In her mid forties, Pat never expected to find herself single again. When her husband left her for another woman, she swore off men altogether. That lasted all of about three years. Then she began to feel that if a single, mature, committed Christian man crossed her path and expressed an interest in her, she would be open to exploring a new relationship. Pat writes:
Most of all, I was looking for companionship. I wanted a man who enjoyed being with me and made me laugh. When I met Michael, I felt as if he fit all my expectations. Since he was a committed Christian, I thought surely we would have the same values, including sexual boundaries. I assumed things would move slowly without pressure to get physical. Michael and I were very attracted to each other, and we talked about how it wouldn’t be right to have sex outside of marriage, but we really didn’t discuss any other boundaries besides that.
It became clear, however, that Michael’s view on what other sexual activities were acceptable outside of marriage didn’t line up with my own convictions. His gentle kisses gradually became much more passionate, and I sensed subtle pressure with his roaming hands and body massages. I realized it was up to me to draw the line and enforce the limits. But as I tried to do this, he would try to argue me back to his line. I really liked Michael, but I felt frustrated and resentful that he kept trying to wear me down. Wasn’t he reading the same Bible I was? As clear as God’s Word is about avoiding even a hint of sexual immorality, I wondered why we were even having these discussions!
I finally had to walk away from this relationship. Unfortunately, by that time I’d given him my heart, and walking away, although it was the right thing, was incredibly hard to do. He calls every once in a while to see if I’ll give him another chance, but I just don’t think he’s good company for me to keep if he can’t respect my personal boundaries.
Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.