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.Shuffling self-consciously in his seat beside me at the cinema, I sensed that my date was about to make his move.I wasn’t sure whether he’d do the awkward arm-stretch-behind-my-chair manoeuvre, or ‘accidentally’ brush his thigh against mine.

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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.

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.

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.

I leave you with the words of a very wise man:“To love at all is to be vulnerable.

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.

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.

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.