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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gaming, Gamers and God


It's a mysterious world to me.

My husband is a gamer, albeit only to relax, but I know a few more 'hardcore' gamers and people who have addictions to gaming.

For those of you who are unsure what gaming is, it is the act of playing an Xbox, Playstation, or online game that usually involves more than one character and/or you playing a particular character. For example, playing Halo is gaming, playing Tetris is not. A 'gamer' is someone who participates in these character games on a regular basis. A problem gamer is someone who spends more time on the game than they do in real life.

If someone has a better definition please share.

The extent of games I play are things like bubble pop and Tetris games. I don't play other games for one main reason:

I am psycho.

The one and only time I played a game called Counter Strike I proved to myself I could never play a shoot-em-up game again. Counter Strike is a multi-player game where each player is trying to kill all of the others. I was playing with about ten guys and by the end of it I was so close to the screen my eyes were going fuzzy, my palms were sweating, and I was reciting "kill him, kill him quickly!".

I know, I scare even myself sometimes.

I get waaaaaay to involved if I am playing. And if I am not and I am just watching then I am getting upset for the fake computer characters that die and start wondering about how their families will survive without them. 

It's a problem. So I avoid games.

(On a side note, I also have to avoid board games because I tend to get ultra competitive, start yelling at people, and have been known to injure people with cutlery when I think they are cheating. I recently broke my 15 year ban on myself and played two board games. I am now back on a ban....).

It seems that others do not have these issues when it comes to gaming. My hubby can play and watch pretty much any game without so much as a tiny spike in his heart rate when he is trying to kill something. He can quite happily play Grand Theft Auto and kill people and steal their cars and beat up prostitutes without a flicker of emotion.

Maybe he is the psycho?

This is the issue though, that I find I cannot let go of. Luke and I are polar opposites on the gaming front and display this issue nicely. The issue I wonder about is:

How much does gaming and real life intersect?

For Luke, playing a game is exactly that, it is a game. There don't have to be morals or ethics because it isn't real and so therefore it doesn't matter. For me, my morals and ethics cannot be switched off while gaming and I either feel guilty for ignoring them or my 'bad' side comes out to the detriment of all or I spend the whole game trying to be the hero and saving all the characters that are there just to fill in space.

So is it ok to switch off our morals and ethics or should we be avoiding games, like I have to, because our morals and ethics come into everything?

I know a guy (who will know who he is as soon as he reads this) who is very much like me in personality. He is a BIG time gamer, not as much as he use to be but still a lot more than most people I know. He has very strong ethics and morals in his real life, and he even tries to keep those in games. He will only play good characters, not the bad ones, and he tries not to let his character act in a way that he wouldn't act in real life. But he says that games don't affect him.

I would argue that they must be.

If you are acting in a certain way in a game because of what your ethics are in life, then it could follow that if you acted contrary to your ethics and morals then it would affect you in some way. If it didn't then you wouldn't care.

It is like a story my husband told me recently which goes something like this:

World of Warcraft is a huge multi-player game that is played simultaneously by people all over the world. One of these gamers died in real life so his WoW friends decided to hold a memorial service on the game to honour him. During the memorial service, which a lot of characters attended, another group of people got their characters to attack the memorial service and kill all the people there. There was outrage that they had done this when the others were trying to honour their friend. Their response was "it's a game, we were playing it".

As you can see this is a far more complex situation than just deciding whether or not games affect us. It seems that there now have to be ethics for within games that may have no correlation to ethics within the world. 

Is this ok?

When I look at Jesus I find it hard to figure out whether or not he would be for or against gaming. There isn't a section on ethics in gaming in the Bible!

But we are exhorted to focus on what is noble, pure, holy and right. What goes into our heads and hearts will inevitably come out of our mouth and in our actions. And I really don't know if going around killing things and living another 'cyber' life is noble, pure, holy or right.

I have no answers to this and I am really trying to start a discussion on it so please either comment here or on the facebook page

At this point in time I am almost decided that I think my friend who puts his ethics into what he plays is perhaps more ok than my husband just playing for the sake of playing. Should our ethics be in everything we do, even in what we play (or read or watch for that matter too)?

Open to comments, please share your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Where You Go, We Go

I know a young woman who grieves
Who has lost what everyone needs.
She feels like she will never be whole
That there is a part missing from her soul.
Alone a night she cries
And screams at God, wondering why.
Though she laughs and smiles
The pain eats away at her all the while.

Grief isn't only about pain,
It isn't just tears, anger, and shame.
It is the contradictions that mess with your head,
When you want people there, but gone instead.
The feeling that you are all alone
That no one wants to sit at home
With you every night and hear you talk
That in the face of your grief your friends will balk.

We as humans don't know how to grieve
For a long time without wanting to leave.
We are the visitors that drift away
Or the griever who doesn't want to stay
Anywhere that they are reminded
Of the pain that is there even when we don't want it.
It never really leaves, but we don't want it
To become the thing that makes our lives rancid.

So how do we comfort this girl that is searching
What do we bring her for her own nurturing?
How do we help those that have lost
The closest thing to them, at such great a cost?
Perhaps silence is the answer, to just sit with her
Instead of any answers that that attempt to fix her.
Jesus wept, Job's friend's were wrong in talking
My beautiful friend, we are going wherever you're walking.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Not Like You (A Reflection on Racism)

You say they are not like you.

Why is that?
Is it because of skin colour
That they are not black?
Or because they aren't white it must mean they are poor
And you cannot relate to those people which
Struggle to provide everyday
For their families and children
Or those with no pay?
Does it make a difference to you
To know they have struggled?
That they have been brought low,
Financially humbled?
Does it matter if you're Caucasian,
Not Black, brown or Asian?
Can we not be family if we are not the same colouring?

That Indian woman in the diary I see every morning
Se is my sister, struggling
To feed her family though she works seven days
Treated like a machine because of her race.
That mid twenties Polynesian male on the tv
Who stole, fought, or some other stupidity
He is my brother, hurting
For lack of education and parenting
Treated like another statistic of our society.
A young teenage mum on the bus
Who we look down our noses at,
She is my sister, working
At being a child and a mum
Treated like a stupid ignorant bum.
Then there is the Asian couple
That get screamed at in the street
They are my family, lonely
Needing friends for their second daughter, that they refused to abort,
Treated like invaders who should be fought.

They may not be white but they are the same
They cry and they bleed and they carry their shame
Deep inside and act tough on the exterior
While we white folk act all superior
Because we aren't the minority
We 'belong' here
And secretly wish they, and their problems, would disappear.

You say they are not like you,
In some ways that is true
But I hold a truth that I want to share with you.
In Christ there is no black, white, Christian or Jew
There is only salvation and blessing too.
I am like you, I am human
I just look in a different direction.
Turn your eyes with me to behold him
And you will see
We are not that different.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Swimming in the Gay Debate

I had a comment on my post 'Wadding Into the Gay Debate' that I felt needed it's own blog in order to respond well to it.

The comment went like this:

I'm no theological student and there is still a lot I have to learn. I do know that Jesus called us to love our neighbor. This is a hard issue to tackle. At the end of the day, these people are people who, like anybody else, need GOD. We, Christians are supposed to be His representatives on earth. And I feel what you were saying about them being judged by the very group of people who should be showing them love.. In saying that, I do have a curious question. How would the church teach then in this area and still show love? For people outside of a religious organization, we show love by listening to their stories, by being friends, etc and never really necessarily being put in an uncomfortable spot because we sometimes don't address it. We give them really the freedom to be who they are as friends do. But in a church set-up, how do you think would that look like say for those who think that its alright to carry on or those who have no intentions of changing? Who, like in that blog I have shared with you consider gay christianity an ok thing? What do you think?:)

This person obviously can recognise a sucker for a debate when they see one! I have been thinking about this question since it was raised, to the point where I couldn't write another blog until this one had been formulated and then created. 

The answer to writer's block = find someone who will give you a difficult question that calls to be answered.

First of all, Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Anonymous, to answer your question I am gonna have to break it down into several different areas (can anyone spot an essay geek?).

First: How do we, as the church, respond to people who are openly LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual)?

The way I worded that is crucial I think for your question about how the church addresses this. You make a distinction in your question between the way we react outside of church and the way we should teach inside of church. This distinction is a wrong and is, I am sad to say, is the way the majority of Christians I know think. There should be NO difference between how we react inside or outside of the building we call our church as it is US who ARE the church and the way we react on the street is teaching people about Christ just as much as the sermon from the pulpit is, if not more so. It is the fact that Christians can act one way and teach another that confuses a lot of people and makes them say that our arguments, whether right or not, are groundless.

However, if you are talking about those that aren't Christian outside of church and how they react with friendship etc then ignore everything I just said haha.

But really, in all seriousness, it is about friendship and love and understanding. It is astounding how much people will let you disagree with them when you actually know them and show them that you care. For example, I have a lesbian couple I know (I have referred to them before, because they are awesome!) that are fully aware that I am not sure where I stand on the whole thing sometimes. They have been known to discuss it with me, joke about it with me, and we even have nicknames for each other based around it (one of them is BD (big dyke) and I am BB (bible basher) lol) and it is all good natured and friendly and helpful! Because I didn't meet them by going "hey, you two lesbians, will you be my friends because I am a Christian trying to convert you", and really we can sound like that sometimes. I don't think it even came up for weeks! They were just who they were and I was who I was and that was that.

The way church should teach is the same way. Just as when you meet an alcoholic (bad analogy but work with me here) you don't say "right, action plan on how to target the alcoholic in the congregation with our sermon so they sober up", neither should we be thinking "how do we subtly convert the lesbians with our words?". Instead think, "hey, newbies at church! Let's make them feel welcome and loved". 

And that leads to the second point: How does the church actually teach on this if there are people following this lifestyle in the congregation?

Harden up.


If churches are willing to preach on lying and gossip and adultery (and no doubt there is some of those going on in any congregation), and the preacher thinks that homosexuality is an important, worthwhile topic that needs addressing, then suck it up, face the fear and preach about it. You will always offend somebody. Jesus didn't get crucified because he made everyone happy.

But that said, is it really a) that big of a deal for your church and b) said in grace and love? 

Sermons and teaching need to be relevant to the congregation in which it is taking place. For example, a sermon on the gospels view of slavery is going to have remarkably different reactions in New Zealand, Afrikaans, and American churches. Known your people. If this is a topic that is coming up over and over again in your congregation then you should address it. If you have a gay couple in your church though and no one else is gay, then would you write a whole sermon to target one other couples perceived issues/sin? No, you wouldn't (or you shouldn't!) because that is basically a form of naming and shaming and how stink is that!

Perhaps it would be wise to take the couple aside (if you are in a position to do so, like being the pastor) and ask them their views, tell them yours (and the churches if there is a unanimous statement) and ask how you can best serve them in this congregation when they may face opposing, and sometimes angry, opinions. Ask if they are prepared for that, if they aware of the stance. And do this all with LOVE and GRACE and a genuine desire to reach out and help them.

Ask if there are children involved, if this is a family situation, and how you can support their children in their faith as well. Remember, if you are willing to do a sermon on why they shouldn't be gay, then you better follow up on one about divorce because that is what you may essentially be asking them to do and so where do you stand on that? What will you do if it means tearing apart their family and the impact that it will have on children?

Be wise. Always be loving. Don't name and shame, and think about the consequences of your words.

Thirdly: How do we react if there is no desire to change?

I have a question to ask you first:

Are you willing to change everything that God might not like about what you do?


Even the things you like to do?

I can't say I am! It was kicking and screaming that I gave up drinking, pre-marital sex and smoking! It is not easy!

But the wonderful thing, the amazing thing, is that this isn't your responsibility!!

Let me say that again:

Them changing is not your responsibility.

God is the one who created them.
God is the one who knows them.
God was there when they first decided to come out and the reasons for that.
God knows the love they have for each other.
God knows what is in their hearts.
God knows their hurts and fears.
God died for them.
God loves them.
God SAVED them.
It is GOD who will work in them and (if necessary)
It is God who will change them.

Not you.

Never you.

All God asks us to do is to love. To love deeply and honestly and openly. And out of that love, who knows! But that is not your call. It never was.

The church should not be in the business of changing people. It is just in the business of pointing people to the one who can. 

And that person is pretty on to it.

I think it is safe in their hands.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wadding into the Gay Debate

Maybe I am stupid, or just love controversy, but I cannot let this new bill on gay marriage come and go without saying my piece on it.

Just to qualify my knowledge on this subject (because you shouldn't give your opinion without first doing the research) I have studied the Biblical reference for/against homosexuality. I also have gay friends, single and in relationships, christian and not, that I have asked very open and searching questions of. I have also had my own struggles with sexuality and have struggled/experienced (depending on your viewpoint) various bisexual tendencies for years. I have made the choice not to act on those desires (and in my case they were not strong enough for me to feel I didn't have that choice) but I cannot deny that they are there and they are something that I actively pray about and talk to my husband about.

I have at different times hated my desires and wanted to embrace them.

I chose not to follow through due to my understanding of where they are came from for me (direct link to my fear of men due to sexual abuse) and because of my understanding of God's word.

However, I acknowledge for many people it is not just as simple as deciding not to. For many people this is a heartbreaking issue. To them, if they are Christian, it can mean directly going against what you believe God teaches, or facing not having a close intimate relationship ever, EVER, in your life.

I am lucky. I have a husband who loves me, who I can be honest with, and who I get to share life with. If someone now told me that I couldn't have what is the most amazing love I have ever experienced in person (barring God of course) because somehow what it beautiful is actually sinful, I would be confused, hurt, angry and devastated. I would fight against them with all my being to keep the person closest to me next to me.

I admit that I very rarely admit to my sexual desires to many people as in my circles there tends to be awkward silences and confusion that follows. But I feel I must speak out on behalf of those who can't, who feel to judged to.

This issue is really hard for me and my husband to figure out. 

We are both theological students and love God and the Bible and are prepared to follow it's statutes and example. But with this one it is so difficult when there is so little clear discussion. 

We have a lesbian couple that are friends of mine, who love Jesus (but don't go to church as they get looked down upon and get a lot of crap) and, when you hear their stories, it is totally understandable why they are with each other and not with men. 

They are so excited about getting married in the eyes of God and showing the decade long love they have had for each other publicly. 

They have supported and loved each other through so much and been so strong for each other.  How do I then stand for something that would tell them that their love is wrong (when it is beautiful) that if they want to be with each other then they can't get married, or that they can't do it within their faith? 

To be frank, I am so confused by the issue that this is raising in NZ at the moment.

I know that the bill that is before parliament is to change the definition of marriage (1 man and 1 woman) to be more inclusive of those who are in LG relationships (1 adult with another consenting adult).

I understand that this has caused a huge amount of consternation within churches as they struggle to come up with agreements as a whole denomination as to where they stand on marrying LG couples in their churches.

I get that this is an issue for Christians as they try to figure out where they stand and what they will do with the bible verses that are opposed to homosexuality in any form. And I agree that this is something that we need to grapple with, question and research as it is helpful for our faith and understanding. Maybe this will drive Christians back to actually reading their bibles!

What I don't understand is how we, as a minority in NZ, can have the audacity to try and dictate to the rest of the NZ public how they should practice and define marriage!

Sure, don't marry homosexual couples in your church if you don't agree with it! There is still that option in the NZ law.

Sure, don't have homosexual friends or go to their weddings if you are that opposed, that is your right and choice.

But how can we say that people who may not even BELIEVE in God must live by the statutes of God. Even Paul says that those who live outside the law are not to be judged by the standards of the law.

And are we meant to be living by the law anyway? Are not couples who feel ostracized and alienated from the religious in churches the very people that Jesus would have sat with, eaten with, and gone to the marriage celebrations of?

Would he not have walked with them in their demonstrations to be recognized?

Would he have agreed with them? I don't know. What I do know is he didn't agree with the prostitutes, tax collectors, and others that he hung out with everyday.

He extravagantly loved those that were put down and hurt, even when out of that hurt continued to hurt themselves and others.

We are facing a choice on how we act towards this situation and I have to say that my heart is breaking for both sides as I know that all parties in this debate are trying to do what it best. But maybe it is time for Christians to accept that this is not a Christian nation and we cannot make it that by trying to impose how we believe others should or should not live.

Please feel free to disagree but be warned, any response that is not directed in grace and love towards others will not be tolerated on this blog.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Christ Saving India: Follow Up

I was asked to follow on my post on Christ Saving India (found here). I have been trawling the internet for any kind of information on this guy and asking on various blogs questions about others interactions with him. Unfortunately there is very little available out there apart from the Ministry's own facebook and blog pages (found at and

The following is taken from another blog that had had contact with the ministry in a similar fashion to myself. The first post is from me and the subsequent ones are from others (names removed). There are some very interesting things said.

  1. Hi there I was googling this ministry as well (I likewise have received many favourable comments on my blog from him) and came across this blog post. I have been corresponding with the pastor too and it sounds like the same requests as given to both of you. Do we know if this is a legit thing or a set up scam? I am wary by nature when it comes to people I don't know praising me abundantly haha

  2. Hi Christine,
    I can't comment about legit or otherwise. It does seem the pastor makes a practice of approaching people through their blogs by way of effusive praise which progresses to requests for their private email address ... As I said in a previous comment, the internet is a funny place ... it would concern me that there is so little info available about them online ... at the moment there only is a very few hits when they are googled ... their own website, their facebook page, a few blog posts from folk who, like you & I, were contacted through their blogs ... I'd say use discretion ... God bless.
  3. Grace and Peace,
    I to received praises from this guy, but I emailed him and explained that, thats not a way you would want to approach someone for help, and that I was very uncomfortable with him calling me man of God, when he doesn't know anything about me. He responded and apologized with an email of the same format with the man of God left out. I also asked him about where he was and the environment there, and how did he come to know the Lord. Still no response. I pray this is not a scam, this grieves me especially in these days where the name of Jesus is just a byword and the bible is not reverence. I pray for the Lords quick return and for those who are truly serving in these foreign nations. I would love to know if anybody can get a hold of some real info about this ministry....
  4. Hi ,
    I think you took the right approach with this. Your prayers are my prayers on this issue.
    Every blessing.
  5. Respected ----, Greetings To You in Jesus Our Lord. I have Read All of Your Answers to The People who asked You about Our Ministries.

    Can You Please Remove all of Our Ministry Details from Your Website, Please?

    I Believe That Our Great God make The Good Ways for HIS People.

    Please Remove all Of Our Details from Your Website.

    Please Forgive me in Jesus Our Lord, I should not have asked Your Help for HIS Work in India.

    Thank You
  6. Dear ----, Please read " Romans Chapter 12: 9 - 18."
  7. Dear CSIMin,

    I am not sure about the wisdom of removing your details from my blog. It has clearly served as a way for people who have been made uncomfortable about your method of approach to try and find out more about you & discuss matters with others you have approached in a similar fashion.

    I am however very glad that you have made contact with me again. I would very much like it if you could provide some details I could verify about your ministry. For example if you could give me the names & contact details (preferably email addresses) of some people who are unconnected with CSIMin who could vouch for the good work that you do - ministers from local churches, officials of local charitable organisations, people involved in the government of the region in which you operate. It would be important that they are independent of your organisation & that it is possible for me to verify they are who you say they are (& verify that they are who you say they are also). So far, all I can find out about you is your own website and facebook page. I can find no other reference to you anywhere & frankly I find that very odd. Anyone can download a few pictures and put them on a website. It does not mean they are who they say they are.

    I am sorry if this seems to be lacking in trust. You must understand that people in my position are frequently the target of people who are not who they claim to be. Hard experience has taught me to be cautious. If you can gain my trust by providing the information I ask for, I will publicize it & do my best to help you in your work. If you can not demonstrate that you are who you say you are and are doing the work that claim to be doing, then I honestly do not think I would be doing the right thing by removing this post and the words of cautious advice that exist in the comments box.

    I hope this is satisfactory to you. For the sake of convenience I have done another post on CSIMin about this issue
    & I will do another when you send me the details I have asked for (which I pray that you will). 
  8. Dear Levi, Holy Greetings To You in Jesus Our Lord.

    I Read Your Comment many times. I fasted and Prayed To God To Show me way to Prove myself and Our Ministries as legitimate.

    I Understood that You were cheated , that is why you are taking this Type of Caution.

    I am a unworthy Servant of God, I Worked as a Biochemist and I left my job to Do the Work of God, I was cheated by some people who Claiming to be Godly even though they were not.

    Our Ministries are One Of The Big Ministry in Our Area and We are Facing Much Persecutions in Our Daily Ministries, Many People and organizations Works Against us to stop the God's Work.

    Because of These Reasons I can not get any Letters from The Govt. Officials .

    We have more than 350 Churches in Our Ministries.

    When I Read Your Comment , I wept in The Presence of God,I asked HIM to show me a way To Prove Our Ministries as Legitimate, HE put an Idea in my heart. I followed that Idea.

    Please see These Small Videos on YouTube,I Pray and Believe that These Videos gives you an Idea About Our Ministries.

    Dear ----, If it is God's Will, Please Come to India and Visit Our Ministries.

    Dear ----, You Can Check Our Website and Facebook page and tally the Video and Pictures.

    This is Only To Prove Our Ministries as Legitimate.

    In What Way Our Lord Leads You in That Way Do Each and Everything Towards us.

    Dear ----, I must Honor The Elders, Godly people and other strangers, this is I learned from My Parents , From The Word of God and from Our Culture, that is why, I wrote Honorable words when I Write Comments on Others Website.

    Please Forgive me for The Mistakes in my English Usage.

    You Can Make a call to me " My Phone Number is +91 9705745938.

    I have been Prayerfully waiting for Your reply.

    Thank You.
  9. Dear Brother Williams,

    Thanks for your reply. I'm sorry if this is causing you distress. If you are what you say you are, you have no need to be - the truth will be established in due time.

    I'll have a look at the youtube clips when I get a chance - I am incredibly busy with work right now. And financially I'm not in a position to travel to India. However, I went over your website again & note that you don't give any locations for the various places your ministry operates in. Could you supply some? I have some friends who have contacts with a number of charities operating in India & I am sure they could make some inquiries to verify the work that you are doing.

    Every blessing, L+
  10. Dear ----, I am so Thankful to you for Your reply.

    We will soon update our website with the information you asked.

    If it is Pleases to you, You can give my Phone number to Your Contacts in India to talk to me and visit our Ministries.

    Please see The Videos and If you believe that We are legitimate, Please Write a Post about Your Understanding About Our Ministries.

    We Pray for You, Please Pray for us.

    Thanking You

    In Christ Alone.

    So as you can see it is all very interesting and I am not really sure what I think about the whole thing. Many questions come to mind about why he wanted the details removed etc.

    I also received this link via email from Williams that I found, frankly, extremely emotionally manipulative:

    At the end of the day I have not told Williams to stop emailing me and I do continue to pray for him, but his requests for help through clothes, food and money I cannot help with for two reasons; the first being I have no money to help him with (!) the second because I cannot know where that money is going or who it is helping.

    I think that we all have to make up our own minds about this. I find the whole thing a bit fishy and my instincts are going crazy with warning bells whenever I look into this guy so I am gonna play it safe.

    Feel free to leave comments etc about your own findings on this. Don't just take my word for it.

How Far is TOO Far?

Sex toys.

Now it's out there you can stop reading if you like because this is the next segment on what is rapidly turning into my series on sex!

I said in my blog S-E-X that for Christians who grow up in the church, we are often told that before marriage sex consists of "don't do it" and after marriage it is "feel free". There are no other guidelines to that. You don't find many people who will put up their hands in a sermon and say "my husband and I are interested in using sex toys to enhance our bedroom experience. What does the Bible have to say on alternative sexual experiences within marriage?"

If someone asked that in my church I am not sure if I would fall of my chair or die laughing! Think of the ministers face!!!!

And how many parents do you know that would sit down and talk about the pros and cons of sex toys in a loving relationship when they were having the 'sex talk' with their kids?

Reality is though that there are many 'sexual enhancers' on the market today and they have become a well accepted part of sex in many circles. It is almost a given with some of my friends that every woman has a vibrator and most couples, if not all, have at least tried a little bondage.

I kid you not.

Think of TV programmes. FRIENDS has an episode where Monica buys Chandler porn and is considered the best wife ever because she wants to watch it with him. Sex and the City has a whole episode dedicated to the vibrator. In fact there is a movie coming out called Hysteria that is about the invention of the vibrator!!

And if you go to this website, it is a christian website for conservative christian couples who want a sexual 'boost'. This is how they describe their website:

 "Welcome to Covenant Spice! We are a Christian sex toy shop and romance site for married couples, offering high quality, feature-packed products that enhance lovemaking — at unbelievably low prices. Our goal from our inception has been to offer Christian sexual aids that help foster intimacy and strengthen relationships within the bonds of a healthy marriage."

(Random aside: what classfies a sex toy as 'Christian' as opposed to non-Christian? Have they been specially blessed and baptised?)

Sex and exploration go hand in hand now. It is not looked down on if you go to Peaches N Cream or Erox stores to buy some bedroom games. Bridal showers are usually inundated with them and, if you are having 'problems' in the bedroom area, advertising would tell you that there are battery powered toys out there to help with that.

Now I want to be straight up, per usual, and say that my marriage has not gone down that path as we have enough fun in that department as is haha. But it is a subject we brought up with our premarital counsellors and that we have had discussions with with our couple friends.

Sometimes I do wonder what are in those stores and what they would 'do'. Are they all they cracked up to be?

But me being me, I started thinking about sex toys in the light of God's grace, love for humanity, and biblical teachings. 

Let me state that the Bible is not just filled with good little 'Christian' types who only use the missionary position. It is filled, from cover to cover, with prostitutes, scandalous women, and women who use their sexual prowess to get men to do what they want. We have Esther who pleased her man so much in the bedroom that he made her Queen (no boring sex in that relationship)! Ruth made a man think that he had slept with her to make him marry her. Rachel and Leah were constantly in a sexual showdown to win the affection of their shared husband.

Don't even get me started on Song of Songs! Translating that from the Hebrew into English made me blush!

God is no stranger to the sexuality of the created humanity. In fact, it was God that made it so flipping amazing (and to those who are hanging out for marriage, yes it is as good as everyone says and sorry for making you jealous haha). God wants us to enjoy each other.

But not in a destructive way.

God wants us to be fully alive in Christ and with each other. This includes sex. If we are abusing sex we are not fully alive with it. If we use it unthinkingly, dangerously, or unlovingly, we are selling ourselves horrendously short.

This applies to sex toys.

Our premarital counsellors answered our questions on sex toys in a very, very good way.

They said that anything that causes degradation or pain to another is to be counted out. If you would feel ashamed in the morning then don't do it. But otherwise have fun!

So if you are thinking about spicing up things in the bedroom with some fun adult paraphernalia then ask yourselves the following questions:

1) is this going to cause physical pain?

A lot of sexual enhancers these days are pain based. Some people are really aroused by pain but I think that this is a distortion on sex and shouldn't be aggressively pursued. Any harm that is caused to another human being is not loving and should not be part of a loving sexual relationship.

2) Will this degrade me, my partner, or anyone else?

This counts out porn automatically. You both may find it a huge stimulus but it is inherently degrading to those who are in the video and, by association, the people who watch it. If you are aroused by porn perhaps as a couple you should be asking why that is rather than pursuing it. It also means that you are constantly asking your partner if what you are doing is ok, if they feel ok, and asking yourself if you are feeling emotionally safe too. Keep clued into each other and don't just go for pleasuring yourself.

3) Will I regret this in the morning?

If you can't look your partner in the eye the next morning then you have both done something VERY wrong. Sex is meant to enhance a loving relationship, not destroy it, and if you are embarrassed or ashamed the next day then it is going to kill any future sexual experiences that you may have.

I would also add that, if after discussion with your partner (DON'T surprise them with a sex toy if you don't know their feelings on it!!!), you decide to purchase one then do your research. There are no standards for sex toys on materials that they are or are not allowed to use and cheap, nasty ones can be filled with toxic chemicals that can cause TSS (toxic shock syndrome) in a woman as the chemicals pass through the sesitive vaginal walls. There are also reported cases of batteries giving electric shocks. It may sound funny but in the moment it really wouldn't be. You do NOT want to end up in hospital trying to explain that one!

So research (there are sites out there that give you info, but be careful about links you click!) and listen to each other and be aware at all times of your motivation and, after the sex buzz wears off, what you will feel like afterwards.

Celebrate your sexuality and the love that you have for each other.

Go have fun!