we deserve more

fifty shadesValentine’s Day is not my favorite day of the year. I have already mentioned some of the reasons why in an earlier post. This year, however, is worse than ever. My Facebook feed is full of posts about the upcoming movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” based on the book by the same name.

I have not read the book and I will not go see the movie. It holds no attraction for me. As a matter of fact, the basic idea of the content turns my stomach and makes me very angry and very sad at the same time.

I cannot avoid speaking out against this movie. Most movies would not get my attention in this way – my family will vouch for the fact that I sleep through most movies. However, it seems my WORD for 2015 is inspiring me to write this post.

I chose EMPOWER as my WORD for 2015.

All people deserve to be loved, respected, and empowered
for all the best that God created them.  

Every person is created with value, dignity, purpose and incredible power to love others and have a positive influence in our world.

One of the greatest threats to true, healthy power is disrespect, devaluing, and abuse of women. I have written about the need for advocates in the past and the amazing power that is attained when men and women work together.

Fifty Shades of Grey glamorizes disrespect, lust, abuse, manipulation, and violence of a man over a woman. The movie degrades both men and women alike, portraying self-centered, hurtful, and power-abusive attitudes and behaviors… and worse yet, the movie will premiere on a day that is supposed to honor love.

If you love yourself, your friends, and/or a special person in your life, please speak out against this movie and do not spend your time or money going to see it, not even for “curiosity”. It is not worth it.

It will not empower you to be all the best you can.

It will not empower anyone you take to see it.  

It breaks my heart to think that of how this movie – and others like it – negatively influence and distort the dreams and expectations of people searching for love today. I think of my own children and I want a very different experience for them.

As a woman who has been lovingly married for almost 30 years, I can tell you there are many greater ways to express true love. Do not settle for this low view of “love”. Both men and women can do much better than this movie. We deserve so much more.

What says love and respect to you? How do you help empower others?

a Valentine’s Day Grinch

sunset holding handsI admit it. I’m a Valentine’s Day Grinch.

I don’t like the commercialization of love or the marketing scam that says that you can somehow make up for months of relationship neglect by spending a big wad of money at Zales. I do like chocolate (dark), but the last thing I need is a huge box of it around my house. I’m no big fan of heart jewelry or stuffed animals or lacy lingerie or cut flowers that die and have to be thrown away in a few days. I really don’t like doilies or ruffles… and I especially don’t like PINK anything!

I’m not your typically “girly” girl … and I have struggled with that much of my life.

Especially in my marriage, I have often felt pressure to squeeze into a mold that does not fit me. Thankfully, that pressure does not come from my husband – just the opposite (!) – but it does come from others who assume – and promote – that certain generalities and stereotypes are – or should be – true for all. Some of the pressure I have put on myself.

Some seem to believe that there exists a sort of all-inclusive pink, ruffled, girly way that make all woman feel loved… and some definite blue, rugged, manly ways for all men to love.

Similar to how Valentine’s Day is sold as the perfect version of love for all:
boy buys sweet card and pink flowers + girl feels loved = happily ever after. ♥ ♥ ♥ 

It’s just not like that for everyone – and certainly not for me or my marriage. After many years, I’ve finally realized that it’s ok not to fit into all the generalities and stereotypes. God has created me uniquely and perfectly the way I am. Pink ruffles and jewelry and heart shapes are truly GREAT love gifts for some… just not for all women… and definitely not for me.

I prefer to use I Corinthians 13 as my love model:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own,
is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

(1 Cor 13:4-8a NASB)

No lace or doilies or stuffed animals mentioned. 🙂

My husband has worked very hard for almost 30 years to love me this way – kind and not seeking his own interests first, patient and not arrogant, forgiving and believing the best… and I try to do the same for him. Now that speaks love to me!

Have you ever felt pressure to fit a stereotype or role that didn’t work for you? 

What demonstrates true love to you?

How can you use your uniquely perfect self to show love to someone today?

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Originally posted 2-2013 in MissionalWomen.com – Check out their great site!