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Summary: When you learn to honor God with your body, the reward is that God will honor you with a relationship of intimacy the way he intended and designed it to be.

We’re in week three of this series, Guardrails, and we’re really excited about this. Just a

heads up. Next week Sandra is going to come and we’re going to tag-team preach, so you won’t

want to miss next week. Essentially, she’s going to correct everything I’ve said for the first three

weeks in the series. We’re thinking maybe we should do that every series, just have her kind of

come up at the end. I’m just kidding. It’s going to be a lot of fun, so you won’t want to miss that.

If you’re thinking about bringing friends, next week will be very entertaining; so don’t miss that.

The whole point of this series—we know what guardrails are, but essentially they’re a

system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous (and that’s the key word), into

dangerous, or off-limit areas. We said just like a guardrail accomplishes something for us when

we’re driving, we asked the question, I wonder what it would look like to have guardrails in

other areas of our lives.

The interesting thing about a guardrail is that a guardrail is actually placed in a safe zone

to keep us from going into an unsafe zone. Guardrails aren’t in the area of danger; guardrails are

always a few feet or a few yards inside the area of danger. So again, we asked the question, what

would it look like to have guardrails in other areas of our lives? We came up with our own

definition of a guardrail just for this series, and here’s what it is: A guardrail is a standard of

behavior—that’s a behavior you choose—a standard of behavior that becomes a matter of

conscience. The idea being that you would choose behaviors for yourself that would keep you a

few feet or a few yards away from disaster, whether it’s financially, or in your friendships, or

morally, in your dating relationships, in your thought life—whatever it might be, and that as you

recognize there are lines out there that “Once I cross them, there’s a consequence; that once I

cross them, there’s a penalty; that once I cross them, I hurt the people I love the most.” As you

recognize those lines, that you would step back from the line and establish a guardrail for

yourself. And a guardrail would simply be a behavior that you would decide, “I’m never going to

do this in order to keep me from doing that,” and that this would become so clear to you that it

would send bells and whistles and red flags waving—that it would become a matter of

conscience. That is, that you would feel bad if you actually bumped into a guardrail you’ve

established.

The temptation, of course, in life is to live right on the edge of disaster financially, get as

much debt as you can, live right on the edge of disaster morally, live right on the edge of disaster

in terms of friendships, and your thought life, or the Internet, or any of those kinds of things. But

the wise person says, “You know what, I’m not going to live on the edge of disaster. I’m going

to step back. I’m going to establish a guardrail.” So we began asking what it would look like to

have guardrails in different areas of our lives.

Today I want to talk about what I think is the most important area. This is the area that’s

most needed, but it’s also the area where we find the most resistance. In fact, whenever I talk

about this subject, and I do from time to time, even though I feel like I repeat myself, I’ve decided I just don’t care—we just can’t talk about this enough. Whenever I talk about this

subject, I feel literally like one of those Old Testament prophets who’s yelling and screaming and

everybody is just passing by ignoring him, and that no matter what I say and no matter how I

illustrate it, no matter how graphic I am and no matter how ridiculous I get, no matter how

creative I get, the average person goes, “Yeah, well, that’s what we would expect a preacher to

say,” and then he or she just goes right back to business as usual. But if we as a culture would

begin establishing some guardrails in this one particular area, it would impact poverty in our

nation, it would cause an amazing change in our inner cities in our country, it would begin to

reduce the number of people in prison in our country, and thousands and thousands of little boys

and little girls would be tucked in by Mommy and Daddy on the weekend instead of swapping

back and forth every other weekend to visit Mom and Dad because they’re not together anymore.

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