I read a book called, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” [IKDG] by Joshua Harris. One of the first things in this book is about going through life in a series of short-term relationships. There’s a girl who has a dream that all of her groom’s ex-girlfriends were lined up behind him on their wedding day. Think about having all of your past baggage and relationship mistakes with you at the altar. Imagine having all of your ex-boyfriends or girlfriends standing in a line next to you. Not only could that potentially be incredibly uncomfortable, but what would they have to say about you?
Would they mention all the promises you’d made to them about a future together? Would they stand there feeling betrayed and misled?
One of my guy friends thinks this idea is dumb. Ha! Isn’t it interesting how girls and guys view things? When I read this in IKDG, I thought, “Oh, man! That makes so much sense! How humiliating…oh wait…they’re not literally standing next to you…but still!”
One of my [unmentionables] collaborators says that she connects songs, restaurants, movies and places with past boyfriends. She assumes that it will be hard to create a life centered around joyful moments with her future husband when places they go to or things they do may bring up past hurts. She said her youth minster once told her that each thing you do with a boyfriend prior to your husband is one less thing you save for him. This is true not only with sexual boundaries but with other experiences as well.
Whether we want to admit it or not, each relationship, each kiss, each indulgence is like taking a piece of our heart and giving it to someone else. Then we stand there on our wedding day to give whatever is left to our future bride or groom. For some, there’s a lot to offer. For others, we have scraps of our hearts left to offer up. This can be caused by past relationships, physical abuse, emotional abuse, etc.
An [unmentionables] friend says, “My heart is full and I could right now, today get married to my boyfriend and he wouldn’t get some chipped-away-at heart. Sure, I’ve been hurt, I’ve had sex before, but thinking your heart is anything less than full and perfect because you have loved another is the work of the devil, who wants to make you feel worthless…God had forgiven me a long time ago. I just had to forgive myself. My heart has never been fuller.”
Later, we’ll talk about forgiveness and redemption – healing our hearts. We’ll talk about how Christ makes them whole again.
Another analogy that an [unmentionables] collaborator shared is that our hearts are like stickers. When we give our hearts to someone, it’s like taking that sticker and sticking it on them. When we want to take our sticker back, we have to peel it off and it leaves behind that sticky residue stuff – a piece of our heart. If we keep sticking and unsticking it on someone, it loses its stickiness. Dating before marriage does have its benefits in some situations; there are lessons to learn and relationships to build. However, not every relationship will have its benefits. Some can leave us bruised and broken. These relationships harden our hearts.
[next up: dating.]
Advice from an [unmentionables] friend:
Guard your heart. My friend mentions how men often give “love” to get sex and women tend to give sex because they want love. (This is something that is talked about a lot in Shannon Ethridge’s “Every Young Woman’s Battle.”) When a woman wants emotional support and attention, she tends to accept physical needs. As women, we have this intense desire to be loved. Sometimes that desire goes so far and is so intense that we’re willing to do just about anything to feel loved.