Is courtship the answer? | Part 5

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Several weeks ago I began a series of posts about courtship.

And that journey has taken me to some very unexpected places – but I feel strongly that it is an important message that needs to be shared.

Ironically enough, my last two posts were directed at a movie that debuted Valentine’s Day weekend. In the book series that led to this movie, there is a very dangerous lie presented as truth – and the lie is this: “As long as it is by your own choice, it is OK to be abused.”

The greatest trick the devil ever played on women was to make them think submission equaled abuse… and then twisting logic to make them think that choosing to be abused was OK, and even exciting!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

And along these lines, I would like to talk now to you about proper authority.

I believe one of the most serious problems with society today is that we have no understanding of proper authority.

Without a proper understanding of authority – is it really so surprising that we have so many issues in our society?

 

Now, granted I am no expert. I have no fancy degrees or initials at the end of my name but I do have thirty-five years of life experience to pull from – more than twenty of them in the “dating” world. I had my first “boyfriend” in intermediate school. I have put quotes around the word boyfriend because it was an extremely innocent relationship – at least on my side. The young man had moved to Tennessee from California and his mother was more than comfortable leaving me at their house all alone with him and his older sister. During these times, I was extremely careful (entirely on my own) to stay within sight of his sister at all times. Somehow I knew, even then – and yes, without much specific instruction from my own parents, that to be alone with this young man would be a bad idea.

Now… years later I can look back and see the extreme of the bullet I dodged and I am ever so grateful to a grace-filled God who kept me from doing something stupid… at that time anyway.

Fast forward to high school. I say fast forward because middle school was miserable for me. I was not popular or rich or even cute. The summer between middle school and high school, I developed. I also spent that summer helping my mother to lose weight so I rid myself of the baby fat that had been stubbornly hanging on and curves emerged.

My first two years of high school were fairly innocent (again – thanks entirely to a merciful God who kept me from making a huge mistake) but more than a little eye-opening for me. I had been sheltered… very sheltered… by a slightly overprotective mother who didn’t want me to make the same mistakes she had. If only we had understood proper authority – she would have known it was better to share those mistakes with me, discussing the consequences that had come with them and helping me to outline a path that would help me to steer clear of those same traps and pitfalls.

Alas, we did not understand proper authority – she was not taught so she didn’t know to teach me… and I did make a lot of the same mistakes. Granted I saved my promiscuity period for after my first marriage failed but my extended family enjoys – oh so much – reminding me that my son was not brought about in the way God intended. Yes, I am so very blessed and if it would change having him here, I would do absolutely nothing different. But oh, if there had been a way to go back and change the way I went about things and still have my sweet boy – I would do it in a heart beat!

OK… I’ve rambled on long enough about me.

 

How did we get here?

In our society today, there is very little if any understanding of proper authority. People make fun of police officers (even people who aren’t criminals in the strictest sense). Children are encouraged to defy their parents (and not just by friends or peers). Churches are terrified to take a stand for what is right, just and true (and this is perhaps the most frightening for me).

 

The men who founded this country more than 200 years ago understood proper authority. They did not simply run away screaming that they didn’t have to do as they were told by Great Britain. They went through the proper channels. They petitioned, they pleaded, and finally they penned a document declaring their independence and presented it to their proper authority – Great Britain – who… ironically… is now an ally to the United States of America (at least for the time being – they may not be for much longer).

Our country is still so very young in comparison to many other systems of government in this world.

There are small countries that can not seem to find a good system of authority – and those countries inevitably fall left and right every day. A group of people determines that they can do a better job and instead of going about it the right way, they rise up, rebel and leave nothing but heartache, death and destruction in their wake.

The countries that have been around the longest are the ones that know how to deal with civil unrest, they know they have to be diplomatic, they know that sometimes they have to give a little – but at the end of the day, they are in command, in charge, in control. Therefore their subjects understand proper authority.

Over the years, this young country of ours has begun to abuse and ignore proper authority. People like to say that we started out as a bunch of rebels who wanted their own way but that was not it at all and unless we can find a way to return to the morals and standards of our forefathers, this country will be doomed as well.

You can see it every day.

  • Defiant teens tell their parents they don’t have the right to tell them what to do.
  • Defiant criminals try to kill police officers and when that officer is forced to use their authority in defense, they are the ones called into question… not the young man who was/is so clearly in the wrong.
  • Defiant protesters claim that all they want is to be heard, and then they wreak havoc and leave destruction and death in their wake.
  • Defiant “leaders” ask the people they are supposed to represent – what their opinion is on a certain subject and then do the exact opposite of what their people ask of them.

And there are millions more.

 

Somewhere along the line, someone decided that authority was no longer important. They wanted to do things their way and they didn’t want anyone calling them on the carpet about it so they stirred up their friends and they made a bigger and louder noise about it that kept going until they had the whole world in turmoil.

It seems that everywhere we turn, there is another new group that springs up to “defend” alleged “rights”…

  • It’s not enough that women have been given the right to choose whether they wish to work outside the home or not; in the current climate, if a woman does not “choose” to work outside the home, it seems as if everyone is against her.
  • It’s not enough that certain groups have been given the equality they so adamantly demanded – they now want to push down the other groups that were “oppressing” them so that they are above everyone else!
  • It’s not enough that we have done away with harmful treatment of animals and are doing everything we can to fight those who disobey the law – people want animals put up on a level with humans, even above in some cases.

We are living in a world gone mad – and why… because people don’t want to submit to the proper authority.

They want to do what they want. And then they don’t want to face any consequences.

The word submit has become synonymous with abuse and mistreatment and the word authority has become associated with dominance, dictatorship and demoralization.

 

sub·mit
səbˈmit/
verb
verb: submit; 3rd person present: submits; past tense: submitted; past participle:submitted; gerund or present participle: submitting
  1. 1.
    accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.
    “the original settlers were forced to submit to Bulgarian rule”
    synonyms: give in/way, yield, back down, cave in, capitulate; More
    antonyms: resist, defy
    • consent to undergo a certain treatment.
      “he submitted himself to a body search”
    • subject to a particular process, treatment, or condition.
      “samples submitted to low pressure”
    • agree to refer a matter to a third party for decision or adjudication.
      “the U.S. refused to submit to arbitration”

 

If you’ll notice, in the above definition, the word submit is preceded by FORCED when it talks about submitting to “Bulgarian rule”.

However, if you keep reading, you can see that submission is something that is entirely optional. The only thing submission has to do with the above statement is that it was forced on the people. This is not the case in most circumstances where the word submit is used.

A soldier can stand over you and tell you that you will submit but you choose whether you want to submit or not. Yes, the option could be torture, abuse or even death but it is still a choice each person must make on their own.

 

au·thor·i·ty
əˈTHôrədē/
noun
noun: authority; noun: auth.; plural noun: authorities
  1. 1.
    the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.
    “he had absolute authority over his subordinates”
    • the right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another.
      “military forces have the legal authority to arrest drug traffickers”
      synonyms: authorization, right, power, mandate, prerogative, license,permission

      “the authority to arrest drug traffickers”
    • official permission; sanction.
      “the money was spent without congressional authority”
  2. 2.
    a person or organization having power or control in a particular, typically political or administrative, sphere.
    “the health authorities”
    synonyms: officials, officialdom; More

  3. 3.
    the power to influence others, especially because of one’s commanding manner or one’s recognized knowledge about something.
    “he has the natural authority of one who is used to being obeyed”
    • the confidence resulting from personal expertise.
      “he hit the ball with authority”
    • a person with extensive or specialized knowledge about a subject; an expert.
      “she was an authority on the stock market”
      synonyms: expert, specialist, aficionado, pundit, guru, sage

      “an authority on the stock market”
    • a book or other source able to supply reliable information or evidence, typically to settle a dispute.
      “the court cited a series of authorities supporting their decision”

 

 

 

As for me and my house, I choose to submit to God’s authority!CLICK TO TWEET!

Choosing to submit is not the same thing as choosing abuse!CLICK TO TWEET!

PROPER authority is NOT harsh or wrong – it is protection and LOVE! – CLICK TO TWEET!

PLEASE SAY NO TO 50 Shades…! – CLICK TO TWEET!

 

 

And with that, I will leave you for now…

I will be back next week with more!

© Rachel L. Miller 2015

 

Disclaimer: For now I will allow comments to this post. I reserve the right to delete any and all derogatory or abusive comments and if I must, I will turn off comments. 

Is courtship the answer? | Part 4 | #NoGreyNoWay

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Courtship may not be the answer for you but neither is Fifty Shades of “Degradation”.

That was the intro to my post last week. Since then I have seen multiple campaigns online that stand on the same side as me and I am thrilled to see so many people out there taking a chance and standing for what they believe in!

There is a massive facebook/twitter campaign going on right now – against the heinous 50 Shades of… books AND movie!

I am using the campaign’s hashtag in my title above – #NoGreyNoWay. You can click on one of the links below for more info…

NoGreyNoWay YouTube Video

Facebook Page

Twitter Page

 

You should be aware that some of the posts on these sites contain graphic information – as many women and men are sharing their own personal experiences about past abuse.

 

 

Please stand with us as we spread the word to friends, family and strangers. If you truly care – you will want to do everything possible to protect others from the damaging and devastating effects of this series!

 

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As I said last week, I have not – and I will not – read the book (or watch the movie)!

I know that there are times that Christian leaders feel the need to read or watch what they are begging their followers to oppose – so that they have all the information they need to present a well-argued case.

But in this case, in my opinion, that is a very bad idea! Exposing your mind to ANYTHING of this nature is just inviting the devil to create a foothold in your very soul – which he will then use to push more sin into your life.

 

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Allowing this story into your head allows it into your heart, your mind, your soul!

You think you can handle it. You tell yourself that you need to be able to make an informed argument. You tell yourself that you need to have ammo to feed that argument. You tell yourself that you can’t properly argue against something you haven’t read or watched personally…

But this series is FAR TOO DANGEROUS to adhere to these rationales.

 

“THINK ON THESE THINGS”

 

I am here today to ask you to stand with me and millions of others
and put a stop to this movie right now! 

We need to send a strong message to the makers of the movie. They HAVE TO KNOW we are serious!

They HAVE TO KNOW that they will not tear down strong women… men… families… marriages!

They HAVE TO KNOW that we will not lay down and let them roll right over us!

 


We will stand up for our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our friends! We will not allow someone to tell us that it is OK for a man to mistreat a woman – even if she agrees to it!

An abuser is very skilled at convincing you that you asked for it, wanted it, enjoy it.

IT IS A LIE!

No one has the right to treat you like a thing!

No one has the right to treat you like trash!

No one has the right to degrade you and drag you down!

 

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An abuser will tell you that you are not enjoying yourself because you aren’t submitting in the right way.

 

The greatest trick the devil ever played on women was to make them think submission equals abuse… and then to make them think that choosing to be abused is not abuse but is instead, empowerment – that it is fun, exciting, sexy…

 

Choosing it does not make it LOVE!

Choosing it does not make it RIGHT!

Choosing it does not make it ENJOYABLE!

 

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It doesn’t matter if it’s consensual or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s by choice or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s “fiction” or not!

From what I understand about the series, the whole consent situation is murky at best anyway – as miss Ana was under the influence of alcohol at the time she “gave consent” – Men have gone to prison for less!

Abuse and degradation are nothing to take lightly or as something that is OK as long as we’re talking about two adults or even as long as we are talking about fiction!

It is NEVER OK – not in a fictional story, not in a movie, and certainly not in reality!

 

NO I have NOT and NO I will NOT read or watch Fifty Shades…!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Please say NO to 50 Shades… this Valentine’s Day!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Stand with us – Make this Valentine’s Day a day of TRUE romance!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Remember the true meaning of Valentine’s Day this year – Say no to 50 Shades of yuck!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Tweet using the Hashtag #NoGreyNoWay to show your support! If there was a way to put it into my tweets above, I would have but I don’t know the HTML for that.

 

And yes… I will be back next week with more!

© Rachel L. Miller 2015

 

 

Disclaimer: For now I will allow comments to this post. I reserve the right to delete any and all derogatory or abusive comments and if I must, I will turn off comments. 

 

Is courtship the answer? | Part 3 | PLEASE SAY NO to 50 Shades…

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Courtship may not be the answer for you but neither is Fifty Shades of “Degradation”.

I come to you today with pain… actual, physical pain in my heart (and that is just from looking through Google to find articles meant to support my cause)

 

First let me say, I have not – AND I WILL NOT – read the book (or watch the movie) that I am here today to beg you not to expose yourself to! I refuse to expose my mind to such… well, FILTH… is – in my humble opinion, too kind a word to describe it. Pure evil might be closer to correct…

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I’m not even comfortable saying the name. I’m sure I really don’t have to – pretty much every person who clicks on this link already knows what I’m talking about but just in case you need a bit more help, here are some links that back up my plea.

THE MATT WALSH BLOG

FAMILY LIFE.COM

MOVIEGUIDE.ORG

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY – PART 1

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY – PART 2

RENEE ROBINSON.COM

KATHY HOWARD.ORG

(NOTE: I don’t agree with petitions and I am not endorsing the signing of the one presented in the following article in any way but the attached article is worth reading)

LIFE SITE NEWS.COM

OK now – if you didn’t know what I’m talking about – you do now.

 

I’m sure there are more… hopefully lots more but those are all the articles I could stomach. Even within these articles, as tame as they are in comparison, there is so much horrific imagery that comes through – I can not begin to imagine how anyone ever convinces themselves that they are actually enjoying such things. And that’s just the people reading it or watching it. I don’t even want to think about how someone convinces themselves to actually do these things.

 

 

Once upon a time, I thought things like this had their place, that place being far far away from the norm. I thought the line was thicker between the romantic and the erotic. Boy, was I naïve…

I should have remembered from the descriptions in Genesis 18 – that these types of sin have been around since the very beginning.

So here are my arguments: And I’m going to keep this short because while it MUST be said, there’s only so much my nerves can take.

 

Do not let yourself be fooled

 

Argument 1 – Sin is sin, no matter what pretty cover you put on it.

It really doesn’t matter what you can convince yourself of. Technically speaking a person can justify anything – given enough ammunition and know-how. Lawyers do it every day. It’s what has earned so many of them such a nasty reputation. What really matters is why you feel the need to justify your actions. And there is a mile wide difference between defending principles and justifying actions.

To Defend: 
1. resist an attack made on [someone or something]; protect from harm or danger.
“we shall defend our country, whatever the cost”
To Justify:
1. show or prove to be right or reasonable.
“the person appointed has fully justified our confidence”

 

…and that’s all I’m going to say about that because it’s not an argument anyone can win – you either see the fine line or you don’t.

 

Argument 2 – It may be an old argument but it’s a good one… Just because someone else is doing it does not make it true or right for you to follow suit!

I can not begin to tell you how many times a man I dated (before I discovered courtship) used the excuse… “Everybody is doing it.”

First of all, there is NO WAY everybody is doing it! It’s a statistical impossibility.

Second of all, SO WHAT! Just because he is or she is or they are, it does NOT mean it’s the right thing for me or for you or for us. And even if it is in your opinion, that does NOT mean I have to follow along just because you say so.

Case in point – NO WOMAN wears high heels because she just LOVES how they feel or how easy they are to walk in. If that were true, we would NEVER see a woman take off her heels after a night out or a dance and wince in pain or sigh in relief or whimper in agony.

Before you start jumping and down and screaming hypocrite – let me say this – for the record, no, I do not wear high heels. I have flat feet, and because of that, I do need a tiny bit of lift to the back of my shoes so I look for shoes with a raised heel but I’m talking about an inch or less. I haven’t worn the impossibly tall, ankle-breaking, feet torturing heels since college. I wear sneakers in the winter and flip flops in the summer and I have one pair of dressy sandals that I pull out for really… really, really special occasions.

Women wear these impossibly high, ankle-breaking, devices of foot torture for one of several reasons (listed below are three)

  • they want to look sexy

This is where peer pressure and social pressure comes in to play. Some person, at some time, has told them that wearing high heels is just one of many things that will make them look sexy.

  • they want to be taller

This is another area where pressure from peers and social situation has been at play. At some point in our illustrious history, the devil convinced women and men that they had to conform to the “norm”. Even after thousands of studies have been performed to show that super skinny people or super tall people are not the norm – everyone seems to think that they have to look like the chosen few.

  • they want to be taken seriously

This one is by far the most disturbing because there isn’t even an ounce of truth to it. There is nothing about a high heel that makes anyone look at you in a more serious light. It’s just another one of the devil’s lies to make men lust over women.

 

Argument 3 – Would you consider it abuse if you read about it in a newspaper instead of between the covers of a novel?

This is the easiest one for me but the most difficult one for most other people – mostly because of the difference between defending and justifying.

First ask yourself this – if you read an article about a young teen girl in California having been the victim of these types of behaviors, would you have considered it erotic? No, you would have considered it abuse. The perpetrator would have been arrested, convicted and jailed and you would cheer.

Now ask yourself this – If you found out that your teenage daughter was participating in these kinds of behaviors, would you cheer – or would you feel the desperate need to hunt down Mr. Grey and beat him to within an inch of his life?

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It doesn’t matter if it’s consensual or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s by choice or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s “fiction” or not!

Abuse and degradation are nothing to take lightly or as something that is OK as long as we’re talking about two adults, and oh yeah… because it’s fiction.

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I used to see this expression and take it very differently. Now I see the danger in it – which just goes to show that perception is everything.

And while you’re thinking that over, think on this too…

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Please say NO to 50 Shades… this Valentine’s Day!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Stand with us – Make this Valentine’s Day a day of TRUE romance!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Remember the true meaning of Valentine’s Day this year – Say no to 50 Shades of yuck!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

And yes… I will be back next week with more!

© Rachel L. Miller 2015

 

Disclaimer: For now I will allow comments to this post. I reserve the right to delete any and all derogatory or abusive comments and if I must, I will turn off comments.