I posted a video a while back that touched on the idea that Christian men cannot have girlfriends. If you have not seen this video, watch it here.
Interestingly, the video brought up issues, concerns and different perspectives that I had not really thought of (Thank you). There were also some genuine questions regarding the world of relationships especially from a Christian viewpoint. I am going to try to answer those questions as best as I can, but bear in mind that this topic is very broad and cannot be tackled in one post.  Nonetheless, here we go…

Question 1: What is a girlfriend or boyfriend?

A friend brought to my attention that most people do not have exclusive reasoning meaning that, for the mere fact that the definition presents the option of a sexual relationship, the action is automatically expected. So, to use the actual word girlfriend or boyfriend creates the natural assumption that two people are engaged in sexual activity. To most people, girlfriend/boyfriend = sex; because of this reasoning, a few thought my video was promoting pre marital sex. It Wasn’t.

The most obvious solution to this dilemma will be to not label your relationship with the girlfriend/boyfriend title but to give it something seemingly significant like “betrothed” or my personal favorite, “a friend who is a girl/boy” because that will curtail the unnecessary judgment of having sex out of wedlock.

Here’s why I think that does not solve the issue: The label does not justify the action or lack of action rather. If a man or woman is determined to have sex, he or she will do so irrespective of whether (s) he is in a relationship or not, so title or no title does not prevent sexual immorality. What prevents sexual immorality is conviction – godly conviction.

We are so caught up in policing people in relationships and branding people who have labeled themselves to be in a relationship with the opposite sex as “loose” that we are missing the point. The point is Holiness. The point is Righteousness.
Train up a child in the way that He should go and when he grows, He will never depart from it. If we are taught to understand the need for celibacy, the need to wait till marriage, there should be no fear in whether we have relationships or not.
When the glory of God that is associated with your virginity becomes a personal conviction, no man or woman can ever take that away from you. But if you are a virgin because of fear, the minute you get to college and realize there is nothing to be afraid of, that thing is getting lost! Going Bye Bye.

It is not fear that keeps us, but the fear of the Lord.

A boyfriend or girlfriend is not a cultural trend but a term used to define an exclusive relationship entered in at the right time that “should” lead to marriage.  Because of our hyper sexualized society, most people sleep around when in relationships, but as Christians we should define what that term means to us based on God’s word and then affect culture with our beliefs.

Question 2: When is a good age to have a Girlfriend or Boyfriend?

This question should really be “what is my purpose for having a boyfriend/girlfriend?” Some people meet at 18, get married at 19 and live a beautifully, purposeful married life for 70 years. Others meet at 18, have babies at 19, break up at 22, meet other people at 23, repeat the same cycle and before they are finally married, they would have had 3 children with 3 different men. I am not judging anyone’s story or process because God specializes in weaving unconventional stories into beautiful ones, but the reality is that most people will love a simple, uncomplicated story.  Nobody opts to choose the hard route to their destination.

So what is your purpose for wanting to have a relationship? Are you in a relationship because everyone else is? Are you in a relationship because you heard from God? Even if you did hear from God, who is bearing witness to that?  What are your parents saying? Are you just in your feels? Is the man or woman just FINE? What is your purpose? Where is it going?

As Christians, our relationships are to be in line with God’s purpose and to fulfill an ultimate plan that God has. The thing about purpose is that when it finds you, there is no stopping it. You will know purpose has arrived!

So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him. 20He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him. (1 Kings 19:19-21)

When purpose found Elisha, he was working the field. I won’t even go too much into the fact that He Was WORKING but I’m sure y’all got it. It is believed that the 12 oxen mentioned in the text signify the wealth of Elisha’s family. It is only purpose that will cause someone to leave the wealth and comfort of his home to follow and minister to a prophet. (For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one). Some people come your way to align you with purpose, others come to fulfill purpose and some come to complete it. So with relationships, you have to really open your eyes and ears out to see where purpose is being fulfilled – don’t waste precious time on purposeless relationships.

For full disclosure, I was in relationships before marriage, not counting the situationship that I talked about here. The first relationship was really to satisfy my bad boy cravings. (Don’t judge me :P) I don’t know about you but I feel like every girl goes through this phase where there’s some kind of hidden pleasure from knowing that the good Lord brought a bad boy your way and you changed him. HA! (Which, by the way is a lie!- Only God can change people so don’t give yourself the added headache.)

This boy was “the cool kid from the U.S” and I was the church daughter of pastors which evidently made for the most disastrous recipe. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of meetings I had with teachers who wanted to rescue me from the hands of this cool kid from the U.S but I was so sure, so sure we were destined for marriage because I had daydreamed about it, DUH.

See, the certainty that comes from understanding purpose and the certainty from emotions are 2 different things. I can honestly sit here and tell you that I do not know what the point of that relationship was. No point.
Truth is, at a certain age or time in our lives, we may not even know what our individual purpose is. There is no way that you can magnetically attract someone in line with your purpose if you don’t even know what to look out for, which becomes the danger of premature  relationships.(premature in purpose)

Am I fulfilling purpose or am I fulfilling desire?

I came off the teenage bus not too long ago, so I am not going to pretend that I do not know what it’s like because I do. It’s sometimes hard to listen to parents because some parents aren’t very honest about their past and sometimes sound a bit too hypocritical. Thankfully, my mom was really easy to talk to about boys and my relationships so a part of me always felt like I will be betraying her trust if I went too far with my relationships.

Parents cannot be everywhere at all times but as children of God, we have to remember where the glory goes to. We have to try and be cautious of how our actions represent the kingdom. Ultimately, that’s what it is all about.

With love,
Ruth xx