Saturday, August 4, 2012

Live the Example

I've had this post brewing in the back of my head for the last few months. While I feel like some of the firestorm has blown over, it's not over, so I'm going to be adding my thoughts on "The 50 Shades Debacle" (as I not-so-affectionately call it) to my blog.

Yes. You read that correctly.
Today we're discussing 50 Shades.

I didn't want to blog about the topic.Part of the reason was that in May when most people were blogging about the topic, I was just starting my internship at a church for the summer. I knew that people from that church would be reading my blog and I didn't want the first thing that they saw when they got to my blog to be about sex (especially if there were middle school girls googling my blog...awkward much?). So, I just put the blog idea in the back of my head and decided that it wasn't the time for that kind of post. I wanted to play it "safe". I didn't want to offend anyone. I didn't want to make a big deal over something like this. But, I'm starting to realize that we DO need to make a big deal about this. 10 weeks later, this trilogy is still at the top of Bestseller lists. It hasn't faded into the background. While I thought that ignoring the series (and not giving it more attention) would be the answer, after some interesting questions from middle school girls at camp, I'm realizing that ignoring the problem is not the solution.

As a senior in college, I expected to have this whole 50 Shades business pushed in my face. The fact that people my age are reading the series is mildly disturbing. But, I can ignore that. Is it weird that some of my favorite mommy bloggers that profess to be Christians blog about how wonderful the series is and how it "really helped their marriage"? YES! (Side note- If your marriage is really struggling THAT much that you'd resort to THIS, I'm going to recommend you drop the 50 Shades and pick up the Bible. I'm not married, but I do know that I serve a God that can do miracles, and HIS WORD is where I'd want to turn in times of trouble. Just saying.) But, I'm not exactly normal. I am the girl that is madly in love with skorts. I'm the girl that collects children's books like nobody's business. The fact that I'm not into a book series, isn't anything new and exciting. I'm used to ignoring books that I have no business reading. But, you get my middle school baby girls involved? I might will go mama bear on you. There is no reason for ten, eleven, twelve, or thirteen year old girls to even KNOW about this series. I can't think of a reason why they should know the plot premise of the books. When one of the girls asked me about "the contract" part of the book (that I didn't even know about, but I can assume enough to know that it wasn't a good kind of contract)...I about lost it. As we sat around our cabin one afternoon during a rainstorm, I had so many thoughts go through my head. So many things that I wanted to say. As we sat around at chatted, one of the girls mentioned how her mom read the books, but she always put it away when the girl walked into the room. Moms? You have a precious gift. Don't corrupt it. Help your daughter stay pure in heart, mind, and strength. You reading this book series does not bring any glory to God. It doesn't point your precious daughter in the right direction. You are your daughter's ultimate example. If you are reading a book that you have to hide as she walks in the room, you probably shouldn't be reading it.

I'm not going to go into all the reasons why you shouldn't read this book. There's plenty of amazing posts already written (like this one by Erin), and I don't have much new to add to the argument. I could  think for a really long time, and I don't think I'd come up with a reason why I should read this series. But, I can think of ONE really good reason- a reason that isn't shared a lot. I truly believe that the best way to show what it means to be a Christian and live a Christian life is to live your life as an example. Living a life of purity is an amazing model for younger girls to follow. I don't have to go up to the girls I work with and say "I messed up. But, you shouldn't.". I have the amazing privilege to be able to share with these girls about how you can be twenty-two and still never been kissed. I can share with these girls that YES, you CAN make it through your teenage years without having sex. You will survive. Is being twenty-two, unmarried, not even in a relationship where I thought I'd be? Not exactly. That wasn't part of my four year plan- but it WAS a part of God's magnificent plan. It was his plan for me to get to share with these girls about purity. While it angers me that these little girls have knowledge of these books, I'm so happy that God brought me to them this summer so that I can share the flip side. I'm so glad that he allowed me to be able to share with them how these books aren't appropriate reading for them. I'm glad he let me share with them that the relationship modeled in 50 Shades isn't the  type of relationship that God intends for us to have.

Now, maybe you're asking what you SHOULD be reading. I'll have you know that I just finished Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and it's definitely no 50 Shades. It's much better written (or so I've heard) and it has a love story that points back to God. It models that kind of relationship I think that God intends us to have. So, if you're looking for some reading material- that's going to be my recommendation.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this, Lauren! I think many of the same mommy bloggers you mentioned would agree teenage girls have no business knowing about this series, much less knowing details about the plot. And yet the reason they do is because those same women are reading these books! I love, love, LOVE this statement: "If you are reading a book that you have to hide as [your daughter] walks in the room, you probably shouldn't be reading it." AMEN.

    I think we need to make sure, too, though - and I know you're not doing this but just want to be clear - that us twenty-something single girls can't lay the blame at the feet of mothers. It's our responsibility, too, to set a good example for the younger generation. So it scares me even more that girls our age are reading these books because so often we're the first women that girls who are younger than us look to. And if we're reading trash like this? We can't turn around and talk about purity and expect that they will understand how to model it, or that they will even care. There is to be not even a HINT of sexual immorality. It's a tough standard - but praise God that He gives us that standard, grace when we don't make it, and strength to continue the pursuit!