I received the following email from Beth, a frequent visitor of this blog, two days ago, and saw it as important enough to share (with Beth's permission, of course) a part of it with everyone here, together with my reply:
I have been reading your blog almost daily for some time and have always found it to be a refreshment. In the past couple of weeks, however, I have noticed a change in the atmosphere that concerns me... I am finding that the comments, instead of supporting and enhancing your posts, are now quite often attempts to refute your viewpoints, often by people who are not serving the Lord in any way. These comments really alter the atmosphere of the blog--Instead of feeling refreshed and strengthened for my work when I leave, now I find myself feeling exasperated and tense. In my opinion, it detracts from the purpose of your blog... that of promoting "home, femininity, and being a lady" (from your description of your blog). Perhaps I am alone in my feelings... but I did want to share them for you to consider.
The world is full of people who believe that living a holy, modest life, set apart for the Lord, is complete folly. Going to a blog where this godly lifestyle is promoted, and where we can all encourage one another in our pursuit of this lifestyle, is like an oasis in the desert, a place of cool refreshment. But the presence of the negative comments is more like visiting a hoped-for oasis but having sand thrown in one's eyes instead!"
Here is what I wrote in response:
Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful letter. I truly enjoyed and appreciated hearing from you. Also, thank you for prompting me to think a bit more about something I've been awfully neglectful of lately.
I have always been a heavy user of comment moderation, careful not to allow an unpleasant spirit in my comments, until recently, when I became so overwhelmed with studies, keeping home, and other important things that keep me very busy right now, that I sort of let it slide. All those long comments with objections to what I write? Most likely I didn't even read them very thoroughly... just skimmed through them, said "oh well, there's nothing really hateful or rude, let it be", and clicked "publish".
Yes, I know this caused things to get a bit out of hand lately. I wouldn't like to limit discussion space, but I want my blog to be a peaceful place for encouraging home-focused women, not a hot debate area. I don't want a woman who keeps her eyes on God, her marriage, family and home, to feel uncomfortable after visiting my blog."
So, this is just to allow you a little glimpse into my thoughts. I deeply appreciate all those who visit and comment, even if they disagree with me. But my blogging time is very limited right now; and the time I can spare for debates is pretty much nonexistent. So I do hope no one will hold grudges against me if at some point I decide I don't have the time or energy to host and monitor a certain discussion, and delete a comment - not because there was something wrong or offensive with it in itself, but simply because I don't want a discussion to go in that direction.
The purpose of this blog, like Beth rightly noticed, is mainly to encourage and support likeminded ladies. Please understand that my intention is to keep it that way.