Originally published Thursday, 12 February 2015.
50 Shades... I'm sure you've heard of the movie coming out this weekend. It's impossible to turn on the TV, scroll through Facebook, or listen to the radio without hearing about it.
What is it about this movie that entices so many to line up to watch?
Our neighbors, friends, relatives, co-workers... all seem to be counting the days until the big reveal. The day that scenes will be seen that can never be un-seen. How then will they see the rest of us afterwards? How will they view relationships after their eyes have been clouded by the gray shadows of the murky underworld of Hollywood fantasy?
Perhaps in our culture of self-sufficiency and abundance, we have somehow lost the ability to feel. Perhaps this movie awakens something deep within many people who are totally lonely in a sea of people. Lost. Alone.
Are we so desperate to feel something -- anything -- that we will settle for abuse rather than real love?
I don't want to settle for this movie. I won't.
Maybe your friends tell you it's just a movie, what will it hurt? Maybe they advise you to stop taking things SO seriously.
Hmm... I do take things seriously, especially since millions of young girls are forced into sex trafficking EVERY SINGLE DAY, and we are going to call this "entertainment"? I do take it seriously when, as a mother of two sons, I see this filth being portrayed as the example of a "sophisticated bachelor" to young men. I do take it seriously when as a woman, I want to crawl into the movie screen to rescue this naive, attention-craving girl who thinks that Christian Grey is her dream-come-true instead of the nightmare pervert sicko that he is.
Would you want Christian Grey to date your daughter? Give your sons lessons on how to treat women?
If they had cast some greasy-haired, toothless, sex offender for the part of Christian Grey, we would definitely see more people up in arms. Oh, but if he looks good on the outside we call it ok? Wrong message, Hollywood. I'm not that stupid, but thanks for asking.
I refuse to raise my sons to think that women are those who are to be tied in bondage and abused. Women are to be loved, respected, honored.
Women belong in men's hearts, not locked away as sex slaves. Women were created from man to help him, not to fulfill his sick, twisted, selfish, self-satisfying desires.
God didn't create sex to have it abused like this. This isn't the portrait of marriage that shows how much Christ loved the Church (that He gave His own life for it).
I don't hear about Christian Grey loving the girl so much that he is willing to give his own life for her. Did I miss that part?
So, if you're numb and just wishing you could feel something -- anything -- this Valentine's Day, please know that you can see the movie, and I'm sure it will shock and leave you feeling a bit steamy...
But then, it will leave you.
And you will still be numb.
There is, though, good news. You can have 50 Shades of Grace from God Almighty. It is much more powerful than anything Hollywood can create, and it will stay with you for the rest of your life... long after the hoopla over this movie is long gone.
Please don't settle for a cheap imitation.
His love satisfies the deep longing in my heart. When I get caught up in the stress of daily life and feel empty, God's love protects, nurtures, and fulfills my heart's deepest desires.
This weekend, and every day, please choose wisely. You deserve more.
1. His grace is sufficient for me, His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
2. His grace is a gift to me, saving my soul through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)
3. Sin has no power over me because I am covered by grace (Romans 6:14)
4. Grace is not based on my "do better" attempts. Grace is God's gift to me (Romans 11:6)
5. God gives more... and more.. and more grace (James 4:6)
6. By God's grace, I am who I am today (and His grace is still working within me!) (1 Corinthians 15:10)
7. God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This is grace. (Romans 5:8)
8. Grace helps me in my time of need (Hebrews 4:16)
9. We have all received "grace upon grace" (heaping, overflowing!) (John 1:16)
10. We all fall short of God's glory and are redeemed through his grace as a gift! (Romans 3:20-24)
11. God's love is patient (2 Peter 3:9)
12. We are redeemed by grace, through Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24)
13. God's grace strengthens us (2 Timothy 2:1)
14. God restores our strength (Isaiah 40:31)
15. God's face shines on us! (Numbers 6:25)
16. God's grace brings salvation for ALL people (Titus 2:11)
17. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16)
18. God has a purpose for each of us (2 Timothy 1:9)
19. God richly provides us with everything to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17)
20. God gives us life through Christ! (Ephesians 2:1-22)
21. Jesus came to earth to show us how much God loves us (John 1:14)
22. If you believe in Jesus, he will give you eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9)
23. God's love fills our hearts with His steadfast love and mercy (Psalm 103)
24. The Bible helps us grow in grace and knowledge of God (2 Peter 3:18)
25. God's grace is demonstrated to us through Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11-14)
26. Christ lives in me because he loves me (Galatians 2:19)
27. Christ loves me so much that he gave His life for me (and YOU!) (Galatians 2:20-21)
28. Christ was raised from the dead to give each of us new life in Him! (Romans 6:1-4)
29. Christ's love sets us FREE. (John 8:34-36)
30. Jesus didn't come to condemn... He came to save (John 3:17)
31. God urges husbands to *honor* their wives (1 Peter 3:7)
32. God gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5)
33. We have living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ! (1 Peter 1:1-25)
34. Our hearts are strengthened by His grace (Hebrews 13:9)
35. Jesus tasted death so that (by God's grace), he might taste death for everyone (Hebrews 2:9)
36. God's grace protects us from bitterness (Hebrews 12:15)
37. God's grace covers our sins (Romans 5:20)
38. Grace and truth came though Jesus Christ (John 1:17)
39. God's grace surrounded the apostles when they gave account of His resurrection (Acts 4:33)
40. God's grace builds us up (Acts 20:32)
41. God will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us through His grace (1 Peter 5:10)
42. We are at peace with God through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1-2)
43. Grace is a free gift from God though the life of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12-21)
44. “Do you find life too difficult for you? So did we, but not now, with the amplitudes of grace there are for us in Jesus Christ, it grows satisfying and successful and exciting beyond measure, becomes another and a richer thing.” ~ A. J. Gossip
45. “Just as the sinner’s despair of any hope from himself is the first prerequisite of a sound conversion, so the loss of all confidence in himself is the first essential in the believer’s growth in grace.” ~ A. W. Pink
46. “The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers.” ~ A. W. Tozer
47. “Grace, then, is grace,–that is to say, it is sovereign, it is free, it is sure, it is unconditional, and it is everlasting.” ~ Alexander Whyte
48. “Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
49. "...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved." (Romans 10:9-10
50. For everyone -- no matter what -- who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. All because of grace. (Romans 10:13).