Christian Women and Christian Grey

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.

As always,

 

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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!

My Body Broken for You

I had this mission. Lose all the baby weight. It seemed like a simple goal. Nursing helped. Watching my sugar intake helped. Eating healthy and getting exercise… it all helped. Even though I should be clear that my version of exercise is chasing three kids around. Well, two and a newborn. I have this friend who runs marathons and jumps over fire in those extreme obstacle courses. She’s awesome. Her version of exercise and my version of exercise are two completely different things.

But in my own way, on my own schedule, I eventually lost all of the baby weight. But the day that the scale finally showed the number that it did before I had kids… the mirror had evidently not gotten the memo. I remember standing there looking at myself confused.

“Wait. The scale says that I weigh what I used to…. So why don’t I look like I did before?”

The weight was gone, but the girl in the mirror looked nothing like she did before she carried and birthed three babies. My heart sank a little.

Motherhood changes us. It just does. It changes us in every beautiful and powerful way. We suddenly have the ability to love like we didn’t know was possible. We have the strength to keep going despite complete exhaustion. And we have the determination to always do what is best for those we love so passionately no matter the circumstances.

But it also changes us in other ways. Our priorities, our friendships, our marriages, our relationships with those around us… and our relationship with ourselves – some better, some worse, motherhood changes all of it.

I have realized this. While I thought I was just trying to get back to how I looked before I was pregnant, I was really looking for who I used to be before I had a baby.

To be honest? There are days when I don’t really know this version of me. This mom lady. She’s new. She does a lot of things that I said I would never do, she sometimes showers less often than I ever thought she would, and she drives a van. But the truth is?

My goal shouldn’t be to find the “me” that was lost. My goal should be to make friends with the woman that I have become. To embrace her for who she is. Scars and all.

Because even though she is different, she is worth knowing. She is worth being kind to… She is worth loving.

And while my body will never be what it once was, I have decided this,

My scars and changed self serve as a reminder of the Great Love that sacrificed His own body. Who bore His own scars. Whose body was broken that we might have life. I suppose great love always requires sacrifice. But if His love has taught me anything, it is that the sacrifice is always worth the gain.

So, friend? Your body might not look like it once did. But it tells the story of love. And there is no story more beautiful than that.

 

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To the Mom Who Vacations at Target

Before I begin, I need to say this. Dear Target, thank you on behalf of moms everywhere. You just get us.

“I think we are out of trash bags,” I said one evening to my husband after he came home from work. We had a three month old baby boy who was nursing, and I rarely got a break from him. I was a new mom, and it was just starting to sink in that maybe mom breaks were always going to be a rare thing.

Now, I could have just as easily gone to get the trash bags the next day, but having just fed the baby, I knew I had at least two hours before he needed me again, and I decided to make a quick getaway.

“So, the baby just ate, and I’m going to run to Target to grab those bags. Okay?”

A look of panic flashed across my husband’s face. I don’t think there is anything that a dad of a nursing baby dreads more than the idea of being left alone with a potentially hungry baby (without any milk.)

“You’ll be fine. I am only 15 minutes away. Tops. So, if he gets fussy, just call me, and I will be right back. Either way, I’ll be back in about an hour and a half.”

“An hour and a half?” He questioned as I grabbed my keys. “I thought you were just going for trash bags?”

“Right. I mean, I’ll be back as soon as I can,” I shouted as I shut the front door and bolted to my car.

FREEDOM!

I walked inside the store and thought to myself, “Dear Target, thank you for selling trash bags.”

Because sure, trash bags are sold at the corner store, or the grocery store, or any other store that ends in “mart,” but Target just gets me.

First of all, they’re like a friend who offers you a drink when you get to their house. They might be selling coffee near the front door, but what they’re really saying is, “Hey, tired momma. You work so hard, and you look like you could really use a cup of coffee. Can I pour you one?” And I say, “You sure can, Target Starbucks. Thanks for thinking of me.”

And they say, “No problem, friend. Hey, we know you’re here for “trash bags,” wink wink, but while you stroll with your latte, why don’t you stop at our awesome dollar section, or clothing section, or stop by the office supply section on your way there?”

And I think to myself, “Target, you think of everything. Because while you knew I could use trash bags as my decoy item, you also knew that I really wanted to do a little shopping. And now I can say, ‘Well, I just grabbed this on my way to get what I came for.’”

Amiright? Seriously, ask any mom or woman who has ever “run into Target” for “just one thing” and most of them will tell you that they came out spending $100 and without the item they ran in for. Because Target is a little like going to the mall that sells not only adorable shoes, but toothpaste and diapers too.

So, to the mom who would love a tropical getaway, but will settle for a quick trip to Target, I so get it. And while Target does a great job of setting the scene for an easy getaway, it also points out a bigger truth that sometimes, momma just needs a break. And friend? It’s okay to take one. As a matter of fact? It is soooo important for you to grab a break when you can. Because while we love spending time with and taking care of our kids, everyone (momma, daddy, baby) benefits when mom takes some time for herself… Even if it is just to Target for trash bags.

So, the next time I run into you there? Feel free to smile, nod, wink or even say hello. We’re both just there to grab something off the shelf after all. Even though we all know we’re really there to grab five minutes alone. But shhhhh I won’t tell if you don’t.;)

 

I try and stay in touch with my readers on a personal level through social media! Come find me on Facebook!