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To the Momma Who Feels Spread Thin,
I saw you running to the soccer fields the other day. Running late to practice, you had to park at the back of the lot, and you knew that you were the last family there. Your son ran ahead looking for his team likely already doing drills. You had the baby carrier in one hand, and a lawn chair in the other with your three year old little girl running right next to you just trying to keep up.
“Have fun, baby!” You shouted as your little boy took the field. “I’ll be right here! Listen to your coaches! Do what they say!”
You looked exhausted. It was hot that day. The Oklahoma sun had heated even the early evening air to over 90 degrees, and you knew that the baby wouldn’t want to stay in his carseat long. You were right. You barely got the lawn chair opened before the baby wanted to eat, and then you struggled to feed him discreetly while your three year old attempted to climb up in the chair with you and the baby.
I know you were tired. I know that you weren’t sleeping well with a baby that tiny. I know that you were still adjusting to having three little ones, and now you were adding soccer practices and games and ballet lessons to the mix. I know that you were just trying to do the very best that you could. But I know that with a husband who seems to work all the time, and everything you have to handle on your own, you just feel spread thin.
Like any minute someone might see right through you.
You feel like there isn’t enough of you to give everyone everything they need. Even though it seems like all you do is give yourself away. It seems like all you do is pour out all that you are and all you have for everyone else.
Because I know how your day goes. From the moment you wake up, you are needed. You jump from one meal to the next, from one event to the next, from one project to the next, with a million things up in the air over your head, all while tenderly caring for little hearts. While you dodge the lies that say you’re not enough and that you’re not doing enough.
And while you make it look so easy, I know otherwise. I know that under all of the “I can do it myself,” you wear a heavy cloak of “Somebody please help.”
So, dear one? I need you to know something. You’re not foolin’ Me, sister. Because I AM the one who sees you in your rising up and your lying down. I AM the One who holds you in your joys and in your sorrows, and I AM the One who is more than able to handle every burden of your heart. So, will you let Me? Will you let Me remind you that I AM enough? Will you let Me remind you that in Me all hope is found?
Because if you will let Me? I will be all that you need, and I will whisper truths to your heart that ring louder than any twisted lies.
Sweet, Mom, it’s going to be okay. Your burdened heart is safe with Me
Here is my disclaimer, friends. This article is not PG rated. It might make you blush. It will probably stir some feelings of either strong agreement, or perhaps strong defense, but no matter how you feel by the end of this, I need you to know one thing going in… If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t say it. If I wasn’t honestly deeply concerned, I wouldn’t take my very valuable time to talk about it. And if I didn’t love the people that I know will read these words, then there would be no point in discussing it. But because I care, and I’m concerned, and I love you, I cannot leave these words unsaid. So, here we go…
I was scrolling through Facebook a few years ago, when I began to hear talk of a new book, 50 Shades of Grey. Friends of mine from high school, college and even church were all raving about finishing the first and eagerly anticipating the next in the series. I was intrigued, (and out of the loop.) So, I Googled it.
From Amazon if you have no previous knowledge of it, “When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.”
I didn’t have any desire to read it, so I moved along and didn’t think much more about it. But soon, the books began to create a buzz. People became divided about whether or not to read them, and articles and posts were written from those on all sides of the argument. And honestly? I felt like everything had been said that needed to be said about it. Minds were made up. Hearts were sure. People were going to do what people were going to do when it came to reading or not reading. And so, I stayed (mostly) quiet.
But with the resurrection of the books now in movie form, I feel absolutely obligated to say this to the Christian women who read these words and plan to see the movie.
Please, sweet friend. Don’t. Just… don’t.
I hear from young wives and mothers all of the time who are struggling in their marriages. Who desperately need help finding hope in the day to day tasks that are asked of them. Who feel as though their marriages are falling apart because they don’t know how to balance being a wife and a mother and everything else, and who need help remembering what it feels like to be deeply in love with their husbands again.
And yet, I hear so many Christian women argue that going to see this movie is simply entertainment and may even help their marriage.
But friend? I must say this. It is a complete lie that going to see the movie will help your marriage. And an even bigger lie is that it won’t affect you it all. Because it will. The things that you see cannot be unseen. The feelings that you experience from being entertained by those scenes cannot be unfelt. And if marriages aren’t under enough pressure already, going to watch pornography is only throwing gasoline on relationships experiencing fire from all directions.
It’s destruction. And you are walking to the door, and inviting it into your life.
You want to spice up your marriage? You want to save your relationship from being stagnant, or save the passion from slipping away in the day in and day out expectations of you and your husband? Don’t ask Christian Grey for help. Don’t watch Christian Grey do whatever he would like to Anastasia Steele and expect it to heal that deep hurt and need for intimacy in your own heart.
Only Jesus can do that. Only Jesus can speak to the places in our hearts that need to feel alive and loved again.
I have thought a lot about whether or not Jesus would speak about this if He lived today. And I decided this. No. He probably wouldn’t. He wouldn’t waste one breath on seeing this particular movie.
But do you know what He would have done? He would have addressed the bigger heart issue that our society is facing which is the lack of respect and honor for our spouse in a culture that is saturated with pride and selfishness.
Jesus would have spoken to the greater hurt so many wives experience as they feel unseen and unloved in their own marriages. And He would have addressed the men who feel as though they aren’t respected in their own homes. He would have said this,
“Wives honor your husbands. Husbands, love your wives.”
He would have reminded us that our marriages are designed as a reflection of Christ’s love for the Church (us.)
SO that’s what I want to do. I want to remind us of the bigger issue here, but I want to do so by saying this. If we are going to honor Christ with our marriages, then we need to leave Christian Grey out of our minds.
We need to honor our husbands by keeping our sexual desires and (arousal) for them only. Because, friend, the place where families are torn apart is not at the dinner table or in the living room. The place where families fall apart is in the bedroom. The words that we say to each other outside of the walls of our bedrooms are simply a reflection of the level of intimacy AND RESPECT that takes place when we are alone and vulnerable with our spouse.
And personally, if my marriage is sacred and holy and the foundation on which my family and children stand? Then the last thing I’m going to do is invite the imagery of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey to play in my mind while I’m alone with my husband. My heart and my mind should be his alone when it comes to sexual intimacy.
Wanna know what’s really sexy? I’m going to begin to spice up my marriage by talking highly of my husband to my children and to others. I’m going to show him that I love him by respecting him as a man. And then? On top of all of that? I’m going to love him intimately. Yes. Intimately. Because sex was designed by God as a gift for me and my husband. It’s not taboo. It’s a gift that has been stolen, twisted, and turned into something that is the opposite of safe and beautiful. Which is exactly what this movie has done. It has taken the vulnerable and beautiful thing that is married sex and entertained the world with a man who uses sex to control, manipulate and introduce pain.
And yet we say, “No big deal.”
So, here’s my challenge. (My apparently long-winded challenge.) Let’s take back sex. No. Seriously. Instead of watching Christian Grey have sex with Anastasia Steele? Try this. Have sex with your own husband. Spend the evening in your own bedroom remembering what being in love felt like when you first got married. Yup. Sex is good and important.
And friend? Your husband and your marriage are worth honoring… and you know what? I think deep down… you agree with me.
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Hey all! I just a quick update. I am sad to say that I have had to disable the comments on this post. While my heart was shared in love and without judgement, many have misunderstood and are choosing to be very hurtful with their words. I understand that everyone has a right to their own opinion, and I would encourage you to voice yours! I just simply cannot moderate the thousands of comments pouring in. So, I would encourage you to begin your own discussions with those who know you and your heart. Discuss with those around you who won’t feel as though your words are coming across as judgmental, but presented in sincere love. Thanks for understanding!