Chalk it up to my never having observed Valentine’s Day, but most years the holiday comes and goes without really registering with my brain. But this year, there’s a huge cultural event in America happening concurrent with Valentine’s Day: the film release of Fifty Shades of Grey. The marketing for that movie adaptation of the Twilight fan-fiction author’s personal fantasies is huge, so it’s a bit more on my radar now.
Anyway, I’ve basically been content to ignore it, but this excellent Relevant magazine piece on the real problems with the franchise brought it into a little sharper focus for me. Take a minute to read that article, then come back.
So obviously there’s a major problem with the franchise: besides being pornography in the form of prose, it’s also essentially an oblivious glorification of abusive relationships. Which is horrible. I mean, just read the Wikipedia entries on the books’ depiction of BDSM and abusive relationships.
In light of those problems, and instead of railing on the book or trying to convince you not to go see the movie (which should be obvious after reading the above links), I want to just block quote two relevant sections of Scripture that you can meditate on in relation to what love is and how to love.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. […] let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself.” Ephesians 5:25-29 Ephesians 5:25-29  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church:
American King James Version×, 33
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails … ” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 1 Corinthians 13:4-8  Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs not itself, is not puffed up,  Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;  Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
American King James Version×(a)
Think about your relationship with your spouse in a godly way; treat them with love and respect instead of being entertained by the abusive relationship depicted in Fifty Shades of Grey. Treat them to daily kindness and affection; be there for them at all times; love them unconditionally; forgive them when they make a mistake.