How do you feel about dating like the son Josh in the huge Duggar family dated?
You know, the courtship and not kissing until AFTER the marriage vows are made at the altar?
Imagine dating a guy or girl and not getting more than a hug even up to a year after you first start dating!
I wonder if the way they approach dating has anything to do with their respect for boundaries for themselves and others.
Everyone who’s been reading my posts lately knows I’m on this “boundary” tip. Basically it’s about knowing where you and your responsibility ends and where another person and their responsibilty begins. For example, knowing that your mother is responsible for her own disappointment if you decide not to come home for Christmas. It’s knowing how to let your boss know that you will not work overtime or come in early if you don’t want to. It’s about letting your roommate know that you will not always clean up her mess in the dorm room. Well, when it comes to dating, I wonder if people who go about dating like the Duggar family know that they are abiding to the boundary concept to an extent. Think about it.
I like to visualize boundaries as each and every person in the world having their own home and the accompanying front yard, backyard, and driveway. We are responsible for whatever goes on in that house, in the front yard, in the backyard, and sometimes in the driveway. (The reason I say sometimes in the driveway is because we know that people sometimes use stranger’s driveways to turn around and go the other direction if they realize they are heading the wrong way.) But as far as the front yard, backyard, and home are concerned, no one can get on those portions of your property without your permission. If they do get on them without your permission, they will be trespassing. I don’t know if you are required to have a sign that reads “No Trespassing” in your yard in order for it to be official trespassing, but you get my point. If they are stepping on your property without your permission (especially if you have let them know not to get on your property), then they are trespassers.
Now imagine this scenario. Suppose you have a next-door neighbor who dumps a large garbage can full of trash onto your front yard EVERY DAY at 12 pm. He doesn’t care if you are asleep or awake, at home or away, watching them or unaware. Every day they dumped a bunch of trash in your yard at noon. Every day you tell them to stop it, but all they do is avoid all eye contact, ignore you, and keep dumping it. Wouldn’t that just suck? You would more than likely say that he is rude because he is disrespecting your property. He is crossing over your property’s boundary lines. They have no right to put any of that trash in your yard! Now if YOU wanted to put trash in your yard, you would be well within your right to do so. I’m sure your neighbors wouldn’t be happy because of the eyesore it would be, but they’d just have to get over it.
And if you had a roommate who paid half the mortgage and bills, she also could dump trash in the front yard. You have the right, and he or she would have the right too. But no one else!
It would even be rude to some people if your next-door neighbor mowed your lawn every two weeks. Suppose you liked mowing the grass because it makes you feel like a man for your wife and kids. But before you can get up in the morning, here comes Jim with his lawn mower cutting your grass! Your wife thinks the world of him, and Jim is taking all the attention and praise away from you. It’s a very nice gesture that many people would appreciate, but wouldn’t it be great if he at least asked first? After all, it’s not his property. For all he knows, you might thoroughly enjoy and look forward to sitting in your new lawnmower and riding around cutting perfect lines in the yard. When you ask Jim why he keeps doing that without your permission, suppose he just said, “Well, it needed to be done and someone had to do it. My wife and I thought it needed to be done, so I did it. I just hopped over the fence, opened the gate to get the lawnmower in, and cut the grass.”
Now which is of more value to you? Your front yard or your body?
Perhaps people like the Duggars realize that the only people who have a right to their bodies are the person living in the body, God, and the spouse they get married to AFTER they get married. No one other than those three beings have any true right to that “property”or body. So if you wouldn’t let a total stranger dump trash in your front yard, then why would you let a total stranger touch your body during a one-night stand?
I wonder how I will behave with my future boyfriend. I wonder if we will just have a hug and hold relationship. That’s certainly not how I used to do it, but it’s what I’m considering now.
Some of you know that I used to work with abused children and plan on working with them again soon. I was taught to teach them that their bodies were their own and that no one had the right to touch them inappropriately – meaning sexual or physical abuse. I’ve know cases where boundaries were totally and disgustingly crossed to the point that the children no longer had boundaries. They didn’t feel as if they owned their bodies. Anyone could touch them, and they no longer said no because they learned early on that their no’s didn’t mean much of anything to certain people. Rape/being prostituted and murder are the biggest trespasses on others “property” in my opinion. Kidnap and molestation are a close second in my opinion, and assault & battery and groping are on the list also of course. No one has the right to touch your body. Even if you’re walking around buck-naked, it gives no one the right to touch your body or to rape you. Just because your lawn doesn’t have a fence or gate around it, it still does not mean anyone can just have a picnic in it or let their three dogs defecate (doo-doo) in your yard. We had to teach the children the motto, “MY BODY, MY CHOICE” in case another person tried to hit or molest them. The only times someone should touch an adult without their permission is if the adult is about to hurt their own body or someone else’s property and body. Children of course need a lot of touch and affection, but only appropriately.
So when that fortunate young man meets me, will I let him trespass all over my property? I love hugging, cuddling, holding hands and such, so I’ll want plenty of that. But I want to be respected. I am a very respectable young lady. I deserve good things and respect. So what should I do if on the third date, my date wants to grope my body and do other things? (When I used to club, it was no uncommon thing for a man to grab all over your property as you walked past or danced with them. They thought that because you dressed provocatively meant you were giving them permission without so many words.) When I read Joshua Harris’ book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, I was SHOCKED to hear that couples waited until their wedding date to kiss! I thought it was pure insanity. This is before I was “really saved”. I thought, “Imagine not making out with your boyfriend and fiance even until the honeymoon?!” At that age, I thought boyfriend and girlfriend relationships were all about getting as close to sin as you could get without touching the F word (fornication). I thought it was okay to do everything as long as you did not do intercourse. But I realized that if I would stop what I was doing if Jesus walked into the room, then I probably shouldn’t be doing it. Of course, it would even be weird being intimate with your husband or wife if Jesus walked in the room, but at least it would be spiritually “legal” because your husband and wife have that right to your body.
I Corinthians 7:4 – The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.
Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Song of Solomon 4:12-16 -You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain….Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. (Could this mean that he appreciated the fact that she was abstinent until she met him and that he appreciates the fact that he’s the only guy who’s been allowed in her “front yard”?)
Song of Solomon 8:10 – I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment.
(Could this mean that she guarded her “property” until she met King Solomon, and because she guarded her body in such a way, she brought him contentment?)
Song of Solomon 8:4 (NLT – New Living Translation) – Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.
(Could this mean she is trying to warn us not to awaken the passionate, sexual aspect of love until after the wedding?)
If I remember correctly, this is how some other cultures do dating too in a sense. In some African cultures, the dad picks out the husband for the female, and they have no contact until the day of the wedding. And also in some Middle Eastern cultures (I believe), the women might not even see the man she’s going to spend the rest of her life with until they get married. I’M NOT SAYING I AGREE WITH THESE CUSTOMS, but I am mentioning them because they remind me of how the Duggar family does dating when it comes to bodily contact.
Only God knows if I’m going to kiss and cuddle with my future boyfriend/fiancee, but the heavy petting and sex will have to wait until the honeymoon. I’ve been down that road before, and it’s never ended well for either one of us. Maybe that’s why I’m single now…
This is not a post trying to make people be abstinent/celibate or stay virgins even though those are all great lifestyles until marriage. This post is just something to think about because I think it will help people to reevaluate their personal boundaries. For those of you who would confront the neighbor or file a civil suit against the neighbor for dumping trash in your yard, this should definitely be something you would think about.