What’s the harm, anyway?

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The story opens: girl meets boy.

Girl likes boy.

Girl is strangely attracted because boy is a bad boy.

Even though she’s heard all the advice, she’s drawn like a moth to a flame. She knows the best romance happens when there’s a little bad boy spark.

Boy falls for girl, and only girl will do. No one else can fix his life and make his heart go thump, thump, thump.

Girl is drawn deeper.

All sense falls away when boy places his hand gently on girls cheek and leans in for that first forbidden kiss.

Light fades on best moment on planet earth.

Oh my.

Most of us are totally sucked in to this kind of scene.

We love when the bad boy is finally tamed by the one girl (preferably me, we think).

It’s the stuff of romance.

And it sells.

Here’s the danger.

Most romantic novels and many romantic shows don’t stop there. Not only is the bad boy placing his hand on girl’s cheek, he’s pushing for a whole lot more than that. And while there is some restriction on how far he can go on national television (at least for now), those same restrictions don’t apply in a juicy novel.

Here’s the scoop:

We know this truth: Watching naked people on the computer is pornography.

But what about this truth?: Reading about naked people in a book is still pornography.

And it will hurt you.

I don’t read it for that, you may say. I read it for the story line – it’s a great romance. I love romance!

Oh ladies, romance doesn’t look like that. Real romance, amazing romance, steamy romance happens best in the way God designed it. And he did design it, you know. He is the true author of the steamy romance. When it takes place in the safe (and yet wildly beautiful) protective care of his ways.

But still, Elsa, you say, what’s the harm? I once had the same questions. But you are stirring up feelings that can’t be fulfilled in God’s best plan for you. You’re priming yourself to feel lust and that’s really difficult not to translate into your every day life. You start looking at people differently. You think differently. You daydream differently.

If you can’t have the cookies, it doesn’t seem like a great idea to stand in the bakery, reading the recipes and imagining what every crumb will taste like.

Pornography is addictive. Most of us get that when it comes to viewing pornography online. We know that it takes more and more to stimulate the more we watch. But reading pornography has the same effect. It’s addictive and it takes more and more graphic detail for the same “high.”

If you or anyone you know is stuck in that place of reading pornography (disguised as romance), don’t make light of it. Stop. It’s not romance. It’s not harmless. It’s pornography (graphic images planted in your brain). It’s rewiring your brain and setting you up for failure.

What else can you do? Well, I don’t want to be the cheesy Christian lady who wags her finger and says, “Just stop. Read the Bible.” I get it. I know there’s a draw to that kind of stuff and God knows it too. Ask for his help. Ask him to show you how dangerous it can be. Ask him to fill you with a desire for other things – and then pursue other things. Read a good mystery novel (I know, somewhat cheesy). Read about the real lives of people who made an incredible difference on this planet (mildly less cheesy). Fill your brain with good things and see what ends up spilling out.

I know it’s difficult.

I know a good biography is not quite the same thing as a steamy novel.

But one will inspire you to live this amazing life with focus, drive and purpose – and the other will just leave you wanting.

And in the end, which is better?

Thought to share? Ideas to offer? Leave a comment below. If you are receiving this via e-mail, click here and then on the post title to leave a comment. I’d love to hear your heart!

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