Christian dating magazine

Relationships where I didn’t equate worthiness with self-denial, or desire with lack of interest.

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I wasn’t offended, though; I knew our romance was budding.

Sometimes at church, when our youth group was sprawled out on the couches after the service, I’d catch him staring at me.

I suspect it was just the passage of time, rather than any grand realization about myself and what I deserved. It took several more years — time spent pursuing men who showed no interest in me, and passing over the ones who did — for me to figure out what I’d been depriving myself of: good, healthy relationships.

Relationships that taught me about overcoming conflict, setting boundaries, speaking up for what I wanted.

I tried hard to keep a straight face whenever his name came up, knowing I’d already caught his eye. For the next half-decade, it was Nathan or bust — not only because I was a swoony teen with a crush that wouldn’t die, but because of everything my teenage self knew about what it means to be a woman in a relationship: that waiting is a virtue, that inexperience makes you a worthy spouse, and that forgiveness is expected regardless of the transgression.

That’ll happen when the bulk of your education on sex and dating comes from an evangelical church.His hair had gotten wet, and he needed all of our opinions on whether it looked okay.“Go like this,” I said, leaning my head back so that the water pulled my long hair back behind me. “I don’t like it slicked back,” he said, ruffling his hair so that it wasn’t sticking to his head.“He told me he hooked up with a girl, but I don’t think he really did,” Tori told me one afternoon in the cafeteria.“I think he’s got a girlfriend now from school.” It was my worst fear: Nathan dating a non-Christian who wasn’t waiting for marriage.It wasn’t just that he was going against what we’d learned — by sleeping with his girlfriend, I thought, it was like he was cheating on me, his future wife. But I pressed on, doggedly believing that the right thing to do was to forgive him and still remain inexperienced in love.

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