Tag Archives: marriage

7 Things To Do Before Seeing 50 Shades of Grey

50 shades

Although it seems that I’ve been posting about movies a lot lately (okay, this is only my second post about movies this month, but still…that’s more posts than I usually devote to movies), I promise, this is not turning into an entertainment blog.

I guess it’s just that the movies that have come out lately have snagged my attention, and for one reason or another, compelled words.

And today’s topic? 50 Shades of Grey. Of course. Isn’t this the only thing people are talking about right now?

The movie is about to hit theaters and, if anything like the book(s), will be wildly popular.

That makes me sad.

Let me be totally transparent with you from the get-go. I haven’t read the books, nor do I plan to. I will not see the movie.

I could devote this entire post to the reasons why I’ve chosen not to read the books or see the movie. I could tell you all about the Biblical reasons and how I believe that sex belongs only in marriage, but there are a zillion posts out there that have pretty much said what I would say, like this one, written by a pastor and literary agency mate of mine. Read it. It’s full of truth and grace.

You’re going to make your own choices about these books and movies regardless of what I have to say, but I hope you’ll briefly consider a few things—things I think you should do before you go see this movie.

  1. Consider whether or not your movie ticket dollars could be better spent.

Instead of paying for a ticket to this movie, perhaps you could put the money toward bills that need to be paid. Maybe it could go toward groceries or clothes or something else in your life. Perhaps you could be a blessing to a stranger today and use those dollars to “pay it forward” while you’re out and about—purchase the order for the person behind you in the drive-thru, etc. Maybe you could give the money to charity for a cause worth fighting. Check out WorldHelp’s child sponsorship program. Do something with the dollars that will either make a positive difference in your life or the life of someone else.

  1. Talk to your spouse or significant other.

The vast majority of ticket holders for this movie will be women, so ladies, I’d like to challenge you to have a real conversation with your husband or boyfriend about this movie—about how they feel about you seeing it. Does your husband support you? Is he aware that this movie promotes graphic sexual situations based on pain as gratification? Have you discussed with him the reasons why you enjoyed the books (I’m assuming you did if you want to see the movie) and why you want to see the movie? I want you to consider how you might feel if your husband went out to see a graphic sexual film because he was “turned on” by the premise or by one of the characters. I think you should discuss this with your man and give him the opportunity to share with you any feelings he may (or may not) have on the subject. Open conversation about difficult topics is a positive attribute of a strong relationship (something I think the characters in the 50 Shades story-line sorely lack). PS, check out one of my favorite relationship bloggers for more.

  1. Consider how seeing the movie (or reading the books) will have a positive impact on your life.

Will seeing this movie, in anyway, make you funnier, more intelligent, more compassionate, more aware of others, kinder, more devoted to helping people, or set your mind, in any way, on positive things that will help you grow spiritually?

I think we can ask ourselves the question above about a lot of forms of entertainment to help us weed out things that fill our brains with garbage, taking up the room we could be devoting to things that help us grow as humans; things that connect us to other people, not in a way that makes people appear as sexual beings, but as human beings with brains, hearts, and souls that are valuable to humanity and precious to God.

  1. Question your definition of love.love

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day—the day when all the world gets mushy and gushy about love. And yet, while we’re all thinking about hearts and cupid and giant teddy bears and boxes of chocolates, too many people are walking around saying that the relationship portrayed in 50 Shades of Grey is a love story. I disagree wholeheartedly.

Love is not someone who spends lots of money on you.

Love is not jumping into bed with a person you hardly know.

Love is not sexual gratification from pleasure in pain.

Love is not one person’s needs being met at the expense of another’s.

Love is not sex slave and dominant.

Love is not sex.

Love is not what this movie is about. At all.

Love is commitment. Love is devotion. Love is a man who makes a woman feel like a princess and a woman who makes a man feel like a hero. Love has nothing to do with money. Love is beautiful and kind and patient and not prideful. Love is sacrifice. Love is what a strong marriage is built on, and most strong marriages have very healthy and not-at-all boring sex lives.

Before you see this movie—question whether or not you’re justifying by calling this a love story.

  1. Invite your grandma.

I’m not even going to tell you to consider what Jesus would think if he was with you in this movie because folks, he IS with you in the movie. God is everywhere and He sees all things. That being said, I want to just encourage you to invite your grandmother to go with you to see 50 Shades. Would you feel comfortable sitting by grandma during “those scenes?” If not, question why you’re comfortable going at all.

  1. Read about how the actors feel about the movie.

This article was interesting. It appears that the actors from this movie don’t even like each other and also disliked pretty much everything about the movie. The actor playing Christian Grey mentions that he had to take a long shower after filming before he could touch his wife and young child, presumably because he felt dirty from filming. Gotta wonder why that sort of filth would appeal to anyone. (However, if they truly hated it all that much, I have to question why they’d sign on for it at all.)

  1. Consider some alternatives.

There are tons of movies that you could watch that are far more romantic than 50 Shades of Grey will ever be, because unlike 50 Shades, they are actually romantic, not just about sex.

A few suggestions: Becoming Jane (one of my favorites), Austenland (hilarious!), A Walk to Remember, The Princess Bride, Say Anything (my husband’s suggestion), Emma, Pride & Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility (yeah, I love Jane Austen), P.S. I Love You, The Vow, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (a classic fave), The Notebook, Dirty Dancing, etc…there’s a VERY long list of alternatives.

I’m not asking you to agree with me that 50 Shades of Grey is not a good movie for anyone to see and could actually do harm to your relationships and your outlook on love, marriage, and healthy sex.

I’m just asking you to do the things above and see if you might decide that you have better things to do with your valuable time and money.

Share with me: What’s your favorite romantic movie?

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Filed under Just For Fun, Romance, The Christian Walk

Lessons I Want My Children to Learn: Commitment

hand_shake

Today’s world makes it really easy to raise a total flake. Promises aren’t worth their weight in salt, and commitment means “I’ll do this until I find something I like better.” People just don’t follow through anymore.

I want to raise the kind of men who believe that their word means something.

The kind of guys from old movies– those who say what they mean and mean what they say and offer a handshake to seal the deal.

When they commit to an event, a group, a job, a person–I want my sons to understand just exactly what that means and how to follow through, if for no other reason than because they said they would.

2012 has been a tough year for some members of our family. Sadly, a couple of close family members are going through divorces, and it has become necessary for us to explain this to our children.

And as our boys grow and interact with more and more children their age who come from broken homes, or they ask questions like “Why is so-and-so not in our family anymore?”, it breaks my heart.

My husband and I have made it an important part of our family mission to have our children understand that while others may get divorced, divorce is painful and it is, in short, simply not an option for us.

We’re faaaaaaaar from being perfect parents, but this past year especially has shown us how important it is to teach our children about commitment, even to each other.

Thankfully I’m married to a man who vowed, even before we were married, that once we said “I do”, that was it– there’s no way out (except murder, he adds jokingly).

My husband comes from a broken home. His parents divorced when he was in college, just before he and I met. Because he was older and able to understand all of the circumstances and choices that led to his parents’ divorce, he was convicted to take his marriage vows seriously in this world where more than 50% of couples, even godly, Christian couples, divorce.

I am so lucky and blessed to be married to him. Even on our most difficult marriage days, I know that the end-game for both of us is to work through any issues instead of simply calling it quits. It’s a very comforting feeling to know that your spouse is in it for the long-haul, no matter what. (And we all know that in a marriage, sometimes that “what” can get a little cray-zay.)

My husband is also a wonderful example of commitment in doing what he says he’s going to do. Even to a fault.

There have been times when he’s sick or busy, but he’ll go out of his way to complete a task, meet with someone, or deliver something if he told someone he would. He’s very much a believer of “my word is my bond.”

Sometimes it drives me nuts because following through on his “word” can be very inconvenient for me, but I wouldn’t change him. I’ve had people tell me, “your husband is the kind of guy I can count on.”

Who wouldn’t be proud of being married to a guy like that?

He’s setting the example for our sons. He’s showing them how to say what you mean and mean what you say. And most of all, he’s a living, breathing example of commitment to his spouse and to his Lord.

We want our sons to be committed to Christ. We want them to understand the seriousness of a daily commitment of walking with the Lord. We want them to know that we realize how difficult it can be to follow through in this world of “do whatever feels good”, yet how rewarding and joyous it is when we hold fast to the Lord.

We want our sons to make commitments that are unwavering because it’s the right thing to do.

So when our kids ask to be put on a sports team, commit to being in a club, make a promise to someone or set a goal for themselves, we want to support them in their follow-through.

This is just one of the lessons we pray will create men of faith and character.

Share with me: Besides your marriage or your Christian walk, what was your biggest commitment of 2012? Did you meet your goal? Will you be committing to anything new in 2013?

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Filed under Marriage, Parenting

Are You in the 53%?

Before I begin my post, I need your help!! I still haven’t heard from a couple of my winners of last week’s Bright Side Blog Bash. If you are connected in some social media or real life way to Dawn Kelley or Heidi Blankenship, please please please let them know to contact me!

Thanks!

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I’m so not a celebrity stalker. In fact, I pretty much couldn’t care less who is going out with whom in Hollywood or who is or isn’t breaking up this week.

Mostly it’s because I give all celebrity relationships a 1% chance of making it for a lifetime.

When the divorce rate among “regular” people is over 50%, I find it hard to believe that those living in the spotlight, in the culture of madness that is Hollywood, can keep their wits about them long enough to make a real relationship work.

When the news came out that Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson, I thought, “I’m so not surprised.” I was only surprised that they made it as long as they did. (Of course, they aren’t married. I know.)

Katy Perry divorcing Russell Brand? That’s not a shock, is it? Really?

Mel Gibson has a love child with some Russian woman? I have to admit that that one made me sad. I had always hoped that ole Mel was one of the good guys. But clearly he’s shown us just what a weirdo he is.

And what about Arnold and Maria? Married forever. One of the ones that might last. And then we find out that he, too, has a love child. One he’s been hiding for a long time. Marriage over.

Tom and Katie? If you thought that one would last, I have some beach-front property in Kansas I’d like to sell you.

Don’t even get me started on Brad Pitt. He cheats on Jennifer Anniston with Angelina Jolie and the whole world excuses it.

Sigh.

I imagine that there is added pressure when you live in the spotlight. The masses expect perfection– and they devour failure.

The public loves a good celebrity divorce because the public wants to think that they are better than celebrities.

But “the public” is not.

I saw a statistic the other day that blew my mind. Did you know that 53% of Christians would have an affair if given the opportunity?

That’s not 53% of people, folks. That’s 53% of the populous who identifies themselves as CHRISTIANS.

And like many of you, I know Christians in that 53% who have acted on that opportunity and in the process, destroyed their families. Some are repentant about it. Many aren’t.

Marriage seems to be an in-and-out status change, one that’s as easy to create or destroy as a simple click on Facebook.

But marriage is hard work. Work that most people aren’t willing to put time and energy into.

Especially those time-strapped, blinded celebrities.

So put yourself in the spotlight right now. Imagine someone is waiting for you in the bushes outside, trying to snap photos of you and your spouse.

Will those paparazzi get the shots they most want– the photos of a failing marriage? Shots of you fighting? Photos of you passing in silence? Photos of you living two separate lives within one marriage? Photos of you making everything in your life more important than your spouse? How about photos of your children caught in the middle of a dying family?

Or will they get the shots they can’t sell– the ones of a couple who makes time for one another? The photos of a couple who puts Christ in the center of their marriage and family? Pictures of an imperfect couple making it work, one day at a time by focusing on what’s good in their lives, instead of what’s bad?

What photos will those paparazzi get of you today?

Share with me: Do you have a favorite celebrity couple?

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Filed under Marriage, Romance