***(Guardrails is a series from North Point Ministries and its pastor, Andy Stanley. The following is a summary of the original message, in my own words, injected with opinion and paraphrasing. The original message in its entirety can be seen here at: http://woodstockcity.org/messages/guardrails-2017/ )***
Following Jesus will make your life better
And ultimately make you better
At Life <3
Guardrails on the road are meant to minimize damage.
If not for guardrails, there would be more damage to your vehicle- and your body.
Same goes for guardrails that we place in our life.
These boundaries are meant to minimize damage.
Our greatest regrets, in fact, could have, would have, been avoided
Had we had guardrails.
We establish them FOR OURSELVES. This is not about us imposing them on other people.
Guardrails vary by individuals, and are simply personal rules or laws that we abide by.
I have no right to tell you how to live your life, and you’d agree.
It’s a personal standard of behavior, that later becomes a matter of conscience.
It’s the standard I want to live by.
These guardrails are meant to light up my conscience BEFORE I hurt myself…
Our world and our culture does not celebrate guardrails.
This is especially true when it comes to friends.
Friends and associates, and friends with … benefits.
The guardrails I’m referring to today are
Guardrails meant to aid in guarding yourself
for marriage and from married people.
We often hear this word, fidelity, which comes from the latin word meaning
And it’s often used when talking about the most important relationship you’ll ever have:
<3 Your marriage. <3
Our culture though mocks chastity. Baits us. Laughs at moral boundaries.
And we are all
We entertain ourselves with movies, books, music, and tv series that
Then when a friend actually has an affair, we act mortified.
Boys will be boys, we often hear.
And to take it a step further, as Ann Voskamp would say,
“When Boys will be Boys,
Girls will be Garbage.”
It’s not complicated.
We sing about it, entertain ourselves with it, and while our culture baits us towards the edge of disaster, when we step over the edge, it shames us.
But if we could get this right, think of the implications.
- Fewer unplanned pregnancies.
- Less domestic violence.
- Fewer kids in foster care.
- Fewer single parent homes.
- We’re talking about SEX.
And some would say the church’s view, and my view, is prehistoric. Ancient. Out of date, and unobtainable. That we shouldn’t talk to our kids about abstinence and protecting their heart. That we should accept that they’ll engage in premarital sex and we should just be prepared.
Before you shut me down and excuse yourself from this conversation
Your growing up experience.
Think back to, if it had been different.
If she had stayed. If he hadn’t left. If he hadn’t had that affair.
Maybe it wasn’t your parents, but it was your friends’ parents.
We all know someone who grew up in a single parent home.
Or with parents that divorced. Parents who remarried.
Think how it could have been different.
Now think about the person who loves you the most, even more than your mom, more than your dad or spouse or sister.
Your heavenly Father.
And if you were God, how would you inspire someone…
into this most intimate, and important,
What would you say on the topic?
Sex was designed by God. And a lot of people think Christians are against sex.
That’s not it.
But our heavenly Father designed us to be intimate with only one other.
He has our best interest in mind.
So 2,000 years ago, the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, a letter to remind them (because he’d already spoken to them on this topic before)
And he starts with this:
1 Corinthians 6:18
“Flee from sexual immorality!-
Now think about this. You would want your husband to. He would want you to. You would want your son/daughter to do this.
But we set ourselves up not to flee from it, but flirt with it!
And yet we condemn those that step across the line!
Christians are not against sex! God came up with it, and He gave us this as an extraordinary gift, in fact. We’re not just another mammal, your significant other is not just ‘some mammal’.
“-all other sins-“
Yes, ALL OTHER SINS. Sexual sin is different. We can never fully escape the consequences! Financial sin, you can recover from. That academic or professional sin, yeah, it might take a while, but you can recover.
But sexual sin causes generational damage!
It impacts future relationships.
It makes you a secret keeper and a liar FOR LIFE.
You may admit to the events and everything in its entirety that lead to your bankruptcy, but your sexual history?
When confiding in your spouse,
Your future spouse,
You’ll only tell part.
It will make you a liar and a secret keeper… for life.
In all other areas of sin, you can move on. You can recover.
But those that participate in sexual sin-
Or have something happen to them sexually-
It follows you around the rest of your life.
A person that sins sexually, the reason that that sin is apart from all the others, is because when someone sins sexually it is a sin that they commit against their own body.
To which you may ask, “But why is that such a big deal?”
Good question. Let’s take this a step further.
Sin is defined as hurting, stealing from, or dishonoring another person.
Every time you hurt, dishonor, or steal from a person, you’re hurting a person God loves because God loves EVERY SINGLE PERSON.
You and I can’t be OK if you mistreat one of my children.
That’s not how it works. And that’s not how it works with our heavenly Father.
Every time you hurt someone, it’s offensive to God because He loves who you’re hurting.
We’ve all heard of the golden rule:
Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.
But the platinum rule says this:
Do onto others as God, through Christ, has treated you.
Jesus died for you. He died for everyone.
Because He loves you.
God loves you.
And He doesn’t want you to hurt you.
When you take what was promised to someone, and give it to someone else, it hurts them.
Sexual purity, it’s precious and fragile.
And when you sin sexually, you betray yourself.
You undermine yourself for future intimacy.
God loves you, and the person beside you, and the person you work with, and the person you gave birth, or will one day give birth to….
God loves you too much to stay silent on this subject.
Am I making a big deal? Yes, because this IS a big deal.
And in my next post, I’ll explain why.
The conversation continues, later today.
See you then.