Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Seeing Grey~ July 28, 2014

6e3ef532ac671146c0756602673a4d20First the books were released and our news feeds blew up with conversation of “mommy porn.” Now that the movie is set to debut on Valentine’s, (classy move Hollywood), once again my screen is flooded with Grey.

I’m not typically one to shy away from controversial topics when it pertains to what I will and won’t write about. I’ll be honest, I have considered this off limits since the day I realized that I know a great number of women who read the books and are now anxiously awaiting the day it hits the big screen. I didn’t want to offend anyone with my opinion. But, being silent isn’t really my style & it would make me look like a hypocrite to remain close trapped on this when I have been so outspoken on other matters.

Before diving in to this post, let me preface with this, I am not condemning those of you who have chosen to consider this entertainment. It will become clear that I do not agree with you, but I don’t think less of you. Oftentimes a differing opinion is offensive & sparks heated arguments. That’s not my goal here. My only reason for breaking the silence from my side of the debate is to shed a little light as to why I think this type of material needs to be avoided.

Now, I have not read any of the books so I am aware that my opinion is based on limited information. What I have done is read book reviews, followed conversations of those who have read & most recently watched the 2 minute trailer that was aired on daytime television. I have more than enough material to state my case.

Countless women are touting this as nothing more than fantasy, a somewhat twisted romance novel, meant to bring excitement into the boring lives of stay at home moms everywhere. Surely the women making these lax comments have never been at the mercy of a man who made them feel the very real emotions that come along with this type of “relationship.”

I’m guessing those who find this type of fantasy exciting have never had a man use the weight of his body to prove his strength over you, rendering you completely helpless to fend off whatever came next. I’d say it’s safe to assume that you’ve never been in a position where your naivety and eagerness to please in order to feel loved & accepted was used as a tool of manipulation in order to fulfill someone’s selfish desires. I bet you haven’t a clue what it does to one’s self-esteem to submit to some level of degrading behavior because you’ve been made to believe that is what love is about.

Perhaps it simply hasn’t occurred to you who sing the praises of this book and others like it that you may be unknowingly condoning the horror that someone you know and care about has either walked through or worse yet is currently enduring? Kind of takes the lighthearted aspect out of, “it’s just a book.”

Friends, this is no more “just a book” than Playboy is just a magazine. It is one more way that we are becoming desensitized to what we should find offensive. There is nothing morally right about a woman’s vulnerability being exploited in order to satisfy the self-serving desires of a domineering man. It’s abusive & embarrassing to have someone claiming to love you persuade you to express that love in ways that leave you feeling ashamed and used. Why on earth would any woman, Christian or not, build up this type of behavior?

My initial thoughts were about are my girls. I would be mortified to think that my beautiful, intelligent, strong willed little ladies would grow up to believe that this sort of behavior is not only acceptable but applauded. I cringe at the possibility that one day a man would enter their lives that would play on their weaknesses and manipulate them into sacrificing their integrity in order to gain their affection.

Then there are my boys. Most days it feels like we’re fighting a losing battle as we desperately try to instill values that are rapidly being labeled as old fashioned. We encourage simple things like opening doors & surrendering your seat for ladies while their peers label women with titles I won’t dare repeat. My desire for them is to admire a woman who respects herself and has enough regard for her body & sexuality to protect it, not willingly lay down her beliefs to satisfy them.

How can we effectively teach these principles if we are a walking double standard?

That, in a nutshell, is why I personally will not read or watch anything that turns violence & degradation into a desirable quality for a mate. I prefer to keep my idea of love and intimacy in tact, where two people commit to honor the other above themselves. I refuse to allow my children to see me choose entertainment where women are objectified and dominance is regarded. I can’t get on board with the group proclaiming harmless fun for a girls night out. I won’t give the impression of indifference by keeping quiet.

I don’t expect this article to change anyone’s mind. I do hope that it makes you pause before taking such a laid back approach to what you allow yourself to be exposed to.

For those of you who are interested, these are just a few of the Scriptures I found helpful in regards to this matter & others like it.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2

“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Psalms 119:37

“And so I insist-and God backs me up on this-that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion .” Ephesians 4:19 

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6 Responses to “~Seeing Grey~”

  1. blmaluso Says:

    Thank you very much for standing for the truth and “putting yourself out there.”

    It makes me sad and frustrated when I see how gullible many women have become. Deep down, most know that this book (and movie) is just not “right”, however, they are falling prey to the “Emperor’s New Clothes” syndrome. They are being swayed by culture, peers, and are just plain tempted. They are going with the crowd, and being “cool.”

    Thank you for pointing out some of the truly real reasons to shun this book and movie.

    My husband and I have been married for 36 years. I can honestly say we love eachother more deeply than when we first fell in love, prefer eachother’s company to anyone in this world, and just plain have fun together. I can promise you, this relationship did not build itself on sexual “fantasies and fetishes” and disrespect. Our relationship developed into what we have now through the grace of God, and our willingness to put the other before ourselves. Mutual selflessness and respect, withn the context of Godly principles. That is what saved and flourished our marriage.

    Sorry this is so long…marriage and relationships are my passion!

    So, we are left with a huge calling to pray for those who have eyes but do not see, ears that do not hear, and hearts that do not truly know the love of Jesus. Which leads to them to not understanding what love is.

    Love and blessings,
    Bernadette

  2. Thanks for sharing, Bernadette! I appreciate having feedback from someone who has lived a life of putting God at the center of their marriage. My husband and I have only been married 7 years and it’s inspiring to us to see marriages that have endured in spite of the times we’re living in.

    • blmaluso Says:

      Just to make things clear…our marriage was not always the relationship that we are blessed with now. We made a lot of mistakes, and for many years, the Lord was not our foundation. We suffered many consequences through the years due to sin, selfishness, and bad decisions.

      However, when we made the commitment, not only to love eachother, but to have the Lord as the foundation of our marriage, we started to change as people, and our marriage strengthened and grew into a relationship I never even thought was possible.

      That’s why I LOVE marriage so much. It is a growing together toward Christ…which teaches unconditional love. Once you have a taste of it, you would never want to let it go:-)

  3. Julia Tomiak Says:

    I always say that we need to be very thoughtful about what kind of entertainment and media we consume – for little “harmless” things that slip in can easily become “normal”. If I am asking my children not to consume violent and sexually explicit material, than I must hold that same standard for myself. They learn more by watching what we do than by all that we say. Bravo Valerie – great quotes and verses here. Hopefully a few people will pause to think.

    • I agree completely, Julia. It’s amazing how quickly the subtle changes come about when we’re not careful to guard our hearts & minds.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject. As always, I appreciate your feedback & value your opinion.

  4. This…
    “It is one more way that we are becoming desensitized to what we should find offensive.”

    Truth!!!!
    What a great pouring out of your heart and soul here, my amazing friend. THAT is why I love you… Because you CHOOSE to live ALL IN, tell His Truth, go against the flow.

    You got it right … We SHOULD find this offensive. Many don’t. I did not early in life. I carried it into my marriage. It nearly destroyed me. Now 20 years later, God has restored my marriage of that and the other death-to a-marriage things. Hallelujah!

    You keep talking with your soul, Valerie. Someone who needs it will be listening. Expect it, Sister! God blesses your efforts even when you don’t know it.
    Love,
    Heather


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