23 Things NOT to do before you get Engaged (or ever…)

I recently read an interesting article about 23 things you should do instead of getting engaged at 23. There was a lot of truth to what this writer said. I agree that there is so much good that can be done before marriage. You can travel, pursue dreams, and change lives.  She shared some inspiring ideas of what you could do such as create something with your hands, join the Peace Corps, or start a band. She stated that you only have one life to live so you might as well live it to the fullest. I completely agree with her on the fact that you only have one life to live, but I have to say that I disagree with her on how you should live it. She stated some other things you could do such as: disrespect your parents, date 2 people at once, make out with a stranger, and be selfish. I am by no means perfect, but I can’t imagine these actually being a goal of mine.

We live in a world where people hurt each other all the time. Relationships are ruined by cheating, abuse, and lying. Very rarely do we meet people that genuinely care about each other…People constantly break promises and trample over those they love in order to be more accepted by others.

Imagine if we lived in a world where we truly did live life to the fullest. You don’t have to be married in order to live life fully…you just need to love others. People today consider drinking with your buddies or sleeping around to be enjoyable…but you can’t honestly think that they are happy living like that. That type of life gets old. I think back in my life to the times I was “living it up” and being selfish…those were the darkest days of my life. I didn’t love others well and in return I didn’t have many that loved me back. I meet people all the time who are unhappy and disappointed with the way their lives have turned out. I decided to write 23 things NOT to do in order to challenge people to make choices that will better their lives and the lives of those around them.

This list is not a bunch a rules, rather some helpful tips on how to protect yourself and those you love. I haven’t always abided by this list but I certainly am trying to now. Enjoy!

  1. Don’t tell someone you will love them forever unless you are ready to commit to marriage.
  2. Girls: Don’t dress immodestly in order to grab every guys attention (including the 60 year old guy in the Walmart.)
  3. Don’t spend more money than you make.
  4. Don’t put others down in order to make yourself look cool.
  5. Don’t watch porn…you will likely ruin your sex life. Your spouse will never live up to those pictures.
  6. Don’t just say what people want to hear…tell them the honest truth!
  7. Don’t make decisions based only on feelings.
  8. Don’t fall in love with someone who has different morals and beliefs.
  9. Don’t get a tattoo that you will likely regret in the future.
  10. Don’t date someone long distance solely through text messaging…you need to spend time face to face.
  11. Don’t choose your best friends while hanging out at a bar.
  12. Don’t go to tanning beds everyday unless you want to look fifty years older than you actually are.
  13. Don’t live together before marriage. Those who cohabit have just as high or higher rates of divorce.
  14. Don’t do drugs or smoke…it will fry your brain, give you cancer, or turn your teeth yellow
  15. Don’t be that 25 year old who is still partying at the bars every night…
  16. Don’t be best friends with the person that will ditch you the moment the next hot person walks by.
  17. Don’t talk behind people’s backs…it always comes back to bite you.
  18. Don’t disrespect your parents.
  19. Don’t spend all of your time watching t.v. or playing video games.
  20. Don’t judge God by the way people act…read your Bible and get to know Him yourself.
  21. Don’t eat just to make yourself feel better.
  22. Don’t think you need a New Years Resolution in order to create healthy habits.
  23. Don’t lie to others…or to yourself.

So it’s true…you only have ONE life to live. It can either be spent serving others…or spent serving yourself. The choice is yours. You will find that true happiness comes in serving others.

Wishing you all THE BEST in life,


pure joy

23 Things Blog: http://wanderonwards.com/2013/12/30/23-things-to-do-instead-of-getting-engaged-before-youre-23/ (V: This is by no means meant to offend you. Just offering up a different perspective. You are a beautiful girl and a talented writer.)


82 thoughts on “23 Things NOT to do before you get Engaged (or ever…)

  1. Yes, yes and yes!

    There is a sharp contrast between your article and its counterpart. To describe Vanessa’s article, I’d use the words: bitter, narcissistic and imposing.

    To describe your article, I’d use the words: suggestive and concerned.

    The approach you used in writing the article preceding your list of 23 things makes it quite clear that the list is made up of suggestions and not mandates. You are not “telling women how to live their lives”.

    The issue at hand never was whether marriage is good before or after the age of 23 or whether its bad. Obviously, it depends completely on the individual and their circumstances. Nor is the issue whether your morals apply to everyone.

    The issue at hand is the difference between selfishness and selflessness, being narcissistic or being charitable. (I.e. her #22, “Be selfish” vs. your #4 “Don’t put others down in order to make yourself look cool.”) These two differing tones transcend deeply into your respective articles.

  2. Yes, yes and yes!

    There is a sharp contrast between your article and its counterpart. To describe Vanessa’s article, I’d use the words: bitter, narcissistic and imposing.

    To describe your article, I’d use the words: suggestive and concerned.

    The approach you used in writing the article preceding your list of 23 things makes it quite clear that the list is made up of suggestions and not mandates. You are not “telling women how to live their lives”.

    The issue at hand never was whether marriage is good before or after the age of 23 or whether its bad. Obviously, it depends completely on the individual and their circumstances.

    The issue at hand is the difference between selfishness and selflessness, being narcissistic or being charitable. (I.e. her #22, “Be selfish” vs. your #4 “Don’t put others down in order to make yourself look cool.”) These two differing tones transcend deeply into your respective articles.

  3. Really interesting post… I think that your bucket list of what NOT to do pertains to your personal interest and moral values but shouldn’t be applied to everyone! …I know a lot of 25 year olds that are still partying at bars and they’re really great people! I understand that you’re trying to protect people from getting hurt, but sometimes getting hurt can shape people into really great individuals!

    Check out my response to “23 Things” here: http://hannahkrisheq.blogspot.com/2014/01/dont-tell-me-what-to-do.html

  4. Hi Christie! Really enjoyed reading your blog. This comment section is crazy, though. I admire you for sharing and living out your faith and handling the backlash with grace. God bless you!

  5. I agree. Too many people feel it’s hedonism or nothing. We have to learn, as soon as possible, and preferably before we take on serious responsibilities like marriage and children, that we cannot have things all our own way.

  6. Christie, I absolutely love your blog! And although I never comment I want you to know that I read every post and am so encouraged by your words!
    This is obviously a Christian blog so it makes me laugh that people seem surprised or offended by your values. ha! It comes with the territory y’all 😉
    Please don’t ever stop speaking truth no matter how much negative feedback you get! You are building up Christian women and men in a depraved generation. I believe with all of my heart that God will bless you 10 fold in heaven for your boldness!
    Matthew 7:13-14
    13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
    You make God proud!
    Thank you again girlfriend, you are a true gem! xo

  7. I loved reading this!! Thank you for your boldness in Christ and continue doing so! Loved # 20, as well.
    Ps. You handle the negative comments with grace. 🙂

  8. Thanks for your ” 23 tips to help protect yourself and those you love” that you shared on your blog. I have enjoyed your blog so…much. I was surprised at some of the responses you have received. Some have judged you unduly because you certainly prefaced this entry with the fact that you weren’t listing “rules” but your observations from life as you have lived it. You have every right to share and do an excellent job. Keep it up girl and don’t let the naysayers keep you from giving us a very informative genuine blog!

    • Thank you so much Paula!! You have really encouraged me and I really appreciate it. I know everyone has the right to their opinions. In all honesty the negative comments don’t affect me at all. I know what I believe and I am not afraid to share with others. I appreciate all the love and support!! xo

  9. Amen! on rule #20 I hear it too often people blaming God for everything they don’t feel just and you’re so right, most haven’t even touched the Bible once for the word. As for number five, I gave myself a chuckle since I’ve given that advice to some before too 🙂

  10. Most of these are good but there are a few that are obviously your personal beliefs that you are trying to impose on others. For instance #5, #13, #14, #15 and #20. These are all points that you think are bad but really aren’t.

    So you can see how it feels, let me add a few of my own items to your list:

    24. Don’t be that person who talks about god any chance they get… Seriously it is annoying and makes people want to vomit

    25. Don’t make a list telling people how to live their lives…it comes off as extremely pretentious and again, makes people want to vomit


    • Zack,
      To begin, I do not typically respond on blogging sites or the internet as a whole as it is usually filled with people just trying to get a rise out of other people, ie: trolls. However, on the off chance that you are not a troll, that you come back to this blog and see this, and that you take an honest look at it, maybe you might be given a new perspective and rethink your worldview and morality. (which is something I recommend everyone to constantly do)
      I do not understand your point that only some of these are her personal beliefs that she is trying to impose on others. They are all her personal beliefs, and while that does not necessarily make them valid, though I think most if not all of them are, she is entitled both to them and to express them just as you are. It is evident that you believe you are entitled to both when you shared them. Therefore, unless you have some special authority to declare your opinions that you can prove she does not have then that kind of invalidates your opinion that she shouldn’t share hers.
      Your statement that “these are all points that you think are bad but really aren’t” is a moral statement in itself that I would be extremely interested in hearing your reasons for. Her moral statements would appear to have the Bible, and therefore the at least the supposed God and maker of all things including morals, as her reason and guide for morals. I would be interested in hearing what the source or reason for your morals are.
      #24 bothers me because you have gone onto her blog and then told her not to say things about what she believes, i assume, to be the most important thing. If you did not wish to see her “talk” about God, then it is your, and not not her, responsibility to avoid it by not going onto a clearly Christian girl’s blog. That being said, I encourage people to see and hear all viewpoints so I would rather you keep reading them and swallow the vomit,
      #25 contradicts itself in that you are giving her advice in the comments of her blog, so it kinda seems like you don’t believe in your own advice.

      • Andrew: I completely agree with your comments to Zack-especially the comment concerning commenting on a blog clearly written by a Christian woman. Hurrah for you!!

        Nicolette @ Tapestrytreasures.wordpress.com

  11. Julia-

    As a father, I have rules for my little girls. They are not meant to be “invasive” or “to crucify” them. My rules flow from my unconditional love for them. They are designed to protect them for harm, and they reflect my desire for them to live a full life. As a father, I know there are things in this life that are better off not experienced. (I am sure we all do).

    That said, I also understand some rules will be broken. When that happens, my love does not change. Instead, I help my daughters learn and heal from their mistakes (because they were mistakes), and gently try to help them back into a full, robust life.

    This is not an expression of communism. This is an expression of love. Of course, my daughters will ultimately be responsible for living their own lives. But I would be an unloving Father if I did not raise them, guide them, and give them direction.

    Hope this helps.

  12. You lost me at #1. I really don’t think you are in the position to tell ANYONE what they should or shouldn’t do. Who are YOU to tell people how to live their life? Not only that, but what life experience do you have that gives you that kind of perspective on living? People live different lives and have different opinions…and no one should tell them what to do. Not everyone is a patriotic America God lover. There are people in different countries that live differently and have different perspectives. Don’t watch porn? You sound like a communist trying to censor people’s lives. What will you say next? You should sleep with only one person your whole life and they should be of the opposite sex? That’s not your decision to make and it doesn’t make someone a bad person if they do any of these things. You are crucifying people for being themselves and making choices, gaining experiences, and making mistakes that make them the person they are. If you wanna talk about “God” fine, but don’t impose your beliefs on others as being the rule. 4 17 18 and 23 are good morals to follow to be good to others…and that is what people should strive for. We should all want to have full hearts and be nice and generous to other people. All the rest is far too personal to be so invasive on their lives.

    • Dear Julia, Christie isn’t writing civil laws- she is giving advice on how to live well, without hurting ourselves or others, without regrets. And this is based on her own experience, and the advice of those she trusts. It’s okay if you have different opinions- we are each free to make our own choices on how to live our own lives. You said, “don’t impose your beliefs on others as being the rule.” Expressing her own opinions, based on her own experience, cannot be construed as imposing her beliefs or making rules, anymore than you expressing your opinions here is not “imposing your beliefs” or making rules. We can agree to disagree. But your language is so inflammatory, talking about Christie “crucifying people”, surely you can see that you are judging her and her beliefs far more harshly than she judged anyone in this blog? And honestly, she has judged no one. Judging someone doesn’t mean deciding if what they do is right or wrong- it means passing sentence on them, and then punishing them or treating them differently because we don’t like their behavior. We MUST be able to judge for ourselves what we think is right or wrong- but we mustn’t pass sentence on each other. Unkindness is never okay. For example, I can, and even must determine that a child molester has done wrong- but it’s not my place to pass sentence on him. In other words, if I were his prison guard, I would have no right to treat him unkindly or abuse him. The government, and ultimately God, has the right to punish him, but I don’t have that authority.However, I sure wouldn’t let the guy babysit for me, since I need to use good judgement! Do you see the difference? Maybe I didn’t say that very well, but I hope you understand. I really do appreciate that you took the time to give your comments, as it’s great to hear other points of view. But let’s not shut each other down because we hold a different viewpoint. I actually know Christie, and know she has learned a lot of this from personal experience. But I’m also a lot older than she is- about 3 decades older! And I can tell you, that from my many years of living, that I think her advice is wise. Peace to you Julia- I wish we could sit and exchange ideas over a cup of tea! Your life has brought you to different conclusions than mine, and I’d love to hear your story.

    • Wow, defending your porn habit and your promiscuity. Be careful there sweetheart, whether you believe in God or not CHLAMYDIA IS REAL. Hahaha. Explore yourself, be adventurous or whatever, but if you can’t respect yourself and your body then no one will. I don’t even know you and I already don’t respect you for your passionate stance for continuous sexual activity. Sloooot. I believe that’s what the kids call them now.

    • Julia: You have clearly read and seen the photo’s displayed on this blog. Did you not get an inkling of information that pointed out this is a Christian woman’s blog. She Is certainly not TELLING anyone HOW to live. She is giving suggesting from her perspective. Just as you would do on your blog(if you have one.)
      Another thing, If she “lost you at #”1, why bother to read all the other points, and then complain about it? Why not just quit reading and move on? Who are YOU to tell her, on HER BLOG, how she should feel, or live her life?

      I commend this YOUNG CHRISTIAN WOMAN for being COURAGEOUS enough to stand up for what she believes in!!

      CHRISTIE: Thank you so much for your article, He is rejoicing at your outcry of honesty and testimony! Wonderful to see another young Christian woman who is blogging. Stop by Tapestrytreasures.wordpress.com, and get some inspiration from us.. we are a bit older, but just blog from your everyday lives to uplift and inform. I am kinda behind on my pages..Grrrr.
      God Bless you!
      Keep bring out the TRUTH..the LIGHT needs to SHINE on in this country, and abolish the DARKNESS..
      As His Servant,

  13. Thank you so much for responding to that article, when I first read it I was so discouraged and wanted to respond. But I could NOT have said it better than you did. Your positivity will hopefully be contagious!

  14. I believe your heart was in the right place when you wrote this and I admire your boldness to share your faith in the Lord. I am also a young Christian woman and although I agree with your list I would just like to share these words with you. God isn’t about what not to do but what we SHOULD do. I don’t think there is anything wrong with what you shared and because I agree this is why I felt compelled to comment. Maybe the next time you can make a list of 23 things we CAN do in the Lord rather than a list of no no’s. I don’t know who you are but your blog reached me as I am sure it reached many others. I came to know the Lord 3 years ago and today I firmly agree but before then I would have been angered, hurt, judged, and felt unworthy with this list. You might be thinking man this girl took my post way to seriously but I did because I respect your courage to share your beliefs so I would like to encourage you to write reminding people of the life God would like for us to live. Subtract the DON’T that sound negative and shine a light on the do’s. God Bless You!

    • Interesting perspective. I definitely think it’s good to highlight the positive, however… here is some food for thought. I once heard a perspective on this that I liked a lot. God gave the 10 commandments in the negative form (Thou shalt not, etc), in order to provide us with the highest possible freedom. With only 10 things that we shouldn’t do, there are infinite things we can do and use our God-given intellect, gifts, creativity in living out our lives for God and serving others. Xo

    • Thank you so much for responding! I totally see what you are saying but the Bible is full of Do Nots (the 10 commandments) God uses the Ten Commandments to teach us how to live…when we obey his commands He blesses us. How else would we know not to do certain things that could hurt us? (ex sexual immorality, stealing, etc.) No one can say they have refrained from all of these…I’ve made many mistakes in life but this is a list I hope to abide from here on out. I do agree to add more positives 🙂

  15. “13. Don’t live together before marriage. Those who cohabit have just as high or higher rates of divorce.” – I have a problem with this. Especially considering there is a third variable here. Living together before marriage does NOT lead to divorce. Correlation does NOT equal causation. The third variable that many people do not know about is liberal attitudes. Those who are more likely to live together before marriage are also more likely to be ok with divorce. If someone wants to move in with their significant other before marriage, he or she has every right to do so.

    Also – “7. Don’t make decisions based on feelings.” – What are we? Robots? As human beings, we are susceptible to acting on emotions. And we should embrace our emotions as long as they are not hurting ourselves or others. Emotions are the essence of human existence and the world would be a mundane place without them.

    Overall, good blog. I see the points you were trying to make and agree that most of these are a good idea. However, I think it is never wise to tell people what NOT to do. It seems like you are shaming people who have done those things.

      • i didn’t find it shaming, at all, and i’ve done some of the things on the list n can attest…it wasn’t bright! i think ppl often find things shaming when there’s difficulty recognizing the one who already bore all their shame. conviction without the cross feels a lot like condemnation. but to each his/her own 🙂

    • A response to Alicia:

      A few quick thoughts on your reaction to #7 (Don’t make decisions based on emotions): I think what was meant was that we shouldn’t make decisions solely based on emotions. Facts trump emotions as emotions change but facts don’t. Also, we can change our emotions because of facts, but we cannot change facts with emotions. Therefore, in a decision making process it is more important to concider facts than emotions.

      Also, I do not agree with your point that it is never wise to tell people what not to do. People who have done certain things wrong would probably also disagree because they know exactly what negative effects have followed because of their bad choices. They will be the ones warning others not to make the same mistakes. They tell people what not to do because they don’t want others to suffer the same way. The basic concept of telling people what not to do exists to help people. Free help and advice from caring and knowledgeable people is extremely valuable.

      • Chris…..So true! I also think that’s what she’s trying to get across. I made a decision to get married, solely on emotions. I didn’t listen to anyone’s warnings and ran headlong into it based solely on the way I “felt.” I spent 5 long years in an abusive union, because I made that mistake. If I had listened to the facts that others were trying to give me, I could have avoided a lot of misery.
        Now, I “share” my past mistakes with young girls that I see heading down that same path. I don’t consider it “telling them what not to do”, but just trying to help them prevent suffering the same things I did.

        • wow Linda thank you so much for sharing. I am so sorry you went through such hardships…I truly hope you use your pain to inspire and help others. That is why my blog is titled beauty through ashes 🙂 I hope that my pain can be used to help others!


    • Alicia–For your more in-depth analysis of the cohabitation point, thank you, that was my thought too. Another variable for people who cohabit is simply settling–depending on the person, those who cohabit are more likely to end up married just due to the larger amount of effort it takes to leave someone once your entire life (and stuff) is at their house. Also that the social pressures for people to get married once they’ve been together for awhile tend to be especially strong for cohabiting couples, and many just assume that that’s the logical next step without really talking about it.
      A better way to phrase this point in the list, in my opinion, would be “Don’t cohabit /unless/ you and your partner have a relationship based on truthful communication, a plan in place in case the relationship goes south, and an agreement that any larger steps in your relationship beyond cohabitation (such as marrying and/or wanting kids) will be fully discussed over a long period of time before any permanent actions are taken.”

      Cohabitation is not necessarily bad, but it does require that both (or all) people involved know themselves, their goals, their partners, and their ability to communicate well, as well as an ability to know when a relationship needs to end and the backbone to go through with it, if it comes to that.

    • #7. The writer said “Don’t make decisions based only on feelings.” There’s a big difference between “based only on feelings” and what Alicia read, “based on feelings.” I’ve seen plenty of times where I or others have gone just on feelings alone, and it doesn’t turn out great. One example is choosing who to date more seriously. When you’re first dating, you might go on just feelings. But when you’ve looking to be more serious, it’s good to think a little more long-term. I’ve seen this for myself and others: If the person you’re dating is in the military “Can I handle this? I love them, but do I really want to be a part of that?” For someone who has kids already: “They’re great, and their kids are really good, but am I really ready for that?” or for someone who is in school (and you’ve graduated). “Could I support them through school? Do we really have compatible lifestyles?” For the last question, the answer was YES 🙂 But I’m glad I thought it through.

  16. Christie just wanted to tell you that I love your blogs! Though we met super quick I am happy we did. This post is awesome. May our amazing God keeep blessing you and your little sweet family. Happy New Year!

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