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How Setting Up Boundaries Saved My Virginity

By: Kristen Clark

My romantic feelings were intense towards him. I’m typically a clear thinker, but my brain cells had turned instantly cloudy. I had no idea how quickly common sense could abandon my sense of reason.

I was in love and on my way to marrying the man of my dreams.

During my relationship and “dateship” with Zack (read more on that here), I experienced emotions, desires, urges, and temptations like I had never experienced before.

I never knew how intense my desire for physical touch was until I was in a relationship with a guy that I really wanted to touch.

I longed for physical contact. I longed to be close to him. In fact, if Zack and I could have been in a perpetual state of hugging, I would have been okay with that.

Every boundary I had ever set became a temptation to me. Zack and I were both committed to saving sex until marriage, but had no idea how weak and pitiful our “self-control” could be at times.

I don’t care how godly, pure, well intentioned, and holy you are – sexual temptation hits us all. If you’re not armed for it, you will drown in a pool of compromise.

When it comes to romantic relationships, it’s extremely easy to mess up. It’s extremely easy to give in. It’s extremely easy to compromise. It’s extremely easy to suddenly “be okay with something” that you always knew was wrong.

I know, because I’ve done it. I learned this firsthand during my relationship with Zack.

We both desired to honor God through our purity, but weren’t fully prepared for the tsunami of sexual desire and temptation that came our way.

We quickly learned that neither of us were above temptation.

Neither of us were above sin. Neither of us were above messing up. We needed some serious ammunition.

Zack and I both made some mistakes and gave into temptation at times during our relationship. I’ll be the first to admit that we were far from perfect.

However, by God’s grace, we never came close to losing our virginity. I am absolutely convinced that I made it to my wedding day, still a virgin, because of one key thing.


Setting up boundaries helped me stay on track when my flesh was weak.

It helped me know what was right during my “brainless” moments. Setting up boundaries kept me a safe distance from ever crossing the line.

I am convinced that setting up boundaries is one of the biggest safeguards against temptation and failure. It’s foolish to assume you’re strong enough on your own. It’s foolish to say, “that’ll never happen to me.”

A wise girl knows she is capable of sinning and will therefore safeguard her life with intentional  boundaries.

If you’re in a romantic relationship (or hoping to be in one some day) I can’t urge you enough to set up personal boundaries for yourself and your relationship.

Ask yourself this question: When you stand at the altar at your wedding some day, what regrets do you NOT want to have?

For me, I didn’t want to have the regret of kissing any man besides my husband (more on that topic here). So, I set up personal boundaries to safeguard myself from ever kissing a guy.

I obviously didn’t want to have the regret of giving my virginity away before marriage, so I set up boundaries (the no kissing boundary was one of them) to safeguard myself from getting close to that line.

Based on what Zack and I read in the Bible, we made a detailed list of what was physically  “appropriate” during our relationship and what was off limits.

Here are some examples of what physically off limits for us:

  • We will save holding hands until we are engaged.
  • We will never be alone in a house together.
  • We will not go into each other’s bedrooms together.
  • We will save our first kiss for our wedding ceremony (more on that topic here).
  • We will never spend the night in one another’s homes.
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

Those are just a few of the boundaries that helped us make it to our wedding night with our virginity in tact. Those boundaries were especially helpful when our brain cells went on autopilot.

Obviously a list of rules isn’t the final answer. If your heart isn’t in it, you will squirm around every boundary.

Boundaries are no good without a sincere desire to honor Christ. You must keep your heart and mind focused on honoring God first and foremost. In other words…pray often (I personally regret not spending more time praying during my relationship).

I also encourage you to ask your parents or another godly adult to hold you accountable to your boundaries. Ask them to follow up with you on a weekly basis and don’t shy away from encouraging probing questions.

We live in a promiscuous culture that treats the sacred gift of intimacy as casually as a handshake.

If you sincerely desire to honor God and your future husband with your body, you must establish boundaries.

I want to hear from you now!

I’m guessing some of you already have some boundaries in place.

  • What boundaries do you have and why?
  • What boundaries have you found to be personally helpful in guarding your purity?

Share with me (and everybody else) in the comment section below.

And for those of you who already have great regrets…it’s never too late to restore your future. Please read this helpful and encouraging post: Lost Virginity: Practical Help to Reclaim Your Future

Photo credit: Maxwell Clark 

PS The image above is actually Zack and me when we got engaged. 🙂

Kristen Clark and Zack Clark

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