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Moral Guardrails

Guardrails  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:58
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Intro
Kathy and I on a Safari in the
When you go they tell you to do things you don’t like… don’t open the windows… keep your body parts inside… a lion can get to you before you can close the door or roll the window up.
Swamp Tour -
Keep your hands inside the boat… what could possibly happen in the swamp?
Ephesians 5:15–18 NLT
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,
Guardrails are a system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous or off limit areas.
GR are not placed into the danger zone but in the safe zone so that they can minimize damage and protect you and me from running into a dangerous area.
Guardrails Direct and Protect
No one argues with the logic of having guardrails on roadways.
Guardrails are designed to minimize damage.
Highways are not the only place where we need GR. Moral, relational, financial, professional...
Specifically...
Guardrails are a standard of behavior that become a matter of conscience.
The point of the Guardrail is to light up our conscience before we hurt others and/or ourselves. GR makes us feel uneasy early.
We have also seen that our culture doesn’t like Guardrails… it doesn’t like absolutes. Culture likes movable or erasable lines.
Last week we learned to put GR on our FRAN… because many of our greatest regrets were with FRAN and could have been avoided with some GR in place.
When we talk about GR in this context we are basically talking about personal rules… for me… for you, not for me to other people. We have to establish our own GR to protect us from running off the road when it comes to our friendships and relationships with relatives.
The point of the GR is to make us a little uneasy… to light up our conscience before we run into something… before we damage a relationship… etc
Today, I want to talk about friends with benefits… moral guardrails.

Moral Guardrails

GR will guard your marriage or your future marriage by guarding you until you marry. GR will guard you from married people...
Today we will talk about Moral Guardrails. One of the best words to describe this is
Fidelity = faithful or loyal.
I want to talk about how to protect your most important relationships… spouse… significant other… and how to setup standards that will ding your conscience to guard you and keep you from running off the road.
No where does our culture do a better job of baiting us to step over certain lines and then shaming us that in the area of morals.
In a way, we are complicit because we will entertain ourselves with movies about affairs but then we are disgusted when a friend has one.
We say “boys will be boys” but we freak out when girls are treated like garbage… and we should. But in many ways we are complicit in because on the one hand we pay to see it and sing about it… then are horrified when someone goes across the line. Culture baits us and then shames us...
If we could just get it right in the area of Moral Guardrails, the world would change…
Less poverty, fewer pregnancies, fewer men in prisons, Less domestic violence, fewer kids in the system, fewer kids raised without a mom or a dad...
We all know someone or we are someone who was raised by someone whose life would have been better if they had relational guardrails....
No wonder Paul wrote...
1 Corinthians 6:18–20 NIV
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Flee sexual morality
Flee- what every husband or wife wants their spouse to do… engaged wants their fiancée’… parent wants their child… but too often we flirt with it instead of running away… But we live in a culture that is full of sin that sets you and I up not to flee but to flirt… then you step off and feel shame or someone else steps off and you condemn them.
All other sin a person commits are outside
Paul puts sexual sin in it’s own category of sin. Sexual sin is uniquely damaging. It’s possible to recover financially, professionally relationally, but not this one… forgiven yes, but you can’t avoid the damage. It destroys intimacy and will pop up in future relationships. It causes Generational damage.
Sexual sin will make you a liar for life.
you will own up to going bankrupt… stealing something… but not to a sinful past in this area… Sexual sin is forgiveable, but there are consequences to it.
whoever sins sexually sins agains their own body -
Sins Sexually? Sin is when you hurt, steal dishonor another person. Me before you to your detriment.
Christians are to live by the Golden Rule - actually one step above that to the Platinum rule… I am to treat you the way God through Jesus has treated me.
Sexual sin is when you do something to hurt someone else in the area of sex, it’s sin. Not because God is against it, but because God created it for a marriage. When you sin this way you not only hurt others, but you hurt yourself… betray yourself…
do you not know
do you not know - there is something that you should know… that bigger than you…
Your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit.
- Paul shifts from consequence to identity. He is saying, Do you not know who you are? You are the temple of the HS. God’s spirit lives inside of you.
Here why it’s a big deal....
The value of a container is determined by what it contains.
If someone stole my wallet, I wouldn’t care about the wallet, but what’s inside my wallet… money, pictures… My wallet is valuable because of what it contains.
You are valuable because of what is inside - HS lives inside you. You are created in the image of God.
You are not your own - You may think you are, but you are not.
Be glad you are not, because
Ownership determines value.
pics of eric clapton guitar
At 2014 Stratocaster Guitar, worth about 1800 sold for over 45,000. Why? because of who owned it. It had Eric Clapton’s signature on it.
Paul is saying that YOU are owned by your father in heaven, which gives you extraordinary value. How valuable? By what was paid for you. The value of something is determined by what someone will pay for it.
Your price - Jesus
Therefore…
- In light of the consequences of sexual sin and your extraordinary value and potential for intimacy...
honor God with your bodies
Honor other’s bodies with your body… Paul says Honor God…
What if we all treated everyone around us like Paul says to treat them because of what’s in them?
Flee sexual immorality…

Fleeing requires guardrails

Next few minutes let’s look at potential guardrails that will guard your fidelity.
Talk about it
If you are married or engaged, talk about it and set some guardrails around your relationship. Talk about what you are comfortable with and uncomfortable with in your partner’s relationships. Let me say this… a person of the opposite sex, who is not your spouse, cannot be your best friend if you are married. I have never met a spouse that was comfortable with that.
You need to decide what is appropriate behavior at work… etc. Talk about it.
Avoid traveling or eating alone with members of the opposite sex.
If something happens and you have to, tell your spouse … Your boss may make you work late… your boss make take you to lunch… have the conversation with your spouse… don’t keep secrets in this area.
If you find yourself not telling your spouse about it, it should ding your conscience.
Unless you are a trained therapist, and understand transference and counter-transference,
Don’t counsel with members of the opposite sex
People who are struggling… who are vulnerable often develop an attraction in counseling situations, and you will not recognize that it’s transference.
The need help, but they don’t need you.
You can refer them to us and we will find them help… stay out of situations that are going to develop intimacy.
If you feel your heart drifting toward a specific person, tell someone
Speaking of it will diffuse it… most of the time.
Culture will object… (Mike Pence)
Culture might try to say that this will limit women’s professional opportunities...
This doesn’t limit a woman’s professional opportunities. If it’s misapplied it can, but it doesn’t have to. If you are in a position of authority, you need to make sure it doesn’t.
I know you may be thinking, you are making women sound like predators. NO. Men are predators. Remember, men are cave men HBR. Properly applied guardrails will protect women in the workplace, not hurt them.
news - men being sued over inappropriate sexual contact… I can’t remember a women being sued over that… Men are the predators. If men were not cave men, we would not need to even talk about this.
If you are single, apply the married people’s guardrails to your relationships with married people.
GR protect women in the workplace.
GR are not just for men, many women live by these as well.
Let’s talk about social media. When it comes to affairs, illicit relationships, and emotional involvement, Social Media is a gate way drug.
Social Media Guardrail - everything is a lie.
It’s worse than actually meeting because everything is a lie and is romanticized… you only get the highlights.
If you are married or in a significant relationship, talk about what you are comfortable with.
Guardrails are supposed to light up our consciences BEFORE we hurt others and ourselves.
IOW, it should make us sensitive to something not because we have done something, but because we are drifting in that direction.
Conclusion
Extreme? Dangerous environments call for extreme measures.
PAUL - the days are evil… Let me ask you who are in a relationship this question…
What in our culture supports you being faithful?
Advertising? NO / Media? NO / TV? NO / Magazines? NO /
Who is fighting for your fidelity? No one, except the church in our culture.
Singles: Nothing in our culture is encouraging you to live morally pure
Do you think you will be back in 5 years and regret putting guardrails around your moral purity? Won’t happen!
Extreme? Not at all. This is the way you have an awesome you are the only one for me kind of marriage.
The choice is yours
Flee or Flirt?
Fleeing honors God, your spouse or future spouse. You will not be honored now but you will be later… by the people who matter and by our Father in heaven.
You may be here and wish you had… you can today and you will be glad.
Guardrails set you up to say, from the bottom of my heart, I’m forever yours...
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