Accusations of prudishness or being too straight laced, are not new to this gals ears. I don’t find off-color jokes funny. I cherish sex as something beautiful and at its ultimate best when experienced in the confines of a loving marriage. I rarely cuss. I’m not a fan of sarcasm as it’s hurtful and often demeaning. I fight against all kinds of pornography due to its destructive and addictive nature. The list could go on, but, I think you get the idea.
I’m not throwing stones or judgments, “Except for the grace of God, go I. Yes, I’ve been guilty of all of the above at one time or another. And, yes, sometimes I find myself amused at something I should, perhaps, not find humorous. For example, a recent Facebook post shows a picture of an elderly couple completely naked from the backside. They’re standing on shore looking out towards the ocean, arms around each other as they exchange a kiss. The caption reads, “Every day we have something to be thankful for. Today we are thankful the photographer was not standing on the other side” (meaning full frontal view). Comments of cute, LOL, ha-ha, inspiring, funny, etc. ensued. Looking at the posting, I too chuckled and then I became a bit unsettled. Why would an elderly couple have themselves photographed this way and share it with the world? I admit, I do not understand. Wham! Out of nowhere a thought, An innocent enough photo and yet I couldn’t help but ponder is this how pornography got its start? By images, seemingly harmless in appearance, yet which may lead someone to want more revealing and sensual images, etc.
Then I wondered would images such as this be considered “soft-porn”. Daniel Webster defines pornography as movies, pictures, magazines, etc., (television, books, social media of all types) that show or describe naked people or sex in a very open and direct way in order to cause sexual excitement Soft porn is the same definition but on a relatively “softer scale”, hence the term soft-porn. There is a flip-side to the photo. It helps us see aging is not something for which we need to be ashamed and as the saying goes, “Just because there is snow on the roof, doesn’t mean the fire is out”. Perhaps, this was the thought process behind the photo. I doubt this photo is going to “stimulate sexual interest in its audience”. But then again, who is to say for sure. I do know it got me to “chewing” on my personal moral compass.
We’ve come a long way in movies and television. Once upon a time married couples were only shown sleeping in single beds. When couples, married or not, were about to have sex the screen faded to black without ever revealing any nudity. Profanity rarely heard. Over the last several decades we’ve gone from moral discretion to no holds barred. We’ve reduced XXX, XX, and X movies to ratings of X, R and PG 13. What about violence in movies and television? My-oh-my; extreme violence is not uncommon. Real life evil, such as rape, domestic violence, killing for pure pleasure, all portrayed as naturally as watching a show about cooking.
Our moral compass has become desensitized. Society calls us prudish, so we let our boundaries fade. Friends tells us we are a little to “religious” for our own good, so we let our boundaries fade. The forbidden fruit of sensual pleasures, taken to extreme, tantalizes and stirs emotions, which for the moment feel good, and … we let our boundaries fade. Many are told they’re too inhibited, they need to feel good and enjoy; drugs became the tool of choice to loosen those inhibitions, and … we let our boundaries fade. Perhaps the worst one of all, other Christian’s watch and post similar items; so it must be okay. We let our boundaries fade so often we’re unable to recognize a moral compass.”50 Shades of Grey” being touted as the newest love language and rising to the top sellers list in the first 24 hours, for example.
Sexual abuse in families is more the norm then a rare occurrence. Pornography and sex trafficking is a billion dollar industry. The sanctity of marriage is under barrage from all sides. Violence of varying degrees rules our communities. Yes, these things have been around for centuries, but can we not see the correlation to the rise in occurrences, to the let-down of our moral boundaries in recent years? A picture on Facebook may be a tiny, tiny indiscretion. But, isn’t that how it starts? A chain reaction begins with one small movement until it builds into a larger movement. Like domino’s – one domino at a time until they all fall. We can set our moral compass right again. We simply need to make the choice.
Definition – prude, “a person who is easily shocked or offended by things that do not shock or offend other people” for the record, I’m neither shocked nor offended by what I see or hear. My heart, however, hurts for a God, pure in nature, who gives his ultimate best to us, his children, and who must witness his children swayed by their choices, ever so gently, into a world he did not design (like a frog unaware he is being brought to distinction in a pot of cool water being brought to a slow, slow boil).
The Word of God commands us, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” – Romans 12:2. We live in an ever changing world which bombards us with its perspective of what’s acceptable and what’s not. Many people share with me they are not able to hear God or discern his will for their life. Perhaps their compass is pointed in the wrong direction. Do I listen to the world’s perspective or God’s?
The world at large cannot be held to a higher calling aside from a relationship with Jesus. But we followers of Jesus Christ, are called to a higher standard; one which brings God glory. It’s time for me, and perhaps you, to take back what’s quickly being lost; time to be more conscious and aware of our moral compass heading. Is it heading true north; bringing glory to God the creator, or glorifying something or someone else?
Until next time