The following is a guest post by Keagan of keagankcollective.com
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a “boyfriend.”
In kindergarten, I had those sweet, innocent little boyfriends that don’t actually mean anything. As I got older, I thought it made me cool to have a boyfriend, even though we couldn’t do anything other than eat lunch together.
As I got to high school, boyfriends began to give me a sort of validation and made me feel powerful and in control. This is where things began to get serious. We could go to the movies or Sonic or homecoming or each other’s houses.
Then, when I got to college, relationships changed drastically. We were on our own. We could hang out until all hours of the night, go to dinner, hangout with other friends, go to the movies, and all the things that life on your own allows.
Honestly, if I could take it all back, I wouldn’t have always had a boyfriend. But I did learn a lot, and here’s what you should you know.
Dating is not a game or a hobby and it’s dangerous to view it that way.
I have noticed in today’s world that many girls in relationships decide to go about them in one of two ways. They see relationships as inconsequential or that every boy they date is “the one.” Both of these are incredibly dangerous.
Admittedly, in high school, I was likely a girl that saw relationships as inconsequential.
I didn’t realize how easy it was to get sucked in to such danger. I was only concerned about having a boyfriend because I thought having a boyfriend gave me control. As long as the boy said he was a “Christian,” I thought it was a permissible relationship. Unfortunately, that was only an illusion, and I was easily manipulated because I wanted to keep the boyfriend.
Now, I look around and I see myself in several young ladies, but I also see the other side.
I see girls, even in college, who think that the boy they are dating now is “the one.” They get completely wrapped up in who their boyfriend is and what the future holds for them as a couple. They lose their identity in the boyfriend. They start playing like they are married, giving the boyfriend power that he shouldn’t have until they actually are. And danger lurks there, too.
See, boys make us have feelings. Sometimes those feelings seem to fill a space in us. This guy may make us feel pretty, loved, wanted, in control, righteous, perfect, or wanted. We thrive on that as women because our emotions think they are the boss. We begin to let the boy in, to trust him. He starts to gain influence over us, and that’s not always a good thing.
As the influence grows, we start to give away part of our hearts. We share our hearts and let him see who we really are. Our insecurities are exposed. We are vulnerable. Whether we are on the inconsequential side or the totally immersed side of the spectrum, the boy has power now.
We either enter into the relationship thinking that it’s a dead end but need to pass the time, or we fall fast. A space for danger is opened up because instead of being careful, we are being careless. The why not mind set has tainted our lives and made it easy to forget the consequences.
It’s been said that an idle mind is the devil’s playground, and I found that to be true as I was looking at relationships as inconsequential.
I was bored, so I wanted myself to be entertained with a relationship. Instead of turning to God and letting him meet those needs and entertaining myself with falling in love with his Word, I turned to the boy. And boundaries were pushed. He stole a piece of me. He ransacked my emotions, and told me that the boundaries could be crossed because it doesn’t talk about that in the Bible specifically. Even when I knew that wasn’t true, I wanted to keep what I thought was control, so I allowed the boundaries to move.
I lost myself for a while because of that boy.
And I started seeing that relationships did matter. They aren’t just a way to pass the time.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in a boy and lose your identity in him. You start giving him husband privileges and submitting to him as though you think you are following the Word. He seems to be meeting your emotional needs and filling that space that seems so empty.
But, girl, do not be deceived.
Your identity and submission should only be rooted in the King until he decides, if he decides, to allow someone to lead you closer to him.
You’ll be happy to know that I no longer see relationships as inconsequential, and I quickly learned that my identity isn’t rooted in my boyfriend. But it was only after deep suffering that I learned this.
Dating is not a game, and if it’s treated like one, it becomes very dangerous very quickly.
If we are women who desire to lives that honor Jesus, why don’t we let Him be the one to romance us? He is a safe place to lose our identity because we are hidden in Him anyway. He is a safe place to not consider consequences since the things that come from being idle with Him is knowing Him.
Don’t let dating seduce you into the danger zone. Instead, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).
Keagan grew up teaching and preaching at her Barbies and baby dolls. In college, she pursued a degree in Communication Studies. She met her precious husband Levi, and after graduating from college, they both taught high school. Keagan taught Speech & Debate for two years, and then the Lord began to call her away to become a Christian communicator and teacher of the Word to more than just Barbies and baby dolls.