Wildfires are a terrible thing.
Everything affected...the ground, the air, trees, flowers, homes, people, pets.
Only ashes left....and smoke....and rubble.
Memories, peace, life, comfort - gone.
Wildfire in a person's life is just the same.
So, building a firewall - a perimeter that provides safety - is a great idea.
>Establishing personal boundaries and maintaining personal strengths can go a long ways to protecting marriage and families and ministry.
>Open confession, accountability measures with self and others is just the same.
Here are five firewall standards that I (and church staff I have overseen) have practiced and found helpful:
1. No one-on-one alone contexts with the opposite sex (or troubled same-sex) including in the following situations: a. driving a car or other mode of transportation
b. eating with a person of opposite sex - even in a public place
c. making visit/s to a person in a place of residence
d. responding to emergencies in private locations
e. meeting a person in the office when the offices are closed.
2. If you have to meet someone when the office is closed, do so with a third party present, or near enough to be have their presence felt.
3. If married, at all times your spouse should know where you are and be able to reach you.
4. No touch....even in public places, exercise extreme caution. This is tinder for many fires.
5. If your mind rehearses immoral constructs....confess that as sin and plainly to God, and take that as a warning that you need to build an even stronger firewall.
"God wants you to live a pure life.
Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.
God hasn't invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life, but into something holy and beautiful - as beautiful on the inside as the outside.
May you (and I) be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God...."*
* From I Thessalonians 3&4 - The Message