A Line In The Sand Must Be Drawn

This is not going to be a popular post…or maybe it will be.  Not sure what side the multitude that reads my blog are going to come down on.  I am on the book team for Pulling Back The Shades by Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh.  It is a book written from the hearts of women aching for the lives of the women who have been affected by the pornography industry, most recently the deluge of garbage being thrust into the forefront by Fifty Shades of Gray.

post #5I have mentioned before that my marriage story includes the addiction my husband had to pornography.  I never shared that I grew up reading Grace Livingston Hill – Christian romance…I transitioned to formula romance novels (yes, even the bodice buster novels) and later became a romance writer myself. I say all this to convey the fact that I am not innocent and naïve. I know what these novels can do.  I have been married 4 times and I have to wonder how much of that is because of my desire to meet and marry a man like those I read and wrote about.  When I married Richard, I felt that I had finally found what I was looking for and for 12 years it seemed perfect on the surface.  But deep down things weren’t right.  My husband was addicted to pornography – a battle we fought together for years until something changed.

Overnight it seemed, my husband became verbally abusive, started drinking a lot and told me he found me completely unattractive.  I have said these things in earlier posts but I felt led to share again, this time being more transparent about the role of pornography in my marriage.  The darkness in our home would last for 10 years.  Last year, I discovered that my husband had carried on an affair for 6 of those 10 years.  The first year would be physical and the five-six years after would be emotional.  The affair ended in 2010 and my husband received some stellar advice (insert sarcasm here): If she won’t find out and it would hurt her to tell her, then don’t tell her.  Long story short, I found out 4 years later and was faced with the fact that my marriage had been a lie for 10 years.  My husband had been trying to repair it for the 4 years after it ended but I didn’t know it was broken.  If you go back and read the blogs written on this subject, you will discover that I forgave and God restored on the very same day.  My marriage is better than I ever dreamed that it could be…I am loved unconditionally by my husband and the sweetness of that is better than any romance novel.

This all came to a head last April and by September we were hosting a lifegroup for hurting marriages.  We have expanded to a second night and I lead a study for women called Excellent Wives.  It is in the hurting marriages I see the most heartache.  Pornography, anger, erotica, all these things affect the lives of people around me.  People in the church are hiding a deep dark secret and THEY KNOW IT!

I have said, for many years, that when satan realized he couldn’t defeat the church, he did the next best thing, he compromised it.  And because the church was put into the pot  of water and the heat was increased gradually, they didn’t even realize it.  I use this analogy because it applies to what happened with my husband.  Had the women he had an affair with thrown herself at him from the getgo, he would have realized that it was trouble with a capital T and run like heck.  Unfortunately, he too, was the frog in the pot of cold water and satan slowly turned up the heat until he was cooking nicely.

And this is where the line between the church and the world has become blurred.  In our society, wrong has become right and right has become wrong.  The new order of things is tied directly to the late sixties and the “If It Feels Good…Do it”  There was even a song back then with a catchy little tune, touting this mantra.  That was the camel’s nose under the tent.  From there we went to do your own thing, to teaching self esteem is more important than consequences for actions, to dumbing down the teaching in the schools to the point that a letter grade is no longer acceptable because it might hurt someone’s self image.  I can tell you honestly that if I had not been so concerned with my grades, more than my self image would have been hurt.  I was raised to understand the difference between right and wrong.  The good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore the black ones.  It was easy to see the line between good and evil because it was so visible.

I will be 56 years old this month and when I look around me, I have to wonder where the line is.  Since it seems to be no longer visible to everyone else, I wonder why I can still see it.  I think it is because God wrote it on my heart and had me commit it to memory while it could still be seen.  Let me draw a few examples:

#1 A young man commits a crime and is caught, the parent goes to court and begs them for a second chance.  The young man is given another chance and promptly gets into trouble again, only this time it is worse.  Again, he is caught and once again, his parent goes to bat for him and once again he is given another chance, which he again squanders, this time ending the innocent life of someone he doesn’t even know.   Now there is no going back and even though the parent pleads for their child, the law has no choice but to impose sentence.  Now the parent is in an uproar and blames society for what has happened.  Excuse me but what has society got to do with it?  I can tell you honestly, had I been guilty of a crime, not only would my parents have turned me in, but they would have insisted I be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  There would have been no pleading or bargaining or blaming.  I would have been forced to take responsibility for my actions AND I would have had to pay the price for them no matter how sorry I was.

#2 A young woman gets involved with the wrong guy.  She finds herself pregnant and informs her parents.  She is shuffled off in the middle of the night to continue her pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption.  That is what used to happen.  Then Roe v Wade changed all that.  Now, she has the option of getting an abortion, living with the baby daddy or just having the child and collecting a welfare check each month.  The woman my husband had an affair with was a single mom of 6 kids by 3 different dads and she had never been married and she was PROUD of that fact.  And, as you know if you read my blog a week or so ago, I had an abortion and it was a gut wrenching act that had far reaching consequences for me.  An act I only recently came to terms with and felt forgiven for.

In the third scenario, I feel my stomach churn.  A young man gets exposed to pornography and thrust into a dark world he will have a difficult time escaping.  A young woman finds herself reading very graphic romance novels. Fast forward many years and the porn has turned into a full fledged industry easily accessible for anyone, including very young children.  Child porn is on the rise, human trafficking is increasing and Fifty Shades of Grey is becoming one of the biggest books in history.  The line between right and wrong has been erased, as scores of bored housewives devour the words on the pages and compare their lives with the lives of 2 dimensional characters.  Of course, their lives are found lacking because, THE SCENARIO IN THE BOOK IS NOT REAL!  In this scenario, satan is jumping up and down with glee because these aren’t just unchurched housewives he is deceiving, no, he is hitting at the heart of the church.  Yes, you heard right, people you would not expect to be fans of this filth are anxiously awaiting the release of this movie.  I was shocked by what I learned.

post 9When I joined the Book team for Pulling Back The Shades, I knew it was going to be hard.   Years ago, Keith Green sang a song called Asleep in the Light.  The whole song is amazing but one phrase continues to haunt me:  “The world is sleeping in the dark that the church can’t fight cause it’s asleep in the light.”  Keith died way too young but it was clear his heart broke over the church and the lack of attention to satan’s actions.  My hearts aches in the same way.  The line in the sand must be drawn and it must be drawn from within the church.  It must be large and visible and it must be something we dare not cross.

In 1 Peter 1:16, Peter quotes Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2 and 20:7, all of which say that we must be holy in everything we do because God chose us to be holy because He (God) is holy.  What is there about that concept that is so hard to understand?  As children of the Living God, shouldn’t we flee from the things of this world?  We are called to be in the world but not of it.  Do you even understand what this means?  Jesus ate with the tax collectors and sinners but he didn’t become one of them.

In closing, let me give you one thought, one line I have drawn in the sand (and no I am not perfect, I still cross it) , If Christ cannot sit next to me and read over my shoulder or watch television (or movies) with me, then I have no business exposing myself to them either.  My husband and I made the decision almost 20 years ago to stop watching R rated movies.  We made the choice because we felt that if Jesus couldn’t sit there and watch with us, then maybe we shouldn’t be watching it either.  We have made a few exceptions over the years:  Saving Private Ryan; Windtalkers; Schindler’s List and The Passion of the Christ.  There are still some television shows we need to eliminate but we are in the process of doing that now.

Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.post 8

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