Thursday, May 25, 2006

Keeping your guard up

In First Thessalonians 4:3, Paul exhorts the church at Thessalonica to “abstain from all sexual immorality.” The word “abstain” gives the idea of staying as far away from something as possible. In other words, we must always keep our guard up when it comes to sexual purity. For me, that means taking this battle seriously. As a result, I have several personal policies that I will make no exceptions regarding.

For example, it is my personal policy and practice to never council a female when no one else is in the office area. As a result, any counseling I do with ladies has to occur during the office work hours when other staff are working or on Wednesday nights while other people are working or meeting in the office areas as well. And even during these times when the office area is occupied, if I am meeting with just another woman, then the blinds on both of my office windows must always remain open.

Another example is that I will never make a home visit where a female is home alone or home with just their small children. For me to make a home visit, their must be an older child, or more preferably, another male relative home. In cases where I must make a visit where a woman is home by herself, then I will only drop by if my wife is with me.

A third example is that I will never ride in a vehicle alone with another woman (other than my own family members) or with a group of ladies unless there is at least one other man in the vehicle as well. I don’t make any exceptions here. In other words, if you are a lady from our church and you are walking down the road and it is raining cats and dogs and you are without an umbrella and getting absolutely drenched, and I happen to drive by and I am alone in my car, guess what? You are going to continue getting wet.

Realizing that access to pornography and sexual discussions are rampant through the internet, we have a very good filter on all of our computers at the church and all internet access is monitored regularly and carefully. At home, it is much too easy to be alone with the internet and be tempted. As a result, at my house, only my wife knows the password to get on the internet. That means that I cannot get on the internet at home unless my wife gets me on to the internet. This way, I cannot be on the internet when I am home by myself and I cannot be on the internet without my wife knowing that I am on the web. We also keep the computer in a highly visible area of our house.

Now, are all of these safeguards necessary? Absolutely! Earlier in First Thessalonians 4, Paul told the believers that when it came to sexual purity they were doing well but that they needed to “excel even more.” In other words, I am not just to avoid every form of sexual immorality, but I am also to stay as far away from it as possible. But that is not enough either. I must also be committed to excelling even more and finding even more safeguards to take me even further away from the trap of sexual sin.

So tell me, is your guard up? Can you excel even more?

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