- Virginia Brown
Behavior Shapes Beliefs
Beliefs shape behavior. This is why the consistent preaching of biblical doctrine remains a vital need for church life. We need to hear that God always keeps His promises so that we trust Him when the going gets tough. Many Christians realize the behavior-shaping role beliefs have. A less appreciated topic among Christians is the inverse truth. Just as beliefs shape behavior, so also behavior shapes belief. In other words: our choices shape our worldview.
Sociologist Mark Regnerus unpacks this idea in his article, “Porn Use and Supporting Same-Sex Marriage.” He asks the question, “Does heightened porn use matter for fashioning attitudes about marriage?” He concludes that pornography consumption plays a role in shaping what young people think about the validity of homosexual marriage. In his words: “Contrary to what we might wish to think, young adult men’s support for redefining marriage may not be entirely the product of ideals about expansive freedoms, rights, liberties, and a noble commitment to fairness. It may be, at least in part, a byproduct of regular exposure to diverse and graphic sex acts.”
As his research illustrates, how we live shapes the convictions we have. This means that the battle for a Christian worldview needs to entail a broader approach than simply the presentation of arguments. We must also remember that our habits and experiences have a profound impact upon us. Thus, a call of repentance from sin must also accompany our pursuit and promotion of a Christian worldview. The battle for man’s souls includes both the mind and the heart.