Purity for Politicians…

Posted on June 25, 2009

…and purity for pastors, priests, poets and all people.

By now you've probably heard the sad and disappointing news of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's affair. It's a story that is sure to be in the headlines for the next several days. But after the hype of the news channels and tabloids, newspapers and magazines, the reality is that a marriage, and a family, hangs in the balance. And this story has caused me to think about my own marriage and the marriages of the people I meet every day.

Over the years, Lisa and I have been asked countless questions by thousands of people about our marriage. But one of the most important questions we've been asked is how we keep our marriage pure. So years ago I wrote out: 

The 10 Commandments of Purity

        1.     I shall have no other human relationship before Lisa, including our children.
        2.     I shall remember our date night and keep it holy. 
        3.     I shall honor Lisa on anniversaries and special days so that I may live long in the land the  Lord has given me.
        4.     I shall not take the covenant of marriage in vain.
        5.     I shall not ride in a car or eat in a restaurant alone with a member of the opposite sex.
        6.     I shall not travel alone. 
        7.     I shall not counsel a woman with the doors closed.
        8.     I shall not share the details of our marriage with others.
        9.     I shall not watch, read or expose myself to sexually explicit shows, books, websites, etc.
        10.   I shall remember the implications of committing adultery.

No matter who you are, I challenge you to make these your own. Follow them in your marriage every day. They may seem extreme. But something that has extreme consequences calls for extreme action.

Remember, everyone deals with temptation. It's what you do before facing temptation to stay pure that determines what happens in the face of it. You have to protect your marriage. So do I. Because failing to do so can result in heartache – for ourselves, our families and most importantly, our God.

This issue is bigger than only calling for purity for politicians. We need to call for purity as politicians, pastors, priests, poets and as all people.

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