Friday, May 11, 2012

Settling for Book Club

A few years ago, some friends of mine realized that we all enjoyed reading. Why not form a book club? My girlfriend has been faithful in hosting our group on a monthly basis and I have really enjoyed our time together. I've also been grateful for the way the club has stretched me. My tendency is to stay with safe "Christian" fiction and authors I know I enjoy. This group of friends have introduced me to new books, new favorite authors and history lessons I never would have experienced without them. Besides the enjoyment I experience just being with these friends, Book Club gives me a good excuse to put everything on hold in order to complete a novel. Overall, this is one of the best experiences I've been involved in.

I just finished our current read... and I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated because we just completed another "secular" book that twisted my heart. More than one work of fiction has left me needing to "overlook" a detailed sex scene, immorality or unnecessary foul language. While I've still been able to enjoy the novels, I express my aggravation over this very thing with the group.

This book, in and of itself, is not what leaves my heart unsettled. But I have felt convicted and it's brought with it some anxiety that, once again, I need to speak up with my friends. Even in a group where I know I will receive support on this issue, I feel like maybe I'm just being overly sensitive? But isn't that the point?
Is there the possibility that with each book I complete, my heart is a little more desensitized?
Even if just a little bit, am I left questioning that God's standards are a little out of date?
In stretching myself with the books I read, am I also stretching my standards?

Am I settling for less than God's best because... that's just our world these days?
Just this past week, I had a discussion with another friend about the current series grabbing the attention of women all over the world. Honestly, I know nothing about the books. Other than the tidbits I grab here and there through the media or passing conversation, I wouldn't even be aware the books existed. Since I like to read, she assumed this would be a book I'd embrace. If for no other reason than common curiosity?

Friends, I don't think I'm a prude. I even read joined the Twilight Mania a little late in the game... but this is not a trend I will jump in on... with any amount of peer pressure. A blog that I've recently started following is called To Love Honor and Vacuum. Her post, Why Kindles can Wreck your Marriage, makes a lot of sense and she speaks what is on my heart.
I believe that we, as women, need to be careful with the reading materials that encourage our imagination. It has the potential of destroying our marriages and our lives. Do you think I'm just being a prude or do you agree that what we put into our minds effects the way we live? Let's encourage one another to guard our hearts and minds. (Proverbs 4 - Guard your Heart)
“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” (Luke 6:43-49 NLT)


  1. Wise thoughts on the dangers of getting desensitized to unwholesome things. I find I do best when I fill myself up with whatever is good, honorable, pure, etc., whether it's in literature or film. I'm proud of you for being courageous in sharing where your boundaries are.

  2. It was a great group last night. My girlfriends are on the same page. Philippians 4:8 is such a great verse when we determine what is appropriate. Thanks for your encouragement!