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The Toxicity of Sexual Sin 3 – Setting Healthy Boundaries

The Toxicity of Sexual Sin Day 3: Setting Healthy Boundaries

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. (Psalm 16:5-8, ESV)

Have you been that person who overcommits and hates saying “no” when asked for help? I really dislike letting people down; maybe it goes deeper than that—maybe I don’t like to admit that I can’t do it all, that I have limitations. And so, when asked if I’d like to contribute my time, money, or energy in various activities or causes, I find myself often agreeing, only to regret it later when I am pressed to deliver.

Boundaries are necessary in many areas of our lives. Maybe it’s saying “no” more often in order to keep your priorities in check. By overcommitting, you’re short-changing the more important areas, so boundaries must be put in place to protect against that. But what about boundaries when it comes to sexual thoughts and actions? If we don’t have boundaries in place, we are already a vulnerable target to Satan’s attacks and have little chance of staying pure.

Right at the age your child is beginning to tap into sexually curious thoughts and questions, as parents you’ll want to start giving clear, godly information at their level of understanding. Help them establish boundaries that align with biblical principles, and help them come up with ways to see those principles honored in their lives. Arm them with the simple power of saying “no”—and meaning it. Perhaps one meaningful aspect here is to make sure you allow them to see or hear about the danger of loose boundaries. This can help motivate them to set a pattern for themselves that will protect them from sexual choices that will lead to pain and disappointment. 

If you are that young person or young adult, or are in your middle and even senior years, it’s never too late to set protective boundaries, even if you’ve become lax and allowed sin to seep into your thought patterns and behavior. Each of us needs to revisit our boundaries regularly and evaluate if we have set adequate ones or need to make adjustments. Just because we’ve made it past the teen years or found our lifelong marriage partner doesn’t mean we won’t still struggle sexually. We may still struggle with lust, and if we aren’t conscientious here, we may find ourselves acting on those lustful thoughts. Boundaries are necessary for all of us.

If you’re of dating age, it’s best to set your own boundaries regarding sex before you begin dating. And then as a couple sit down and set boundaries that honor God’s design inside godly relationships. God hasn’t left us with vague instruction when it comes to sex. In fact, He’s very clear in the guidelines He’s set for us. Do you know them? Have you looked in the pages of your Bible regarding the subject, or are you going by word of mouth from someone else, maybe even a pastor who has allowed the culture to speak louder than Scripture? I encourage each of you to study what’s written in Scripture, then make sure that your boundaries line up with His Word.

No matter your age, consider the boundaries you currently have in place. Are they working for you? Would a strong person in your family of faith look on your life without concern? Even then, our private thoughts and actions may be alarmingly unhealthy. How do you think God views your thought patterns and behavior? Are additional boundaries needed to keep you on a better path? If you see areas that aren’t airtight, what can you do today to add the protection you need to stay pure?

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