Imagine that you’re standing on a cliff, far from the boundary with water far below the edge. Now go to the very edge at whatever pace you’d like to. Are you there? Look down, what is the water like? Is it gentle and calm, like a lake at dusk on a clear day… Or is it choppy, rough, and strong like a lake on a windy night? Be super creative as you picture your cliff, how you approach the edge to gain a view of what’s beneath you, and how you see the water… use YOUR imagination. Okay, now please keep that picture in your mind’s eye as I attempt to accurately convey what I’ve been thinking on this evening.
We all know about falling ♥ in love ♥ right? Well I did that once, or so I thought… but really I fell in lust. While I was with this guy, we “knew that we had fallen in love! And it was the most exciting and beautiful thing ever.” Well there are a lot of layers as to why I knew this to be true, but I’ll just share what the actual truth was: though we called it love, really this guy and I were making very inappropriate choices for our hearts, souls, minds and bodies. Mmmk, so the gist is that the way we “fell in love” was pretty standard, flirty eye contact, inside jokes, compliments, liking similar foods… all the stuff that happens when two people are mutually attracted. It was cute, at first. Then we stopped tiptoeing (flirting) on the top of this cliff safely from the edge and we ran full force to embrace the beautiful water of love beneath our cliff of identity and adventure, hand in hand we went! He jumped off before I was ready… feet planted hard in the ground I wouldn’t let go of him, but I would not allow myself to go off the cliff.
You see, long before this boy and I ever began entertaining the idea of us I personally had placed a lovely safety fence at the edge of my cliff, with the guidance of my parents and many others of course… Anyways, I had established my own boundaries to keep me safe from tripping and falling off of the cliff before it was safe and pure for me to hit the water (water is sex by the way, just to keep that clear.) But, this boy hadn’t put up a fence… he was okay with having the boundaries in place on my cliff but never cared to establish a safety zone on his own cliff. So by the time our cliffs budged each other (because yes, these cliffs serving as a visual for our identities/bodies can shift around) mine was in a frenzy.
His lack of boundaries contradicted my lovely fence with beauty on the other side and he gently tugged, then yanked, pulled, called out to me, he did everything he possibly could to trip me into thinking I chose to jump onto his cliff and stumble into the risky waters below with him. However that was far from the truth, he was only one good tug away from forcing me to go down with him. Finally as I looked at my tattered up fence, color faded, blossoms dying beneath it I embraced the strength I once knew! Bravely I decided to let go of his hand so I would regain my footing. Ever so quickly as I made the long needed decision to care for my cliff, and mend my fence the guy I once called “mine” didn’t stumble back in surprise atop his own rock. No… he knew the dangerous game he had been playing with not only my body, but my mind, heart, and soul. He knew that if he would have taken a dive off the cliff head first that I would rip down my fence to either try to catch him, or give up on even trying to hold him above reproach… and just go after him. Praise God that I rediscovered my identity in Christ! All the blossoms vibrantly sprang back to life! Yes, I found the spring to my step that I had buried in the rocks
That was my journey from tiptoeing in flirtatious comings and goings, to running to the edge lustfully but knowing that I wanted to keep my fence up and stay away from sex with this guy. You see, before this guy caught my attention, I was more than content sitting in the sun soaked grass, sniffing wildflowers… enjoying innocence while fully loving the Lord and waiting patiently on the man He chose for me, one who had constructed a fence of his own. It is a scary thing when the person we choose to be with pulls away from the Father who has loved us the most for the longest of days.
Now that I have experienced two years of freedom, growth, healing, redefined purity, and so much more bliss as a single young lady after God’s heart I am again content enjoying the view from atop my rock. Can I let you in on a secret? About three months ago, after I had begun writing openly and honestly about my experiences I started discussing the idea of falling in love vs. falling in lust, which is true in an uncontaminated way?
Well I had one dear friend of mine suggest that perhaps one could jump ♥ in love ♥ after intelligently choosing a spouse based on righteous character demonstrated. Upon sharing his viewpoint with another beloved friend of mine, she suggested that perhaps falling ♥ in love ♥ isn’t as bad as I had experienced, because it could be more like a trust fall than being manipulatively tripped into lust. Stand firm on your cliff, still have your safety zone, and when the time is pure (ahem 😉 marriage) you can intentionally fall down to the waters below with your spouse completely trusting one another.
Discussing this topic with both friends of mine (who each have wisdom only from the Lord) made me drop my stubbornness and realize that there’s no one verb (jump, fall, fly, roll, flutter, twirl, on and on I could go) that is the “right way to _______ ♥ in love ♥” with someone. What is important is that whatever verb you choose, whatever pace you set, let it be what you are comfortable with based off of your relationship with God and your identity as a child of the Light. Whatever the waters of intimacy look like, let it be beautiful, crisp, pure, clean, refreshing and right as God intended sex to be.
Please, don’t run full force with your eyes closed on a dark, stormy night to discover shocking, cold, vicious waters below that will push you up against the sharp rocks over and over. If you are in a storm right now, turn to Jesus… the true Rock. Let Him be your protector, your strength, your place of healing. Storms don’t last forever, with His guidance you can climb back and start anew, learning from your growth moments.
Here are my final words for this post: being ♥ in love ♥ is in fact a delightful thing! God blessed love, so the best way for us to determine whether we are ♥ in love ♥ or in lust is by looking to see if their are signs of life and light around our relationship with “that person” or! if there are signs of death and darkness around our relationship with “that person.” The choice is FULLY yours on whether you want dark, scary waters… or if you would rather enjoy blissful, peace filled waters that light shines upon.
🙂 I pray that we all choose wisely!