Monday, July 9, 2012

50 Shades of Magic Who?

Everyone knows I am in a committed relationship with a young man I am absolutely crazy about.
Aren't we cute?
This picture was taken in Starkville, Mississippi at the rehearsal dinner for my cousin's wedding. While we were there, someone mentioned reading 50 Shades of Grey and how great it was and someone else mentioned wanting to go see Magic Mike. Both of these people were married women.
Later that evening, Jake made an offhand comment that went something like "I better not hear about you going to see any movies about strippers..." He was joking, but it was one of those jokes that I knew wasn't really a joke.
I'm not trying to trash anyone so don't get me wrong. I am not well acquainted with either of these women and I don't know anything about their lives or what they've gone through. I don't know if they believe in Christ or the bible. If they don't, then I can't, in good conscience, say there is anything wrong with either of them watching that movie or reading those books. And honestly, I'd never really thought that much about that movie or that book. I knew I didn't want to read/watch either one just because it didn't seem like something I would be interested in. But what Jake said made me think. Would I want him reading a book that is considered an "erotic fiction" novel? Or watching a movie about strippers? That's a quick and easy answer. No. So, naturally, I will give him the courtesy and respect he deserves by avoiding those images both on screen and in my own imagination.
But the more I think, the more I realize this is SO much more than just respecting your spouse or future spouse. It's about respecting yourself and respecting your savior. If you don't know the same savior I do then I'm not talking to you. But if you claim to be a child of God, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ then I'm talking directly to you. And I realize a lot of people will have a problem with what I have to say and I'm ok with that.
I'm astounded by the number of publicly professing Christian women who are so enthralled by these books and this movie. I expect it out of our culture, but not out of bible believing Chrisian women who strive to lead a biblical example.

Personally, I do not understand why these things are so entertaining. But that doesn't mean they aren't to most people. And I've watched all the same movies everyone else has, the ones with sex scenes, questionable situations and language. I am certainly not disregarding the fact that I am part of the group of American media consumers who watch, read, or listen to things that can not be considered Christlike. So I understand it's almost impossible to avoid. But in the case of these particular books and this movie I draw the line. Mostly because I am sick and tired of hearing about them. Maybe it's harmless. Maybe it's possible for you to separate reality from fiction and keep an unemotional and unbiased perspective. And if that's possible for you...great. But I'm not sure I can do it. So I won't chance it.
I am really trying not to be angry or condescending about the level of awe that these books and this movie have attracted by the Christian community. But I'll admit I'm having a hard time. Like I said, I'm sick of hearing about how great it is to read about erotic sex scenes or watch Channing Tatum shake his naked rear end. I think he's as good looking as the next girl...but women of God...come on!! What's wrong with us? What will our husbands or future husbands think? If they don't care--and I mean really don't care, not lying about not caring--then that's another problem altogether. Ladies, if your boyfriend really has no problem with that, you should probably find one who does.  That says a lot about his character, including that he may not have a problem with it because he would be willing to do the same things himself.  Since when do we expect less of ourselves than we expect of them? Not to mention that "A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" (Psalm 31:30). 

Ok...deep breaths....

See? I told you I'm struggling wth keeping a level head about this.  And honestly, there are plenty of awful things in the world to be mad about so I have no idea why this particular issue bothers me so much.  I guess I have just seen too many tweets about how awesome '50 Shades of Grey' was from young women I look up to in the faith.  I'm just disappointed.  Like I said, I expect that reaction from a lot of people, but not from people who I know personally to be openly strong Christians.
I know this comes off rude, and please believe me when I say I'm not trying to be rude, or condescending, or judgemental, or anything like that.  All I'm saying is...take a moment to THINK.  Think about what your husband or future husband would say if he were reading over your shoulder or sitting with you in the movie theater.  Better yet, think of what Jesus would say.  Would you be able to sit through that movie or read through those books if He were sitting there with you? 

I'm not asking or expecting anyone to change their opinions, but I will ask you all to just think.

50 Shades of Magic Who?

Everyone knows I am in a committed relationship with a young man I am absolutely crazy about.
Aren't we cute?
This picture was taken in Starkville, Mississippi at the rehearsal dinner for my cousin's wedding. While we were there, someone mentioned reading 50 Shades of Grey and how great it was and someone else mentioned wanting to go see Magic Mike. Both of these people were married women.
Later that evening, Jake made an offhand comment that went something like "I better not hear about you going to see any movies about strippers..." He was joking, but it was one of those jokes that I knew wasn't really a joke.
I'm not trying to trash anyone so don't get me wrong. I am not well acquainted with either of these women and I don't know anything about their lives or what they've gone through. I don't know if they believe in Christ or the bible. If they don't, then I can't, in good conscience, say there is anything wrong with either of them watching that movie or reading those books. And honestly, I'd never really thought that much about that movie or that book. I knew I didn't want to read/watch either one just because it didn't seem like something I would be interested in. But what Jake said made me think. Would I want him reading a book that is considered an "erotic fiction" novel? Or watching a movie about strippers? That's a quick and easy answer. No. So, naturally, I will give him the courtesy and respect he deserves by avoiding those images both on screen and in my own imagination.
But the more I think, the more I realize this is SO much more than just respecting your spouse or future spouse. It's about respecting yourself and respecting your savior. If you don't know the same savior I do then I'm not talking to you. But if you claim to be a child of God, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ then I'm talking directly to you. And I realize a lot of people will have a problem with what I have to say and I'm ok with that.
I'm astounded by the number of publicly professing Christian women who are so enthralled by these books and this movie. I expect it out of our culture, but not out of bible believing Chrisian women who strive to lead a biblical example.

Personally, I do not understand why these things are so entertaining. But that doesn't mean they aren't to most people. And I've watched all the same movies everyone else has, the ones with sex scenes, questionable situations and language. I am certainly not disregarding the fact that I am part of the group of American media consumers who watch, read, or listen to things that can not be considered Christlike. So I understand it's almost impossible to avoid. But in the case of these particular books and this movie I draw the line. Mostly because I am sick and tired of hearing about them. Maybe it's harmless. Maybe it's possible for you to separate reality from fiction and keep an unemotional and unbiased perspective. And if that's possible for you...great. But I'm not sure I can do it. So I won't chance it.
I am really trying not to be angry or condescending about the level of awe that these books and this movie have attracted by the Christian community. But I'll admit I'm having a hard time. Like I said, I'm sick of hearing about how great it is to read about erotic sex scenes or watch Channing Tatum shake his naked rear end. I think he's as good looking as the next girl...but women of God...come on!! What's wrong with us? What will our husbands or future husbands think? If they don't care--and I mean really don't care, not lying about not caring--then that's another problem altogether. Ladies, if your boyfriend really has no problem with that, you should probably find one who does.  That says a lot about his character, including that he may not have a problem with it because he would be willing to do the same things himself.  Since when do we expect less of ourselves than we expect of them? Not to mention that "A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" (Psalm 31:30). 

Ok...deep breaths....

See? I told you I'm struggling wth keeping a level head about this.  And honestly, there are plenty of awful things in the world to be mad about so I have no idea why this particular issue bothers me so much.  I guess I have just seen too many tweets about how awesome '50 Shades of Grey' was from young women I look up to in the faith.  I'm just disappointed.  Like I said, I expect that reaction from a lot of people, but not from people who I know personally to be openly strong Christians.
I know this comes off rude, and please believe me when I say I'm not trying to be rude, or condescending, or judgemental, or anything like that.  All I'm saying is...take a moment to THINK.  Think about what your husband or future husband would say if he were reading over your shoulder or sitting with you in the movie theater.  Better yet, think of what Jesus would say.  Would you be able to sit through that movie or read through those books if He were sitting there with you? 

I'm not asking or expecting anyone to change their opinions, but I will ask you all to just think.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Unworthy


I am unworthy. I was born unworthy and I will die unworthy.  My unworthiness defines me, it’s who I am.  I am unworthy to be loved, adored or cherished; yet, I am all of these things and more.  Sometimes I feel so unworthy that I just want to get down on my knees and thank God over and over and over for what he’s done for me.  Other days I feel so unworthy that I want to crawl in a hole and never come out. 

I mean, who am I?  Who am I that Christ would deem it necessary to walk the earth as a man, and bear my sin on a cross that brought him more pain and suffering than I will ever have to endure?  Who am I that he would chose to bless me by surrounding me with people who love me and who encourage me every single day?  What did I ever do to deserve this?

NOTHING

I did absolutely nothing to deserve Jesus’ sacrifice or his love, and I certainly did nothing to deserve all these blessings he’s given me throughout my life.  If anything I’ve disappointed Him more than I’ve made him proud.  I struggle every day with the idea that a mighty, powerful, awesome and wonderful God would deem me worthy to receive His salvation.  I am just in awe of how the sacrifice he made was because of the fact that I am unworthy.  He knew beforehand every time I would mess up, every time I would let Him down and he died on that cross for me anyway. 

Unconditional love.  It’s something we talk about, and we say that we love our family, our children, our friends and our spouses unconditionally.  But the only person to ever walk the earth who has actually felt and truly understood unconditional love is Jesus Christ.  It’s so ironic because the only perfect, sinless person in the world…the only person who really was worthy…is the one who sacrificed everything for me, the one who is unworthy.  It’s hard for me to make sense of it because that just doesn’t add up.  You don’t sacrifice the perfect to save the flawed.  Yet here I am, as unworthy and alive as ever.  Why?  Because Christ understood the concept of unconditional love and he executed that concept.  And during all that pain and suffering that He had to endure, He thought of me.  That’s crazy to me.  He thought of me.  He knew who I would be and what I would become.  I wish I could understand that kind of love.  Instead I’m just left feeling unworthy. 
But there is a real beauty in this feeling of unworthiness.  Because I know that I have been given this give of salvation and it’s a gift I don’t deserve.  Since I know I don’t deserve it, I can cherish it that much more.  And maybe if I can remind myself of my unworthiness every day, I can also be reminded of this gift that I’ve been given.  I don’t want to waste it.

Unworthy


I am unworthy. I was born unworthy and I will die unworthy.  My unworthiness defines me, it’s who I am.  I am unworthy to be loved, adored or cherished; yet, I am all of these things and more.  Sometimes I feel so unworthy that I just want to get down on my knees and thank God over and over and over for what he’s done for me.  Other days I feel so unworthy that I want to crawl in a hole and never come out. 

I mean, who am I?  Who am I that Christ would deem it necessary to walk the earth as a man, and bear my sin on a cross that brought him more pain and suffering than I will ever have to endure?  Who am I that he would chose to bless me by surrounding me with people who love me and who encourage me every single day?  What did I ever do to deserve this?

NOTHING

I did absolutely nothing to deserve Jesus’ sacrifice or his love, and I certainly did nothing to deserve all these blessings he’s given me throughout my life.  If anything I’ve disappointed Him more than I’ve made him proud.  I struggle every day with the idea that a mighty, powerful, awesome and wonderful God would deem me worthy to receive His salvation.  I am just in awe of how the sacrifice he made was because of the fact that I am unworthy.  He knew beforehand every time I would mess up, every time I would let Him down and he died on that cross for me anyway. 

Unconditional love.  It’s something we talk about, and we say that we love our family, our children, our friends and our spouses unconditionally.  But the only person to ever walk the earth who has actually felt and truly understood unconditional love is Jesus Christ.  It’s so ironic because the only perfect, sinless person in the world…the only person who really was worthy…is the one who sacrificed everything for me, the one who is unworthy.  It’s hard for me to make sense of it because that just doesn’t add up.  You don’t sacrifice the perfect to save the flawed.  Yet here I am, as unworthy and alive as ever.  Why?  Because Christ understood the concept of unconditional love and he executed that concept.  And during all that pain and suffering that He had to endure, He thought of me.  That’s crazy to me.  He thought of me.  He knew who I would be and what I would become.  I wish I could understand that kind of love.  Instead I’m just left feeling unworthy. 
But there is a real beauty in this feeling of unworthiness.  Because I know that I have been given this give of salvation and it’s a gift I don’t deserve.  Since I know I don’t deserve it, I can cherish it that much more.  And maybe if I can remind myself of my unworthiness every day, I can also be reminded of this gift that I’ve been given.  I don’t want to waste it.