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I always refer to Psalms 101:3--"I will set no evil thing before my eyes." In my opinion that includes written matter such as books. I would always tell my children that alcohol will be processed and removed by your body in a few hours. If you use drugs, those sometimes take about 6 weeks, but eventually, your body will process that and eliminate it from your body. But when you put something into your mind, whether by watching, listening or reading, your brain retains what it takes in forever. When Dr. Ben Carson was on the 700 Club, he said that if the brain was stimulated with electricity in certain areas, you could pull up everything in your memory, every piece of data you ever saw, heard or experienced. I tell people to guard their souls.
In our daily choices we often balance between being legalistic and failing to honor the precious gift given us. Christ saved my life on November 26, 2000. I had "known" God in my youth, then I met Him. Early in my walk our Lord put this on my heart. We often ponder, is this sin, is that sin, how great a sin is this that or the other. What our Lord asked me to ask myself, " Is the actions I take honorable to my relationship and respect of Christ sacrifice for me?" When we accept Christ as our Savior, we, at least I in my heart, submitted our lives to Him. Now though our sins are washed away, we are still human with a sin nature. Though God in His totality is superior beyond our full comprehension, we carry emotions and feelings given by Him, and present within Him. God stated in Genesis we are created in His image. How do you feel when someone honors you by making the best or better choice? We can't pay back our salvation, but we can choose to honor it everyday by looking to God in making honoring choices. Those in our circle or family can and do make us happy, bring us joy. When we choose to do the "better" action for God, we make him happy.
Marriage between a man and a woman is being attacked in many ways. Unrealistic expectations of what each person should do and how they should perform is a detrimental force used by the enemy of our souls to tear us apart. As with "porn" for men, romance novels and similar TV shows or movies set wrong expectations for the viewers and their spouses. Many verses deal with contentment: Luke 3:14, Philippians 4:11, 1 Timothy 6:8, Hebrews 13:5. Does your activity in these pursuits enhance your expectations of your spouse or degrade it? Watching porn is explicitly wrong, but subtle and deceptive are the ways of the enemy. In Genesis 3:1-3, the devil was “cunning” in bringing up a small amount of doubt in the mine of Eve. She exaggerated the command of God making it appear more difficult than He requested by stating “not touch it”. This minor deception brought us into this age we currently live. Could romance novels or shows be a similar path to deception? Ask God to clarify for you. I've often commented to my wife that such shows are female "porn", stating that such expectations of a man to act that way is unrealistic. It seems that everything in this world is meant to destroy what God has created. Marriage and the intimate relationship between the man and women was designed by God. Even more, marriage is the example used to describe the relationship between Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:25-33. We need to do everything we can to protect our marriages. While I don't ascribe to "legalism", I do believe that we need to be conformed to God's desire as described in Romans 12:2. There needs to be some pursuit of godliness in our lives. 1 Timothy 4:8 is clear, exercise is OK, but godliness is excellent for today and eternity. 1 John 2:15-16 tells us to not love the world. Too often I think that "Oh this won't be too bad." which ends up being spiritually fatal. With such a declaration, I'm placing myself in the position of God which leads to a direct rebellion against God and His commands. 1 Corinthians 9:27 comes to mind as Paul was an example of how we are to discipline our body in order to serve God. In Hebrews 12:14 we are encouraged to pursue holiness. In his book on "The Pursuit of Holiness", Jerry Bridges makes a bold statement about our relationship with God that caught me off guard. "If there is not, then, at least a yearning in our hearts to live a holy life pleasing to God, we need to seriously question whether our faith in Christ is genuine." In 1 Thessalonians 4:7 we are called to "live a holy life." Is your faith in Christ genuine? James 2:18 displays the mutual relationship between faith and works (how we live). If your heart is "pricked" by this, maybe God is speaking to you. In the end, it is up to each of us to find what God wants for us personally. Is God convicting you about watching TV shows or reading romance novels? I'm guilty of watching too much Sci-Fi. I hope that you will join me in asking God for the strength to remove those things in our lives that hinder our relationship with Him so we might pursue Him more by being in His Word; whether by reading or listening or talking about it. Romans 10:17 Personally, I downloaded free MP3 teachings of my favorite pastor teaching and listen to them when driving my car or exercising; optimum path for today and eternity. Check out www.firefighters.org, it's a great place to start; all for free.
As a Christian and one that experienced a favorite aunt of mine that had little time for her children, and had limited time for my uncle because she was just totally consumed daily with reading romance novels, I will have to say a big 'NO'. God tells us the things we are to "meditate on". Example: reading and studying His Word. "His Word is like a lamp unto my feet ((or pathways)." (Psalm 119:105) ~~Andy~~
NO. The modern Christian always claims legalism when they want to skirt righteousness. It is not legalistic to say NO. Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. The Bible further states, keep your mind pure. Filling your mind with these kinds of thoughts just brings you to the brink of sin. Remember the sermon on the mount; Jesus says that our thoughts cause us to sin. It’s not just the doing of the sin; it is the thinking of the sin. Filling your mind with these kinds of thoughts just brings you to the brink of sin; when it is conceived and then done, it brings death. So the answer to this question is no. Any lewdness, foul language, naughtiness, is detestable to God. Many populist comedians are detestable to God. That is why Jesus said the road to heaven is narrow the road to hell is wide. Most people don’t want to seclude themselves from the world and what the world has to offer. But the Bible tells us to be unstained by the world.
From some of the answers I read before I decided to offer an answer, I deduced that most of these responders have never read the Song Of Songs. It's not a romance novel. It's a book of the Old Testament. I've never read a romance novel, romance has never been my strong suit. Also, I was never too interested in the soap and lather of a man dating more than one woman or a woman who makes fools of men; Unless it's in the bible. I then find it hard to resist reading about. The bible has plenty of "romance novel" stories to choose from. One of my favorites is the story of David and Bathsheba in 2 Sam 11. It has it all. The husband works for the wife's lover. The wife becomes pregnant by the lover. The lover murders the husband. Actually, what makes it even more sinister, the lover hires it to be done. He gets one of his other employees to set the murder up. Then there's the story of Jacob, Laban, Rachel, and Rachel's sister Leah in Genesis 29. Jacob wants to marry Rachel and works for Laban for seven years for the right to marry her. Laban, Rachel, and Leah trick him and he marries Leah without knowing it. Then he has to work seven more years to marry Rachel. Her sister gets pregnant but Rachel is barren. Then both sisters give their hand maids to Jacob to obtain children through them. Like I said before, I've never read a romance novel, but I think these stories I'm telling are fodder for them. Should "christians" read romance novels? I don't know. But if "christians" want to read some really hot and steamy love stories they can start by reading The Song Of Songs written by King Solomon. Then maybe the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38. Long story short, Judah ends up getting his daughter-in-law pregnant without knowing who she is. I can't believe there is ambiguity about whether or not "christians" can handle love stories. Is it because the stories are considered to be fictional? But I'll bite. Yes, "christians" should read romance novels if they like them.
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