Did you ever believe that the boundaries set forth in sacred Scripture bound you up and left you without a blessing? Many unbelievers regard Christianity as little more than a dour collection of “Thou shalt nots” . . . but what about you? Have you ever slipped into that kind of thinking?
We live in a culture which champions the freedom to do what we want, when we want, and how we want. If you speak out about the biblical boundaries God has graciously provided us (yes, I said “graciously provided,” not “onerously burdened”), you are viewed as legalistic, narrow-minded, puritanical, and intolerant. It is not uncommon for someone who is speaking in favor of biblical boundaries to be ruled “OUT OF BOUNDS!”
But this is not for you!
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)
This same culture which champions “If-it-feels-good-do-it” as an inalienable right is increasingly marked by a haunting sense of meaninglessness and utter despair. The American College Health Association reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24 and the second leading cause of death among college students.
The answer to this epidemic of emotional emptiness sweeping our country is not found in freedom to do what we want. The Gospel not only tells us what we have been freed from—the dominion of sin and Satan—but the Gospel tells us we are freed for—to walk in the ways of the Lord and to delight in His law.
Biblical boundaries are not burdens to bear; they are blessings to be received. My friend Steve Brown explained it beautifully: “God’s law (biblical boundaries) tells us where the land mines are buried and keeps us from blowing ourselves and others up.” The psalmist makes it perfectly clear that we willinevitably step on those land mines when we “walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.”
Parents, do you put up boundaries for your children because you want to squash their sense of joy and freedom? No, we set boundaries to protect them from the destructive desires of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Our great desire is to point our kids to the abundant life that God calls them to live. We know where many of the land mines are . . . all too often because we stepped squarely on them when we were young!
By outlining for our children what God has already outlined in His Word, we equip and empower them to live a life that truly matters, hopefully picking up less shrapnel than we did along the way!
We are God’s children. Our heavenly Father never sinned; He never came close to stepping on a land mine! But He knows where every single one of them is, and He gave us the map to warn us about all of them—that map is called the Bible. If we will, as much as it is within our power, faithfully live within the framework of the biblical boundaries He has laid out for us, we will stay within the bounds of God’s blessings.
Are God’s boundaries there to frustrate us and spoil our fun? By no means! They are a gracious gift from God, given to us so that we can live—really live—in freedom and joy.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!