You know, I don’t care if you read the books or plan to watch the movie.
We can still be friends.
I shared an article the other day and got lots of criticism. Some of the comments shocked me a tiny bit; most saddened me.
I have high standards. I didn’t always. I pray that my children maintain high standards for their entertainment and every other aspect of their lives.
I discuss books and movies with my teen daughter. She knows they exist and I wanted to hear her thoughts and explain my stance. My younger girls don’t know about these things yet.
I haven’t read the Grey series. I don’t plan to watch the movie.
But I have read erotica and viewed pornography before. I know what to expect.
We’re in a battle for the souls of our children.
I know I want no part in it now.
What I want my children to know about life:
1. Sex isn’t bad.
Our culture sends mixed messages about sex: “Men, go for it! Women, don’t be sluts!”
And the Christian culture demands purity while turning a blind eye to sin. I am no prude.
I wasn’t a real Christian until my late 20s when I already had a child and two divorces under my belt.
Am I proud of my sin? Am I ashamed? I am forgiven and I learned from my mistakes. Those experiences are a part of my past and made me who I am today.
Sex is a beautiful thing within Christian marriage.
I refuse to allow the media to educate my children about sex.
2. People should be respected.
Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Let Him guide you. Respect yourself and others.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We should walk with dignity and grant dignity to all others.
Sex should never be demeaning, degrading, or shaming. That is abuse.
A married couple should be in agreement and glorify God in all they do, including sex.
You shouldn’t have to hide away from prying eyes to read, watch, or do anything. Integrity is respect.
3. Be careful, little eyes, what you see.
You can never un-remember or un-see pornography.
It perverts and twists what biblical sex should be. It creates an impossible standard for humans to attain in the bedroom. It can become an addiction. Don’t give Satan that power over you.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Because there might be people who look up to you and you don’t want to disappoint them or lead them astray by a poor decision.
4. Cause not a man to stumble.
Don’t do anything you might be ashamed of – especially if your parents, pastor, teacher, whoever is a role model sees you doing.
The New York Times Test – Would you be proud of yourself if this were on the front page and everyone in the world saw this spotlighted? In today’s instant world, would you want this shared on Facebook, Instagram, etc.?
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10: 31-33
Do you want to be the bad example, confusing those who might be weaker than you? Don’t compromise. Be aware of how others might interpret your behavior.
5. Maintain purity for your future spouse.
Viewing or reading pornography is etched in your mind forever. Just like any intimate experiences you may have with someone.
I shared my first marriage with Satan and all those other women he had been with and watched and all the other men I had known. It ruined us. There’s nothing like the searing jealousy of an imagined memory.
Purity is so much more than just staying a virgin until your wedding night.
It’s about keeping your mind, heart, body, and soul focused on Christ.
You need to learn who you are as an individual in the body of Christ and your role as His princess – without distractions – before you join together with a man in marriage.
I do pray you never have ugly memories to mar the beauty of sex within marriage.
6. There’s a state of depravity in the world.
The world will block our advances and it will try to confuse us and it will criticize us and it will tell us we’re wrong.
People will make bizarre accusations when you stand up for what’s right.
It’s very difficult to be in the world and not of the world.
We think we’re safe, limiting our entertainment to Christian music and movies and wholesome books.
Just because media has that Christian label doesn’t mean it has anything to do with Christ.
It’s a delicate balance and a fine line. When people who claim they’re Christian do things completely out of character, it’s difficult to reconcile that. Stand strong.
When Christians glorify pornography with all their excuses in the name of individuality and freedom, Satan is thrilled for his victory.
7. You don’t have to follow everyone else.
Don’t give in to peer pressure. Yes, it’s very uncomfortable. You might lose friends. You will get stronger.
It will get harder before it gets easier. It’s even that much harder still when Christians do the wrong thing.
I spent too many years finding myself – my voice, my convictions, my beliefs. The hypocrisy I saw in the church confused me and it was very hard to learn the correct path.
I hope I have given you a strong foundation and biblical education that you have a good jumping off point for being a productive, high-functioning, fruitful Christian.
8. You’re not the Holy Spirit.
Everyone argues that Christians are too judgmental. Even Christians misuse Holy Scripture, taking it out of context, claiming we should not judge others. Ever.
There’s a big difference between judging someone for a difference of opinion and judging a Christian for committing sin. We are called to be iron sharpening iron in Proverbs 27:17. Yes, it’s very hard to confront a sinner in love and grace – and tact. Just because I’ve sinned doesn’t mean I can’t recognize it in someone else and try to lift them up out of it.
Are you confused about the difference between righteous judgment and a holier than thou attitude? See this article, for it explains better than I.
Some will complain that no one that can judge them because we’re all sinners – or that this sin is different, less, worse, than that sin, so they can’t be judged.
9. Be discerning.
Wisdom is not knowing all things. You don’t need to read or watch garbage to tell others to avoid it. You don’t have to experience everything. Don’t fall into that freedom trap. You’re freer in Christ than you’ll ever be, claiming freedom in individuality. Don’t act like a spoiled brat, demanding to do whatever you want.
Avoid evil. Be aware of it, but avoid it.
Learn to recognize that still, small voice – your conscience, that twinge of warning – and remove yourself from a dangerous situation.
Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16
Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Luke 10:3
Some people will attempt to balance their sin with their works. Just because they do good things, charitable works…it doesn’t negate or redeem their sin.
10. You will make mistakes.
You will have regrets.
You will damage yourself and relationships. Some people won’t forgive you and you’ll have to live with that. And forgive yourself and others. That’s even harder.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Jesus is our Redeemer.
I’ve made gazillions of mistakes, some miniscule and some life-threatening. I am no better or worse than anyone else. I am just really, really experienced and forgiven.
I pray that you learn from your mistakes.
I pray they are little itty bitty mistakes and that your life is super boring with no drama but that you take amazingly huge risks for God.
I know that’s an oxymoron.
Anytime we love and live for Christ, we sacrifice.
When we worship on the altar of sex there will be harsh consequences.
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