“For freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). A relationship patience and self-control, but they don’t quench love.They nourish and strengthen the kind of love we’re really longing for.The boundaries — these spiritual acts of war — are not stealing anything from us.They’re the tracks on which we run the fastest and freest with Jesus (and each other).“He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden”? Do you hear the manipulation and deception — making freedom look like slavery?
We can put up all the fences we want, but the brokenness hides inside of us (and all our fences), and it waits to strike when we’re at our weakest and most vulnerable.As we walk up to the edge of marriage, we draw close to something so much bigger than ourselves. It’s a vibrant picture of the love God has shown us in sending his Son for us, a love wider and deeper than the Pacific Ocean.God designed love in marriage, like gallons and gallons of ocean, to show us how unsearchable love is for us. And because love within a covenant is so large, so intense, so captivating, he established a boundary, a shoreline.They’re the battles we win together against all of Satan’s worst attacks.We get so defensive about dating — always on guard something?It’s estimated that the Pacific Ocean holds 187 deep. The Lord says to Job, “Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’? And then he drew a line in the sand and told the waves they could go no farther. To show us that the waves are his, to tell us that he is sovereign, creative, and wise — and that he can be trusted.And we can safely play there in its wake at Newport Beach, wading carelessly into seemingly infinite power and mystery. “He established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth” (Proverbs –29). God does the same kind of work in marriage and dating.What are we really after in dating (or in all of life)?What are we trying to secure or enjoy in this relationship?What if, instead of fence-building, they were acts of war in love?Boundaries are hard to keep, at least in part, because Satan convinces us we’re only sacrificing and never gaining, that we’re holed up in this dark, cold, damp cave called Christian dating. Christ came to us not to enslave us, though, but to liberate us.