Yesterday I talked about the importance of keeping your mind in gear so you’ll know when to walk away from a blog or a book.
Today I’d like to share a bit more about how I process things and where I draw the line. Some background concepts …
I don’t expect everyone to have the same standards I have. (We are all individuals with different life experience, different preferences, different beliefs, etc..)
I don’t think I’m all right all the time. (I like my current standards, but I know I’ve still got learning and growing to do. I am a work in progress. I’m not tentative about my beliefs, but nobody died and made me God.)
God has some standards that are spelled out pretty plainly (most of these things we probably agree on). Yet on other things He’s silent and over some subjects there may be what seems to be conflicting words (so there are bound to be some disagreements there). I’m open to disagreeing graciously over non-essentials and I think discussion can help us grow and learn.
I try not to stick my nose into God’s business when it comes to another person’s walk. I’m more than happy to share what I believe, but I respect folks’ right to choose and the Holy Spirit’s job in growing us up (in His way and in His timing). Definitely His job, not mine.
That said, I tend to lump resources into four categories.
1) Good and safe. There are a few authors that I have confidence in. Yes, I know they are human and can make mistakes, but they routinely turn out good material within biblically sound boundaries (as I understand them). I can link to them safely and read their stuff to my benefit. I look forward to reading their blogs and books.
2) Good material with the occasional huh? These folks write encouraging and insightful posts. I pick and choose. Sometimes I disagree with them, but it’s within a reasonable margin. I can write it off to a difference in perspective or preference. They’re not promoting blatant sin. If I send a thinking person to their site (that would be y’all), I don’t worry that it will have detrimental effects. Lots of meat, very few bones.
3) Material that I read because I’m looking for a specific bit of information. I don’t pass it on to the blog because it has too many bones. This would include sources like secular articles and research. (This is something of a reflection of calling. God has placed a desire to serve in the area of marriage and sexuality. He gives ability and grace in those places where He calls you to serve.)
4) Stuff that I don’t read or pass on. If someone recommends porn use, they’re off my to read list. There is too much good stuff out there to waste my time trying to find a few bits of meat on their site. I don’t go for blatant sin and I don’t want to put others in harm’s way. I don’t promote sites that routinely talk about practices that are potentially destructive or that teach beliefs that I believe are harmful to marriage or life. I realize that’s a list that is about me and my standards/beliefs, but it’s my personal blog, so I have to live with what I put out there. (For example, I don’t recommend most romance novels. For me and too many of my readers it’s a big problem. You may be able to read them without ill effect, but you won’t read about them on my blog.)
Basically I’ve created a playground surrounded by the fence of my beliefs and choices. Sometimes I talk to people over the fence and reconsider my fence, but I’m very careful about changing my fence.
We need to learn the difference between, “This is different
and I am free to agree or disagree, perhaps learn something.”
and, “This is flat out harmful and I need to walk away.”
I would encourage you to build a reading playground (though it may look slightly different from mine). You might want to discuss this with your husband or a few good friends. Sound out what is good and bad for you. Set clear boundaries and then stand on them when you run into something questionable.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Philippians 4:8 MSGV
Prayer Prompt ♥ Ask God to help you create healthy boundaries where your reading material is concerned.
One Flesh Marriage: 5 reasons we can’t handle marriage anymore – A Rebuttal Thoughts on a recent article by Anthony D’Ambrosio.
The Forgiven Wife: Moving from Resentment to Forgiveness What do you need to do to more toward forgiveness?
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