Can I Cuss? And Other Questions About Appropriate Christian Behavior


If you have ever been around me when I have had more than three gin and tonics, you know that for some reason I secretly love the F-word (sorry, Grandma).

It must be buzzing around in my head when I’m sober, because as soon as I’m liquored up I begin releasing a stream of profanities in a way that seems adorable in my head but (as I’ve lovingly been informed by my fiancé) actually makes me sound like an obnoxious jerk, and why can’t I act like the 25-year-old I am?

This is frustrating to me, because sometimes the F-word is the only word I would like to suffice for the situation I find myself in. For example, when I recently read about a famous U.S. Senator who had previously been married to a woman for 40 years but was now marrying a man 50 years his junior, I did not think to myself, “My goodness, that strikes me as odd and is quite truly the most outrageous age gap.”

What I thought to myself was, “What the actual f-k?”

Another time, I wanted to write an article for Buzzfeed called “Leonardo DiCaprio Getting His A** Handed to Him” about all of Leonardo’s infamous death scenes over the years. However, I felt weird about doing this in case someone made the connection that the same girl who had talked about the beauty of God and waiting for sex at their youth group was writing articles with “a**” in the title.

You see my problem?

I’m not trying to be edgy. I’ve just seen enough Girls to absorb the cultural normalcy of dropping the F-bomb into casual conversations. It’s not me; it’s the media’s fault. I’m impressionable.

As Christians, we are called to be “not of this world.” We have to live in this world with catchy Lady Gaga songs and delicious, slightly strong cocktails and really, really cute dresses that do not reach appropriate fingertip length, and yet we are still required to maintain an admirable amount of “better than that” behavior.

So, what’s acceptable, here, people?

  1. Am I allowed to enthusiastically sing along to songs by Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and/or Jason Derulo?
  2. Can I shop at a place called Nasty Gal?
  3. Can I wear clothes that I would not wear to church? Like that one skirt I wore on New Year’s that I couldn’t fully sit down in?
  4. Can I think it’s incredibly important to teach young people about using condoms and birth control, even though I believe in waiting for sex? And that if we don’t teach them about these things we are doing them a disservice, not to mention putting them at risk?
  5. Can I hold a deep appreciation for Lena Dunham?
  6. Can I dislike Christian pop music? Like, really dislike it?
  7. Can I think Baddie Winkle is really funny? (She’s out of control, by the way.)
  8. Am I allowed to think going to spend a week with elephants in Thailand sounds way more rewarding than a mission trip to Mexico?
  9. Can I at least be the teeniest bit freaked out by people speaking in tongues?
  10. Am I allowed to watch (and enjoy) Sex and the City? And GIRLS? Or The Sopranos? (I recently subscribed to the free trial of HBO.)
  11. Is it acceptable to be drunk in public every so often? Like, you know, at a bar? With other drunk people?
  12. Is it acceptable to be drunk?
  13. What is the protocol on playing “Cards Against Humanity”?
  14. What level of hell is reserved for people with irrepressible road rage?
  15. Can I take sneaky pictures of men with mockery-worthy tiny man buns at coffee shops and post them to Twitter, or does that not count as loving my neighbor?
  16. Can I refrain from lifting my hands above my head during worship? It’s not that I’m not emotional or into the song, I just feel distracted by what I look like with my arms raised.
  17. Can I retain my introvert tendencies? I keep reading these blog posts about families who decided to sacrifice their free time to have people over whenever someone needs a place to go, and I am like, “I like people; to an extent.
  18. And can I reserve some resentment for people who pray for five minutes before dinner? We are ready to eat. God knows this. Patience is no virtue at the dinner table.*

*Seriously, if you are this person, know you are loved but also most people want to throw a dinner roll at you. Especially Jesus, probably.

9 replies »

  1. I totally feel for the 5 minutes prayer for FOOD. Nobody is listening after the second sentence anyway! Chicken is calling my name!

    As to drink though, I’m pretty sure it’s written somewhere in the bible to NOT get drunk, but I’m too lazy to check where XD

    Love your posts 🙂 Christians need to be more honest nowadays!

    • Hahaha right? No one is listening to your prayer, unfortunately. Yeah, I’m pretty sure the Bible absolutely says that. But, life happens. Thank you, and thanks for reading!

  2. Haha! You had me laughing out loud at my desk at work! I can so feel you on these questions! What is appropriate and what isn’t? How do we live in the world and yet not be of the world? Where do we draw the line? I think it ends up usually being personalized to each person (though I know people who would certainly disagree with that!). Thanks for your honest writing! xoxo

  3. Haha YES. The best questions. Necessary, I think. I’ve asked so many of these… except for the skirt one. It hasn’t come up.

    I think finding blanket statement answers to these questions is impossible and whatever answers we do find are often too simplified. It would be nice if everything was cookie-cutter, but then we’d probably find new ways to complicate it even further. Yay for ambiguity and being ok with not knowing stuff.

    I hope the freelance is going well!

    • Thanks, Cory! YAY FOR AMBIGUITY. I just figure God can’t hear me when I’m in my car, the place where most of my cussing and inappropriate music happens.

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