"Someone who is trying to please God shouldn't be asking how close to the edge he or she can go before crossing." — Rebecca St. James
If you want to honor God in your relationship, you need something far more powerful than boundaries. The fact is, boundaries are like those pleasant exchanges you have when you run into someone you haven't seen in a while and say something like, We should get together sometime. You might like the idea, but you probably won't put much effort into making it happen.
Boundaries are merely good intentions that deceivingly promise success. Like dieting pills or get-rich-quick schemes. We set boundaries such as no kissing, no sex, or no physical contact whatsoever. But as we grow more comfortable and more attracted to one another, we push against the fences thinking we're okay so long as we don't cross.
Then we cross.
In a split second, the deceit of your heart renders your boundaries useless. In a split second, everything you've wanted to shelter is exposed. What's worse, you most likely won't react in horror. You'll instead think, Wow—never been beyond the fence before. That's just how we operate: wanting what is forbidden. Conviction doesn't hit first when boundaries are crossed. Euphoria does.
And that euphoria can lead to sexual sin—whether or not you actually have sex. We don't need boundaries. We need uncrossable moats.
Here are two examples of moats, and they're not fun.
- 1) We commit to always being in a place where others can see us.
- 2) We each ask a mentor to keep us true to number 1.
Moats are difficult, impractical, and get a lot of criticism—even from people who love you. Brittney and I had the moat of no driving in the same car together, and we hated it. But the truth is, it helped save us from ourselves.
If you have a no-alone policy, you won't get physical with each other. And if you have consistent talks with a mentor, you have to own up to whether or not you're staying true to your no-alone policy. These moats help you avoid becoming a sex statistic.
People will tell you that moats stunt growth in your relationship. And if you interpret not being alone together as never having a private conversation together, they have a point. So always remember this rule about moats: Only build a moat after you've discussed how to solve the potential problems that come with it.
By driving separate cars, the only dilemma Brittney and I faced was gas money. As inconvenient as this moat was, it didn't stunt our relationship.
If you make the choice to never be alone, you first need to work out how you'll be able to have private conversations and leisure time together. This may mean doing most of your dating at coffee shops, or parks, or some other public place.
I know this isn't a popular idea.
Seriously, who wants to take precaution against the possibility of failure when everything seems perfectly okay? We'd rather grit our teeth and muscle through the temptation. But the reality is that this kind of inconvenience makes flying relationships possible.
Moats are not fun. They're not natural. But taking what's not yours and disobeying God is much worse. The statistics are desperate. And desperate times call for drastic measures.
Moats are a drastic measure—but they're worth it. Have you considered what it might feel like to ask your future other ... How many girls have you touched? Or How many guys have you made out with? That's painful stuff. These are irreversible exchanges between two people—exchanges of a deep physical sacredness God intends us to protect until marriage.
One of the greatest benefits of moats is that, if the relationships doesn't work out, you and your other can end it in a way that, yes, still hurts, but saves a deep part of yourself that God designed for marriage.
"Sex is a means to celebrate commitment, and that's why it is so destructive outside of commitment. With each new partner comes a new bond that either follows you or desensitizes you." — Tyler McKenzie