So let’s just be real. Relationships don’t work the way we ideally hope they will. This isn’t an excuse for sin, but it is truth. Beyond that, the people we date often aren’t who we thought they were. Often, they present a lure that tantalizes us. Some people are almost professionals at baiting the hook with what many consider irresistible promises, but they are truly just masters of manipulation.
Sometimes you take the lure. And then you feel a sharp hook in your mouth. The pain is defeating. You try and swim away, but you are stuck. You realize this is not who you want to be with.
Here are some sharp hooks that are designed to keep you stuck. They will cause you pain. If you recognize these, you can take the hook out. This will be painful, but not as painful as staying on the hook. If you stay on the hook, your future will not be good. If you remove yourself from the hook, you can be free. Once again, it will be painful to be honest with him, move past your shame, and try and find security in something besides the hook he has given you. And it will also crush you to realize that the lure he showed you is not who he is, and that you cannot stay with him in the hope that he becomes that person.
Let me be clear. These are all dangerous hooks. They are not going to lead towards a better future for you. They will hurt you deeply. Get off of these hooks as quickly as possible.
If he pushes your boundaries sexually, drop him. You protect what is important to you. Boundaries are a blessing. (If you don’t have boundaries, make some. Now. Seriously, stop reading this and make some. Use Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for the Lord’s people” as your guideline for your boundaries. And I will say that there is a hint of sexual immorality in sex, oral sex, fooling around, making out, groping, sexting, and pornography. There are more things, but these are some things we’ve called gray areas. They are not gray. And although somebody may have taken your virginity, the LORD desires to give you back your purity. No matter what you’ve done. Also, let’s not say that keeping our virginity means we’re living in purity. Being a technical virgin does not mean you’re pursuing a pure heart, mind, and life. Pursue what is pure.)
If he is a liar, get off of the hook.
If he cheats on you, get off of the hook. Maybe he will change. That doesn’t mean you need to see him change. Forgive him for his sin, and move on. Don’t stay with him.
If he tells you that you’re not good enough, he isn’t good enough for you. Plain and simple. Feel free to slap him in the face if he says you aren’t. The blood of Christ says you are. Psalm 139 says that “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
If he doesn’t let you go hang out with your friends, get rid of the hook. You don’t want to be reeled all the way in by this guy. And seriously, what kind of manipulative talk is that. “You can’t hang out with them.” I don’t think that anyone made your boyfriend your owner. There’s no reason you should be playing married when you never said I do.
If he abuses you physically, emotionally, or sexually, drop him and call someone who can help you out.
Once again, let me be clear. These are all dangerous hooks. They are not going to lead towards a better future for you.
A Good Hook
I know this sounds weird. A good hook. Hook’s are painful. Hooks are not what I need. Hooks tear me up. Let’s talk about a good hook.
A good hook attached to a good lure is designed to bring you to someone who is fishing with good intentions.
If he encourages you in a relationship to dress modestly, this is a good hook. It may sting a little, but it is good.
If he challenges you to be confident in the LORD, and to search more deeply in the LORD, this can be a good hook. Especially if he sacrifices the time the both of you have for you to develop your personal relationship with God, this is a good hook.
If he establishes boundaries with you on things he will not do sexually, this is a good thing. This shows he is leading. You might struggle some with feeling desired if you do have a history of guys treating you in a sexual way, but the long term effect of this is better. He’s protecting your purity, and honoring God.
If after a while of getting to know each other, he shares his story with you, then he might be a guy worth being with. Even if you’re bummed about some of his past sin, be proud of him for sharing. Encourage him to continue to seek the LORD.
Remember, as my buddy Drew says, “There’s no time to mess around with people’s hearts.” The lure is attached to a hook. All this is placed on the end of a line by someone who has intentions of reeling you in. The question is, “What kind of guy do you want to be caught by?” And the question remains, “What would wisdom say?”