Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Vulnerability is the Safest Place

Guard your heart. This command comes from Proverbs 4:23 and it seems to be the golden rule in Christian dating. Christians like to think that if we withhold getting emotionally attached and spiritually intimate with someone of the opposite sex we will somehow save ourselves from the heartbreak of a failed romance and have more of ourselves to give to a future spouse.

But in protecting ourselves from the dangers of dating are we sabotaging the whole relationship process?

When you date someone the goal is to get to know them. And you don’t just want to know their favorite color and their hometown-- you want to know everything. You want intimacy and understanding. But Christians tend to set emotional boundaries on these things.

 (And outside of marriage there will always be a gap between emotional and physical intimacy. The intimacy I refer to in this post is emotional. Boundaries concerning physical intimacy are a different matter which I talk about in my post on purity.)

Don’t share parts of your life story that are too personal.  Don’t spend too much time alone. Don’t do bible studies together. We make all these boundaries for ourselves to postpone emotional intimacy until engagement or marriage when we can be sure this person can be trusted. But if we are not careful these boundaries for our hearts may become walls which will stifle all chances of authentic trust and vulnerability.

Perhaps there is a better way?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Broken Expectations and Fulfilled Promises

I love when things go as planned. But in life perfect moments are rare and, even more than that, they are fleeting. One second I am blissfully living out all my hopes and dreams, the next I am in a flurry trying to recover the broken pieces of my shattered expectations.

If there is anything I have learned this year, it is that expectations are not reliable objects of my faith.

It is almost impossible to live life without any expectations. Instead of looking back at the hardship and failures of our pasts, we look to a future that is untouched by our dirty fingers of fallenness and brimming with our perfect expectations. Expectations are our companions on this earth as we look to the forward in hope of something better.

But if we look only to our own plans and expectations, our pride will blind us as reality catches up to us. In the end we will end up jaded, resentful, and lost. It is not the forward direction of our looking that is mistaken, but the object of our gaze.