to be cherished and honored
will bring us happiness.
hearts, and our hearts can never be satisfied by anything less than this.
abusive sex and the intimate partner violence that is portrayed in the bestseller
50 Shades of Grey. I felt this so deeply that when I was given the opportunity to preview a love story entitled Old Fashioned opening on Valentine’s Day (that was promoted as an alternative to 50 Shades) I jumped at the chance.
submitting to being struck, hit, whipped while unable to speak or move to
defend oneself; Dominance and Submission; Sadism – enjoyment is found
in inflicting pain on another; Masochism – pleasure, particularly sexual
pleasure, is found in experiencing one’s own pain and humiliation) that 50 Shades contains. (My heart cries in even having to write what BDSM means).
second study determined that these books are associated with increased health risks for the women of read them. Its readers are
more likely to have eating disorders, have emotionally abusive and/or stalking
“romantic” partners, to have had 5 or more sexual partners before they were 24, and had engaged in binge drinking within one month of the study.
- A marked increase of interest and popularity of this type of violence since these books reached best seller status.
- A film of this nature was even made
- its motion picture rating was downgraded from the NC- 17 Rating, (which means that no one under the age of 17 is permitted based on “violence, sex, aberrational behavior”) to an R rating instead.
- Even stores like Target, have begun to carry 50 Shades of Grey merchandise, including plush
toys complete with handcuffs, etc.
“Our lives begin to end when we begin to be silent about the things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr.
who have been hurt by what the culture assures us will only bring
us happiness. Each has a different
coping mechanism to try to free themselves from the pain of their past. Clay, once a frat boy engrossed in a sexually
permissive and lucrative lifestyle has retreated from the world, determined to
never hurt another woman again, as he repairs the beloved and broken antiques
that arrive in his shop. Amber is a
light-hearted, fun-loving searcher who moves on when things in her life get
messy, driving as far as the gas in her car takes her, so she can start over
and feel safe once again. She rents the
upstairs apartment above Clay’s shop and finds out right away that Clay is
different from most men when he won’t go into the apartment with Amber to show
her around. When she asks why, he tells
her, “A made a promise to never be alone with anyone that’s not my wife.“
in her apartment so she can get to know Clay better. As he fixes things, they communicate through
the screen door. Clay tells her, “I know
that making you wait outside seems ridiculous, but a lot of the boundaries that
used to be common have been thrown away.
They are there to protect us. We
don’t have to go around using each other, hurting each other. It doesn’t have to be that way.”
sham way, as revealed in the words of Amber:
ever seen, even if you don’t mean it.”
semblance of love, even if it’s not real and brings them harm. One night stands, engaging in a series of relationships, pornography,
relationships where we give ourselves away for a temporary high, to not feel alone,
to feel loved and desired even if we are left bruised and broken or calloused
and hardened are symptoms of the brokenness and meaninglessness of sex outside
of God’s plan for us –this is the
life so many endure in the false hope that it will satisfy them.
release. We are the crown of God’s
creation. We are immortal souls meant for eternal happiness that is beyond our capacity to comprehend. We have intelligence, reason, a will and a soul that joined with our body. We are meant for so much more than the media and the culture around us is offering. We are meant for God, who alone can love us unconditionally, but far too often we have believed and chased after the lies instead of the truth.
likeness of God, and redeemed, cleansed and even raised up to be God’s children
at our Baptisms! To know God as our Father — to truly know Him and experience His love for us is life changing! To truly know that we are loved as his daughters and sons, that we are seen in our totality and still loved infinitely is the pearl of great price! Having this relationship with Him is infinitely more fulfilling that the passing sham of material wealth that Christian Grey gives to Ana. God longs to shower upon us true riches that remain in our hearts and souls no matter what our situation in life. Faith, hope, love, mercy, peace, strength, wisdom…. every good thing comes to us from God alone. No matter what you may have heard, when God sent His Son, Jesus to us, it wasn’t to come to judge us, but to save us and lead us to freedom! Jesus hasn’t come to take away our joy, but fulfill it:
I have come that you may have life and have it to the full! Jn 10:10
Do you not know that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit living within you?! Our bodies are not made for immorality but for the Lord! See 1 Cor. 6: 15-20.
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you…. Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”
exist. Evidenced in this exchange
between Clay and Amber.
wanted out of life…
my life could be different.
anymore. I felt accountable for the
first time. It was genuine and real.
Like a voice… I can’t explain it…
I don’t want normal. I want you. I cried myself to sleep on my honeymoon – trying to figure out why my brand new husband was more interested in seeing what was on TV than in touching me.
God and allow Him to forgive us, and are able to forgive ourselves,
these very crooked lines that we have walked will be made straight and we can become new creations. This progress toward forgiveness can be a long and confusing road,
but it doesn’t need to be. As a Catholic, I must admit that I kept wishing Clay’s (sometimes excruciatingly painful) journey toward self-forgiveness could be shortened by an experience of the most amazing Sacrament of Reconciliation. (Click here to hear testimonies and stories of its healing power).
film not desiring a relationship like Clay and Amber’s — simply because the joy and the freedom (for all that is good and
holy!) that God desires for us is tainted by the paradox of guilt that Clay carries, even while sharing:
Old things have passed away. Behold I make all things new! 2 Cor 5: 17
love can be pure and grow slowly in the midst of life’s messiness, and that if we
are intent on truly loving, it is worth the effort it takes! In comparison to 50 Shades of Gray, I recommend it easily a thousand times over the alternative, but also believe that God has something even more joyful and free for us than what it conveyed. If people understand this beforehand, I recommend going to seeing the movie wholeheartedly.
“If you’re not being treated well, if you have to lower your
standards and your dignity just to be with this person – it’s not worth
it. So don’t be afraid to step back, have the courage to do
what’s best for you. And if you pray for
that courage, pray for that help, God will get you out of any situation. Know my prayers are with you. God bless!” Crystalina Evert
Read: Christian woman and Christian Grey
Actors in 50 Shades don’t like their movie… say even acting it was an abusive experience.