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relationships part IV: grab some tea and date wisely

Alright, I know we have talked about relationships a lot recently, so I’m going to wrap up this week with some thoughts about dating wisely in general. These do not apply to just one certain age group, but to all girls and women as we seek God’s wisdom. I am really enjoying this time with you precious girls! I write this with girls and women in mind. I mean, I am surrounded by ladies at my own house, and my heart is for YOU, however, these thoughts do apply to men and to those of you who have boys at home. Have some iced tea, grab a comfy seat, and let’s enjoy our time!

Do not date the recently freed. Sounds silly maybe, but nobody wants to be the rebound girl or guy. Each time we date someone, we give a piece of ourselves away because our hearts and emotions are involved. Protect yourself and be careful about how long the person you become involved with has had ample time to recover from his past relationship.

Do not date right after breaking off a relationship. Let us be fair to our potential boyfriend. Like the opposite situation, even if we do not realize it, we could be jumping into another relationship too quickly without fully recovering from the last one. Let’s protect our heart and the heart of the person we are dating.

Know boundaries before beginning any relationship. Knowing where you will draw the line physically to protect your body and heart is essential to know BEFORE a situation arises. Most likely if you wait until you have to make a decision, it will not be a wise one! Talk with parents, Sunday School leaders, and Christian friends to know exactly how you can stay pure in every way! Yes, physical purity is important, and there is even more to it than that! How can you stay pure by protecting your mind and speech?

Stay above reproach. Watch where and when and with whom you allow yourself to be. It’s easier when you have parents who set boundaries for you (even if you disagree with them) but some of you may have to set them yourselves. In my personal experience and now counseling experience, I have a few ideas on where to begin. Nothing good happens after midnight. It’s true. Not just because you are unsafe, but because others are unsafe too! Watch the time and practice responsibility. It’s probably best to never be alone in an empty house. Let’s be honest, it’s just not a good idea. Maybe your idea of fun is not your mom sitting on the couch across from you and your boyfriend watching each move you make, but it does keep you safe!

Date someone you care about. In other words, don’t date just to date. It involves your emotions and the emotions of someone else’s son! It’s just not worth it. Having someone may feel great for a time, but in the end, it does not create contentment. Contentment is Jesus’s job in us. He is the only source of LIFE and HOPE and JOY! Let that guy

Modest is hottest. I know this phrase is funny. My sisters and I laugh too, but it is definitely true. Let’s guard our brothers in Christ from sin by acting and dressing in modesty. Yes, my sissies and I own two-piece bathing suits. We also say bikins are “for your husband and backyard!” I am not here to give you an opinionated rule. I want to challenge my sisters in Christ to evaluate their heart motivation and talk with God! When we think modesty, we often think of one piece bathing suits and thinking legalistically about measurements of shorts and shirts. Makes summer time a challenge! In the end, you are accountable to God for what you wear. Most importantly, your heart motivation about WHY you wear what you wear matters. Let’s start there. God knows your heart (Psalm 44:21). When making decisions, ask Him about it and let Him work in your heart. A side note here is, if in doubt, don’t do it! Modesty is also about behavior. We can watch how we act and most importantly WHY we act the way we do. Is it to show others Jesus or to grab attention for ourselves because that is makes us feel important. Hmmmmm…It feels so good to be included and there is nothing wrong with it. I hope you do have a place you feel you belong. Let’s just make sure that it doesn’t become about YOU all the time.

Guard your spiritual life. Many of you may totally disagree, and that’s okay. It’s something to process. We guard our physical bodies and our emotional life, but what about our spiritual life? This is a new concept to me, but it makes total sense. We often think that praying or doing a private Bible study together would be a great idea, right? Sounds good, I know! However, when we include another person into the most special relationship we have, which is with our God, we can put ourselves at risk for connecting too closely with a guy too quickly. My younger sisters, who are not yet married, have had this conversation recently. In their 20s, after processing this thought, we agree it makes sense to be cautious about opening up spiritually to another individual. My husband and I prayed together as we were separated for 10 weeks during the summer. Now, we both agree we would not have done that, but instead, saved that special time for being married, or at least engaged.

When we date, it helps to remember that the guy we go out with is someone else’s son, brother, grandson…They are FIRST our brothers in Christ and we are to love them and treat them with respect. They are children of God, too. When we think of them in this way, it changes the mindset of how we view them as boyfriends and husbands. They are precious to God. They have feelings too. I hope this helps you as you date, or as you guide a sweet daughter or sister in life. May you guard your heart, as everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).

Have a wonderful week. Next week, we will move on to something new. Relationships are part of everyone’s lives, so I thought it is important to chat about them with y’all recently as we experience new school year and new beginnings. Praying for you to make wise decisions and enjoy your relationships!

Talk to you soon!



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