Christmas is coming, and you might be having PTSD as you think about all the family members who’ll be asking if you’ve got anyone “special” in your life…and for the third, fourth, or ninth year in a row, you’re telling them “not yet …” again.
On the other hand, you might be excited because you finally have someone to tell the fam about.
How do you know when it’s time to introduce your boyfriend or girlfriend to the family? And what about the extended family? We’re not just talking dinner. We’re talking hometown date vibes. Is it too soon?
Here are 3 questions to ask when you’re thinking about bringing your new boo home:
1. Can you set – and keep – physical boundaries when you go home?
Spending time at home likely means a long car ride (or two), cozy nights by the fire watching movies, and an overnight trip.
1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us to literally “run from sexual sin!” If going home is going to open the door to temptation, you should consider reevaluating. What physical boundaries do you need to put in place to honor God over the holidays? Can you realistically keep those boundaries? You’re better off not taking him or her home if you can’t make and keep a plan.
Think about it. What will the sleeping arrangements be like? If you aren’t married, it’s not God’s best for you to be sleeping in the same bed—even if you aren’t having sex. 2 Corinthians 1:12 tells us we’re to avoid the “appearance of evil.” That means if our choices could lead people who aren’t Christians to assume we’re crossing boundaries, the Bible would call us to make different choices.
We get it, if your parents aren’t believers, it’s likely that they’ll expect you and your S.O. to share the same bed when you visit. That conversation could be awkward—or, instead, it could be a lay-up opportunity to tell them about how Jesus has changed your life.
2. Have you DTR’d?
Bringing your significant other home is a big step—it communicates you’re moving in a serious direction. We’re not saying you need to be engaged to take your boyfriend or girlfriend home. But, both of you should have clarity on the direction your relationship is headed. Not sure what it’s like to DTR? Check out this Views From The Porch episode.
Pro tip: When your family asks you about the status of your relationship, your answers should be clear, and they should be consistent with that of your S.O.
Here’s the deal, guys. Choosing to bring your girlfriend home for the holidays tells her that you're ready to move in a more serious direction—you want to continue moving toward marriage. If you’re realizing that you’re not ready for marriage yet, it might not be the best time to bring her home to meet your family. Instead, the holidays could be a time when you take a step back, pray about the relationship, ask your Christ-following friends to speak into it, and consider if the relationship should move forward at all.
3. Ask community and pray: Is this a good move?
Seek counsel from your community group as to whether or not you two should spend the holidays together. If you don’t have a community group (a group of believing friends who regularly meet together to remind each other of what’s true and help each other grow), your best next step might be to spend the holiday break finding a church home.
Not only that, but also be prayerful—ask the Lord for clarity. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, says in Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart (protect it), for it is the wellspring of life." (“Wellspring of life” just means everything you do in life flows from your heart.)
Let’s be honest, by bringing someone home, you’re giving away a little bit of your heart. That’s not a bad thing, but make sure it’s the right thing.
Bringing someone new home for the holidays is a big decision. But the good news is that you don’t have to make it alone. James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” Spend some time praying about your holiday plans.
Spend time reading the Bible, around other people who believe in the Lord, and in prayer. You can count on God to help you make a good decision. He wants what’s best for you!
Emma Dotter & Carson Radke