A hedge is a personal rule that minimizes a woman’s exposure to an unwanted sexual risk. It’s a boundary that helps her protect her own sexual purity as well as the sexual purity of the men around her. It’s a strategy whereby she seeks to honor God and lessen the opportunity for sin.
This worksheet is to help you establish what your personal hedges are. Cross out the suggestions for hedges that don’t apply to you, or ones that you don’t like or don’t want. There’s also space provided to write in any additional or alternate hedges that you might want to establish for yourself. Remember, a hedge only works if you are committed to honoring that boundary. Your hedges may differ from other girls. That’s OK. This is YOUR list. It should reflect the hedges that YOU are committed to.
1. Location Hedges: unhealthy versus healthy environments
A Girl-Gone-Wise avoids unhealthy environments.
• I will not go to bars, lounges, or clubs.
• I will not go to strip shows or lewd bachelorette parties.
• I will not go to any parties that involve drinking, drugs, or sex.
• I will not watch pornography.
• I will not go to restaurants that encourage servers to dress and act provocatively.
• I will not go to comedy clubs that feature foul language and crude sexual humor.
• If I find myself in an unhealthy environment, I will quickly leave.
2. Pairing Hedges: dual versus group interaction
A Girl-Gone-Wise avoids inappropriately pairing herself with men
• I will interact with men in group rather than one-on-one situations.
• I will not meet up, dine, or travel alone with a man if one of us is married.
• I will try to avoid being paired up with men in work projects, school assignments, or volunteer work. If pairing up is unavoidable, I will strengthen and emphasize other hedges to compensate for this.
• As an unmarried woman, I will not pair off with an unmarried man (one-on-one) until I have had ample opportunity to get to know him in a group context.
3. Seclusion Hedges: private versus public venues
A Girl-Gone-Wise avoids being in private, secluded places with men
• I will not be alone with a man in a bedroom, apartment, house, hotel room, cabin, or any other place that is cut-off from public view.
• I will interact with men in places where other people in the vicinity can potentially observe our interaction.
• If I am meeting alone with a man in a business context, I will ensure to keep the door of the room open, or to meet in a room with glass walls or windows.
• If I am meeting with a man by webcam, (e.g. skype) I will observe these same precautions.
4. Communication Hedges: inscrutable versus open interaction
A Girl-Gone-Wise avoids secret communication with men
• I will keep my electronic communication clean and pure, and free of all sexual flirtation, innuendo, and other sexual content.
• I will copy my spouse, the recipient’s spouse, or other recipients if emails contain interaction of a personal nature.
• I will not communicate anything verbally or in writing that I would be hesitant to share with my spouse or a godly mentor.
• If I receive an inappropriate message, I will forward the message to my spouse or godly mentor and copy him or her on my response.
5. Contact Hedges: copious versus controlled contact
A Girl-Gone-Wise controls the frequency and amount of contact with men
• I will not initiate or reciprocate inappropriate contact with a man if one of us is married.
• If I feel “pulled” towards an adulterous relationship, I will immediately pull back and break off, or minimize contact with him.
• Before I am married, I will resist the pull to spend time with a guy as though I were married to him. I will resist the pull to be constantly together just as I resist the pull toward sexual intimacy. (You may want to limit the number of times you are together each week, based on what’s appropriate for your age and circumstance.)
• I will not monopolize a guy’s time or attention.
• I will not clamor for a guy’s attention by sending him excessive texts or messages.
• I will not needlessly interrupt and distract him by calling and texting him when he is busy.
• I will not allow a guy to monopolize my time or attention.
• I will not neglect my obligations, responsibilities, or ministry opportunities.
• I will encourage him to attend to his obligations, responsibilities, and ministry opportunities.
• I will not neglect my family relationships or other friendships.
• I will encourage him not to neglect his family relationships or other friendships.
6. Curfew Hedges: cover of night versus light of day parameters
A Girl-Gone-Wise abides by curfew & nighttime boundaries
• I will keep the lights on when I am in a room with a man I am not married to.
• I will not sleep over at a man’s apartment or house.
• I will be home before . . . (11 pm, midnight, 1 am, etc)
• I will turn off my computer by . . . (10 pm, 11 pm, midnight, 1 am, etc)
• I will not send texts after . . . (9 pm, 10 pm, etc.)
• I will get to bed by . . . (10 pm, 11 pm, midnight, 1 am, etc)
7. Disclosure Hedges: deep versus superficial disclosure
A Girl-Gone-Wise doesn’t inappropriately confide in men
• I will not disclose my inner self to a man when it is inappropriate to do so, or (in the case of unmarried individuals) premature to do so.
• If I feel an emotional pull toward an illicit relationship, I will confess that pull to a trusted godly friend or mentor, so she can pray for me and hold me accountable to maintain boundaries.
• Unless there is another person present, I will not allow a man to confide in me about difficulties he is having with his wife.
• I will not offer a man the emotional support he ought to receive from his wife.
(The following hedges are specific to married women)
• I will only express admiration or complements for a man in a group setting where others can hear my remarks.
• Unless there is another person present, I will keep conversations with men on a superficial level.
• If I need to talk about struggles in my marriage, I will seek out a godly female friend or mentor, and will not speak of them to another man.
• I will not seek from another man the emotional support I ought to receive from my husband.
• If I feel an emotional connection with a man that tempts me to cross any boundaries, I will immediately pull back, and tighten and strengthen the boundaries.
8. Encroachment Hedges: wide-open versus guarded demeanor
A Girl-Gone-Wise doesn’t leave herself open and unguarded
• I will not sit or stand too close to men.
• I will not provocatively position my body.
• I will not tease men with provocative body language.
• I will not wear revealing clothing.
• I will physically distance myself from men who encroach on my personal space.
• I will distance myself from men who fail to respect me or my standards for purity.
9. Touching Hedges: improper versus proper physical contact
A Girl-Gone-Wise maintains strict boundaries of physical contact with men
• I will restrict my physical contact with men to socially appropriate forms of greeting such as a handshake, hug (from the shoulders up), or in the case of close friends or family, a peck on the cheek.
• I will not allow a man to touch parts of my body other than my hands, arms, upper back, and shoulders.
• I will dress modestly and always keep all of my clothes on when I’m with a man.
• I will not allow a man to touch parts of my body that I have covered with clothing. (Note that in Ezekiel 23:21 the Lord identifies pressing or touching breasts as lewd conduct.)
• I will not unbutton or unfasten articles of clothing and expose my nakedness to a man.
• I will not allow a man to look at or touch my private parts.
• I will not allow a man to kiss me anywhere except on the face and lips.
• I will not look at or touch a man’s private parts.
• I will not lie down on a couch or bed with a man.
• I will not lie under or on top of a man, or position myself against him in any way that mimics the posture of sexual intercourse.
• I will only hold hands, hug and kiss (from the shoulders up)
• I will save my first kiss for marriage. (reminder--this is just one of many options for potential hedges)
• I will not touch a man in private in any way that we would not touch in public.
10. Covenant Hedges: dishonoring versus honoring marital unions
A Girl-Gone-Wise does everything she can to honor & affirm marriage covenants
• I will always wear my wedding ring.
• I will reinforce the fact that I am “one” with my husband by mentioning him, and by using inclusive words like “we,” “us” and “our” when I talk about my personal life.
• I will affirm and support the marriage of others by inquiring about their spouses and acknowledging them in verbal and written conversation.
• I will try to get to know the wives of men I interact with, and whenever possible, relate to the husband and wife together, as a couple.
• I will never say or do anything to threaten or diminish the sanctity of marriage.