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But the idea that I can defraud just by a look, that I could become emotionally impure just by a thought, that I might become damaged goods with pieces of my heart strewn all over creation, and that guys “have only one thing on their minds” and we need to help them control themselves, has truly negatively affected what should be normal interactions with my friends. In the real world, men and women can have innocent relationships.Keeping a genuine desire for His will in prayer and life, caring for the people around you (not being the jerk guy who does His best to protect her heart with what's within his control), and trusting God can make good with any hand we deal Him or are dealt in life (see Joseph in Genesis, David, Abraham, Paul… Maybe time is the only cure, and I need to be more patient with myself. I have talked with literally hundreds of alumni my age, and I am not exaggerating the extent of the issue. This is one dysfunction that I really wish I could be freed from. When you choose to love, you are choosing to accept risking a broken heart. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). We build neat little formulas and say “THIS will keep me safe! Thanks to those good intentions, we are seeing an entire generation of homeschool alumni who have no idea how to have normal relationships.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. From the guys end it looks a little different coming out of that teaching right?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. What it really bore in me was the nature to be driven by fear instead of by faith in God. 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 only person who would ever freak out about this is me. The other night, I stuck my tongue out at a guy friend who was teasing me, and his wife cracked up laughing. I will be in control of my future.” Faith says “I will risk everything. All articles on this site reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of other Recovering Grace contributors or the leadership of the site. Two weeks after the publication of this article, Darcy wrote some follow-up thoughts. EDITOR NOTE: If you are a reader who is unfamiliar with the specific courtship teachings of Bill Gothard and IBLP (the perspective from which Darcy writes), you can find more articles by clicking here. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. Emotional purity Biblical courtship = Godly marriage. You can do everything “right” and your life can still go wrong. People who follow the courtship formula still get divorced. However, what is encouraging is that most of us have determined to stop the insanity. These teachings have deep, rotten roots, and it takes time to pull them all out. They deceive us into thinking that living by formulas is “safe.” 1 1= 2. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my dysfunction, but it is discouraging as well. She was homeschooled her whole life, raised in a cultic church and with the principles taught by Bill Gothard and IBLP. Students who have survived Gothardism tend to end up at a wide variety of places on the spiritual and theological spectrum, thus the diversity of opinions expressed on this website reflects that. Darcy is a seeker, Jesus-lover, and a bit of a rebel.I define “emotional purity” in the same way that popular homeschool writers have: it is the idea of “guarding your heart.” This sounds all noble and righteous and everything but in this context is really just a facade for fear. It was Josh Harris in and the Ludy’s in several of their books that popularized the idea that everytime you fall in love or get “emotionally attached” to someone, you give away a piece of your heart. Pride because suddenly you are better than everyone else. I am still uncomfortable hugging one of my best friends who is a guy because we were taught never to hug or have physical contact, even innocent, with a guy. We were taught never ever ever to be alone with a guy because it could look bad. Although it was never spoken to me, this is a mindset I could sense about many of the girls I was around growing up, and what made me so self-conscious and unwilling to put myself out there fear of being taken the wrong way.The more pieces you give away, the less of your heart you have to give to your spouse someday. my best friend, my sisters, my husband, my parents, my kids. The fear of being misunderstood by girls seriously crippled my heart as a youth because I wanted to be a man of God, But when I fell head over heels for a couple girls, I didn't know how to proceed (because all the teaching I had was always about how to not fail not how to win), I would end up just stuffing everything inside and hide under it all being “God’s sovereign will” if nothing came out of it.

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