My husband, Ryan, and I have really been developing spiritually in the last few years. One of the things in life that seems to go directly against that growth is television. But, I suppose if we keep it in perspective, stand firm on the things we believe then we’ll be alright. I don’t think God wants us to live in a Christ shaped bubble, blocking out the relevance (or irrelevance) of the world. In fact, as one of God’s “fishers of men” I think it is important to know what’s happening in today’s world. I’ve learned in time that nearly anything can be related to the walk of Jesus. With that in mind, we sat down Monday night to watch some television and see what the new fall season had to offer.
One of our favorite shows had two completely separate story lines going. The first one we thought was extremely witty, entertaining and true. It was about how we as people should be confident enough with who we are that we don’t need to change what we say and do just to make others happy. I whole heartedly agree with this… but I wish it were as easy as it sounds. In my old, drunken life I truly had no idea who I was. I changed my personality completely based on who I was around and what situation was before me. I was a personality chameleon… and I told a lot of big lies. It was hard to keep up with, but it was worth it in my warped little mind because I thought that was why people liked me. As it turns out, I don’t think too many people actually did like me, because… I didn’t stand for anything, no one could figure me out and, oh yeah… I was a liar. I am still a died-in-the-wool people pleaser, and even though I’m sober I struggle with this every day. I don’t ever want to feel like anyone is mad at me. Sometimes my fear of disappointing others causes me to be dishonest about simple things. Think about it, if someone asked Jesus to go to a two hour network marketing presentation He had no interest in, I don’t imagine He’d be so insecure that He would need to come up with 3 or 4 excuses just to feel okay about saying no. I can hear it… “Well, my donkey is lame so I don’t have a ride. And one of the straps on my sandal broke so I really should get that fixed before I walk too far or I might get a blister. Plus Martha is making me a big dinner...” nope… I don’t think so. I imagine His answer would be, “No thank you.” Why is that so hard for me???? The word “No,” then a period. I’m working on that.
The second story line was totally disturbing to me. The one funny part was that a few years ago, I wouldn’t have found it disturbing at all. I would have actually found it comforting… everyone else is doing it… so it’s okay. The premise was that when you are in the committed relationship of marriage that it is totally okay to fantasize about other people. I was very pleased to see my husband shaking his head in total disagreement with this… in fact he said “Thou Shall Not Covet!” as he watched it. We both chuckled! My laugh and gladness at his statement had nothing to do with jealousy and everything to do with God’s wish for our lives. I adamantly believe my spouse is a true gift from God. I am supposed to cherish him and honor him. I am supposed to be committed and stand by him no matter what. My entire relationship with my husband is an act of worship to God… and if I let another man enter that worship space in any way, I am totally disrespecting the gift. I am essentially spitting on the gift! Now, I’m not gonna lie and say I don’t ever see men who intrigue me or catch my eye. I’m not even gonna lie and say I understood this whole concept the first 5 years of my marriage… because I didn’t!!!! I spit on my gift many times before I began to understand. And to this day, I still have eyes to see, ears to hear and interests that are occasionally sparked by others… but it’s what I do with those sights, sounds and interests that matter. I can choose to comb over them slowly in my head (combing leads to teasing and everyone know that too much teasing leads to a big, knotted mess. Even the best brush can’t get those tangles out without a lot of pain and hair-loss)… or I can choose to reject them and refocus on the awesome gift God has given me. If I have a hard time rejecting them, I pray hard, I go to the Word and pick a verse to help me. I repeat it over and over and sometimes I even ask my trusted prayer partners to pray for me to be released from temptation. God is faithful and if I look to Him to help me reject sin, He most certainly will.
Another thing about God is that He has extremely high standards. So high that if I allow another man to enter my thoughts in a lustful manner, I may as well just go ahead and go all the way with him physically. Now, I’m not saying if I’ve thought about it and it’s like doing it, I may as well just go ahead and do it. What I’m saying is… it is of upmost importance to not allow myself to go there at all, even in my mind.
In closing, I’d like to say that thankfully, God allows U-turns…. Phew! I recently joked with some friends that some days I feel like I’m just walking in circles, taking one U-turn after another. I LOVE that Ryan and I have grown to the point spiritually that we are not as confused by what we see on television. I’ll tell you this though, I do plan on keeping my eyes open. I’m sure there are plenty of things I don’t know to watch out for yet and the devil (along with society) would like nothing better than for me to be unaware of their impact. Today I’m so glad I was able to take that misleading story line that Satan was trying to use to desensitize society into not following God’s heart and turn it around in this writing and tell all of you who read this (all two of you) to stand firm on your commitment and don’t let anyone invade your worship space… it’s for you, your spouse and God…. period.