Many years ago, long before I was a pastor, I was faced with a decision. It was a defining moment for me and it was one time where I did it right. I needed to drive to the southern part of Indiana for a meeting for work. It just so happened that there was also another employee who was headed to the same place for the same reason. And it was a female. My boss at the time suggested that she and I ride together to this meeting to save the company money on reimbursing mileage.
I was faced with a dilemma.
You see, my wife and I had set up some very specific and very stringent boundaries in order to protect our marriage. Let me say up front that this post is not meant to be prescriptive in any way. The boundaries that she and I chose where based off of what we thought was best for us at the time. The boundaries that we pick…or that anyone picks…should be fully customized for that couple and should in no way simply copy what they see or hear about another couple doing.
But, we had agreed to the boundary that neither of us would ride alone in a car with a person of the opposite gender. That meant I would never put myself in a situation where I would ride alone with another woman. And this situation would have meant that the two of us, me and this other woman, would be in a car together for well over an hour.
My choice was further complicated by the mandate of my boss for the two of us to ride together. I was faced with either turning my back on my wife or my boss. On the surface, it would seem like an easy choice. But, I have to admit, at the time, it wasn’t. I needed my job. Plus, how would I explain it to this woman in a way that will not be mocked or laughed at and ridiculed.
Well, I did it. I mustered up the courage and I explained to this other woman about the boundary and agreement that my wife and I had. I told her that because of this, I couldn’t ride alone with her. Her response was something that I never would have expected.
She replied to me that it wasn’t a problem at all. She went on to say that she had a new-found level of respect for me because of this.
Can you believe it?!? And, the icing on the cake was the way my wife responded. She was ecstatic that I would place the values of our marriage above my job. She felt safe and secure and knew, in that moment, that she was loved…and that I would do everything necessary to protect our marriage and make it a priority in my life.
Agreed upon boundaries are only good if they’re put into practice. I want to encourage you to sit down tonight and discuss with your spouse the boundaries that you have in place. If you haven’t set any, agree to them tonight! What are those boundaries that will help you protect your marriage and remain faithful to one another? This can include what I’ve described here or extend to internet/technology usage or one on one meetings…and so on!
What are the best boundaries that you’ve seen, heard about, or implemented? Comment below and let’s start a dialogue…