A note from Kelly King: There have been many times when I have been in the passenger seat while my husband drove up a mountain road without guardrails. It’s a terrifying thought that one wrong move could result in terrible consequences. As Kaye explains in today’s article, physical guardrails are important—but so are those that affect us mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and more. Consider what guardrails you already have in place or those you might need to build.
Can you imagine what it would be like if our roadways had no lane lines? Would a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway be as beautiful and relaxing without guardrails? Or how about the famous Road to Hana in Maui? Can you imagine those hairpin curves on volcanic cliffs without protection? Lane lines, guardrails, and external boundaries are for our protection and safety.
Without them, people would die. Similarly so, our internal lives require lane lines, guardrails, and boundaries. In fact, quite often women experience pain in their lives because they have stepped outside of or ignored God’s guardrails for their lives found in His Word.
In ministering to hurting women, two critical components are listening well to her story and discerning next steps. As you listen to her story, listen for areas in her life where the guardrails have been ignored. Resetting the guardrails can help her find healing, help, and freedom in multiple areas of her life.
Here are 5 areas where we need strong and steady guardrails to ensure our safety and freedom:
1. Physical Guardrails. These are the guardrails of eating healthy, exercising regularly, and having regular check-ups. Most of us have experienced the pain of removing these guardrails from our lives; I know I have! As Scripture states, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable” (1 Cor. 6:12a, NASB).
2. Relational Guardrails. It is ok to say no to relationships with people who are harmful or toxic. In fact, if you are currently in a relationship where you are unsafe or being harmed physically or emotionally, please seek help. Talk to a counselor or trusted friend about the relationships in your life and listen to the wise counsel and warnings of other Christ followers.
3. Emotional and Mental Guardrails. We must be careful with the things we allow ourselves to feel, think, read, and watch. Let’s help one another find the tools to control our impulses, desires, and wants.
4. Spiritual Guardrails. These are the guardrails of prayer, study, reading God’s Word, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines. It is also knowing that God is a God of forgiveness and new beginnings. There is no sin that God cannot forgive.
5. Financial Guardrails. It seems that debt is the American way. But it can also be a very painful path and lead to destruction. If you are struggling financially, Dave Ramsey has a helpful course called, “Financial Peace University.” Do an online search to find where it is offered near you.
For those of us leading in ministry, there are also guardrails for ministerial freedom—humility, vulnerability, accountability, and authenticity to name a few. A pastor at our church recently said, “A gift from God becomes a strength when you rely on God but becomes a weakness when you rely on the gift.” I heard Beth Moore once say, “Never let your giftedness outweigh your godliness.”
Your leadership gift is from God; steward it well. Let’s steward our whole lives well, living within the guardrails for a healthy life.
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.