Reader Question of the Week: On What We Read

'Questions?' photo (c) 2008, Valerie Everett - license:
Every weekend I like to throw up a question someone sends in and let you readers have a go at it. This week’s question is a stirring one on our culture, what we read and how to speak the truth to others in love…

I have several Christian friends reading a series of erotica novels for females. When I mention I’m not reading the books or tell my friends I think it’s a bad idea, they accuse me of judging them. What is the appropriate or biblical way to be honest and judge the material, not the person? How can I question what they are reading without coming across as judgmental? I really care about my friends and don’t want to see their lives or marriages impacted in a negative way by these books. I’m not sure how to approach this situation. I feel like any time I disagree, I am going to be accused of judging them and that is not my intention. Please help!

What would you recommend?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

As a side note, I also received an email about Kindles and erotica novels, where my reader’s 12-year-old daughter received promo ads for these books and read some samples, only to discover she had stepped into the wrong thing.  This reader found that a good guard for her daughter was to upload approved books to her daughter’s Kindle and then de-register the Kindle, which disconnects it from WiFi and prevents the promotions from showing up.  We must be alert about these things.

I wrote this article on How Kindles Can Wreck Marriages, which addresses ways to guard ourselves by uncovering secrets and staying accountable with one another and our husbands. It is a FOR us kind of thing.

Don’t forget this summer: The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex makes a great gift for any woman about to get married!

Quick Intimacy Tip: Fun Texting!

TextingImage by Adam UXB Smith via Flick

I gave my hubby an iPhone for Christmas. He loves it. He was never that into cell phones, but he loves his iPhone, and carries it everywhere, along with that little bluetooth thing on his ear to make him look oh so cool!

And ladies, if he’s going to use that iPhone/Blackberry/cell phone anyway, you may as well use it to your advantage! Why not send him an exciting text message today about what you’re hoping to do tonight? Let him know that he excites you! You’re legal, you’re married, you have the piece of paper. So take advantage it!

Right now! On your marks, get set, go!

Want more intimacy tips on how to get in the mood? Listen to Sheila’s audio download, Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight! Filled with lots of laughs and practical tips to boost your marriage!
Download it now!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


We Aren't Islands

'James Bond Island' photo (c) 2009, Joan Campderrós-i-Canas - license:

Every Friday my syndicated column appears in a bunch of newspapers in southeastern Ontario. Here’s this week’s!

Many of us long to live in a world where we shouldn’t have to do anything for anyone else. We set the course for our own lives; we decide what paths we will take; and nobody should have the power to derail our dreams. Freedom is our rallying cry!

What I can’t figure out, though, is why freedom is so great. So many of us are so busy proclaiming our autonomy, saying “you can’t make me do this,” that I wonder if we’ve ever stopped to question whether being beholden to someone is actually such a bad thing.

Modern day feminists, for instance, cry that no man should be able to tell a woman what to do, and that no woman should twist herself in knots to get or keep a man. Instead, she should seek to fulfill her dreams, and any guy who wants to tag along had better adapt.

Yet speaking as a woman who is greatly in love with a certain man, I have to wonder why it’s so bad to want to please him? What’s wrong with wanting to make the house nice for him to come home to after he’s been on call for thirty-six hours straight and he’s exhausted? What’s wrong with doing his laundry? After all, he gives great foot massages, and he contributes more of the income! But even if he didn’t, isn’t it nice, sometimes, to have someone to fuss over?

I don’t do these things because I have to; I do them because I want to. I know some would call me an oppressed wife, but I don’t think those people have ever really experienced the joy of a give-and-take relationship. Besides, he cleans off the car for me, takes out the garbage, and figures out how my Bluetooth device works. It’s a two-way street.

It’s not only feminists telling women that they should never change for men, though; a new cohort of young men has concluded that they don’t need relationships, either. One night stands might be fine, but commitment is out of the picture. In fact, one man in a very open relationship once reported to me that he was as happy as he could imagine; neither of them made any demands on the other, and because of that the relationship was perfect.

Five years later that relationship is long gone, and I often wonder if ultimately they would have been happier if they had made demands on each other—demands that they stay faithful, do things together, be nice to one another, forge a life together instead of just side by side.

When we focus our lives solely on what we want life becomes rather shallow and awfully erratic. We can never achieve real intimacy with anybody, whether friend or significant other, for when we don’t make or accept demands, nothing can be permanent. And if nothing is permanent, we can’t be vulnerable. We can’t really open up. Sure, you may be able to pursue surface things, but what about our deepest needs to be accepted, loved, affirmed, and cherished? Without vulnerability and transparency, which can only come when we do make demands on each other, real intimacy can’t be achieved.

Loving someone isn’t a burden; it’s a privilege. Sometimes we should do things we don’t really want to do. Sometimes we should let someone else set the course. True love, after all, whether it’s with a sibling, a spouse, a child, or a friend, is so much better than autonomy. And, in the end, it’s far less lonely.

Don’t miss a Reality Check! Sign up to receive it FREE in your inbox every week!

Ballroom Dancing Lessons

A couple of years ago my husband and I took ballroom dancing lessons. It was so much fun. I just love dancing, but jumping around to current hits never struck me as something fun. Actually looking like you know what you’re doing, and moving together, is very, very fun. Ever seen the movie Strictly Ballroom? Hilarious. One of the best movies out there (and almost family friendly; if your child is 11 or over, it’s okay).

Anyway, we’re contemplating taking lessons again this year. The hard point is always finding a night of the week that works, especially since my husband’s a physician and he’s on call a lot at night. And then there’s youth group, and all the other church activities. But for this year, I think we’re going to suspend some of our church activities just so we can have fun as a couple again.

Here’s Keith talking about our ballroom dancing lessons at a marriage conference we gave a while ago. It’s pretty funny.

Have a great Sunday!

ballroom dance shoes and salsa shoes