I was talking today about relationships, and more specifically boundaries within relationships. I think that without boundaries (physical, emotional, and spiritual) a relationship will likely fail, and if not, there will be regrets in that relationship. Focusing on physical boundaries, these regrets could be that you held hands before you wanted to, that you kissed before you thought appropriate, or that you had sex when you didn’t want to. And I have seen from my own experience, that relationships with boundaries simply function better. When you have no regrets with the physical aspect of the relationship, there is much less stress on the rest of the relationship.
Then I thought about the conversation in a different light. If relationships need boundaries, then don’t I need boundaries as an individual? Boundaries are set in place, ideally, so that you never have to take a specific temptation head on. And boundaries are different for different people. Some people shouldn’t be kissing their significant other, where as for others, kissing might be entirely appropriate. For affective boundaries you have to know your strengths and weaknesses, you have to acknowledge them. So I suggest, since we all fall to temptation so much, we ought to look at where we have fallen, and set boundaries there.
One example could be this: if you find that you look at porn when you are on your computer at night, then don’t let yourself get on the computer at night. Commit yourself to whatever boundaries, pray over them, and do what it takes to make it happen. I noticed that I would often find myself lusting while watching TV, now I do not have TV. When I first decided to get rid of TV it was a very difficult decision to make (and convincing the parents wasn’t easy either), but now I find that I don’t miss TV in the least (neither do the parents).
We all know our weaknesses, whether or not we will admit it, we all know where we fall time and time again. James 1: 23-25 says “Those who listen to the word but do not do what it says are like people who look at their faces in a mirror and, after looking at themselves, go away and immediately forget what they look like. But those who look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continue in it – not forgetting what they have heard but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.”
Perhaps this isn’t the direct meaning that this verse was written to say, but it is what it says to me. If I look in the mirror, if I see my weakness and do nothing… BUT, if I look in the mirror, see my weakness, and I set up boundaries (among other things), then I will be blessed in what I do.
So I challenge you, examine yourself. Look intently at where you have fallen, and put up boundaries. Make walls that you cannot break so that you are free to run within them.