It is important for a man to set guards around his life to protect his purity, honor, and integrity. In today’s world men are bombarded by a sexualized culture where right and wrong have been significantly blended into a more comfortable gray. For us to be the men of God that we are called to be, we first must realize that our decisions cannot be based on what is acceptable in the world’s eyes, but what is expected by God – the One who created the world. It’s clear that many men and women do not understand the importance of these barriers – even Christian men and women. And sadly, many marriages are paying the price for men living without clear rules of engagement with the opposite sex.
Here’s an example to help drive home the importance of installing proper parameters.
Two men are hiking along the Grand Canyon. There is a clear path marked so that they will remain safe and even a rail in place to help remind them that there is extreme danger outside of the marked path. On the other side of the rail there is a cliff that drops off hundreds of feet and the fall would likely kill them. The wise man will stay on the marked path and enjoy the beauty of the canyon from the area designed for him to walk in. The unwise man will try to get a better look over the edge of the cliff, wanting to experience the beauty and danger of something most other men do not get to see. He leans against the rail, even climbs over it in an effort to get the rush from adventure of the unknown. As these two men are in the canyon a strong gust of wind blasts through, knocking each off balance. The wiser of the two, the one on the path, gets hit by the blast but is secure in his position on the trail. Even if he is pushed a bit by the wind, he is safe. The unwise man on the other hand, is hit by the same blast and because he was precariously close the edge, is pushed over into the canyon. He was walking too close to the edge and one push at the wrong time sent him into a deadly fall.
The scenario applies to every man’s life. A wise man walks within the parameters of God’s word and plan for him. He recognizes the danger of walking too close to the edge. He honors his wife with his eyes, thoughts, and actions. More importantly, he honors God in those areas. When temptation comes to this man’s life, even strong temptation, it is less likely that he will be pushed into sin because he has set barriers to help him remain pure. The other guy – the one who lives very close to the edge – has a different experience. He enjoys the complements from his female friends. He flirts with the waitress who serves him at the restaurant 3 times a week. He watches movies that encourage lustful thoughts and even infidelity. He has a close relationship with a woman at work and finds himself working late into the evening with her to get projects complete. He sees none of these things as wrong. He hasn’t cheated on his wife after all, right? At least not on the outside.
Eventually that strong gust of wind will hit.
Maybe he gets into an argument with his wife and needs someone to talk to. The waitress tells him her shift ends in 15 minutes and wonders if he would like to grab a drink. Or while working late one evening, the woman at the office shares her feelings for him. They’re all alone. No one will find out. What now? This unwise, on-the-edge man is hit with a strong gust of wind. A gust of temptation that will likely blow him over. He already crossed the railing way back and he’s been enjoying the thrill of living close to the edge thinking he would never fall.
Listen, it could happen to any guy. Even the great King David found himself guilty of infidelity. It’s not about how strong we are as men, it’s about realizing how weak we can be and safeguarding our life. We need to look to Joseph for an example. Potipher’s wife continually tried to persuade him to sleep with her but he refused. Even when she trapped him and grabbed him, he ran. He RAN. He did not stay to talk it out. He did not see how far it could go before it was sin. He ran as fast as could, protecting his integrity and his relationship with God. Fortunately, looking back now to King David, there is restoration available when men do fail. God forgives and hopefully the wife will too. And through the rebuilding process of the marriage, guardrails can be put in place to prevent the disaster from happening again.
Men, be wise. Recognize your weaknesses and do not assume you are stronger than you really are. Placing barriers around your life to help maintain integrity and purity are not a sign of weakness, they are a sign of strength and wisdom. Certain movies and music have no place in a Christian home. Internet use should not be hidden, leave it open and accessible to each other. Allow yourself be accountable to your wife. Build a relationship of trust and commitment.
She needs to know that you value her far more than the risky, deadly look over the edge of the canyon.
Strength & Honor.