Written by: Courtney Flocken
Joseph was ready to run as he quickly and decisively fled from Potiphar’s wife. He knew exactly what he would do in the face of temptation. In spite of the heartbreaking lows of his life, Joseph was strong in his choice to honor God. Joseph knew sexual offense against God, Potiphar, and his own body would spread like a cancer within him.
Bobby’s mom shared with me how at 15 years old her son remained far from toeing the line through a seemingly small choice to “run.” He quickly learned the power of social media and that it can quickly and unapologetically pull you further than you intended. Bobby was steadfast in his purity but found not everything set him up for success. With wise parental counsel and a countercultural view of “cool,” he deleted Safari, Instagram, and other social media from his phone. There is wisdom in boundaries that allow room to breathe. If his boundary was toeing the line, the risk lies in crossing a boundary you never set out to cross. Like Joseph, Bobby recognized boundaries aren’t to be determined in the face of temptation, but rather set in place to guide him in the face of temptation.
Genesis 39 shows us that wisdom lives in healthy boundaries that are far away from temptations. “One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside.” (Genesis 39:11)
Joseph didn’t know there wasn’t anyone inside until after he entered. But he recognized the huge red flag of being alone with Potiphar’s wife, who wanted to sleep with him. Joseph was prepared in the face of temptation how he would respond: run! We often go through life responding to situations without a plan to succeed in our lives, marriages, and sexuality.
It will cost us something to have healthy boundaries, but it will also cost us something to not have boundaries and toe the line of temptation. Having boundaries cost Joseph something: unjust prison time. But not having predetermined boundaries would have cost him more.
Thought of the day: In which area of your life, marriage, or sexuality can you establish stronger boundaries that allow breathing room to keep you far from toeing the line of temptation? If you are reading this and feel hopeless in this area, consider attending Celebrate Recovery and allowing brothers and sisters to come along side you.
Prayer: God, thank You for today. Please increase my wisdom in areas to surrender to Your power to establish strong boundaries that help me create margin and lead away from temptation. In Jesus’ name, amen.