The Marriage Bed Board Rules 2014 Edition
1. BE A CHRISTIAN:
The Marriage Bed board is designed as a Christian forum where Christians do not have to defend or explain their faith (if you are a non-Christian and wish to post for specific reasons, please contact the Oversight Group to discuss permission). We will take a person's word that they are a Christian (unless it becomes evident by words/actions that they are not--see Galatians 5:19-25). However, ANY doctrine posted which is not in agreement with the TMB Statement of Faith including (but not limited to) LDS (Mormon), Jehovah's Witness, Scientology, prosperity gospel, name-it/claim-it theology, etc will not be allowed on the boards. Any person attempting to post contrary doctrines will be warned and may face immediate termination of their membership to the TMB Boards at the discretion of the Oversight Group. Please read and understand the TMB Statement of Faith, which you can find by clicking here.
2. BE MARRIED OR ENGAGED:
The Marriage Bed bulletin board is a safe place for married and engaged couples (one man and one woman) to talk about sex and intimacy. If you are not married or officially engaged, please do not post to these boards. Posters who are "serious in their relationship," "pre-engaged," or any other form of "serious without being engaged" will have their posts removed.
Engaged: If you are formally engaged to be married, you may post to the Engaged Section and where discussion is not graphic (i.e. prayer requests, theology, off-topic, etc). Engagement is defined as a commitment to marry with a public announcement (including to family), and a wedding date chosen.
Living Together: If you are living together before marriage, even if you are engaged, you may not post until you are married.
Informal “Marriage”: Common Law Marriage, Domestic Partners, etc, even if legal in your area, is not recognized by TMB. TMB's stance is that real marriage is that which can only be terminated by death or legal divorce.
Divorce / Separation: If you become either divorced or separated (without actively working towards reconciliation) you should notify the OG of this so they can deactivate your account. If you wish a brief extension the OG may (at their discretion) allow you to post for up to six months in the Off Topic Section.
Widowed: If you are a member who has been recently widowed, please accept our condolences. We grieve with you, and we recognize that you have found friends and support here, and if you will contact the OG we can arrange for you to have up to six additional months to post here in the Off Topic Section.
3. BE UNDERSTANDING AND SENSITIVE:
Those who post and read our boards come from all over the world, span several generations, and have vastly different life experiences. So, while we want to bring Biblical truth to subjects discussed, we recognize that that needs to be done with grace, kindness, patience, and tact. These boards discuss EXTREMELY personal issues, and some people are not comfortable with pointed questions or with overly blunt confrontations. Please remember that you cannot see the person on the other side of the screen, and that this form of communication is inherently limiting in terms of body language, tone, and emotion (proper use of emoticons is encouraged as a way to help communicate intentions properly).
When joining a thread please read it all first. If your thoughts have already been expressed please refrain from “piling on.”
Also, please note the date of the last post. If the thread is older and has not had recent responses, then it is quite likely that the original poster (OP) has moved on. Please refrain from "resurrecting" old threads just to give advice or argue a point.
RULE 3A: If you publicly represent yourself as a minister, health professional, counselor, or other helping professional, you WILL be held to a higher standard in regard to your posting (see 2 Timothy 2:24). This standard also applies if you blog about marriage or family relationships. Please read and understand the TMB Copyright and Fair Usage Statement.
4. NO FLAMING:
Name-calling, unkind/sarcastic remarks, TYPING IN ALL CAPS (except to accentuate a single word or phrase), and personal attacks directed at anyone (whether at TMB members or any other person, spouse, etc.) will be removed from the boards. Passionately discussing an idea or concept is fine, but talking rudely about an individual is not, including spouses or people who are not on the boards. Venting or talking about your frustrations can be a vehicle of healing, provided that it is not taken to extremes. However, name-calling or other kinds of flaming do not lead to healing and only serve to discourage other posters and open dialogue. Also, because political discussions nearly always result in flaming of some kind, the TMB boards do not allow posting about politics in any form.
5. DON'T ENCOURAGE SIN:
Do not endorse or encourage behavior that the Bible calls sin (adultery, homosexual behavior, premarital sex, porn, dishonesty, etc.).
6. KEEP SPEECH INOFFENSIVE:
Limit sexual language to medical or mild slang terms. Avoid detailed personal information, or descriptions that cause the reader to “visualize.” The goal is to inform, not titillate or offend. Do not attempt to get around this requirement or the automatic word censors through the use of symbols or alternative spellings (e.g. @ ! 3 +, etc). For more specific language guidelines, see here and/or click on the link at the bottom of the rules list that is titled "Guidelines for how much information to share".
7. POST CLEAN LINKS:
Be careful when suggesting books or sending links to web sites. Give an idea of what it's about and if it's Christian. Please warn about anything possibly offensive, and be very careful about resources which support ideas which are contrary to the Bible (for example, all links to LDS sites will be pulled). If in doubt, contact a moderator and check.
8. GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:
Please respect copyright statements. Do not copy an entire article to the boards. Post short quotes from the article and/or give a link to the original article.
9. MAKE CLEAR, SHORT QUOTES:
When you quote a previous post, please limit yourself to a short, relevant passage. Do not quote an entire post, or even an entire argument. Quote only enough to refer the reader back to the correct passage, generally a sentence fragment or 1-2 sentences will suffice. If you are replying to several parts of the message intersperse the quotes with your responses. DO NOT place any quote at the end of your message, and do not quote signature lines (unless you are commenting on them). Posts with excessive quoting may be edited or deleted by the Mods without notice. For how to do quotes,see here. And remember, the Preview button is your friend! Please use it to make sure your post has the proper formatting before hitting Submit.
10. KNOW WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH:
Please feel free to state your point of view and go back to clarify if necessary: but know when to stop. If a line of discussion has dwindled to a back and forth between two or three people rehashing the same arguments, please make your final point and drop out of the discussion. Threads that have been moved to the Dead Horses section are expected to be brought to an end, not to continue to be posted to (that section autoprunes after 30 days).
Venting is a valid and important part of what happens here, but care must be taken lest venting take over every discussion. Please do not post to a positive thread, or a general discussion and say "Like my spouse will ever do that" or "I'd give my left arm if my spouse would do that". If you must vent, start one thread and limit your venting to that thread. If a thread is not yours, you may not vent on it, as this only serves to dilute or lose the point of the thread. Out of place vents are subject to disappearance without notice. Refrain from repeated “venting” about the same theme. Do not vent in the Prayer Section.
12. PLACE POSTS IN APPROPRIATE THREADS AND SECTIONS:
Don't start a new thread without seeing if what you want to ask or discuss fits in an existing thread. Moderators will move or delete posts that are off topic for a given thread. Choose just one section to post a question or idea, not several. Please look at the Usergroups area to see if there is a better area for your thread (you may have to subscribe to such an area, as we have several hidden areas).
13. DON'T SPAM THE BOARDS, USE A TAG LINE:
It's normal to want to share about your family or business, but please don't spam the TMB Boards with information or sales pitches. Please limit links to personal or business sites to one line of your signature line. For example:
Check out our site! - http://www.themarriagebed.com
14. DON'T INCITE TROUBLE:
The Mod/OG Team will, at its discretion, remove any post(s) that are deemed to be inflammatory, unnecessarily harsh, overly aggressive, or otherwise likely to cause problems.
15. HELP US BY REPORTING PROBLEMS:
If you see something offensive, use the "report this post" button to alert the moderators. You may also report PMs that are inappropriate, offensive, harrassing or in some way violate any TMB rule.
16. TAKE CONCERNS TO THE MODS/OG:
If you have a problem with another poster or the content of a thread, please do not discuss it on the boards, instead deal with it privately or contact a moderator. Our address is “the-Mods” or “og” respectively. Feel free to PM both at once. If you are unhappy with any action taken by a moderator/OG member, DO NOT discuss it on the boards, but rather contact the Oversight Group by PMing "og". You may also PM Dale, who is the Board Czar and final authority. There is a strict policy that any discussion of moderation issues of any kind will be removed from the boards. Do not attempt to “back-seat moderate” in any way.
17. RESPECT MODERATORS:
The Mod/OG Team are here to help enforce the rules of the board. If a moderator contacts you about a rule violation and you disagree, please deal with them in a polite manner. On the Internet it is easy to forget there are real people behind the posts. Rudeness and aggression are just as painful online as they are in real life. Rude or aggressive responses to moderators will result in Oversight Group or Board Czar intervention, even if the moderator you are speaking with is also a member of the OG. Continuing in that manner will result in the suspension of your account. We are happy to discuss concerns with members, but no one is required to endure ongoing disrespect. Since our mods are all volunteers, we need to honor their efforts on the boards by interacting with them respectfully.
18. AVOID THESE HOT TOPICS:
Abortion- The Marriage Bed is thoroughly Pro-Life, therefore do not advocate for anything else. We believe that the intentional termination of a pregnancy through any means whether surgical, chemical, hormonal, or otherwise, is the taking of a human life and violates the will of God. There shall be no defense of abortion in the forum.
Homosexuality- Discussion of the challenges of dealing with Same Sex Attraction (SSA) is necessary and fine. However there shall be no actual defense of the practice of homosexuality, so-called “gay-marriage,” or the like.
Politics- Political debate is prohibited. However the peripheral mention of political facts as they impact TMB and family issues may be permitted at the discretion of the Moderators.
Polygamy- No defense of plural marriage is permitted (or any other "alternate marriage" arrangement, such as polyamory).
19. NO PROXY USE:
No one else may post using your account. If your spouse, friend, or other persons wish to post here, they must establish their own account. This eliminates a great amount of confusion for our membership and moderation team. Please see Rule 21E for one exception to this, granted at Mod/OG Team discretion.
20. REPORT IMPROPER USE OF PRIVATE MESSAGES:
Private Messages (PM) are intended for communication between Mods/Admin/OG and members, and for friendly communication between members. They are not to be used to solicit sexual details or private information, nor for any non-constructive or unholy purpose such as gossip, scolding, pursuing someone from a thread to argue with them, etc. Neither shall they be used for mass-communication or commercial purposes. Beware of any PM from a member of the opposite sex which asks for “more details.” Generally this communication should be done on the open forum, for all to see. Reporting a PM to the moderation team does not necessarily mean there will be action taken against the person being reported. Reporting gives the Mods/OG an official record in case there is a pattern developing and intervention needed at a future time.
21. OBSERVE GOOD POSTING ETIQUETTE:
A. When beginning a thread, check back in soon and regularly to answer responses.
B. Limit yourself to originating no more than two “active” threads in a short period of time.
C. Don't use the TMB forum like social media, e.g. a blog, Facebook, Twitter. This is a place to thoughtfully discuss real issues, not to kill time or be trivial. The exception is the section entitled “Chit Chat, Jokes, and More.”
D. Be teachable. If you ask for advice, be open to suggestions for change in your life. If you have nothing but reasons why your situation is beyond help or change then it either is (and there's no point posting), or it isn't beyond help and you should thoughtfully consider the advice given.
E. Identify yourself: Fill in the date of your marriage (approximate is fine). Identify as male, female, or couple. Do not identify as “I'm not saying.” If a couple wishes to post, the best way is for each to have their own account, so as to help eliminate confusion. If a husband/wife couple wish to share one account, please let the Mod/OG Team know, and permission will be granted at their discretion.
22. CLOSING ADVICE:
This is not a “rule” per se, but is the voice of wisdom gathered from years in this ministry. Please read it carefully and heed it.
Be teachable: If you come here with anger, frustration, or sorrow, and an open and teachable heart, we can help you. If you come here with anger, frustration, and a heart that is closed to counsel (unteachable), you are wasting your own time and ours. If all your responses to advice are "That won't work for me because..." or "I'm special, I'm different, so those principles don't apply to me because..." or "Stop telling me to go to a counselor. I don't want to because... I can't afford it because..." then you will probably not benefit from TMB. The Scripture says that the heart is easily deceived, which is why the wise counsel of other Christians is so important to our lives. By being teachable, you allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life and in your marriage, and that is a VERY good thing!
Commit and Submit to the Church: There is a basic assumption on TMB that it is the will of God that ALL Christians should be a part of a church--defined as an organized body of believers that meet for worship and fellowship and mutual encouragement. Much of our advice will rely on the resources of "The Church." You will read advice such as "Seek the counsel of your Pastor," or "Go to the Elders, or Church Counselor." If your refrain is "I don't do Church" you are probably wasting your time seeking advice on TMB. God works His help to us through His Body (the church), so we will often refer to the church in our responses. If your response is “I'm in a church but I can't talk to the Pastor or any Elders because...”, then we would suggest you prayerfully consider finding a church where you are better able to share your struggles and gain "real-life" support.
Realize the limits of our forums: While you will find wonderful support and encouragement (and be challenged as well when necessary) here, the Internet is no substitute for "real life." The anonymity of our forums is a great blessing, but it also can be used as a "crutch" to keep from dealing with real problems in more constructive ways. Please strive for balance in your posting and in your time involvement with TMB. Our goal is to strengthen marital intimacy in Christian marriages, and if TMB in any way does not contribute to that in your life, then feel free to take a break from your involvement here. We will "save your spot" and you will be warmly welcomed back if you decide to return!
Links to other Board Statements/Guidelines
Duplicate accounts for one person
If you are here with an agenda
Guidelines for how much information to share (Is it TMI?)
Guidelines for determining "One Trick Ponies"
Official board statement about counseling options
Official board statement about being the Body of Christ