Fifty Shades

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and that means Singles-Awareness jokes, lots of pepto-bismol pink, fluffy things, chocolate and, as TV adds, media, and probably your coworkers won’t let you forget, Fifty Shades Darker.

This post is to all my Christian followers, and those who are curious about Christian’s standards on entertainment. I will be the first to admit, I am preachy when it comes to this subject, but for today, I just want to offer some biblical advice to my Christian brothers and sisters who are curious about this series of movies/books and are trying to rationalize their way into going to see it.

I will be careful to live a blameless life—
when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.

~Psalm 101 2-4 (NLT)

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

~Ephesians 5:3&4 (NIV)

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

~Psalm 119:9 (ESV)

Don’t tell yourself those rational-lies. Keep your way pure. Keep your heart and mind free of the sin of this world and pursue true, honest, gentle, and guiltless love. What you put in your mind effects you, fellow believers. Don’t give Satan a foothold.

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

Need an alternative movie night idea? Here are two great titles! Both available on DVD.

“Old-fashioned”

“Priceless” (Available Feb. 14th on DVD)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Let true love win the day!

Think a little porn is harmless? Think again.

Warning: this video contains a few images that may potentially be a stumbling block for men. Guys, if you are actively struggling with porn or lust, you may not want to watch this video. However, I will say, this video speaks the truth and preaches the gospel, and I wouldn’t be posting it if I didn’t want people to see it. So, it’s your choice.

Click Here if you would like to see it.

And The Bride Wore White

I’m reading “And The Bride Wore White” by Dannah Gresh, and I came to a startling realization.

I have not been pure.

I have been physically pure, but I have been emotionally and mentally loose. I have not guarded myself, protected the heart God has given me. I can look back on how I’ve handled myself with guys and can see so many ways that I completely blew it. I wore my heart on my sleeve, giving it away far, far too early. And I didn’t just hurt myself, but those that I care about and love.

I wish so much that I could hop in a time machine and go back, not make all those dumb mistakes and rewrite the past, but I can’t.

God’s plan still continues. I haven’t blown it that badly, He still has a fantastic plan that is going to unfold in my life. Probably in a way I don’t expect! But it still hurts to see the emotional scars I’ve inflicted upon myself and others.

Experience is a brutal teacher, as C.S. Lewis has said. But you learn. I pray that I will not repeat my past mistakes. With God’s help, I’m sure my future will be amazing.

~TQG

What Are You Waiting For?

A while back, while buying some books for a friend off Amazon, I saw a book that looked to me to be a very informative book about sexual purity. So, I purchased this book, but had it sent to my friend, with instructions to send it to me when she was finished reading it. (We live on opposite sides of the united states, thus, we mail things a lot) She mailed it to me several months ago and I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. Last night, after reading “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman (which was also a pretty decent book, but I feel that he didn’t clearly enough state the importance of the Spiritual aspect of marriage), I started the book she sent me, “What Are You Waiting For? The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex” by Dannah Gresh.

Oh. My. Word. Such an incredible book. So far I’m about three fourths of the way through it and let me just say, it’s such an excellent tool for sexual purity. It’s written towards a female audience, but I think it would be extremely beneficial for guys to read as well.  She goes back to the greek root words used in the Bible to show the true meaning and intention of sex, and how God views it. She also talks about the science of sex and how it affects your brain. It’s probably the best book on the subject I’ve ever read.

If you’re reading this blog, I encouraging you to go out and buy this book. Even if you don’t think you need it, you haven’t been struggling with sexual purity, you find the topic awkward and prefer not to approach it at all, etc. Whatever your excuse is, get over it and go get this book. It’s well worth your time.

Another thing I ask of you: Recently I’ve been burdened to pray for the purity, both mental and physical, of my brothers in Christ. The ones I know and ones around the world that I may never meet. Prayer is powerful. If we all pray for their battle, they will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit and become the Warriors for Christ that our generation needs. Women need this prayer as well, but lets face it, God has designed men to be our (speaking to the ladies) spiritual leaders, if they are victorious in the battle over purity, they can then be the Leaders that inspire us to be victorious as well. Pray for them with me, please.

Until next time!

~TQG

The Weight of Our Decisions

Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.

 

~C.S. Lewis

For reflection on Isaiah 33:15-16

Nothing to be Ashamed of?

They tell you sex has become a mess because it was hushed up. But for the last twenty years it has not been. It has been chattered about all day long. Yet it is still a mess. If hushing up had been the cause of the trouble, ventilation would have set it right. But it has not. I think it is the other way round. I think the human race originally hushed it up because it had become such a mess. Modern people are always saying, “Sex is nothing to be ashamed of.” They may mean two things. They may mean “There is nothing to be ashamed of in that fact that the human race reproduces itself in a certain way, nor in the fact that it gives pleasure.” If they mean that, they are right. Christianity says the same. It is not the thing, nor the pleasure, that is the trouble. The old Christian teachers said that if man had never fallen, sexual pleasure, instead of being less than it is now, would actually have been greater. I know some muddleheaded Christians have talked as if Christianity thought that sex, or the body, or pleasure, were bad in themselves. But they were wrong. Christianity is almost the only one of the great religions which thoroughly approves of the body–which believes that matter is good, that God Himself once took on a human body, that some kind of body is going to be given to us even in Heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, our beauty and our energy. Christianity had glorified marriage more that any other religion: and nearly all the greatest love poetry in the world has been produced by Christians. If anyone says that sex, in itself, is bad, Christianity contradicts him at once. But, of course, when people say, “Sex is nothing to be ashamed of,” they may mean “the state into which the sexual instinct has now got is nothing to be ashamed of.”

If they mean that, I think they are wrong. I think it is everything to be ashamed of. There is nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying your food: there would be everything to be ashamed of if half the world made food the main interest of their lives and spent their time looking at pictures of food and dribbling and smacking their lips. I do not say that you and I are individually responsible for the present situation. Our ancestors have handed over to us organisms which are warped in this respect: and we grow up surrounded by propaganda in favor of unchastity. There are people who want to keep our sex instinct inflamed in order to make money out of us. Because, of course, a man with a obsession is a man who has very little sales-resistance. God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.     

 

~C.S. Lewis

For reflection on Song of Solomon 1-8

Being In Love

What we call “being in love” is a glorious state, and, in several ways, good for us. It helps to make us generous and courageous, it opens our eyes not only to the beauty of the beloved but to all beauty, and it subordinates (especially at first) our merely animal sexuality; in that sense, love is the great conqueror of lust. No one in his senses would deny that being in love is far better than either common sensuality or cold self-centeredness. But, as I said before, “the most dangerous thing you can do is take any one impulse of our own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs.” Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in it’s full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called “being in love” usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending “They lived happily ever after” is taken to mean “They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,” then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true. And would be highly undesirable, if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense–love as distinct from “being in love”–is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace of which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be “in love” with someone else. “Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.

~C.S. Lewis

For reflection on Song of Solomon 1:1-17

Sheltered Evil

You may remember I said the first step to humility was to realize that one is proud. I want to add now that the next step is to make some serious attempt to practice the Christian virtues. A week is not enough. Things often go swimmingly for the first week. Try six weeks. By that time, having, as far as one can see, fallen back completely or even fallen lower than the point one began from, one will have discovered some truths about oneself. No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. That is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.

 

~C.S. Lewis

For reflection on Ephesians 6:10-18

This quote gives me goose bumps, guys. Read it several times and soak it in.

Pride vs. Pride

If you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, “How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take notice of me, or shove their oar in, to patronize me, or show off?” The point is that each person’s pride is in competition with everyone else’s pride. It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise.  Two of a trade never agree. Now what you want to get clear is that Pride is essentially competitive– is competitive by its very nature– where the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, clever or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, the pride has gone. The is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way that other vices are not. The sexual impulse may drive two men into competition if they both want the same girl. But that is only by accident; they might just as likely have wanted two different girls. But a proud man will take your girl from you, not because he wants her, but just to prove to himself that he is a better man than you. Greed may drive men into competition if there is not enough to go round; but the proud man, even when he has got more than he can possibly want, will try to get still more just to assert his power. Nearly all those evils in the world which people put down to greed or selfishness are really far more the result of Pride.

C.S. Lewis — for reflection on Esther 5:11-13