Open Letter #3 – The Truth about Porn, Boundaries, and The Standards You Set That Could Make or Break Your Marriage!

Madeline and Pierson,

As I write this to you, your mom and I have been married for almost 14 years. I can honestly say that right now we are experiencing the best years of our relationship and we are excited to know that even better years lie ahead. We have gone through difficult seasons, as any relationship does, but we haven’t quit and we don’t plan on it. However, over these last 14 years we have also noticed an overwhelming amount of our closest friends who haven’t been so fortunate. Sadly, their marriages failed!   And while they failed for many different reasons, there seems to be a common thread that has surfaced in the vast majority of those broken relationships…sexual sin.

OPEN LETTER- SMALLER SIZE

This sexual sin wasn’t always the root cause of the marriage failure. In fact, I would say that in most cases, it was merely a symptom of much deeper issues. Nevertheless, this symptom often turns out to be the nail-in-the-coffin that sinks the entire relationship. I am writing to you today to share with you some of the beliefs that are most dear to my heart in this area. Core values that have helped your mom and me throughout the years.

 

  • Whom You Marry- As a father, there are many things I would prefer to see in the husband/wife that you choose. But at the end of the day, I don’t care how much money he makes. I don’t care how pretty she is. I don’t care what color their skin is. I don’t care how educated they are or how much baggage they have.   There is only one thing that truly matters to me….Are they a child of God? This should be your ultimate pre-requisite.   I’m not talking about that person who merely said “The Sinners Prayer” at some point in their life. I am talking about that person who not only made Him Savior, but has also made Him Lord! I am talking about that person who longs for His presence and is miserable when they have not heard His voice.   Why does this matter to me so much? Because the things I will write to you in this letter are very difficult to implement and hard to understand for those who do not truly know and seek Him.

 

  • Boundaries – You will go through difficult seasons within your marriage. The number one thing you can do to protect your marriage during these seasons is to setup boundaries within it. These are some of the practical boundaries that your mom and I have implemented from the beginning of our marriage in an effort to protect it!
  • Closed Doors—Avoid being alone behind closed doors with the opposite sex. It invites temptation and jeopardizes your reputation. If you cannot avoid it for some reason communicate it to your spouse ahead of time so that there is accountability and honesty.
  • Email, Social Media, and Any other new platform that arises– There should be no area of your life that is hidden from your husband/wife. Your username and passwords for all email, social media, and any other platforms or technology that arises in the future should be available to the other person.  God has called us to complete “oneness” in marriage and we can never enter into the joy of that when we have hidden areas of our life.
  • Be Very Careful of Alcohol and the Opposite Sex—Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes you extremely vulnerable. It doesn’t matter how strong your marriage is; with enough alcohol and the right environment…anyone can fall!!!   Your mother and I committed on day one that we would not drink with the opposite sex and we would always communicate if we would be drinking socially without the other person. (for more on why I gave up alcohol completely, click here)
  • Communicating your Problems– The problems that you are facing in your life, especially within your marriage, should never be shared one on one with the opposite sex. This creates an emotional connection that is hard to break and will create vulnerability. Be aware also when another person is attempting to share their struggles with you. This is just as dangerous.
  • In Summary – Boundaries are never the answer to the problem of sexual sin. The answer will always lie in a changed heart, and that work can only come from God. However, boundaries will provide protection when the storm comes, so that in a moment of weakness or a difficult season, you do not throw away your future and your legacy. The boundaries above will seem extreme to most of the world but it’s my belief that a man should be willing to go to extreme measures to protect the things that he values most. Pierson, you will be the leader of your house! And ultimately, it is the leader’s job to protect the home and erect these walls of protection. But know this…by the time the storm comes, it will likely be too late.

 

  • When we fall – Sin still dwells in our flesh and it waits patiently for its opportunity to pounce upon us. As a result of this, we know that even those closest to God can fall. This is what you must know…The mark of a true child of God is not that he doesn’t fall, it’s that he can’t stay down! He gets back up! The Christian man is not capable of living in perpetual sin. That is the one primary and fundamental difference between the non-believer and the believer. The man of the world is able to live in his sin. But the child of God is no longer able to. The weight of his sin is too much for him to bear. He must get back up! This is one of fundamental reasons why I said you absolutely must choose your spouse carefully.   The last thing you want is to be married to someone who is content in their selfish and sinful state!
  • Confess- I am convinced that there is nothing worse than a life lived with un-confessed and hidden sin….in any area. Within the marriage, un-confessed sin erects a wall between you and your spouse. It causes you to hide from the one he has sinned against (emotionally and spiritually), just as Adam hid from God in the Garden. On the other hand, I am also convinced there is no greater feeling than being able to walk with peace and joy…knowing, I have clean hands and a pure heart and absolutely nothing to hide.

 

  • Lust, Pornography, and Standards- There is plenty of sound teaching available to you in the Christian community regarding lust and pornography. I’m not going to delve too deep into that in this letter. However, I do want to share with you what is nearest and dearest to my heart on this topic. So here goes…
    • Pierson, I believe the biggest error you can make as a man in this area is to dumb down the standard that God has set because of the culture in which you live. I am amazed at the amount of men – who call themselves Christians – yet have watered down and diluted the call of God in this area. God has called us to complete sexual purity. That standard will never change. As the word says…”there shall not even be a hint of sexual immorality among you.” This is the standard by which we measure. Why does He say there can be no hint of sexual immorality? Because the flesh is never satisfied! It always wants more!! No matter what that “hint” is today, it will always grow into something bigger tomorrow. I am not saying that you will attain perfection in this area. I am telling you that you should be in a constant and relentless pursuit of the standard our Master has called us to. Never settle!
    • Madeline, although my words to Pierson apply to you as well, I want to share with you specifically one of the biggest problems I see in married women today….They are confused about what to expect out of their husband! They know what they are craving in the depths of their heart, yet they feel as if it’s unrealistic to expect that out of their husband. Especially when it comes to sexual purity! This is a problem even within the Christian church and I want to clear it up for you right now! Expect your husband to have eyes ONLY for you! Expect him to set boundaries that will protect your marriage! Expect him to shun and flee from all forms of sexual sin and to be willing to take radical and extreme measures to avoid it. Expect him to not lust after another woman as she walks by. Expect him to be a leader. Expect him to provide financially. Expect him to be the man God has called him to be – and the man you deserve!! Am I saying that he will not fail? Of course not! But here is one of the most important lessons I have learned in my life about myself and men in general…A man will rise and fall according to the level of expectation that is placed upon him! I hope you understood that last statement! I’m convinced that this is one of the primary reasons God placed your mother in my life. She has always placed great expectations upon me in every area of my life and has never compromised on those. I have become a better man as a result of her high expectations of me.

 

I love you both very much and I hope you take my words to heart, as your marriage will likely be the most challenging and rewarding relationship of your life!

Love,

 Dad

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4 thoughts on “Open Letter #3 – The Truth about Porn, Boundaries, and The Standards You Set That Could Make or Break Your Marriage!

  1. Well said and a wonderful idea for your children. I know your Dad is smiling down on you and is very proud of the man you have become as I am as well. Love you !
    Thank you!🙏🙅❤️