God has a plan for relationships. From the very first relationship between Adam and God to the relationships we enjoy today, God’s intentions remain the same. God desires Christian relationships to be characterized by holiness: the pure attitudes of love, joy and peace.
But none of us are perfect, which means our relationships are prone to the effects of sin. In order to maintain purity of heart and action, we need to set boundaries—especially in relationships with the opposite sex. By setting physical standards in dating, we show respect for God’s holiness and His desire to protect true love and sexuality.
But what happens when your boyfriend doesn’t agree with the standards you set? How do you answer the questions of someone you care about? Today I’m sharing three things to do when your boyfriend doesn’t “get” your boundaries.
1. Be sure you know why your boundaries exist.
Many young women commit to purity without first examining their hearts. In times of testing, these same girls can’t remember why they chose purity in the first place. From this point, all it takes is a persuasive boyfriend to get them to give up on purity completely.
We should never pursue purity “just because,” whether it’s for our parents, for church or for an image we’re trying to uphold. The motive to remain pure should be a desire to live a holy life because of what God has done for us through Jesus. In Christ, all of us are made completely pure—regardless of what we’ve done in the past. This is an amazing gift! Recognizing God’s gift of grace cultivates a grateful heart that will choose holiness at every opportunity.
Always be completely aware of the “why” behind your boundaries before entering a relationship. Be ready to stand on what you believe. Most of all, remember that the question to ask is not “How far is too far?” but “How holy can I be?”
2. Discuss the point of disagreement.
Perhaps you’ve explained your boundaries and your boyfriend still doesn’t agree. Now is the time to have an honest discussion, asking him some very transparent questions:
- Why don’t you agree with my standards?
- Do you have a biblical reason to disagree?
- If I choose your way, how will it strengthen our relationship?
- How do your standards draw us closer to God?
Go to a public place to have this discussion, someplace where you can’t be as influenced by emotion and environment. Don’t be afraid to be honest with him, and ask him to be honest with you. Good relationships are built on complete trust and transparency—even when the conversation is difficult.
3. Be prepared to put purity first.
Here is the difficult truth: If a guy doesn’t see physical boundaries as necessary, he doesn’t see you as valuable enough to honor with love, time and patience. Guys who don’t appreciate God’s standards for sexuality won’t appreciate you for the woman God made you to be.
Even more concerning, if a guy can’t respect boundaries before marriage, he won’t know how to respect them in marriage. God protects sex within the marriage bond to safeguard its incredible value. People who don’t value sex before marriage are not likely to value it after marriage. Guys who don’t think boundaries are necessary reveal a dangerous disregard for holiness. Be careful to whom you tie your heart.
This means you must be prepared to put your purity before your relationship. This might mean breaking up with a guy who doesn’t respect you or your standards. I had to do this very thing. While incredibly difficult, it was the choice that led me into purity—and it was worth it.
God’s boundaries are meant to protect us from the pain of being too vulnerable too soon. He honors and blesses those who follow His plan, though His plan requires patience and self-control. Remember your value. Remember that God wants to see you honored and treasured by someone who appreciates your commitment to Him. And always put purity first.