Establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries is necessary in our culture, though we hadn’t thought about it in those terms before. Just watching a football game or driving down the highway, throws unsolicited images of scantily clad women at people. Until Todd’s confession, I hadn’t really noticed how saturated our culture is with sensual advertisements, not to mention how prevalent such images are in television and movies. Now it angers me!
However, it’s not just images that are currently in our faces, it’s what’s been put in our memory banks or even in the imagination that need to blocked out. So, whatever the source, both spouses to honor the other by avoiding such images as much as possible. Todd turns his eyes away from commercials, billboards, etc. that expose women indecently. Sometimes I thank him for it, and I always notice (if I’m with him). I’m so thankful he shows me respect and love in this way. Likewise, it’s important to take captive every thought. Unwanted images can pop into anyone’s mind at anytime, and it’s critical to pop them out just as quickly, not allowing oneself to think upon it or go further with it.
Of course, an obvious boundary is the need for filters on all computer and other internet accessible devices. Besides the filter, I also receive a weekly report. Although there has never been a porn website listed on it (thank you Todd!), I need this to know that my trust in him is being honored; it gives me peace of mind. I (Todd) believe that it is important to have these filters to keep from unsolicited images entering your mind. I think sometimes, especially for guys it would be easy to feel like we are always being monitored which is true but it is for our own spiritual safety. If we truly want to stay pure, we will want all the help we can get and filters can especially help eliminate unwanted images pop-up on the screen.
Filters, blockers, and reports are great tools, but they only address the symptoms of an underlying problem. To have true freedom, rather than “white-knuckle” freedom as a friend puts it, the root of the problem needs to be doctored.. So over all these boundaries, we believe the key to purity is filling our minds with the Truth, with Scripture. In the Lord, we have all we need for abundant life and freedom, so we need to be with Him! Much less room exists for sin, when we fill ourselves up with what is pure and holy. Knowing Scripture also makes it easier to recognize Satan’s lies and temptations. It strengthens us to resist them and rebuke Satan with the Truth. For Todd, confession to me as his wife and then developing the discipline of being in the Word provides him enduring freedom and enables him to “slap down” Satan’s attacks. Sometimes you just have to say, even out loud, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only,’” just as Jesus rebuked Satan (Mt. 4:10). It is important to recognize that Satan only comes to “steal and kill and destroy”, but in Jesus, we have “life to the full,” (John 10: 10). What our culture throws at us through sensual and pornographic images only robs us of love and pleasure that is real, deep and lasting. Healthy boundaries and spiritual discipline allow us to stay in the blessings of God’s love and His great blessing of sexual enjoyment & fulfillment.