5 Guardrails to Protect Yourself Against Temptation

A big, blue truck came screaming by me on the left; he must have been going 90 miles an hour. I thought, “Why is he in such a hurry?” Only a few moments later, we were sitting in traffic, wondering what had happened ahead of us. We could see police lights miles ahead of us on a bridge. As we got closer to the source of our bumper-to-bumper traffic, we saw the big blue truck smashed against a guardrail on the bridge with another car.

Driving by, I saw the driver standing next to his truck, talking to an officer. As we drove over the bridge, I thanked God for the guardrail because the bridge was about a hundred feet high, and the man in the blue truck would have lost his life without it. We need guardrails for many different things, but especially for the temptations we face. If you struggle with porn, sex, or any addiction, without established guardrails, you will fall. If you want to know how to resist temptation, start with these 5 guardrails.

1. Access

How many people in your life know the code to unlock your phone? Giving access to someone means you share your goals and struggles with a trusted friend, family member, or mentor who can hold you accountable. Having someone who understands your objectives and is willing to provide support and encouragement can make it easier to resist temptation. This guardrail may be difficult to establish because of the level of trust needed, but it is the strongest one on the list.

2. Boundaries

Boundaries do not always cause separation from people, places, and things; instead, they bring clarity to how we interact with them. Establish clear boundaries for yourself in various aspects of your life, such as relationships, work, and personal habits. These boundaries serve as barriers to prevent crossing into potentially destructive territory. An easy boundary you may need is to set limits on how much time you spend on certain activities or with certain people.

Contentment starts with gratitude.

3. Contentment

Every man struggles with the need for validation and appreciation. When you are content with who you are and what you have, you are less likely to seek satisfaction through impulsive or unhealthy behaviors. Contentment starts with gratitude. When is the last time you took inventory of the things in your life that you are grateful for?

4. Self-Awareness

If I am an athlete, I live like an athlete; I care for my body and make sure I’m ready to perform at any time on or off the field. Understanding who you are determines your actions.  You must develop self-awareness to recognize when you’re being tempted. Pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and triggers that might lead you astray. By being aware of your internal state, you can intervene before succumbing to temptation and make more conscious choices aligned with your values. Take time to write down a list of characteristics that define who you are and who you want to become; this list can drive your choices.

5. Established Routines

Nurture routines and habits that support your goals. Identify the habits that are negative and not helping you live to your full potential. By focusing on building productive actions, you create a guardrail against negative influences. Healthy habits can reinforce your commitment and make it more challenging to give in to temptation.

Sound off: Do you know how to resist temptation? What guardrails have worked for you?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think it’s good to develop self-discipline?”