Boundaries (Single & Following Jesus Part III) 

Image created with WordSwag. Used with permission. 

Today I wanted to talk about boundaries in dating and with the opposite gender. 

I read a quote that has followed me through life. It is as follows, “Build a fence around your heart, not a wall. So people can see it’s beauty, yet only invited guests are invited inside.” 

God expects us to guard our hearts. I have seen people blame God for a lack of protecting their own hearts. I used to become upset at the way people treated me, then I realized I set myself up to be treated poorly with a lack of steady boundaries. People treat us, for the most part, how we let them. 

Guard What Is Valuable: 

We are responsible for what we allow into our hearts and lives. 

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life,~ Proverbs 4:23. 

Look at the heart like it’s a priceless rare diamond. Look at your body like it’s even more valuable. Both were worth dying for, according to Jesus. Why offer them to just anyone? Not every person we encounter is worthy of our heart, deep inner world, nor our body. 

God says, “Reserve your body for holy, committed, loyal, invested, mutual love.” 

Our culture minimizes intimacy to one night stands, random hook ups, experimentations, chemistry that leads to immorality, or reducing humans to objects to be objectified for personal pleasure. It sets up instant intimate relationships. 

Prudence says, “Get to know this person’s character before opening up your heart and life to them.” 
Lots of drama, heartache, and pain can be avoided if we understand boundaries and we grow into intimacy. The level of intimacy should increase with the level of commitment and the character of the person needs evaluated. Why?Because the more of ourselves we give away, the more damage can be done to the heart, soul, spirit. 

We should be the most vulnerable with those committed to love us and steward our hearts well. The world says, “Be intimate with whoever you wish.” God gives us wisdom to be intimate with those who will steward our hearts well and are committed to love us. 

Note: Lust is cheap. Love is expensive and worth doing God’s way. 

Healthy Boundaries: 

1. Give people access based on the level of trust, committment, and assessment of their character. This means we do not invite strangers into our inner world or just hook up with anyone. We value ourselves. You do not just give rare, priceless diamonds away. We grow to know people before letting them into our inner world. 

2. We do not treat boyfriends or girlfriends like spouses. Spouses have privileges and rights that dating partners do not. Please do not give yourself away or build your life/excessive time around someone who is not your spouse. I am talking about enmeshment that does not lead to marriage. It leads to heartache. 

3. Understand interactions with the opposite sex can be tricky. I am including some of my boundaries, yet just as illustration. Each person sets their own boundaries. 

These are my current standards so I can not be accused of being inappropriate: 

I am a kind hearted person. My intentions are to love people, yet understand boundaries are necessary for opposite gender relating. 

  • I do not correspond with married men or encourage them without a witness. I realized though I am just trying to honor Hebrews 3:13 and John 13:34-35, some do not see it that way. If I can, I send things through their spouse or mainly deal with their wives.  
  • I do not minister to males by myself. The only exception is if I see someone begging for food and I can hand them materials outside the window (in public). 
  • I do not correspond with single men I do not know. I copy someone else. The exceptions are it is related to business, it’s necessary. Several of my mentors and coworkers are male. Our communication is brief and about work/business. 
  • I do not meet with married men without a witness. 
  • I do not listen to married men discuss their marriage or emotional/inner life. They need a male or therapist/counselor. I will take brief prayer requests, I do not set myself up to be their go to person to vent. 
  • I do not discuss my deep inner world with men. I have girlfriends for that and Jesus.

For dating, I do not invite men into my home alone for dates. We meet somewhere else. I am not stating we can not be alone, I am stating I do not invite men into my home for one on one alone evening dates. Why? My goal is not to give anyone the idea I am looking for something I am not. It’s not because I have a purity problem. It’s because I choose to set this boundary. I also do not devote my entire life to men expressing interest. I do not drop plans for them nor share my deepest thoughts immediately. I have physical boundaries as well. It is not because I am a prude. I honor my heart and body. It belongs to Jesus. Why give it away to just any man interested? 

4. Refuse to allow disrespect, dishonor, or abuse. The first time someone disrespects you in relationship, address it. Turning the other cheek is about refusing retaliation, not being a doormat. You are empowered to say to people, “You may not speak to me this way, treat me this way, touch me this way.” Allowing people to disrespect us is devaluing ourselves. 

5. Follow through on boundaries. If you tell someone what your boundaries are, do not back down. 

Boundaries express value. When we do not set boundaries, enforce boundaries, or adhere to boundaries we set ourselves up to be devalued or disrespected. Jesus had boundaries. We need healthy boundaries. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

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Purpose (Single & Following Jesus Series Part II)


Purpose: function, purpose, role, use (noun), what something or someone is created for. 

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone,~Ephesians 1:11-12. 

Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them,~Isaiah 43:7. 

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together,~Collossians 1: 15-17. 

The best selling book The Purpose Driven life has sold millions of copies. People are seeking a purpose, destiny, calling, and for their life to matter. 

We live in a world where purpose is tied to man given titles, status, marital status, parenting, occupation, ministry, and/or material things. People define themselves by who others say they are instead of who God says they are. 

God tells us our purpose plainly. We were created by Him to have relationship with Him and others. We were created to bring Him glory. We are His Ambasssadors of love on earth. We are to be imitators of Christ as dearly loved children (1 Cor 11:1). 

We were created by Love (God), to be loved, then to love (Matthew 22:37-39). 

  • Purpose 1: Relationship with God. 
  • Purpose 2: Agape love (be loved by God, love ourselves, love our neighbor as ourselves) 

God also tells followers of Jesus to go and make disciples. We are commissioned to share the Gospel; to share with others the good news of Jesus. It is for all followers of Jesus. 

  • Purpose 3: Do what we see Jesus doing; share the Gospel and make disciples. 

Instead of the focus being our dreams, our agenda, our wants, getting a date, finding a mate, having the American dream…what if the focus was receiving God’s love, seeking first His Kingdom, loving God and cultivating relationship with Him, sharing the Gospel, building His Kingdom on earth, feeding the hungry, loving the broken, and making disciples? We would change the world. 

…he told them, “Go into all the world and preach (tell, speak forth) the Good News to everyone,”~Jesus (Mark 16:15). 

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,~Matthew 28:19. 

It does not say, “Only pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, and apostles go and make disciples.” It is for every believer. It is something Jesus was quite passionate about; telling others about the love and truth of God. 

  • Purpose 4: Bring God glory! 

I have heard unmarried people and married people say that life and purpose begins at saying wedding vows to an earthly spouse. I strongly disagree. 

Life begins at Christ. Without Jesus, there is no eternal life in paradise. You can get into heaven without a spouse. You can not get intoheaven without Jesus. 

There is no marriage in heaven. Therefore heaven is about God. What a shame it would be to see God face to face and have Him ask, “What did you do with what I gave you (see the Parable of the Talents),” and the person replied, “Well, nothing. You never sent me a spouse. Or I made my spouse my god.” 

What a waste it would be to sit around waiting or complaining while people around us are dying and going to hell. People are starving for natural and spiritual food. May we care about what God cares about. God cares about the poor, widows, orphans. He cares about us and the whole world. 


The highest calling for every believer, married or unmarried is to have relationship with God and love others. Marriage to a human is just one expression of love on earth. It is not the only or most important. 

Let’s look at Matthew 25:31-46. 

The Sheep and the Goats

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

You notice Jesus does not talk about their possessions, titles, community influence, etc. He looked at the way they loved. 

You and I can wake up each day with purpose, “We were created by Love, to be loved, then to love.” 

Nothing God created is without a purpose. Purpose is rooted in Christ. 

So unmarried friends, let’s be about our heavenly Father’s business. Instead of sitting idle, waiting on the rapture or God to send a mate-be active in loving God, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sharing the Gospel, making disciples. There is so much in Christ, let’s make our lives count for Him. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb