writing on prayer and purity over in our Devotionals HERE.
Follow her on Instagram @jillian_anonby