A Response to Toxic Advice (Part 2); ft. Paul and Morgan on Girl Defined's Channel

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I should've expected this to be about as long as Part 1, but I felt as if this article allowed me to share my own personal experiences better. DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. However, I'm a freak when it comes to psychology, mental health in general, and I just have way too much experience with my prior, religious affiliation, and if me sharing can help even one person, then that's what I'll continue to do. May I ever evolve.

Submitted: June 26, 2019

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Submitted: June 26, 2019

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A Response to Toxic Advice (Part 2)

 

 

To be mindful, I’ll admit that this response is just as toxic as the first. However, those who are new to dating, and to anyone reading – religious or not – I will be using a few articles in tandem with my old bible (the one I kept simply because it was a gift) as I dissect this video collaboration, and pointing out the toxic mentality in relationships, and how religion reinforces them. If I haven’t said it before, get used to it: I am not here to de-convert anyone, but I’ll be damned (no pun intended) if I allow such toxic elements get lost in the translation that, in this case, is religious dogma.

 

Sexual Past: How to Tell a Godly Guy [FEAT. Paul & Morgan]

  1. 2:37 – 3:45; “Yeah, so, before I met Paul, I was in a 3-and-a-half-year long relationship with a guy who was not really walking with the Lord. I knew God, my heart was for him, but I just kind of went down the wrong path and continued to stray down that path with this guy. Um.. and I ended up – I lost my virginity to him and it was just a battle, um, of me feeling completely hopeless, worthless… terrible, guilty – just all of the bad things I felt about myself and… when I first met Paul, I – on our first date, he was just kind of telling me. It was very clear – he didn’t even have to tell me – it’s very clear that he was pure. He was saving himself for his wife, and I just immediately was like, “This guy is not going to want anything to do with you.” Like, I had repented, I had turned from that sin, and, you know, totally started over, but I just knew, and felt like, he just wasn’t gonna want anything to do with me, and… that was not the case!”

So, this is a handful. What Morgan is describing is an “unevenly yoked” relationship (2. Cor. 6:14, HCSB), but, instead of an “unbeliever,” it’s a fellow Christian that “was not really walking with the Lord.” The full verse reads as follows, “Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?” Take it from me, a former Christian. This verse does extend to those that Morgan describes. If anyone hinders your walk with god, then they are not as evenly yoked as you are (but, of course, especially with “unbelievers”) This verse is utter bullshit too—“what fellowship does light have with darkness?” Really? There must be a balance between the two. Singling out one, or the other (polarization or “black and white thinking”), ends up turning into the “us vs. them” mentality. But don’t just take my personal experience about it – I’ve cited an article here for your leisurely read (https://www.talkspace.com/blog/black-white-thinking-ways-poisons-your-perspective/).

Also, because of the black and white thinking (for those who read the article before continuing – you’re awesome!), you become overly self-critical. When she meets Paul, she immediately mind-reads – “This guy is not going to want anything to do with you.” Keep in mind, their bible tells them to actively reject what is written down as "ungodly" (being unevenly yoked). While I’m very glad she met someone who proved her (awful) mind-reading ability incorrect, one could also argue that this thinking made her dependent on what her future partner thought of her based on how she describes her ex.

  1. 4:58 – 5:34; “… and my response is, “Yeah, forgive them. Don’t hold it against them, but there may be – that could be something that sticks with you and it’s just really hard to get past.” I don’t mean to prolong that aspect, because, for me, Morgan shared that with me. She was very real, very open on our very first date. And she shared it with me, and I just had grace to be like, “She isn’t who she used to be. She’s, you know, asked God for forgiveness, and she’s in a different place.” Like, come on. I forgive you. That’s – your heart is for the Lord. I’m not gonna look back. Let’s go, so…”

Most of the above is decent advice. Replace the word “grace” with something more relatable such as “sympathy,” or even “empathy.” Even “compassion” is a better word. “Grace,” as defined by Dictionary.com (in particular, 3, and 4), “favor or goodwill; a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior.” Of course, because they are religious, I want you to also see point 8, a – d. All it really says is it’s divinely inspired, given, etc. Paul is Morgan’s superior because of the Biblical Gender Roles (BGR) belief that Paul is the head of the house, controls all, and Morgan is the submissive wife, etc.

I am so relieved to know that Paul acknowledges that we are not our past mistakes. But why must Paul forgive Morgan for something that happened in the past? To better understand, let’s look at this article, as it brings up a verse I’m obviously going to cite (https://www.moralrevolution.com/blog/forgiving-your-partners-past). Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.” The goal is to embody this entity that is all-loving, forgiving, etc., but does so even if the person doing the forgiving has done nothing wrong, or, rather, has not “sinned” in the same way as the person being forgiven. To see what forgiveness can do for you (and, therefore, unto others), here is an article of forgiveness outside of religious dogma (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-forgiving-life/201904/reflecting-30-years-forgiveness-science).

  1. 5:55 – 6:09; “… So in chapter… in our chapter on purity, we have 3 points that are about, like, lies we believe about purity, and one of them is that our worth is bound up in our purity, so the fact that, like, the more “pure” we are, the more “worth” we have in God’s eyes...”

Religious dogma, meet black and white thinking. Purity is one of the most talked about things in the bible, right up there with sex(ual), sexual immorality, etc. Almost like it was written by people who didn’t understand their own bodies, or themselves as a human being. Purity ends up becoming a way to identify yourself when you’re religious, and it’s so harmful when you also believe that you’re “worthless,” or “dirty,” for being human, having sexual desires, and experimenting with a consenting party (or parties, if you’re so bold). I won’t make this next statement a bullet point, as Morgan will be answering a question in the same vein, but Morgan describes her previous relationship as “toxic” – no doubt because of how religion views anything regarding our bodies, and simply being human. She was never “pure,” nor “impure.” She’s simply human, and we need to stop demonizing natural, human traits because a “holy” book says so.

  1. 6:59 – 7:06; “… and, so, I feel like I finally, when I ended that relationship, and I stepped out, I kind of feel like I met Jesus in a whole new way…”

Truly, if we were to remove religion, this whole conversation would be about self-discovery, how one learned to cope, and accept, oneself for being human – the good, bad, and ugly. But, because this is not the case, instead of saying that this allowed her to meet herself, she… met someone else (Jesus)…? Depending on people for your identity is so damaging, but the best reason why is in this next link (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anxiety-zen/201609/6-signs-codependent-relationship).

I’m trying to skip ahead, as a lot of this is redundant, just said a different way, but up until 10:09, I can’t disagree too much. The four talk about first dates, and whether, or not, you should just spill everything. Lucky for you readers, I have 2 links about dating “do’s and don’t’s;” one from 2013, another from 2018 (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-cloud9/201305/10-dating-dos-and-donts-6-therapists; https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-in-balance/201803/7-dating-dos-and-donts).

  Honorable mentions include:

  1. 11:32 – 11:34; “…it’s a journey you continue on.” Paul, on whether, or not, one is forever pure after marriage. A better talking point would be “being human is a journey you continue on.” We, as humans, are constantly in a state of change. Absolutely no one can avoid the inevitable change we will go through with ourselves, other people, relationships, etc.
  2. 11:53 – 12:02; “I mean, just because you’re married doesn’t mean that lustful thoughts go away all of the sudden, or the desires to look at porn go away…” Of course. I wholeheartedly agree. We are fallible, ever evolving, human beings. However, if you’re in a healthy relationship, perhaps porn is something you share with your partner, or maybe you have no desire to look at it, or maybe even something entirely different. As long as healthy boundaries are established, and the people actively communicate, lustful thoughts and/or porn will not be a huge problem in your relationship.
  3. 13:13 – 13:18; “… it’s about the heart, so if your heart’s not in the right place when you get married, like, that same heart is coming with you.” Abso-freakin-lutely. My husband and I have known each other for over 10 years, we were broken up about 4, or 5, and even talked intermittently before we decided – after our own “soul searching”—that we were ready to try again.

I swear, I tried to keep this short, but I’ve been through a lot of religious indoctrination, and toxic relationships, for most of my life. I’ve also been into psychology, to include criminology, from a young age. I do not have a degree in any of these things – all of it is what I’ve learned throughout my life. I hope that this article benefits someone – anyone. Love to all.


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