EVERYTHING IS PERMISSIBLE… but not everything is beneficial

Guardrails & Boundaries – Sermon Notes (Part 3)

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 3–checkout Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already.

Step 1 is to setup some guardrails, some personal standards of behaviour that become a matter of conscience, big red lights and flags that pop up when you’re bumping into them and fast approaching danger.

What’s STEP 2? Step 2 is to look in the mirror. And I don’t mean in the conceited, oh is my hair in place, makeup straight, and skirt short enough. I mean look in the mirror and find out who YOU really are. Take some time to examine your inner self.

STEP 2 is to ask yourself, what am I doing physically, mentally, and most of all spiritually to prepare myself as a good future husband or wife.

I could write an entire sermon on this subject. But let me just go through a few things for you to check your own heart and see how prepared you are to be in a relationship with a future husband or wife. And I’m going to list them in the third person, as if you were looking at someone else from a distance in the mirror.

  • Is she kind? Does she do nice things for people because she wants to, not because she’s expecting something in return?
  • When someone asks for help lifting something or putting tables and chairs away, is he the first one to offer a hand, or does he sit in the corner with another group of people pretending as if the clean up is already over?
  • Does she dress modestly? Or does her shirt have so much cleavage we’d all need to repent at the display if she were to sneeze too hard?
  • Does he have a job? Is he working on a career, and saving his money to buy a house and make sure he has a way to provide for his family for the future? Or does he waste his money on his cool car, Xbox, Nintendo Wii, and Playstation 3, with assorted games of course?
  • How does she talk to her parents, and those who are older than her? Does she treat them with respect? Or does she talk back and feel she can talk to people however she wants to, because she’s a “strong woman.”
  • How does he talk to his parents and elders? Does he love and respect his mother? Does he treat all women with respect?
  • Does she tithe? Does he tithe?
  • Is she involved in ministry in the church or elsewhere?
  • Does he open doors for people?
  • Does she think of others before she thinks of herself? (This is a big one, you realize after you get married. You realize how selfish each person is.)
  • Does he exercise? Does she eat healthy? I don’t know who you’re going to marry, but I can guarantee they’re likely going to want you around for a while. Take care of yourself.
  • Does or she have guardrails and barriers that she clearly lives by?

You need to find out what kind of person you are. Are you the kind of person that others can stand to be around? Are you preparing your own heart to be a loving husband, or an honourable wife? Do you have a pure heart before God?

Pastor Mark Batterson says, “Your potential is determined by your purity. If your motives are pure, there is nothing God cannot do through you.” Your potential is determined by your purity! (Ask someone what that means.)

Step 1, setup some guardrails in your life to warn your conscience against potential sin. Step 2, check your own heart if it’s pure before God, and see what you need to do to prepare yourself for your future husband or wife.

Have everyone pray in pairs (girls with girls, guys with guys), first asking them the top 3 things they are looking for in a future mate, and why. Then pray for the other person as they prepare for marriage, and for their future spouse.

QUESTION: What choices have you made already to set yourself up to be the husband/wife God has called each one of us to be?

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