You probably wouldn’t travel a steep, winding mountain road in your car if there weren’t guardrails for safety. Guardrails are there for a purpose: to protect you and your car from plunging over the edge. In the same way, you need to establish guardrails in your life to keep you safe from the sexual temptations you will encounter on your journey. These four guardrails will help you guard your heart and marriage from the perils and pain of unfaithfulness.
- A strong relationship with the Father. Your ongoing intimate relationship with Father God is your strongest guardrail against sexual temptation. He has the best counsel. He knows exactly how men and women are wired – because He wired us. How you deal with your sexuality is of the utmost importance to God. The closer you stay to Him, the greater will be your access to His wisdom and counsel for resisting sexual temptation. One way you tape into God’s wisdom is to pay attention to and obey his Word. Your interaction with God and his Word will weave a web of discipline and protection around your most private thoughts.
- A cautious relationship with others of the opposite sex. We’re not talking about cutting off all contact with the opposite sex. We’re talking about being cautious and alert for temptation in these relationships and maintaining a margin of distance that will help you resist those temptations. Dismiss and replace tempting thoughts, don’t go out of your way to see or meet someone, be careful with physical touch and keep conversations general. Continually ask yourself these kinds of questions: Are my actions honoring God, my spouse or myself? Do my actions or words even hint of anything that might dishonor my spouse? Are my selfish actions or words opening a Pandora’s box that will disgrace my children?
- An open relationship with other Christians. Your Christian friends can also be a trustworthy guardrail of sexual purity in your life. You must be willing to lay aside anything that would hinder or rob you from allowing those people who know and love you to scrutinize your life. When you are defensive, proud, or resistant to be examined, you miss out on the opportunity to further your spiritual development. We need a group of trustworthy Christian friends to encourage us to remain pure. We need good friends to edify us when we are struggling with sin in our lives. And we need good friends who can help restore us to obedience when we have stepped over the line in some way.
- A fulfilling relationship with your spouse. If you are emotionally or sexually thirsty, head for your own well, the well God has provided for you. Quench your thirst at your own fountain instead of roaming around looking for another. And make sure you anticipate and meet your spouse’s sexual needs. When you are full and satisfied sexually in your relationship with your spouse, neither of you will need to look elsewhere for satisfaction.