Have you ever driven down the highway and noticed the guardrails on the side of the road? Chances are you haven’t given them much attention, but when you need them, you are glad they are there.
Guardrails in our life are the same. We may set them up and not notice them until we need to use them. Guardrails that I am speaking of are a behavioral practice. They are personal convictions. I was talking to a man at our Bible study who had returned home after living a prodigal life for a season. He told me that his marriage was going okay, but he allowed another woman to creep in. A co-worker needed a ride home one day, and being polite, he obliged. This man did not realize that he was opening a door for sin. Before long, he began confiding in this co-worker about disagreements with his wife, frustrations, etc. He began to have his self-esteem built up by this other woman that he allowed to enter his life.
Some life issues are apparent to even the worldliest person. The issues I want you to think about are the areas that can sneak up on us. What are some examples of guardrails?
- I will not ride in a vehicle with a person of the opposite sex.
- I will not confide in a person of the opposite sex and exclude my spouse.
- I have decided how my child(ren) will enter the dating world.
- I have communicated with my children, and they understand the guardrails they should have in their life.
- I will not hide purchases from my spouse.
- I will not use my tithe to pay other bills.
These are a few examples. Guardrails are specific convictions that you have taken the time to outline. Do you think there would have been a different outcome for the man I spoke to at Bible study if he had some guardrails set up in his life? Would things have been different if he never allowed that “friendship” to evolve with his co-worker?
Pick a city off the map, and the situation described above could be easily repeated over and over. Purposefully setting up guardrails in our lives may seem silly, but these personal standards are very important.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. Proverbs 27:12
Think back to when your children were young. When you entered a parking lot, did you turn your child loose and let them make it to the storefront on their own? You probably grabbed their hand and warned them of the danger around them. You probably were on the lookout for cars backing out so you could warn your child of the impending danger. Why are we willing to do this in practical situations, but in personal moral convictions, we get lazy?
I have looked at pastors who have fallen morally and asked myself, “How did this happen?” Do you know how most affairs start? They start with innocent actions that Satan uses to destroy homes.
It may seem silly to set guardrails, but it is necessary. Do you have guardrails set up right now? You must decide today which guardrails you will set up to protect your marriage.
Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16
Don’t let Satan tell you that setting up these personal convictions is crazy. The devil will use any crack he can to get into our lives. Regardless of how innocent a situation seems, don’t let the enemy have any territory. Don’t be afraid to be rude to protect your family.
Do you have any guardrails set up? Comment below and tell me about a situation where those guardrails may have protected your reputation and your family.