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.

7 Replies to "Purity for Politicians..."

  • Jennifer Michaelson
    June 25, 2009 (7:28 am)

    As a pastor’s wife, I can tell you how much it means that he has adopted many of these himself to avoid even the APPEARANCE of impropriety. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter whether something wrong did occur… if people begin to say it did, your ministry, reputation and marriage will really suffer. Thanks for the awesome, timely advice!

  • Josh Britt
    June 25, 2009 (10:16 am)

    thanks so much for this list. You are right on the money. I really appreciate your ministry. God is using you in God sized ways.

  • Cindy Avakian
    June 25, 2009 (12:06 pm)

    Well said, Pastor Ed. Thank you for providing this important message to us all.

  • Coleen
    June 25, 2009 (3:36 pm)

    Thank you Pastor Ed for sharing! it’s important as christians to live the way God intended for us to live. I know sometimes it’s not easy, but if we allow some of the ungodly things in our lives to filter than we will have to pay the consequences.

  • charity jane villahermosa
    June 27, 2009 (2:01 am)


  • Audrey Baker
    June 28, 2009 (7:32 am)

    We are all put in a situation of temptation at times. This not exclusive to Men …Women as well can fall into temptation.
    We all need to remember commitment and our love. Too many people think that being unfaithful is when it involves sex. There is nothing more hurtful in a Marriage than when the other partner shares a Emotional Relationship with a coworker or friend and puts that person first before their spouse and children.
    We have to walk with the Lord everyday to be reminded that Temptation is all around us. We need to make the right decisions in Life to protect us and our Family. … Read More
    Thank you Pastor Ed and Lisa for sharing your
    10 commandments of purity. I agree, we all need to write down our own to stay pure.

  • Patty
    July 15, 2009 (4:17 pm)

    I appreciate the dedication you have made to your wife. Sadly, it is rare to hear someone speak so honestly about their commitment. As a woman in ministry, however, I have felt the isolation and separation made between myself and male pastors at my church because of number 5. Professional relationships grow stronger through time spent together both in groups and through activities such as meals. When I have been restricted from certain activities with fellow ministers because of my gender it only served to divide us. (In my particular situation, the senior pastor used the separation of genders in a way to demean the females and keep the males superior.) Imagine the hurt I would feel when two male colleagues would leave the office for lunch knowing that I would never experience this camaraderie. Again, I applaud the commitments you have made, I just wanted to give you a view from the other side.

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