Dating Boundaries: Emotional

By Nikki Dabney

Here’s the interesting thing about godly dating: People did not date during biblical times, so the Bible does not talk about dating. So you may ask, how are we supposed to know what to do?? Well, the Bible does talk a lot about something else: marriage. Everything we do while dating should work to maintain the sanctity of the covenant of marriage.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23

This verse is key to creating godly emotional boundaries in your dating relationships. The beautiful verb here is guard – you actively protect how much love and affection you give and receive and how much of your heart you share.

One of the best ways to guard your heart is to protect your time.

  • Do you spend time together every weekend?
  • Do you text all throughout the day?
  • Do you text everyday?
  • When you hang out, is it usually just the two of you?

If you commit time to him daily, you have started “doing life” with him. And that’s something created for…(drumroll)…marriage! Your time with your boyfriend should be spent going on intentional dates.

A great question to ask yourself is if he has taken the roles of your closest sisters in Christ. He should not know the inner workings of your heart.

  • Is he your accountability partner?
  • Does he know your deepest thoughts?
  • Do you call him your best friend?
  • Are most of the pictures you post with him?

*It’s important to note that these questions are just to get your mind thinking. You have to search your heart and spend time in prayer to determine what your personal boundaries should be.

The excuse we tell ourselves is if we don’t spend a lot of alone time with him and we don’t know everything about him, we won’t know if we want to marry him. With this line of thinking, we are making marriage about us, when it’s really about God.

You should go on intentional dates with a man to determine if you enjoy spending time with him, have feelings for him (you know, the butterflies), and to see if he is a man pursuing his relationship with Jesus each day. The rest of his heart is meant to be explored in marriage.

This kind of intimate relationship is created for forever relationships – your sisters in Christ, your family, and your husband. So often we tell ourselves our relationship is godly as long as we’re both Christians and we don’t have sex, but we are completely married emotionally! We end up having a series of mini marriages and completely mocking God’s covenant. Whatever your past, however you’ve been dating, you can start fresh today and be a woman of God who protects God’s beautiful marriage covenant.

“The wise young woman who takes things slowly, carefully guarding her heart in premarital relationships, will walk down the aisle toward her groom carrying a treasure far greater than riches – a whole heart that is ready to bond with his for a lifetime” (Every Young Woman’s Battle).

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