Lust and Boundaries

I got a phone call from a friend of mine today.  He won’t be named, but he asked me to write this blog afterward.

The call started out innocently enough; two friends catching up and talking about life and the things that have happened.  I haven’t seen him since I graduated college, so it’s been about four months, but he’s easily one of my best friends, and he’s one of the few people that is completely vulnerable with me, while asking for me to do the same.  We don’t judge each other, even though we both make dumb decisions from time to time.  So talking to him helps me balance my life sometimes, and I guess maybe it’s the same for him as well.

He recently started dating someone.  Her past in relationships is much more checkered than his is, and he said this could cause him to “stumble” as the Christians say, but it has also hurt her a lot.  He asked me if he could get a girl’s perspective on something.  He asked where two people in a relationship should draw the line, where their boundaries should be.  And that is a good question, isn’t it?  Growing up in the Church has allowed for a lot of influence on this topic.  Christians believe in boundaries.  Wait… I thought they believed in Jesus?  And I digress.
Boundaries are a good thing, a healthy thing, but do we put too much emphasis on them?  I’ve never actually sat down and talked with a potential partner about where our boundaries should be.  Holding hands?  Kissing?  Making out?  Oral sex?  Intercourse?  (I’m cringing as I type this.)  These are conversations I hate having.  But why?  Is it because I’m just easily made to feel uncomfortable?  Or is it something deeper than that?
I think those who grow up in the Church are a little bit afraid to breach the topic of sex.  And I know this has been addressed as of late.  But why are we so afraid?  Sex is shameful!  Isn’t it?  If you have sex before marriage, you are forever tainted.  Unless you reinstate your virginity.  Wait, you can do that?  Maybe… but I don’t think it should matter.  Because Christ died for us so that we could be forgiven, so we should be making such a big deal about someone’s mess ups in their sexlife!
But back to the topic of boundaries.  My friend asked me where they should be drawn.  And honestly, I think it’s up the the individuals involved.  If two people are going to have a physical relationship, and they’re worried about going “too far” (whatever that means), then they should talk about it.  Seriously people, just talk to each other!  I’m the worst person at it, and even I can recognize that it needs to happen.
So as for my friend and his girlfriend, he’s a virgin, and wants to stay that way till marriage.  He’s never done more than make out with a girl, and that’s perfectly okay.  But his girlfriend hasn’t saved herself.  So if he’s not comfortable doing anymore than making out, they should stop there.  And if she’s right for him, she’ll understand.  Is this tmi?

Now, on the topic of lust.  He asked me about this too.  Which I don’t know why anyone would consider me someone to go to on any of these topics, but here goes.
He asked me specifically about when Christ said that if a man even looks at a woman lustfully, than he has committed adultery in his mind.  And this statement has been analysed so much that some people believe it’s wrong to wear shorts or v-necks if you’re a woman, because you might cause a guy to sin.  But that’s not what I think Jesus meant.  I think He was talking about what would be the modern day cat-callers.  Those guys that see a girl purely for her body and what they could do to it.  They don’t see a human being, even if they think they do.  They don’t care that this girl might be funny, or might have a phd, or might have an almost unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs.
My friend that asked me this question, because when two people are dating, or if they have any relationship that is even close to dating, they’re probably going to have thoughts about a physical relationship.  Is that bad?  I don’t think so.  Not unless you’re dwelling on these thoughts, or worse, acting on these thoughts.  You can’t always control the thoughts you have, especially if you have any kind of desire for someone.  And desire isn’t bad.  It’s just too much desire, or wrongly placed desire, that can turn a situation sour.

So, I’m not really sure how to end this.  I’ll just leave it here.  And remember, I’m no dating expert, otherwise, I might go on more dates.

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