Part 2 of the "100 Women Who Waited" Recap includes lessons 2-4: Boundaries, Bonding, & Problem Solving - All are critical to healthy, Godly relationships.
Lesson 2: Set-up boundaries
Setting boundaries for yourself is key. Boundaries speak to a person’s own self-respect and self-love. One’s self-respect and self-love speaks to how one is capable of loving and respecting you. When we fail to develop healthy boundaries we open the door to entitlement and enablement. Entitlement creates a space for us to avoid our own faults, and avoid our rational sensibilities toward waiting. Enablement creates a space for us to own others’ faults, with the potential for ignoring, making excuses for red flags and putting ourselves in positions that we may not be able to crawl out of later. Waiting is about developing and learning your true self, and having boundaries means that I can hold onto my true self while remaining in relationship with others. Creating boundaries helps us to flee temptation and prevents us from going down a path that could lead to distractions. Certain distractions can lead to sex during a time when we are trying to bond with Christ, or trying to bond with our partner outside of sex. We need bonding for healthy boundaries and we need boundaries for healthy bonding.
Even Jesus has boundaries with us: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5. In this verse Jesus tells us his lane (to be the vine) and our lane (to be the branches). After setting up the boundary and clarifying the roles, he then tells us that staying in our lane allows for a bonding process to take place that will be fruitful. This is the ultimate bonding.
“We did not have sex before we were married. Why? Because it mattered to us. Not only did my husband respect my boundaries, but my husband had his own boundaries. We were equally yoked.” – Taren
3. Waiting Together is Bonding Together
Waiting allows you to fall in love with another person and who they are, in a way that once sex is added to the relationship it is the “cherry on top,” of the relationship bond you have already built. Waiting builds chemistry and connection in a way that is not driven by the physicality of each other.
Taren and Toogie teach us that the men they loved, respected, valued held them in such high regard, that they wanted nothing more than to wait with them. Their love pushed them to want to love Christ more, alongside them, rather than build a foundation on sex.
“We learned about each other’s passions and dreams. We hiked, fished, biked…we loved being in the company of the other. We both fell hard and fast, but instead of giving into the temptation that came with falling in love, we invested in our relationship in other ways.” – Ronica
“We prayed together more, we spent time in the word together, and we rediscovered who each other was.” - April
4. Waiting Teaches You to Solve Problems
Learning how to solve problems without sex is preparation for marriage, it teaches you to communicate and to be selfless, rather than being superficial and using sex as a solution, allowing the original problem to fester. Waiting builds foundation. When temptations or spiritual frustrations arise in life, the process of bonding with Christ teaches you to take your problems to him. In the same way, when in a relationship, bonding with your partner through waiting, and through seeking Christ, puts Christ at the center of your relationship and teaches you to go to him when problems in your relationship arise.
When two individuals go to Christ with relationship problems they find it will lead to one of two things: 1. God will change you. 2. God will change your partner. Putting Christ in his rightful place in a relationship at the beginning, prepares you for spiritual conflict resolution later.
“We didn’t take the time to really invest in us as a couple. We didn’t learn to commit to each other without the physical aspect being involved. And, as my husband was not a Christian, we did not allow God to be our center and rock.” – Tyane
“[When people suggested I should] ‘test drive’ it before I sign up for good…Sure that might seem like a logical precaution to take if you feel like a relationship is something you can do away with when things aren’t to your standard. But as a Christian I am told to be long-suffering, patient, and kind no matter what my circumstances are. This is always a requirement, not only when things are easy.” – Angela