Repentance for Breaking Natural Boundaries

In the Los Angeles earthquake of 1994, I witnessed power lines under and over ground breaking and igniting into flames. Showers of sparks flew from the broken lines as they lashed out, like huge snakes striking wildly at anything in their path. Broken power lines did more damage in our neighborhood than anything else.

Like those damaged lines, we as a people are guilty of breaking natural boundaries in our relationships. We have scoffed at the 6th Commandment: ‘Thou shall not commit adultery.’ Not only have we refused marriage as the one context for sexual behavior, we have allowed our minds and hearts to be filled with lustful thoughts for those we have no business sexualizing. We have violated the 9th Commandment: ‘Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife’, referring to the ways we envy or long to possess another that is not ours to have.

In our neediness and rebellion, we have broken holy boundaries. We have perverted God’s creation. The lines of protection break and lash out; loose wires ignite desires that are exaggerated and inflamed. Our emotions become similarly distorted and incline us to dangerous unions. Misbegotten relationships speak for themselves, a result of our separation from God rather than of our obedience to Him.

J. Budziszewski writes of how breaking natural boundaries perverts desire and behavior: “Although sex consummates the friendship of wife and husband, it perverts the friendship of comrades, just as it perverts the friendship of family members.”

I remember the seismic shift that occurred as a teenager when my male friend became a lover; I see that now with men and women on the journey out of homosexuality who break boundaries with others on the way to freedom. Friends lose friends when they become lovers. There is forgiveness for perverting a friendship, but there is no return to its original innocence.

My original walking partners in the ‘brave new world’ of homosexuality both died of AIDS. Having annihilated natural boundaries in all manner of addiction, we became subject to all manner of infection. Today Annette and I spend much of our time helping others rebuilding boundaries in the aftermath of their breaking them, not to mention the equally slow process of restoring trust with those they love.

Breaking boundaries is costly and devilish. We are slow to come to our senses. We must pray for clarity of truth and sight here; we must ask God for an awareness of the depth of denial and deception at work. I never cease to be amazed at how long and how far violators will go to defend their moral crimes.

“Behind your doors and your doorposts, you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked on their nakedness…You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint. Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have been false to me, and have neither remembered me nor pondered this in your hearts?” (Isaiah 57: 8, 10, 11)

“Thank you God that we have come to our senses. The loose wires have lashed out at us; we have been burned by the fires of our lust and fiery emotions. Thank You for waking us up through the bitter consequence of sin.

Forgive us for the ways that we have violated You in our broken boundaries. Forgive us for the ways we have violated Your creation, including our own bodies and souls. Sensitize us to the damage done, that we would not take lightly the ways we have abused sacred trust as Your image-bearers.

Have mercy on us; give us grace, humility and courage to rebuild the boundary lines. Help us to manifest trustworthiness to those who we love and who need our faithfulness. Your faithfulness is our hope that we too can become faithful.”

We pray as Nehemiah prayed: “You see the trouble we are in: we are in ruins, our gates burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” (Neh3:17)

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

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Marriage is God’s Justice for the Boundaryless


You could say we live in a relational holocaust. More children than not are subject on a daily basis to porn, various forms of abuse, in general, a violation of what God intended for His human creation: one man for one woman committed to one another for life.

God created marriage to be a kind of boundary, a relationship intended to protect the lives of its offspring. That includes protection from misuses of adult power, all forms of adult sexuality, and violence between men and women. When protected, children are given the chance to grow up normally, to be prepared for an adult world in which they must make wise decisions about relationships and sexuality.

Most kids are not blessed with these boundaries. If just under half of marriages fail, then that many kids are subject to the pain of a single parent who is unhappy and overburdened, often expressly due to the failure of a spouse. The break-up of marriages often results in neglect of the child, a lack of attentiveness to his/her emerging life. That life requires more protection than ever before.

Before the age of 18, 25% of girls will be sexually molested, as will just under 20% of boys. 40% of victims are abused by family members, another 50% by those whom they know and trust.

The Internet plays a huge role in violating young boundaries. 9 out of 10 children between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed Internet porn: 11 being the average age of exposure. The 12-17 year-old age group are the largest consumers of Internet porn. 1 in 5 children receive unwanted sexual solicitations online.

The Justice Department said: “Never before in the history of U.S. telecommunications has so much obscene material been so easily accessible to so many minors in so many homes with so few restrictions.”

Kids who are unattended and without boundaries need whole marriages in their lives. These marriages serve as a sanctuary for them, a living witness of who men and women can be for one another. It raises a standard and a boundary for those living without them.

I remember a young boy living in a boundaryless family across the street from us. His mother had drug problems stoked by a string of boyfriends. He would come over and play with my kids and I; he drank in the attention I gave him. I have never witnessed one as hungry for love and order. He longed for normal and got it through our family.

Whole marriages and families help heal those broken in their boundaries.

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“Father, set the orphans into families. Restore the broken through whole marriages.”