EVERYTHING IS PERMISSIBLE… but not everything is beneficial

Guardrails & Boundaries – Sermon Notes (Part 2)

My wife recently asked me to speak to our youth members about some of the subjects I’ve been contemplating on this blog. I thought I would post pieces of that sermon on the blog to add to the conversation. This is Part 2–checkout Part 1 and Part 3 as well.

What guardrails did we setup in our relationship to help prevent this scenario from EVER even coming close from occurring? What did Julie and I do to keep our purity in check? Let me give you a list of our personal guardrails:

  1. We chose a mate who had similar beliefs and values as ourselves. The Bible says, “Do not be unequally yoked.” You’re like an ox carrying the burden together. I promise you, if you don’t follow this, you’re setting yourself up for heartache for your ENTIRE life! Marriage is all about compromise. Don’t tell me you’re going to change him after you’re married. I can’t emphasize this enough.
  2. We never hung out at each other’s homes unless there was someone else there. (Movies, food, etc.) If nobody was home, one of us had to leave, or we had to go somewhere public to chill together.
  3. Another guardrail à No sleepovers! 8 year-olds have sleepovers! This meant, even if someone was home, I never slept over at her house, she never slept over at my house. It just wasn’t allowed. (Now we did sleep over at our parent’s place. Due to the circumstances, this was unavoidable. But even this should be avoided if possible.) A guardrail is there to keep you from danger before you engage it.
  4. No kissing! Another guardrail. Now this one is probably for most of you an act of an insane person. Julie and I didn’t actually kiss until our wedding day. And a mighty fine kiss it was, I must add. Now even if you don’t wait until your wedding day, I encourage you to at least wait until your engaged. I can feel another sound of disgust out of many. But here’s why à You need guardrails to guard your heart. Girls, you especially. Don’t give any of yourself away, until you know he’s worth giving it to! Can I get an amen?? The world tells you that you need to compromise, or you will be left alone for the rest of your life. Don’t believe it! It’s a lie!
  5. Along the same lines, DON’T SAY THOSE THREE WORDS! “I LOVE YOU!” Most of us throw them around like we do our boxer shorts, not caring where they fall. Let me tell you, these are some of the most POWERFUL words you will ever speak to your future wife or husband. Keep them sacred by waiting. Setup another guardrail here to guard your heart. (Ask Julie to share on her experience.) You don’t HAVE TO say it to the person, even though our culture says you must.
  6. Don’t rush things! NO MATTER WHAT! You’re going to have to live with this person for the rest of your life. You had better make sure it’s someone you’re going to be able to stand in a year.  (Compare the lasagne to Chef Boyardee)
  7. Last guardrail I want to share, this is a BIG one: You NEED the BLESSING FROM YOUR PARENTS. You just do! Girls and boys come and go. But your family is with you forever. It should be VERY important for you to have your family approve of the person you are considering marrying for life.

Those are just a few Guardrails we’ve had in our lives, and found they had a major impact on us individually and now together as a married couple.

Also… get this! You need to share these guardrails with the person you’re in a relationship with. If you’re afraid to, get out of the relationship because you’re not mature enough to be in one. If she rejects your request for boundaries, get out of the relationship because she clearly doesn’t care about your own spirituality.

You need to guard yourselves! Don’t believe the lies our culture tells you every day. 1 Corinthians 6:12 says: “Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial.” You can go murder someone. You have that ability. But doing that may not be beneficial. We ALL have free will. It’s a gift from God. But having that free will does not mean it is ok for us to do what we please. Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you should. Even if it’s not labelled as a SIN in the Bible. This is why you need guardrails, so when you bump into a guardrail, the danger is still a good distance away.

If you need to ask, “How far is too far?” you’re already in danger. You’re trying to toe the line of sin without crossing it. That’s the wrong approach. You’re asking the wrong question. You should be asking, “HOW CAN I show respect to THIS GIRL OR BOY/MAN OR WOMAN WITH ABSOLUTE PURITY??” as Paul wrote to Timothy. What can I do to keep my body and my heart pure?

Check back later this week to see what the next step is that you need to take after marking your guardrails!

QUESTION: Have you talked to your boyfriend/girlfriend about your boundaries? What was their response?

(Read more at everythingispermissible.wordpress.com and everythingispermissible.com)


Your potential is determined by your purity

“Your potential is determined by your purity. If your motives are pure, there is nothing God cannot do through you.” That’s a quote from a recent Mark Batterson blog post. It rang true for me and my motives for this website. The future possibilities, your dreams, your God-given vision are all determined by the ‘heart choices’ you make today.

Batterson quotes Joshua 3:5:

Purify yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.

What does that mean? Batterson continues,

Instead of focusing all of our energy on planning the future maybe we ought to focus on purifying ourselves. After all, that is how God prepares us. You want to be used by God? Purify yourself. You want the favor of God? Purify yourself. You want to experience peace and joy? Purify yourself. You want to see God do wonders? Purify yourself. Or maybe I should say: let God purify you. You can’t do it yourself. But Christ has done it for you on the cross.

This reaches to the bottom of why I think the EIP discussion is so important. We need to keep ourselves pure. This isn’t for ourselves, at least not physically. It IS for our soul, for our spirituality.

Our biggest problem is seen even in the first few posts I’ve written so far. We started off with foundational truths, things that are simply out of the question when it comes to dating and relationships, things that are, for the most part, obvious (i.e. homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, etc.) Unfortunately, this is usually the direction we head when it comes to relationships: What can I NOT do in this relationship? We’re essentially asking, How close can I come to sinning?

Instead, our hearts need to be heading in the opposite direction: What can I do to keep myself pure? What can I do today to prepare myself for my future mate, or to encourage a healthy relationship with your existing partner, so that you can remain pure together until marriage.

This direction will require us to make choices that aren’t popular with the culture we live in. Batterson ends his post with:

By the way, that probably means we’ll go through some painful things. Purifying always involves some fire. But God redeems our pain and uses it for His gain! And it’s the painful things that makes the wonderful things so wonderful.

And as we can see from Scripture, it’s what God calls us to–holy, set apart, purified!

It’s time to make some hard choices! What direction do you want to take your relationships? Toeing the line of sinning, but not crossing? Or running as far away from sin as you can? (Not choosing one is just as dangerous!)

Question: What decisions in your relationships have you made to run away from sin?

(Read more at everythingispermissible.wordpress.com.)

The Answer to All Christian Dating Problems!!

Pastor Mark Driscoll, out of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, can easily offend people with his boldness and confrontational preaching style. But when it comes to relationships, whether it be dating or in marriage, I know no better source.

This is a clip from his 9 Misconceptions preaching series, this one being on dating. I think the Bubble Suit is the answer to all that we’re discussing. It’s definitely PERMISSIBLE!

Question: What methods have you used to stop yourself from giving into temptation when dating?

(Read more at everythingispermissible.wordpress.com.)

Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial
January 7, 2010, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Everything is Permissible | Tags: , , ,

The purpose of this blog will be to ponder the topic of biblical relationships in dating and purity. Over the years, I’ve come to greatly appreciate the importance of staying pure and keeping ones boundaries while getting to know a person of the opposite sex. My ideas will likely be considered traditional in tune, but I’d like to think of them as counter-cultural. I don’t think they will be anything brand new. But I do think it’s an important topic to discuss and keep in the forefront as our culture of the day is extremely sexual. We need to see what the Bible has to say regarding our dating practices of today

Let’s see where we go with this.