50 Shades OF Over It

So, this 50 Shades thing..pretty sure I am over it.

All weekend my news feed has been warning me about seeing the movie. LOUD. My news feed has been LOUD. All the noise and debate from article after article made this pastor’s wife do promptly what every pastor’s wife probably did-ask her husband if she could read the books, or at the very least, go see the movie. (haha maybe not, but all I could envision was a world of Christian women shamefully reading these books in their closets and attending the film in disguise..)

FiftyShadesofGrey

When the books hit the scene I actually had a college friend tell me I would love the series. I remember saying that I had heard it was pretty sexually charged. She agreed, but replied “It is a love story. With a lot of sex.”

I didn’t read the books. Not because of conviction. But because in 2011 I was trying not to loose my mind from having a child-and being with child, back to back. Reading requires time. Who had time for that??

I did not give this book series another thought, not a single brain moment, until this weekend. Why? Because my news feed and friendships on FB consist largely of a Christian community. And the Christian community is a hot mess over this movie.

So naturally, that made me wonder…WHY?

Throw back to two years ago when the History Channel aired the hit show Vikings. One night when I was up feeding Jude I was channel surfing and caught an episode. I loved it. I was hooked. Later I realized a large part of my love affair with the show was because the lead character, Ragnar, is a very pretty man. Maybe too pretty. I told the hubby about hotty Ragnar and stopped watching the show, because I was watching it for all the wrong reasons.

Hear me fellow sisters who are following Jesus- I AM WITH YOU when it comes to protecting ourselves from hotties on the street and in movies that would steal our gaze, and our thoughts, from our husbands. WITH YOU. I stopped watching a History Channel show for this very reason.

This is also why I decided it would not be wise for me to read the books, or see the movie.

Having made that decision, I also decided it would not be fair for me to then list 50 reasons why my fellow sister should not go see the movie, considering I did not read the books, and place my convictions on her.

So let me pull-back here for a moment. I know it is our Christian, if not human, need to protect our people from danger. Our people being the sons and daughters of Christ. One body. Working together. Our people. So I understand the want to stand for purity, monogamy, and to STAND AGAINST ABUSE, all of which this movie threatens.

I don’t, however, think throwing TRUTH around, both biblical and statistical, is an effective means of protection, if you are not tossing LOVE WITH IT. In fact, the bible that we are all quoting to damn the viewers says that without love we sound like a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)

And I think the Christian community, loud on social networks, was just that this weekend. A clanging cymbal. Simply because the movie broke box office records globally, and though some articles written may have deterred a few readers, on a large scale we made little impact.

And again, I have to ask WHY? Why did so many flock to the theater this weekend though the film AND books were reviewed poorly by critics, and the standing consensus among medical professionals is that the relationship portrayed, is in fact, abusive in nature?

Maybe instead of listing 50 reasons why no Christian woman (or woman) should go see the film, we should change the dialogue to “tell me the reason WHY you want to see the film?” What if by asking questions, we could HEAR what our friends, and sisters are going through, and understand what it is they are looking for in the film. Maybe it is innocent, and they are just in the mood for a bad movie. Maybe they think the movie will spice up the events in the bedroom with their man. Maybe they are dying to be pursued, and loved, even if it requires becoming someone’s means of pleasure to do with as they please. Maybe abuse both physically, sexually and mentally is all they know so this is the norm for them.

Maybe it really isn’t that big of a deal to some women.

What if all these conversations opened up other conversations about what the bible, and statistics, say about the film? Real conversations. What if every Christian woman who read the books and saw the film this weekend carried no shame from her fellow sisters, but found safety in discussing the ‘WHY’ and found a place to heal and seek help if her marriage were struggling with intimacy issues? Or if she were struggling to feel pursued and loved. What if we didn’t tell her to ‘just go have sex’ and really listened to the reason she and her husband are having a hard time finding each other intimately? (I have been guilty of this very sentence)

What if we weren’t in such a hurry to quote scripture, and listened first, before trying to fix everyone with Jesus? Jesus doesn’t need us. We assist him-not the other way around. God’s word is beautiful, hopeful, exciting, and convicting all on it’s own. How can we use it properly if we first don’t listen for those whom God is wooing back or to him?

I must, as Josh’s wife, and from the countless articles I have read, and as a follower of Jesus, I must say; don’t go see the film. Instead, come over,  (or email or call me) and I will tell you about my Ragnar problems and you can tell me what’s going on with you and your man, or even just you.

If you read the books, and saw the film, cool. I would love to hear your point of view, or why you think so many women (people) are drawn to this film. I also want to hear why you went.

Can we stop with the lists and open our doors and kitchen tables for conversations?

WE are a mighty people, the people who follow and love Jesus Christ. I know we can be louder and mightier with TRUTH and LOVE. Both. We need both.

Keep asking questions. Keep wanting to know what is going on with your people.

Much love.

*************************************************************************

This weekend our pastor touched on the story of the adulterous woman that is found in John 8: 1-11. It is a common story told in church to highlight Jesus’s grace and redemptive nature, however I was thinking this weekend how after calling her accuser’s out (ye without sin cast the first stone) – and after all her accusers slipped away he asked her a question. “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” She replied “No, Lord” to which Jesus said “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

I love that he asked a simple question, and then said- ‘well you are good with me. Don’t do it again, cool? ‘ He didn’t give her a bijillion reasons why she shouldn’t commit adultery anymore. Perfect balance of that truth and love thing.

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11 thoughts on “50 Shades OF Over It

  1. This made me cry because I was so against this movie for the right reasons I didn’t see the opportunities for the wrong reasons. Lord help me to be your hands and feet. Your ears and eyes and most of all your heart. Forgive me for judging without love.

  2. Oh Courtney if only there were more Christian women such as yourself. Having lived the “Maybe abuse both physically, sexually and mentally is all they know so this is the norm for them” as a child, I know too well the draw of the books storyline despite my fabulous and hot pastor hubby. The shame I have felt while reading all the backlash toward this movie has been crushing. What I wouldn’t give to have a seat at your kitchen table for a conversation.

    • I think the writers of the articles that were shouting DANGER were really in a place of wanting to honor God, just the delivery hurt a little in some of them. I read a quote once that said ‘we fear what we do not understand.’ This movie shot fear around in the hearts of Christian women everywhere. Really just a lack of understanding of why anyone would want to see it. Easily remedied with asking that simple question. Sorry you have felt shame. Sometimes it sits a little heavier as a pastor’s wife. You aren’t to far from Iowa. :) keep on keeping on sista-

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