Purity and integrity in relationships can exist without unnaturally freaking out about it. Formula says, “I will follow a God that I’ve put neatly in a box, and He will give me the desired results.” Faith says, “I will follow You even when I can’t see where I’m going, even when the world is collapsing around me.” Formula says, “I will not risk.

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It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change.

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.

I leave you with the words of a very wise man:“To love at all is to be vulnerable.

Instead, we will teach our children to love God with all that they have, all that they are; and to love and respect others as they love themselves.

You can do everything “wrong” and still be blessed. We will not be passing on these things to the next generation.The topic of dating and relationships came up and we started talking about my story. In my life it meant never having a crush on a guy, never allowing myself to “fall in love.” Basically, training myself to shut down a normal, healthy, functioning part of my human heart. I told her if she was to walk out of the room, leaving me and her husband in the same room, my first reaction would be one of panic. Let's seek the Lord, His Word, and pray day to day for wisdom. No parent is perfect, but I suspect the author's parents tried to do what they felt God wanted them to do.Sometimes it’s actually comforting to me to be met with blank or incredulous stares from people I consider “normal,” good Christians. I’m 27 years old, and I’ve been married for almost 7 years. Shame because sometimes you can’t help but like one guy a little more than another. Pride because you are so much more spiritual than that poor girl over there who is crying because her boyfriend broke up with her. They made up laws that God never condoned, then patted themselves on the back for keeping them, while looking down on those who didn’t. Bitterness only leaves the believer unable to move on and be used by the Lord. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. ” My second reaction, close on the heels of the first, would be a coping mechanism that I learned long ago: I calmly tell myself, “This is perfectly normal and innocent. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.It somehow validates my belief that some of the teachings I grew up with were very wrong. I rejected the teachings of courtship and emotional purity when I was 19. In fact, I have identified several ways that these teachings can damage a person’s heart. Shame because that’s “sinful” and “emotionally impure.” Shame because it sets a standard and proclaims that you are somehow shameful if you cannot keep it. Because your heart is whole and she just gave a piece of hers to a guy she isn’t married to. You have more to give your future husband than she does. This has nothing to do with the righteousness and grace of God, and everything to do with the accomplishments of man. I was trying to explain this to my friend, and it came out sounding so .