The Justice of Forgiveness

My brain has been foggy lately.  It is like I have bloggers block.  I still write in my paper journal, but I feel it isn’t profound, amusing, or a struggle that will assist if it is shared.  As such, I haven’t written here in the past week.

Also, I feel disheartened because I had the lofty goal of focusing on a different aspect of justice each month for the 2015 year.  I was going to read books, volunteer like crazy, and pray up a storm.  Then I remembered pregnancy limits my body.  I am working 40 hours a week.  I don’t sleep well at night.  When I come home from doctor appointments and errands I just want to veg in front of a TV.  It sounds bad, especially during a season of Lent when we are to repent of idols or distractions that draw us from deeper worship of God.  I do drag myself out of bed in the morning and have been decently good at morning devotions.  They refresh me certainly.  Although sometimes it is feeling route, or like an obligation more than a deeply seated desire to do them.

Last night Frank and I went to an amazing Lenten series study at Christ Episcopal Church in Budd Lake.  (Now I do feel a slight hint of guilt that we are entering this community with no intention of moving from our church.  However, I want a Lent focus season and our church, being the ever liturgical weary evangelical church that it is, doesn’t have sermons or events geared towards a Lent focus.  Don’t get me wrong, I like our church and it is where we are called to commune.  I just wanted liturgy during this season.  I also like following the church calendar because it helps me to separate my days, making them feel holy and not so mundane.  We’ll be there Wednesday nights for about 4 weeks, unless our little one makes an early debut.  Then we go back to our church and don’t really plan on visiting unless there is a special service during Advent or Pentecost.  I’m slightly saddened by “intruding” on this community, but what else am I supposed to do when my heart longs for a particular devotion and our home doesn’t offer it.  Shouldn’t I travel, however briefly, to experience something that can draw me closer to God?)

Anyways, I digressed into defending my decision.  Note to self: trust God, repent of approval addiction, and finally turn from this obsession of what others think of me.

The study was EXACTLY what I want in a Bible study.  We sat around rectangular tables, arranged so you could see everyone, after enjoying a delicious potluck dinner.  Then we read a passage of Scripture, wrote in a journal what we observed in the passage (characters, themes, places, history, questions we had, etc), discussed our observations, read a reflection written by a Taize brother, meditated on the reflection and Scripture passage, then discussed what we gathered from the meditation.

The passage was about Jesus and the adulterous woman.  Scribes and Pharisees bring a woman who openly committed adultery before Jesus to find a way to trap him.  Jesus doesn’t answer their questions.  He writes in the sand.  Not being able to find a method of accusing Jesus, they walk away leaving the woman with Jesus.  He asks her if anyone condemned her.  She said no.  He then tells her that he does not condemn her either, but to go and sin no more.

Did she have any idea that he was the Savior of the world, who could forgive sin?  How must she have reacted?

Jesus loves us.  He doesn’t condemn, but he does require that if we want to live a full, abundant life that we walk in his statutes and try not to sin.  He radically forgives and we are to do that too.

We can grant such forgiveness to others in our lives when we see them as creations of God.  Rather than looking at the snapshot of anger an individual aroused in us, we can try and understand where they are coming from.  Perhaps understanding the broken pieces of a person’s past will help us to extend mercy and allow us to assist an individual in becoming whole through Christian love.  Justice will reign when we begin to live out his will on earth as it is in heaven.  When we stop trying to hone in on faults in another or defend our position and rather look through the lens of a person who has been radically forgiven than we might be able to forgive and peace will descend.  Peace will abound in our relationships when we see people as Christ sees them.  This isn’t easy and I’m not sure I have a three-step method on achieving that goal, but the start begins in looking at the cross and seeing extreme forgiveness poured out for ALL who choose to believe in Christ.

The cross is the most radical display of love.  It was very fitting to have a passage focusing on forgiveness during the “love month”.  The true justice of love is found in the wounds of a Savior’s open palm beckoning us to forgive as he has forgiven us.


Ash Wednesday

Then Job replied to the Lord:

“I know that you can do all things;
    no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
    Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me to know.

“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.’
My ears had heard of you
    but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself
    and repent in dust and ashes.”—Job 42: 1-6

Now is a time of confession, repentance.  How have we been corporately unjust?  Individually?  Where have I sought to become more Christ-like and where have I not?  In what ways do I need to trust God more?  How would this look practically in my life?

Lent is a time of repentance, reflection, and transformation (although one can argue that all of the Christian life is a transformation and I would concede).

May we enter this time solemnly and in careful reflection.  Frank and I chose this year to focus on justice—in the church and in society; God’s justice vs. humanity’s.  I pray that this time would be a special meditation on that principle and in doing so, my husband and I would be made more in the image of Christ.  I pray Frank and I would begin to implement justice towards others in alignment with God’s will and less of our own agenda; especially due to the impending birth of Peanut (nickname for gestating child since we don’t know the gender) and wanting to be models of Christian living.

Trimming the Fat

Mardi Gras—Fat Tuesday.

The way we celebrate the brink of Lent seems absurd.  Streets are filled with drunks, not the ones drinking up words, but with feet stumbling towards greater intoxication and a lust for more sin.  Women disregard integrity and dignity while flashing their bead laden breasts at cameras.  Strangers lock lips, forgetting the meaning of intimacy.

In a time where it seems we should be preparing our hearts to assess where we need to repent and how we can seek the Lord more, there appears to be a mindset that thinks this day is a free pass to transgress.  It sadly appears that we think we can indulge the senses and not receive reprieve.  Too often are the words, “I’ll do this and God will forgive me”, spoken.  We have a Savior who forgives, but he also commands repentance.  If we know it is not an act we should be doing we will endure consequences.  God is just because he loves with a disciplining grace.

What do we need to forsake or take up so that we become people of the Cross?  Where do we need to demolish the strongholds to let love in that we might radiate love to a broken world?  How have we willingly trudged into sin?  In what ways have we engorged on temptation and need to submit to God’s will and surrender our lives that we might access the Holy Spirit’s power?

Fat Tuesday should not be a day for reckless engagement but rather a time to meditate on what needs trimming or pruning in our lives so we become people hedged in the image of Christ.

Clearly we see…

So today I’m posting a link to a thread by Rachel Held Evans.

I’d like to say that I would fight for certain justice causes regardless of my birthplace, era, or spheres of influence, but we can’t assume we’d adhere to the same positions if circumstances were altered…

Enjoy the read.  Be humbled, see yourself in the complexity of such an issue, and understand that God has put us in a particular time and place for purposes and social justice pursuits that only he can know.

Loving Saint

Happy Valentine’s Day.

February 14th is often commemorated with sugar comas, pink roses, and balloons.  Somehow this is to convey a sense of deep commitment and romance.  It is one day out of the year that you are supposed to put extra effort forth to make a significant other feel valued.  Why do we emphasize it on just one day?

Today is actually not a Hallmark holiday.  In fact, the celebration of love remembered today has Christian roots.  Sadly, with the secularization of nearly every holiday Christians celebrate, the significance of the holiday’s memory has often been lost.

In 269 at Rome, a priest was martyred.  This priest had the last name of Valentine.  During a time when Christians were being persecuted by Emperor Claudius, Valentine chose to defend his views.  Young couples were not to be wed at that time because it was thought that a young soldier would be too concerned with his family and therefore, not focused on winning a battle.  Also, polygamy was common then.  The concept of one man and one woman was quite foreign to Roman culture under Claudius’ rule.  Many individuals took an interest in Christianity and as such, wanted to pledge themselves to one another person, forsaking all others.  Valentine performed wedding ceremonies for these Christian couples.  When his secret ceremonies were discovered, he was asked to deny his faith.  He refused and as a result, was beaten then beheaded.

Valentine remained true to Christ and his love of the faith ran red as blood squirted from his severed head.  Christ showed immense love for humanity in willingly being pierced on the cross.  Jesus’ love ran ruby as thorns dug into his brow and the lashings on his back collected splintered wood.  Our Savior’s love is a treasure.  St. Valentine devoted himself to a relationship with the Savior because he knew such love was a precious treasure.

Today we celebrate love because another didn’t give up on love.  May we continue to love our neighbors as ourselves and love the Lord our God above all else.

Happy Valentine’s Day—in memory of a great Christian—the patron saint of love and marriage.

Ethics of Love and Marriage

I read an article on Rachel Held Evans blog by guest writer Dianna Anderson.  While I agree that there is a need for readdressing the current solutions to sexual ethics in our culture and in our churches, I found her assertion that we should have personal ethics to be too relativistic.  In reading the comment section, I found that I resonated greatly with the rebuttal Stephen Moss set forth.  He was an extremely coherent, polite, and respectful commenter.  I also enjoyed the fact that we both have different sexual attractions and yet have understand the biblical indications of sexual ethics in a similar fashion.

I feel guilty for having the conviction that I think homosexuality is a sin.  Too often I feel that I’m lumped into the radial conservative sphere which ostracizes and marginalizes the LGBT community.  I feel liberals think me intolerant and conservatives want me to bash that community.

Why does having a conviction automatically make me hateful?  How does thinking a particular behavior wrong indicate that I want to invoke laws prohibiting the exercise of sexual expression?

I don’t understand tolerance as forsaking my convictions in order that I might agree with another individual.  Tolerance is not relativism.  Once we enter into relativistic philosophy, we slide the slippery slope of faulty morality.  Tolerance is respecting another individual regardless of their beliefs.  Tolerance doesn’t mean I must forsake my opinion; it means that in espousing my ideas, I must not preach hate or advocate for the intentional eradication of any particular group.  For me, tolerance is less about sacrificing my ideals and more about loving another person in spite of our differences.

Loving someone doesn’t mean I have to agree with their decisions or actions.  To love another person means that I treat them well regardless of their position.  How is this displayed?  I think it comes about in sharing the truth (which okay, I see the Bible as absolute truth even though I know it can appear contradictory, complex, and scarily relativist in its interpretation at times) with love.  It means I can state where I think another person is sinning, but never acting as if I have a moral high ground on which to stand.  Love can see me disagreeing, but not in gossip or judgment.

Also, just because I hold a particular belief doesn’t mean I think it should be implemented as law.  I firmly believe that a civil union between same sex individuals should be permitted.  Same sex orientation should not dictate the liberties or rights we are given.  I think there is a distinction between secular law and religious law. A homosexual should be allowed to visit their significant other in the hospital the way a heterosexual individual is permitted to do so, for example.  Same sex couples should be granted those rights and just because we disagree with their life partner choices does not mean we should think their civil rights inferior.  EVERYONE is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in this country.  The constitution and the Bible are separate documents.  The laws which govern the state aren’t necessarily what God deems as holy.  State law was made by humanity and can be flawed.  (I’m not saying same-sex marriage laws are flawed as one might infer from these statements.  I’m saying that the state shouldn’t necessarily be governed by the church.)

Now I’m actually an advocate for removing government involvement in marriage all together (including heterosexual marriage).  I’ve heard it said that if we remove civil laws than people would enter and leave marriage as desired, regulations on the age of partners would be stripped, and people could decide they want to marry an ostrich.  I understand some guidelines need to be implemented to warrant consent as a necessary term.  There would need to be something that regulated the dispersion of goods should a marriage dissolve (although I’d think this akin to regulating goods when a cohabiting couple splits and that could be our model).  Michael Sandel in Justice: What is the Right Thing To Do actually brings up this example while in his chapter discussing libertarianism.  I’d say that my approach to marriage laws is libertarian.  My belief system would be more aligned with the virtue philosophies as proposed by Aristotle.  (You should read Sandel’s book.  It addresses a wide range of theories on justice and forces you to analyze why you hold the particular justice theories you maintain.)

I didn’t want to broach this subject for fear of being too controversial.  I think the church has done a lot of damage to sexual ethics, especially when it comes to our treatment of the LGBT community.  However, I think that we are errant if we start organizing churches that align with our personal preferences rather than reading the original Hebrew and Greek (or listening to scholars who have done so) and deriving an interpretation of Scripture that speaks to the character of God—his judgment and forgiveness, however uncomfortable either of that makes us feel.  There is a delicate balance.  I don’t have the answers.

In thinking about justice, love, and truth I’ve wrestled.  I have ideas, but not answers.  I have questions too.

I just wish we’d stop assuming what people think and how they treat others based off a particular opinion or worldview, myself included depending on the topic.

The church has wronged many of the LGBT community, but I don’t think it is in the conviction that certain behaviors are sinful.  In the church, we have had too many discussions on the sinfulness of same sex attraction and not enough regarding sexual immorality as a whole (i.e. merely looking at another individual with lustful passion as being an act of adultery, incest, sex trafficking, rape, etc.).  The church has emphasized sexual purity as simply refraining from same sex attraction or abstinence before marriage while neglecting to rectify the fact that sexual immorality is running rampant in heterosexual marital relationships as well.  There does need to be justice for the LGBT community in the church.

Justice for a marginalized community doesn’t mean we have to approve of the lifestyle choice, but it does mean we need to fight for their fair treatment because they are God’s creation too.  I’m not sure exactly how that would appear.  I guess I’ve begun to exercise it by loving a person where they are at and letting God change their heart and convict, in his time.

It is not my duty to repent on behalf of another, that would be infringing on their relationship with God and coercing the person to be dependent on me for forgiveness and salvation.  I’m not God.  I’m not meant to have that role.  My duty is to repent of my own sins, to love my neighbor as myself, and to love the Lord my God above all else.  I can only pray that I’ll be kind in exercising Christian love, with truth, even in holding to particular convictions.

Love is complex and fighting for justice in love will not be easy or automatically clear at all times.  I, myself, am still figuring it out.

*Some might say I’ve been a bit “wishy-washy” in my thread.  Hopefully I’ve conveyed a worldview while maintaining respect for opposing views and not been seemingly relativistic in my approach.  Although print can sometimes be misleading and the reader infer their thoughts even when the author never meant such things, just saying.*

A Hallmark Romance

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.

I turned on the radio this morning to Star 99.1.  Now, it is nice that this station plays Christian music…well, some Christian music.  I find that mainstream Christian pop could easily be replaced with lustful love for another human rather than a thirst for Holy Spirit power, a deep intimacy with Christ, and a desire to be bold in sharing the gospel.  This is not to say that a particular song without that message can’t resonate with a person and draw them deeper into relationship with Christ, but it is to say that our focus has become too skewed.

My observation of several churches today is that church has become less about the fellowship of saints to spread the gospel message and more a grounds for finding a soul mate who I can trust in.  This radio station seemed to even buy into the notion of romantic love playing a central role in our lives.  There was an advertisement to buy a Hallmark card for your significant other.  REALLY?  (This wouldn’t normally bother me, but when a station touts that it is clean radio for the intention of sharing Christ’s love I am surprised at the advertisements that could easily be on mainstream secular radio.  Am I being too pious about this?  Maybe…)

When did we slap the holy label on romance and deem that as God’s sole purpose in our lives?

What if we understood that God doesn’t necessarily call us to romantic love, but more towards community as a whole?  I’m not saying that finding a spouse and getting married is wrong.  Even Paul says that if we are inclined to sexual temptation than it is good for us to be married so we don’t sin.  Marriage isn’t wrong and sometimes we can do more in ministry with our spouse than we could do so alone.

However, I think that recent developments in church have made it seem that if you are single or infertile than you can’t serve God.  This is wrong.

God calls some people to single-hood.  Some couples are infertile so that they can be parents to other children, whether through adoption or influencing a local “rebel” teen.

Also, Valentine’s Day can be extremely emotional and isolating for those who don’t have a significant other or who have someone that others don’t “approve” of.  I was sad in college because of the underlying pressure to be involved with someone and that ideal wrapped in a package of pink hearts.  Then I can remember a dear friend who took it upon himself to notice me.  We weren’t romantically involved and never had any intention to be so.  He just wanted to do something special for his friend.  This guy dressed in a suit, handed me a stuffed animal holding a rose, and then walked me to my dorm room where I found a room filled with balloons and on the bed sat a pile of chocolates and stuffed animals.  My friend did this out of friendship love, not romantic love.

It would be great if we realized that love extends beyond the intimacy between two sexual partners.  Love can be the support of a friend in times of trouble, it can be a gathering of friends at a dinner party, and it can encompass society as a whole.

Now there is something special about having a spouse and God is delighted when we do wed.  He is also delighted when our sole purpose is to serve him in the trenches of evangelism.  Our significance doesn’t rest in our relation to a single other soul, but in the grander scale of a community devoted to sharing Christ’s love with all.

How could we impact individuals around us by sharing love on Valentine’s Day with more than just our romantic partner?  Could we potentially make a depressed ex or ostracized “loner” stall that thought of suicide?  Could we strengthen community and society by making it a point to make this day less about romance and more about the true meaning of love—fellowship between friends, sacrifice for a neighbor, and doing silent acts of kindness in Christ’s name without expecting applause or appreciation in return?

Love is more than a sentiment.  Love is more than an embrace between two individuals horny for each other.  Love is a community sharing in its joys and struggles, supporting each other through good times and bad.

Now, I am not saying that I don’t love my husband.  I do want certain things to remain between the two of us and God.  It is appropriate that a certain intimacy is maintained by us and us alone.  However, I think that the church shouldn’t emphasize finding the mate God has set aside for us as our greatest purpose this side of heaven(this is another post entirely as I don’t believe in soul mates;  I firmly assert that love is more of a choice we make daily than it is meant for a particular individual to unite ourselves with).  I don’t think society should emphasize romance as the all-fulfilling pleasure in our lives.

Valentine’s Day is more about sacrifice. St. Valentine was martyred.

May we make it more about loving community and gathering together to delight in the love Christ has for us and how we can share that with others, especially those who feel isolated, deprived, and depressed in this red infused season.

Loving Justice on the Battlefront

Pin a yellow ribbon on my heart

to stop dreams from bleeding out.

I watch love lay inside a mahogany box

shroud in stars and stripes.

Onlookers see a stone of bravery,

myself I see priorities skewed,

hopes buried,

and a tear soaked trench ruggedly set before me.

I must trudge this lonely road

wondering what could have been if only an arm was set aside.

What if this cry was not rung for battle but heeding the beckon of a babe?

Yeah I can’t watch military movies.  Every gunned man has Frank’s face.  Every mourning wife, my appearance.

When is war just?  Is one side evil and the other good?

I think at times war is a necessary evil.  When is it classified as necessary though?

It is my husband’s aspiration to serve his country.  My Christian love devoted to my loyal man has been to approve this lifestyle.  Love is sacrifice.  Is this justly?  Am I thinking about what will assist my family the most?  Would putting my family beyond all else, save Christ, be just?  Can one love a country too much so?  Can a wife love her husband too dearly to willingly sacrifice greater security that her lover might pursue his desires and fuel the fires of her fears?

Is it just to permit one’s closest friend to engage in dangerous behavior if it is what the friend aspires to?  Are we testing God’s protection by entering the battle?  Should we trust that God will call us home regardless of flying bullets and that entering the fire doesn’t necessarily ensure our demise?

Yeah…American Sniper is a good story.  It was a story that should be shared.  I’m just not so sure it is a healthy film for an already paranoid Army wife to watch.

It also filled my mind with the justice of war, the justice of shooting one terrorist to save 2+ civilians, the justice of armed forces, and the justice of good vs. evil as revealed in humanity’s depravity.  Alas, I am left with more questions than answers.  This seems to be the trend as I seek to understand God’s justice vs. that of mankind.

A Wayward Love?

Nightmares are typically birthed from fears.

One of my deepest fears is that I’ll have to do this parenting thing alone.  Each breath is uncertain.  We never know when our exhale will extinguish our viability.  I’m not so concerned with my own passing as I am about the ones I love, especially my husband.  Frank is an incredible man.  He is a calm, collected man that I feel completely comfortable around.  He is approachable.  I don’t have to put on a face around him.  He accepts me as I am and loves me unconditionally.  If he ever died before me I don’t think I’d be able to find a human, earthly love as rich as I have with him.

Last night I didn’t dream horrific manners of his death as is my typical night fright.  Instead, I dreamed that he wanted to be separated.  I was too hormonal, too crazy for him now.  He didn’t want to be committed to me any longer.  He wanted to touch me, but not share in concerns and excitements.  I was heartbroken.  I had always figured myself to be a burden, especially to such a stress-free individual, but how had a love so pure, so deep simply fizzled?  I was perplexed.

Waking up I saw my dear husband sleeping soundly.  There he was, right beside me, faithful until our bodily existence ceases.  He stirred, moaned, and awoke.

He told me about his dream.  In his, we were passionate lovers.  His dreams are better than mine.  He also doesn’t sift out fears in his sleeping hours.  Even in slumber he is a peaceful man.

My nightmare caused me to think about the devastating divorce statistics in this country.  Marriage isn’t treated with the sacredness it once was.  When the going gets tough we throw in the towel.  If the other person doesn’t satisfy my desires than I can move on—at least that’s the trend I observe in first world nations.

We are a country obsessed with pleasure and instant gratification.  Far too often, we are not concerned with the well-being of another.  A couple years ago I read a book Sacred Marriage.  The author espouses the idea that marriage is meant to make us sacred, not happy.  I agree for the most part.

Now I understand that there are viable reasons for divorce.  The dissolution of a marriage is permissible if there is abuse (physical and emotional) or infidelity.  However, one of the leading causes of divorce is financial duress due to a lack of communication regarding the couple’s financial goals.  Perhaps I’m oversimplifying the dilemma.  Frank and I are debt free and we have a pretty great marriage.  We operate from an egalitarian worldview and are very open about our disappointments, dreams, and struggles.  I haven’t contemplated divorce, ever.  Now, people say there is the seven year itch and I’m sure at times we might wonder about the possibility, but in Christ we are committed to this covenant and to each other.

As Valentine’s Day approaches I think of how our culture romanticizes love.  Love expression shouldn’t be reserved for one day out of the year.  Also, love takes work.  Love is more than just a feeling.  Love is sacrifice.

Christ sacrificed himself for us on the cross.  He took our place for the forgiveness of sins that we might be reconciled unto God.

If the greatest display of love for humanity was God becoming man and laying down his life for his people than shouldn’t we understand that any human relationship is meant to be a reflection of that love?  We are created in his image.  Community, marriage, and friendship love is about sacrifice.  We don’t always get what we want, but when we seek to bring another person joy, typically at the expense of our own wishes, we shall find our peace and ecstasy in that individual’s smile.  I believe that sacrifice in the name of love also delights our God.  If we operate from sacrifice and mutual benefit rather than self marriage will have greater endurance in this country.

I’m grateful that my husband’s love is true and squashes all that unnecessary fear about him willingly deserting me.  Thank you Frank for enduring this marriage journey with me, for better or for worse.

A Grey Painted Bedroom

I just read a blog post about sex over on Shegznstuff.

Pastor Segun Aiyegbusi does a great job of emphasizing the need for a husband to speak to a woman’s heart to make sex satisfying in a marriage.  The twisted, tantric antics of Christian Grey applied to your marriage bed will not lead to God-glorifying, mutually fulfilling intimacy.  (Well that’s what I gathered in a nut shell.)

I have never read 50 Shades of Grey.  Two years ago I didn’t even know the book existed.  I don’t plan on reading it.  My refrain from such literature is not stemming from the fact that I’m an evangelical Christian.  Most of my friends know that I do not shy away from open discussions about sex.  I think talking about sex, especially in church, is important.

In churches today we are too hushed.  We have a tendency to speak about sex in hushed tones—so as not to stir the loins of the unwed.  The church seems to have its longest dos and don’ts list when it comes to sex.  Yes, God meant for it to be an intimate experience.  Telling singles to wait and that it’ll be amazing eventually doesn’t help when you are horny.  We need practical means to maintain purity.  Also, purity is much more than needing to emphasize chastity until a ringed finger opens up the permissible sheet hunt.

Also, yes I know God has a plan for sex.  It is about being intimate.  The less I focus on satisfying my needs and wanting to please my husband the more I might enjoy it.  If I’m honest though, I have great communication with my spouse.  We are intimate and our marriage has evolved over the past four years.  Our intimacy goes beyond sex.  At times though, I just want to feel intense pleasure.  Sometimes sex can get too routine.  A switch in position might just turn me on more.  Is it selfish to want an orgasm?  Men get one whenever they release.  Why shouldn’t I be privileged to such relief as well?

I’m a woman.  Men aren’t the only ones yearning for sex.  Yes I want to be romanced before a romp, but there are moments when I’m in heat more than my husband.  I’m visual too.  Men aren’t the only ones who can get turned on by the sight of a beautiful woman.  My husband’s body turns me on.  I can just see his chiseled chest (which okay probably looks more chiseled to me than it would to the world, but what can I say, I personally think I’m married to a hot man and when I see his chest, I see chiseled muscles beckoning me to be embraced) and want to wrestle at times.

Women are sexual beings too.  Yes we tend to be more emotional, but we can be basal as well.  Sometimes our desire is as simple as getting down and dirty.

From what I understand more women want to read 50 Shades of Grey than men.  Women want intense passion too.  Now I’ve gathered that the way this book addresses that intense passion could borderline on abuse.  A husband does need to be gentle with his wife.  (I also know that this book isn’t portraying a marriage relationship.)

Since I don’t know much about the book and, don’t really care to know, maybe I shouldn’t be assuming its target goal.  Perhaps I shouldn’t be writing a post about about a book I haven’t perused and researched.

I am a married woman though and I guess I understand the temptation to read literature that perks curiosity.  While I’d advise not engaging in S&M behavior because it does emphasize personal rather than mutual pleasure, I can see why women want to spice things up.  It’s harder for us to achieve orgasms.  Sometimes we think position changes, props, or costumes might help us achieve the level of ecstasy that men seem to so easily obtain.

I am a woman.  I am a sexual being too.  I am more than just my desire for sex though.  Sometimes my bedroom is a bit mundane and dull.  However, I’m discovering sexual intimacy deeper each day with a man who has never been anything but attentive and gentle to me.  Love isn’t just about nakedness rubbing.

God’s justice for the bedroom is creating an intimacy that extends beyond physical petting.  His justice lies in the fact that marriage is a covenant meant to show his personal desire for the church. (FYI, I find SOS to be speaking more literally of a man and woman rather than the figurative language of God and the church.  Again, the church can sometimes be too sensitive about a topic to its own detriment.)

So I realized I’ve rambled a lot through this post.  It isn’t really coherent.  There isn’t a concise conclusion.

Should we fault someone for watching or reading 50 Shades of Grey?  I don’t know.  Judgment is reserved for God. I think sometimes we can judge the things of this world and lean towards extreme piety.  However, I understand we need to be in the world and not of it.   Should we advise others to tread through this book and watching this movie with caution?  Perhaps.  Humanity has more going for it than sex.  Yes we are sexual creatures, but we are more than that.

I guess what I draw from the debate about this movie’s debut rests in humanity’s fulfillment chase.  Our pursuits in life shouldn’t just be for sexual pleasure.  If we deduce life down to mere sexual delight we will have overcast lives and not just grey stained bedroom walls; humanity’s joy will be bleak too. Life will be deprived of love’s truest vibrancy.  Sex must be an aspect of life, not the sum of it.  We must tread carefully when reading or watching anything that draws a bigger emphasis to sex or basal desires than it is meant to have in the totality of our lives.  (Even though we will have basal urges and there is nothing wrong with that when exercised in the sanctity of marriage.)