You are a Precious Commodity.

Even though I haven’t written about it since August, I think a lot about dating.

I think about it a lot because I’m single. Generally, I’m quite content being single. It’s low-pressure, I don’t have to worry about what someone will think when I hang out with guys, and I don’t have to worry about anyone’s needs but yours truly. Admittedly selfish reasons, but I’m not ashamed.

Because of my homeschooled past and Christian upbringing, there’s always been conversation in my family about courtship vs. dating.

A lot of people dive into the courtship route to the extreme– no one-on-one time at all and never kissing until the I Dos have been declared. Frightening.

A lot of other people dive into the dating route to the extreme– seeing whomever, whenever, and doing whatever.

Personally, I think both approaches are ridiculous. So here you go, more of Bethany’s Untested Theories about Dating!

A catchphrase of the courtship camp (and often the Christian camp) is “Guard your Heart.”

I’ve always had a little bit of a beef with this saying. (It annoys me almost as much as Follow your Heart.)

Guard your Heart evokes a picture of one’s heart being locked away behind a bolted door, with you standing in front of it, brandishing a sword, decrying “Only one Worthy person shall Pass.”

As a girl who’s held that sword in front of that freaking door for far too long, I propose a different image.

How about your heart in your chest where it belongs?

The whole locking your heart away thing is just not a good use of that precious, precious resource.  Allow me to elaborate.

You are a very limited commodity. Indeed, there is only one of you on this whole Earth. But if other people don’t have access to you, the limited commodity of you doesn’t really have much value. Your heart locked away in a strong room is about as useful as gold in a vault.

However, that does not mean that you should spread yourself and your heart around.

I like to compare my heart to a favorite book of mine. I might lend it to some people, let them get to know it, but the more times I lend it out the more beat up it gets from normal wear and tear, maybe underlines here and there, and, God forbid, maybe even pages torn out. Eventually it is completely tattered. However, if I only let my family and friends know my favorite book without actually giving it to anyone yet, by the time a person who I want to spend a lifetime with comes along, I can share a mostly intact book with him.

Love yourself enough to protect your heart, but also love yourself enough to let people see it.

It boils down to good stewardship — using your resources to the fullest extent without squandering them.

Guard your heart, but not too much.

    • Saman
    • May 30th, 2012

    I hope the christian community realizes that those fairytale “i never ever dated and it worked out” relationships are a false ideal. We have made dating out to be an evil thing because its been perverted by the wordly view involving lota of sex and other stuff. Dating is an innocent thing. You take a lady friend on a date, see how things work out, and if she isn’t what you consider marriage material, let her know and continue the friendship. If physical activity isn’t a huge part, this is a very innocent and sweet way to date.

    • Yes, I agree with you. Personally, my game plan for dating is prettymuch along those lines. Friendship, attraction, a couple dates, and then see if a relationship is feasible. Pretty simple.

    • Morgan
    • May 31st, 2012

    Mmm!! I appreciate your thoughts on this topic!! Sometimes, when you’re single, you actually have a much more clear head about these issues. Getting dragged through the mud from relationships can give you jaded perspective and muddle your thoughts.
    Personally, I love a quote from the book “Captivating”
    [In reference to “guarding the heart”]
    “Don’t give everything, but don’t give nothing”

    • That is a wonderful quote. Now I think I need to read that book.
      And I definitely am much more clearheaded when I’m single. When I’m interested in someone I have this bad habit of chucking my brain out the window anyway.

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