I once heard it said that our checkbook and calendar highlight our priorities. What do we glorify as a society? What are we prioritizing today?
I've engaged in numerous discussions the last several months around the roles of men and women in a relationship. I've had some hard conversations about our human desire to fill in the gaps of our marriage with things of this world. I've listened to the heartbreak that comes from our own brokenness. I've seen the power that develops from vulnerability and truth. And I am thankful to be a part of the community of women committed to the pursuit of grace. Because we come from diverse backgrounds and unique teachings, these conversations encourage growth in my personal life and refinement in my marriage. The longer I press on for truth, the more I uncover God's intent for relationships and witness Him mend what is torn and tattered by our human nature.
Today...today, human nature is making a bold proclamation. And my heart aches at the sound.
I'll qualify before I start rambling.
I haven't read the book.
I haven't seen the movie.
I don't plan on either....
Despite the above, I have a pretty decent idea of what's held within the pages of 50 Shades of Grey. A woman who longs to be loved. A man who makes demands in order to maintain that love. And a relationship fraught with brokenness. Sure, it might look alluring on the outside, but is there fulfillment and goodness and unconditional love within? From what I can tell, the film/book illustrate a lot of our humanness. We are relational beings who pursue acceptance, community, stability, consistency, and true unconditional love. But at what cost?
So now, let's talk facts:
1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime.
1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence.
Half of all marriages end in divorce.
The number one cause of divorce: lack of communication.
Sure, we can all debate what constitutes what within a relationship. I am of the opinion that, whether or not a person is in a relationship, if he or she says "no," that's enough. Anything to the contrary is a violation of dignity and safety. Now suppose that individual so desperately longs for love that communication is silent. What then? The lack of openness to share anything indicates a new level of control and abuse exemplified by an individual's inability to speak freely without consequence.
An LA Times op-ed highlights the already growing trend of "acceptance" for poorly written prose and highly questionable film making. (Let's be honest, here. 10 years ago, this book and movie would have been relegated to one source...not mainstream media). Not so surprising, the lead actors didn't even enjoy the work. During their press tour, Jamie Dornan (Christian,) said "I had to do stuff to her that I'd never choose to do to a woman." If the actors are requesting their families avoid the movie, is it worth the rest of society sitting down to see it?
Sure, you can discount everything I've said because a) I haven't read the book and b) these are all personal opinions. And yet, I think it's worth discussing.
I sign off with this: once something is seen, it is etched in our minds and cannot be unseen. If your marriage is hurting, if your heart is aching, if you're searching for something...a spark, a newness, anything...you will not find it in Hollywood. You will sit down hopeful. You will walk out empty.
Find wholeness in grace. Find healing in promise. Find fulfillment in the Water. Be in the reality of your life - it can be beautiful.