When I was in secondary school, I got into a relationship with a guy from my class. I kept the relationship a secret and only told my sister about it, approaching her whenever I had questions to ask or things to share about the relationship. One day, she cautioned me about having proper boundaries in a relationship and expressed her concern when I told her that it was a struggle for me. Ever since she brought up the topic of boundaries, I found that I could not share as freely about my relationship. Knowing that she would probe about my boundaries in the relationship, I started to avoid conversations about the relationship. I felt guilty that I found it difficult to keep clear boundaries. Despite knowing that her advice was probably wiser, I did not make a decisive choice to honour my sister then, and more importantly, I did not honour God in my relationship.
One evening, I finally told my parents about the relationship. It happened after countless moments of remembering one of the commandments from the Bible that said: “Honour your father and mother”. I was racked with guilt because I understood that not seeking my parents’ approval was equivalent to disrespect for God’s commandments. The Bible did not talk about dating, but as I went through numerous Christian articles about dating and after having a chat with my mentor from church, it was clear that if I wanted to honour God, I should do the things He wants for me.
When I told my mother about the relationship, her only response was, “Just stop it. You’re too young.” It was void of genuine care or efforts to understand what I was going through, and I was disappointed. I wished there had been more guidance given to a girl going through her first relationship. After my mother’s response, I did not end the relationship. Contrary to my parents’ expectations, I held on to the relationship that gave me the support I felt I could hardly find elsewhere.
As the O-level examinations approached, I put matters surrounding the relationship aside to focus on my studies. Thereafter, I had time to properly think about what I should do. I reflected on the fact that I had rushed into a relationship without realising that it was not Christ-centred, as much as I tried to shape it as one that was. Without clearly defined boundaries in the relationship, I was often distracted by spending time with the guy rather than having my quiet time with God. Throughout the relationship, I also noticed that we sometimes disagreed with each other when it came to talking about the future of our relationship and that we did not really relate to each other on spiritual matters. I came to the point of considering that, maybe, we were not walking together spiritually.
I eventually ended the relationship after deciding that it would be for the best: a relationship with blurred boundaries, disagreements on Christianity, and disapproval from my parents was not a God-honouring one. I won’t forget the days after the break-up, when I would burst into tears out of nowhere, and the numbing moments when my emotions have seemingly been exhausted. But I don’t regret the decision I made. God gave me grace and strength to recover from it and I know now that God does not shortchange me. Because of His greater plans for me in singlehood, I am able to focus on serving His people wholeheartedly in church, school, and the workplace. He has reassured me through His word that true joy is gained through obedience to Him.