I was eleven years old when I watched my first sex scene. Gasp! "Where were the parents?!" you may be thinking...
Well, mine were sitting right next to me in the theatre and the next time I watched the movie I even brought a friend with me. I have watched this movie more than I can count on one hand.
There were so many reasons to see the movie and it was an instant classic. The music. The history. The cinematography. A love story like no other.
The movie was Titanic.
I learned more than a history lesson watching Titanic.
Remember when Rose and Jack slip away into the car storage under the ship? The two young adults have sex... it's steamy. Literally.
I remember being embarrassed watching the scene. Even though I didn't see them fully naked, I knew what was implied. I had learned a thing or two from what was whispered on the playground and giggled about at sleepovers.
My cheeks grew hot and I wanted to cover my eyes AND ears.
But no, I thought to myself, "I am over 10 now. I am a big kid and big kids watch these adult things and don't squirm."
In fact... I liked it.
It made sex attractive.
It made sex thrilling.
It made rebellion fun.
The thought of being in a relationship where the parents didn't approve seemed more romantic and exciting than a relationship that played it safe and honored the rules. Boring. This story line is why Romeo and Juliet is still read and Titanic is one of the most watched movies to this day.
I wanted a love story like that of Jack and Rose with a passion that was bigger than the rules. I wanted an epic love story like theirs. Surely this was the "true love" I was encouraged to find.
Following the Titanic, every other message from our culture confirmed that God's idea of love was not best for me and the world's idea of love was. I was fooled, and man did I learn some lessons the hard way. A great lie we tell ourselves is that what we see on the screen will not influence our actual lives.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" Matthew 6:22-23
If we fill our senses with the world and not God... why are we surprised that kids imitate the actions they see on the screen in front of them? why are we surprised that girls are growing into women that rate their self worth based on appearance? why are we surprised that kids watch a comedy that shows a sex scene and turn red not from shame but red from laughter? why are we surprised that Christian marriages end in divorce from affairs at the same rate as non-believers? why are we surprised to hear that young men (and women!) are looking at pornography and their sex lives are ruined? why are we surprised to hear that a youth pastor has been charged of sexual abuse? & children are imitating that abuse?
We shouldn't be surprised. It is a battle, ladies, and a real one.
May our relationships attract the world to Christ!
May the world see that... our love perseveres through tough times and commits to love even when we don't feel like the other person deserves it. we can have a passionate and fulfilling marriage that is fulfilled by one person that is a gift to us. our husband loves us equally to himself and makes sacrifices for our interest. we submit to our husband's leadership not out of fear but out of trust in his leadership for our families. our daughters feel valued and worthy by the love their fathers show them. our sons grow to be men of integrity and honor women.
Would you be happy if your husband saw another woman naked in real life and he didn't look away? Why is it okay on a screen? Those images don't disappear from their memory easily.
So what are we supposed to do? Stop watching TV, movies, reading romance novels, listening to the radio and get rid of the internet?
Ha! Impossible! Good try! Weirdo.
I know, I know. It is hard and seems impossible. But are we willing to accept what comes along with that attitude? Are we okay with what could be lost? a child's virginity? sense of worth? a broken heart? depressed soul? another failed marriage? or even worse - someone falling from the faith?
If we were to counteract the culture's presence in our lives with what God says than maybe we have a chance to battle the world's message but if we don't even do that... you're right, it's impossible!
I am not concerned about Fifty Shades of Grey because we can quickly judge the story line as complete offensive garbage. A college girl enticed by a career man into a contracted relationship of sexual harm and domineering sounds like a romantic nightmare. But what about other films? The ones that are more subtle. The ones that seem less offensive and even entertaining. Those are the ones I'm concerned about...
Now I'm not going to tell you what you should watch and shouldn't - the Spirit will work in your conscience what is good and right to do there.
May we put in front of our eyes and ears God's example:
"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light." Ephesians 5:1-13
Am I to conform to the standards of my culture? what I feel? or the standards of my loving God?
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
The next time we watch something can we ask ourselves, "Is there a hint - even a hint - of sexual immorality?" If so, let's find an alternative.
- Do some homework and check out the movie's review before you watch it here.
- Talk about sex in a positive way to your children before the world does.
- Watch this movie instead of Fifty Shades of Lame.
- Instead of TV or a movie check out these great ideas by HHH blogger, Katy.
- Build up your marriage by attending a weekend getaway or workshop.
- Continue to write your own love story by doing something adventurous like tattoos or something less painful here.
- Read the book Song of Solomon to each other as a dialogue and have a few good laughs.
- Or better yet! Go to bed early and enjoy a night making love, true love, with your husband. Fully forgiven. Fully pure. Fully loved.
Now that is romantic and sexy!