I won't lie - I'm not all that familiar with the "Given Breath" blog, but after taking a quick peek around the site, I liked it a bit. "Mrs. Hall" seemed like a great, Christian mom. But her blog post "FYI (If you're a teenage girl," which is what sent me to her site to begin with, has been rolling my eyes. Big time.
There are a lot of points to argue with her post, but the one that I have taken most issue with was the small bit where she says,
"And now - big bummer - we have to block your posts. ...And so, in our house, there are no second chances. If you want to stay friendly with the Hall men, you'll have to keep your clothes on and your posts decent. If you try to post a sexy selfie, or an inappropriate YouTube video - even once - you'll be booted off our online island."
So here's how I'm feeling about this little part.
(And, side note, I was only going to post my thoughts as a comment, but for some reason, she's turned off comments or something, and I can't post. Maybe because on a post about how girls need to help keep her sons minds pure, she posts photos of her sons at the beach without shirts on and flexing? A lot of people weren't happy with that. Anyways.. I need to get these thoughts out somehow!)
So these girls that "mess up" and post a photo that they don't like on Instagram, or write a post on Facebook they don't agree with... they don't get a second chance your family? And yet, you are teaching your family about the principles of Christianity.
Isn't one of the main messages of Christianity is that how you can mess up bad, and yet God will forgive you? God will give you that second chance, even when you don't deserve it.
But you won't give the girl who posted a "sexy selfie" a second chance, even if she grows up and grows out of that phase of her life? You're saying that once she posts something you don't like, she's out of the picture for good, right?
I'm just so confused. I mean, if this girl is good enough for the forgiveness of Christ, why isn't she good enough for your forgiveness? Pardon me if I'm getting the point of your message wrong, but your "forgiveness" is not more important than God's.
And another issue I had with this post. The only thing I really got from this was that women need to do all. that. they. can to protect your son from impure thoughts. Another commenter made an extremely valid point:
It is SO lame to say that women aren't visually stimulated. I BEG TO DIFFER. I mean, we need to make Ryan Gosling illegal, am I right?! So while she's writing this valiant blog post about keeping her sons pure, she puts up photos of her sons shirtless and flexing. Sure, it's just a playful beach photo, everyone takes a photo like this! But she's a blogger. And we all know bloggers hoard photos. So somewhere on her computer, you know she has photos of her sons with shirts on. Why couldn't she have paired the blog post with more "tasteful" photos. Did she not think that a teenage girl would stumble on her blog and think, "woooo those boys are hot!" (That was so weird typing that..ew) Did she not consider the purity of the girls who will look at the post when she was putting up those photos?
Of course, then she completely reposted the blog with another version that included photos of her children in actual clothing. So, whatevs.
Okay, I'm done now.
UGH, FIRED UP, YOU GUYS.
I have a lot of feelings.
ETA: I ended up being able to leave a comment on her second blog post (the one where everyone is covered up) and it was very similar to this blog post. I wanted to share here, her response to me:
Hi Haley, I am so grateful for your question and your honest thoughts. I am happy to answer you.
You know, I wish I had taken more time to explain that part of my post, because – you’re right – it sounded holier-than-thou and grace-less.
I have made my mega share of mistakes of every size and variety, and I’ve been given much grace by God and his people, so I hope I can shed a little more light on why I said that.
Luke or Chase (my older boys) have never unfriended anyone over an overtly sexual post. They have blocked a few friend’s images/links from showing up on their feed, but the hope is that they might not shame her (by unfriending her) and still stay “real life” friends…without a string of repeat incidents that can harm both parties.
I do think this is a respectful, protective, and gracious solution for both young people?
Thank you for your thoughts, and for your grace, Haley.