This morning I met with a group of “older” women (if we were checking our age on a form, most of us would be checking the “40-49” or “50-59” box). 🙂 This group is precious to me as we all serve as “Mentor Moms” in a group that I LOVE and am passionate about….”MOMS”. The “moms” are either pregnant or have pre-schoolers and they are PRECIOUS women! I want to hug each one, at each meeting, and say “I see you – you are doing a GREAT job…keep going”. I want them to know that what they are doing is AMAZING and that being a mother to young kids is TOUGH…and yet such a gift.
So before each meeting the “older women” gather – and we pray over the morning…for safe arrivals, great conversations, the speaker, for the children in childcare, for specific things we know about, etc., etc.. However, THIS morning was different. Our hearts were burdened. Today we prayed specifically for their hearts and minds and for protection from the lies that the world would like us all to believe.
I’ve felt a “heaviness” for weeks. I’ve felt this “ugh” as I’ve seen it approaching…. comments on facebook , discussions with friends, the “release of a new trailer” (during the super bowl – while I was surrounded by children and young couples), “jokes” by Jimmy Fallon and every late night host, commercials during every show on TV, and many, many, many blog posts. I typically LOVE Valentine’s Day and yet I’ve felt gross about it this year – all because of…
“50 Shades of Grey”.
I’ve been struggling with my thoughts on this…NOT because there is ANY doubt about what I think about the book/movie, but because I haven’t wanted to write about it because I knew that I couldn’t do it without judgment. I’ve wanted to post, “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE THINKING?” and “PLEASE, if you choose to see this movie – don’t post about it or tell me because I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN GET PAST YOUR PARTICIPATION.” (See – what I mean…ridiculously judgmental…and yet, completely honest with the way I’ve been feeling). And so, I’ve remained silent (well, at least not posting my personal thoughts/words on facebook or blog). But this morning, when asked AGAIN what my thoughts were, I knew I had to “go public”. For whatever reason (and it remains a huge mystery to me), God has placed me in a position that people occasionally ask my thoughts – and I want to be obedient to share what God prompts me to say/be “vocal” about….this is definitely one of those topics. He’s been LOUD and CLEAR….”You need to speak up.”
So – back to this morning….as we all shared our deep love for the younger women/generation and our concerns (“What should we say and when/how?”, “Do they know what they are going to and how dangerous it can be?”, etc.), one of women spoke up about how God spoke to her that very morning. She was reading out of Titus about the role of older women…that we are to ENCOURAGE but also that we should TEACH TRUTH. It was a great reminder that we, as older women/mentors of this group, had a responsibility to share our convictions….because we LOVE them and care for them deeply.
And so we prayed…we prayed for opportunities to speak and to share. We prayed that any women that are on the fence of seeing this movie would jump off/not go. We prayed especially for the Christian women in The Church to NOT be encouragers of this movie (I know several that plan to make it a “fun girls night”, etc.). We prayed (ok…these were my words) that women that saw it “would feel physically ill and need to leave”. We prayed for TRUTH – believing that this is not God’s design for sex, that there is NOTHING in this movie that shows what LOVE (real LOVE) is. After all, we believe (cause God’s word says so in 1 Corinthians), that love is patient (not controlling)…love is kind (not abusive)…never demands its own way (um…that’s the whole movie, people – and we should be outraged, especially as women, of how it’s portrayed).
We prayed and then we went to join the meeting. Two hours later, we ended the meeting with my sweet, wise, brave, fellow-mentor, and friend – Brenda – sharing her heart on this. She did not stand/speak alone, because we made it clear that the Mentor Moms were standing together – that we wanted them to know our concern and our caution to them. We, as older women, wanted them to feel our deep love for them. We cautioned them about seeing the movie and allowing deception into their minds. We made it clear that we prayed for wisdom and that they would NOT see this movie. Other than one or two saying, “Amen” in agreement….you could have heard a pin drop.
God used this morning as another reminder that, as I’m about to be a “senior” (50 years old), I need to be willing and embrace the opportunity to “teach the younger”. I need to LOVINGLY stand for truth – and sometimes that means warning the younger generation. It’s ok to be heart-sick for what is happening around me….after all, I’m praying for God to break my heart for what breaks His. I believe His heart is BROKEN over how screwed up we have made His precious gift of love and sex.
And so – my prayers have now changed (and so has my heart).
I’m praying for opportunities to speak up (if you want to have a conversation about this, I’d welcome it/love it).
I’m praying that my believing/Christ-following friends would be vocal, but not out of judgment. I’m praying for us to be vocal out of love and concern – wanting the best for each other (and believing that “Best” is NOT the message of this movie).
I’m praying for the younger generation – those teenagers/young adults that will go just because it’s the “thing to do”…I’m praying for our Christian kids to stand up and say, “no – not interested” and then have courage for when they are asked “Why?”.
I’m praying for every young woman who will be tempted to believe the LIE of this movie – that “This is what love looks like” and “Stay – beg for him, even if he ties you up and abuses you…you can change him”.
I’m praying for every young man who will be tempted to believe that ANY women wants (or deserves) to be treated like a slave or that causing pain and taking advantage of someone = “Love” or makes you a “man”. (I had a hard time typing that…my tears are flowing now).
And while I’m at it…I’m praying for broken projectors/sound equipment and for CRAZY things to happen to keep people from entering the theatre. I’m praying for dead engines and flat tires…whatever it takes.
Most of all….I’m praying that I stand firm in my belief that GOD USES ALL THINGS FOR HIS GOOD. He can and will use this TRASH for his Glory. Part of that good, I believe, is having us become strong and courageous – to stand for truth (with a lot of grace and love).
So – I’m standing and being vocal on what, I believe, God wants me to say,
“It’s TRASH…it’s WRONG…It’s breaking the heart of God – and therefore should break ours as well.
Don’t go…run from this.”
God, I know you have got this. Please do what you do – make something beautiful out of this mess…just as you continue to chip away the mess that is “Lori”. Help me be faithful to you and to love others well – being strong in my convictions and yet being willing to offer grace to those you love sooooo deeply.