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What’s appropriate in private might not be appropriate in public. And we must wisely discern the right context for certain expressions. But laws and principles are not so subjectively determined. Universal principles hold regardless of the person, context, or life stage. 

For instance, the law of gravity doesn’t care if we’re famous or not. If we jump out of a plane we will fall. Likewise, whether young or old, we float whenever we align ourselves with the laws of buoyancy, even if we don’t fully understand how. And the law of the harvest – reaping what we sow – works the same regardless of our personal relationship with God. 

Perhaps at times this seems unfair, but it’s simply the way God designed his world to work. And it becomes a helpful touchpoint as we’re considering the guiding principles for our life and relationships. 

For example, it’s not okay for us to demand our kids to respect us if we’re not also respecting them. Of course, how this looks will be different, but the underlying principle of respect should remain the same. 

While the particulars will vary, the core of sexual ethics will also be the same whether we’re single or married. Regardless of our marital status, we have a duty to protect, cultivate, and celebrate the gift of our sexuality.  

And certainly love is a universal principle, as Christ calls us to love even our enemies. Naturally, how we love our enemies will look differently than how we love our family and friends. But we don’t get to play favorites and discriminate against who we offer love to. It’s a universal principle that must be applied to all. 

We’re likely bumping into issues of pride, or perhaps just personal preferences, when we try to make principles hold for one but not for another. It’s okay to have preferences; it’s not okay to attempt to apply bedrock truths selectively. 

In the end, allow for unique variations in how truth is applied to a particular person or context. But remember also the reality of universal principles – an underlying truth that doesn’t play favorites and remains unchanged despite the circumstances. 

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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