This may sound strange, but that is how I refer to the situations when I have one foot on the side of the fence that is the world and the other on the side that is all things holy.
St Paul's instructions in Ephesians are very clear! In Chapter 4:22 "You were to put aside your old selves which belongs to your old way of life..."
We are reminded throughout Chapter 4 and the first few verses of Chapter 5 that we are to choose to emulate Christ and to give up our sinful habits. He particularly mentions sexual impurity (in all its forms!) and foul language, coarse jokes, salaciousness and greed...which we are told is the worship of a false God! Wow!!
Ephesians 5:5 "For you can be quite certain that nobody who indulges in sexual immorality or impurity or greed, which is worshipping a false God can inherit the kingdom of God" Double Wow! Could that be said in any stronger language? Well, listen to this...
Ephesians 5:6 " Do not let anyone deceive you with empty arguments: it is such behaviour that draws down God's retribution on those who rebel against him" SUCH BEHAVIOR DRAWS DOWN GOD'S RETRIBUTION!!!
So, let's back up a bit...
- We are to choose to emulate Christ
- We are to let go of all our old sinful ways
- We are not to let ourselves be deceived into sin
So again I ask...do you straddle?
When you go out with friends do you gossip about others? Do you sometimes read books or watch shows that have immoral values or suggestive references, if not outright sexual matters, lewd jokes or foul language? Do you feel like you have to laugh along if someone cracks a tasteless joke that is either racial or prejudiced or contains some reference to sex?
This, my friends, is what you call straddling!
I know how tough it is to live in this world (especially when you have teenagers) and try to maintain your value system. It ain't easy friend! My husband would screen every movie via a parental control website, before he would let our children see it...regardless of the rating. This DOES not earn us any popularity points with them...trust me!
When other parents thought nothing of dropping off pre-teens and early-teens to the mall to meet friends...we said no! When other parents were allowing sleep-overs and out of town visits...we said no! When everyone else would let their under-age children go to parties where alcohol would be served and there would be little adult supervision...we said no. We've gotten a lot of flack over the years for our views, since even family members aren't this rigid with their children.
When my husband and I as adults have to make the choice to go along with what other people are doing...because "its only a little movie", or "its just a couple of curse words", or "everybody else is doing it" or TO CHOOSE TO EMULATE JESUS and remove ourselves or our children from the potential for sinning...we are deciding whether or not to straddle!
The bible is very clear! It tells us "DO NOT BE DECEIVED". Pope Pius XII said, about fifty years ago, that "the greatest tragedy of our time is that the world has lost its sense of sin" How much more so today! What is accepted as the 'norm' is very often far, far below the standards that God has set before us.
Sometimes it is so tempting to just give in because it would be easier to do that than to fight for what is right. Believe me...I know! There is no person more argumentative than a teenager who is trying to persuade you to his or her way! They try to break you down with so many arguments that your head begins to spin!
Stand firm my friends, choose Jesus and beware of doing the Straddle!