My Hypocritical Self: Cussing

Feeling a little hypocritical today.

I have this amazing quote from a book that I want to share, but I’m feeling a little guilty.

I’m feeling hypocritical because of something I said and meant this weekend during my “Raising Teens” workshop.

I downloaded The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and was instantly turned off by the “G–d—-” and other cursing, and the fact that one kid is groping his girlfriend’s breast in public. I felt skeevy. Bleh. Stopped reading.

During my workshop, I shared popular movies with the parents, and mentioned The Fault in Our Stars, since several of my middle schoolers have read it and are dying for the movie to come out. I told the parents that I’d bought it but stopped reading it for the reasons mentioned…except I forgot to tell them about the groping.

Anyway, during my free time, I started reading another book. And this book also has some random cursing, and once in a while will say, “God…” (minus the d-word after). And yet, this book’s version of cursing doesn’t bother me the same way Green’s book did.

But since I said, “I stopped reading because I don’t like cursing in books,” I feel guilty now for wanting to share a quote out of a book that does have some cursing.

Dilemma.

Come to think of it, there are certain shows that I feel convicted of watching because of their language, but other shows that use less of the language I’m not disturbed by. So I find that I have a “line” when it comes to language, and I’m having trouble putting into words what that line is.

Is it the specific words used? I hate the “f” word. I hate when people put the “d” word after God’s name.

Is it pathetic childish that I can’t even write the cuss word out?

The Bible says not to let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth (Eph 4:29). So why am I okay with a little bit?

I don’t know. I just know when it feels wrong, and my brain says it’s all wrong, but I don’t feel all wrong about all of it.

Here’s the quote, though, that started this, said by a 17-year-old character in The Fortune Quilt:

“I’m also not going to be pressured out of my virginity by a culture so obsessed with sex that no one cares if it’s any good or not.”

Am I alone in this?

[reminder]

Comments

comments

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Bethany Jett

Bethany Jett loves sipping coffee and jamming in her planner while raising three boys with her college sweetheart Justin.

April 30, 2014

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4 Comments

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    Not alone in this at all. I also have some imaginary line where some movies/shows/books will bother me, while others seem to be okay with me. I think it has to do with the abundance of it, meaning its okay in small doses but when its too much it just seems gratuitous. I sometimes wonder if it’s because sex/cussing is SO prevalent in our culture that we become desensitized to some degree, and so it becomes easier to accept in small doses. Not sure, just an uneducated thought 🙂

  2. Avatar

    I have a hard time with “language” in general. I don’t like to hear it from people I know or from people I don’t know. Not that I would ever say anything to those people. And it’s not from a perspective of judging others, I just feel very convicted when I am letting those things into my heart and head. I know God wants us to think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praise worthy…and for me, cussing doesn’t fit the mold. And I also think about my kiddos. I don’t want there to come a time in the future where I am telling them that they can’t watch/listen/read such and such because of language, if I am okay with doing that very thing. Chuck, on the other hand, is much more laid back on the issue. He is okay with hearing/reading language as long as it isn’t excessive or sexual.

  3. Avatar

    Bethany, Language is a difficult thing to discuss. I don’t want to go all “teacherish” but in Shakespeare’s time he was considered to be very risque with some of his statements..i.e “I bite my thumb at you” was a very offensive comment, but I can read it aloud in a classroom now and no one is offended. Meanings and language changes…Most of your age group find nothing offensive about the word “butt” when referring to a body location(ha) but when I grew up I was not allowed to use this term.. I would never have considered telling my children “I am going to whip your ….” although I did do that to them at times…not the telling, the doing. I am offended by any time God’s name or Jesus is used as a swear word,and I believe this is Scriptural not hypocritical. And because of my age I am very offended by the “F” word, but we often have to overlook all of that and find the heart of the individual…especially the teen-ager as you well know.
    Wish we could have had lunch. Keep going girl. I am so very proud of you.

  4. Avatar

    What I have observed in myself, as young and childish as I may be, is that, as I always say, “context is king”. If I smash my hand, foot or really hit my head, I WILL cuss. When I was younger, I used made up stuff like, “son of a biscuit eating dog”. The fact is, I don’t feel convicted by this because by no means am I addressing anyone and I am much more cautious of what I say when I am around others because I don’t want to offend.
    Context of scripture that speaks of unwholesome talk is about gosip and cursing someone. Verses that speak on saying a vow and your yes be yes and your no be no, all of these have one thing in common: edification of the body of Christ and edification of preaching the gospel.
    Therefore, these books… It depends on their edification. Is the ise of language benificial or not is my opinion. It’s how it is used and the context of the writers purpose.