Maintaining guard rails when it comes to letting people in





Relationships



The bible speaks repeatedly on the importance of guarding your heart. Learn the early signs and practical tactics to avoid being too vulnerable too soon.





Dating with wisdom means we understand the importance of emotional and spiritual boundaries by learning not to go too deep or be too vulnerable, too fast. God’s word tells us to guard our hearts because, when it comes down to it, everything valuable is worth protecting.


Might you be acting too loose with your heart? Taken from thoughtcatalogue.com, below are just 10 of the signs that might indicate a propensity to do so:

  1. You fall for every guy or girl that shows you the slightest bit of attention
  2. You’re constantly apologizing
  3. You get attached easily. After one long conversation or prolonged eye contact with someone, you start thinking about your future with them.
  4. You don’t like to let anyone in your life leave. Even if they treat you like trash, you still see the good in them and try to keep them around for as long as possible.
  5. You freak out if your texts aren’t returned.
  6. You can’t enjoy a movie if you think the person sitting next to you is bored. You’re more worried about whether they’re having fun than if you are.
  7. You’ve gotten your heart broken hundreds of times — mostly by men or women you’ve never even dated. When you crush on someone, you crush hard, even if you barely know the person.
  8. You get offended when a dog or a cat won’t let you pet them.
  9. You deal in extremes. You think that people either love you or they hate you. There’s never a grey area.
  10. You’ll have imaginary hypothetical arguments with your significant other that will make you doubt the entire relationship.

If you think this might be describing you or someone you know, the key is to recognize and take intentional baby steps towards reducing any of those given areas. Love takes time, and love requires the other person to have to earn your trust and your heart.


On physical intimacy, we are reminded all over scripture of the value of a physical relationships within the context of a committed marriage and the risks of intimacy outside of marriage (Hebrews 13:4, Song of Solomon 8:4). Responsible dating means making sure to honor and respect this portion of our future marriage by setting physical limits and boundaries when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex. This could be something as simple as making sure to always meet in public places (i.e. avoiding the "Netflix and chill" proposition from the get-go) or creating time bounded dates (schedule a call with a friend at 9:00 pm to make sure date does not last longer than dinner). One might even take it further and suggest only day time meetings. And of course, be conscientious of the clothing you select.


One thing to note when it comes to expressing physical interest, is you can still express interest and physical touch without the understanding of it leading beyond touch. A flirtatious stroke on his arm or warming of her back is a clear way to communicate "HEY! I LIKE YOU" without having to take things to that next level so early on


With all this it is important to realize that this person is either A. a child of God and/or B. potentially someone else's eventual husband/wife, so treat them with respect.


For a broader discussion on preventing the flirtation with disaster and maintaining a Christ centric-walk with God, check out Andy Stanley's series called Guardrails as found here.