When asked why he’s beating his thumb to a pulp, the man with the hammer replies, “Because it feels so good when I stop!” (Upchurch, Watson, White and Max). It’s a kind of twisted humor. Right? Many self-destructive habits follow this twisted pattern with the relief, adrenaline rush and/or forced relaxation. The smoker gets a mild rush as nicotine speeds the heart sending fresh blood, oxygen and toxins to the brain and throughout the body followed by a chemically induced temporary feeling of relaxation. The cutter feels the sting and pain of defacing themselves, but they rationalize it as deserving the pain as it is followed by an adrenaline rush that distracts from their depression and makes them feel more alive. Whether the explanation is to escape, relax or feel more alive, the destructive habit typically spirals downward.

Viewing the ads, reviews and movie trailers is enough to verify my desire to avoid the “Fifty Shades” movie series. I take this stand with the risk of alienating some who prefer supporting their entertainment over virtue.

I have my own flaws, weaknesses and shortcomings accompanied by the guilt of not overcoming them consistently. Life is filled with opportunities to support the wholesome or the questionable. Some, however, will say its daring to see this movie and be challenged by the content. Please note, however, that you are motivated to fill the needs most dominant in your life. And furthermore, we are what we do and consume. So what does it say about us?

With few exceptions, we all have guilt or conviction about some very important subjects. Some dwell on the past about not living up to self-standards, spousal expectations, that of parents, church or authority figures. Plagued by memories, some of us overcompensate for the past by clinging to or overindulging parents, children and spouse while others continue an unbroken pattern of neglect or abuse. Some of us bury or adulterate our feelings in living through others in movies, books or games.  We debase or make impure ourselves by adding another inferior or foreign substance (i.e. movie or book). We attempt to consume a worldly view of love and submission as if to filter out the impure rather than be programmed by it. “What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!”-Walter Scott.

The choice to digest the latest film is like the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden! We tell ourselves that it’s just a movie as we attempt to enjoy it and hope to filter out the inappropriate. We say to ourselves that it will not tarnish my Biblical world view despite its seeming contradictions.

The take home lessons from movies such as these are ambiguous at best. If I watch the movies to analyze for the lessons I can be called a hypocrite. If I only read the reviews and watch the movie trailers before writing my comments, I am only guessing and theorizing to others who are bent on rationalizing their reasons for supporting it. I will take my chance on the latter here.

Myth 1.: That love and sex are generally the same thing or difficult to separate. The Bible has different greek words for love: sexual love (Eros), playful love (Ludus), self-love (Philautia), friendship love (Philia), long-standing love (Pragma), and God’s pure love (Agape). True love is reflected in total sacrificial service the way Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5). See also “Broken Together” blog at www.CandAmin.org or www.waynerfaust.com

Myth 2.: That submission is generally a negative action where dominance and pain are important. Submission by mutual sharing and support of each’s calling is stressed in Ephesians Chapter 5. Sacrificial giving and compromise to each other and others is paramount, and some might initially find it emotionally difficult. The Holy Spirit of truth (John 16:13) guides us and His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). While we may be persecuted by others (2 Timothy 3:12), we are not to desecrate our own body in any way because it belongs first to God (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Myth 3.: That submission to each other through bondage and abuse, whether physical and/or emotional is more natural and appropriate than one would think. Some guilt-ridden persons believe that it is natural or that they deserve pain from a relationship whether socially and/or sexually. That is unhealthy thinking and practice by any medical and psychological standard. It is also unhealthy spiritually, as God tells us in His word (Romans Chapter1 and 2 Timothy 3) that persons in the last days will be emphasizing “unnatural affections” and “shameful acts”.

I prefer to think of men and women as equal but different as supported in every way by psychology and the scriptures. The woman was taken from man’s rib to be at his side, neither above or below him. As one’s right and left-hand fit together as opposite, but complimentary shape and function together, so does the man and the women. They share in supporting each other’s gifts, career, interests, family, values and calling. “The two shall become no longer two, but one flesh (Mark 10:8 and 31 other verses explain this mystery in this special union most of us still refer to as marriage).

“Finally, whatsoever things are pure, just, honorable and of a good report, if there be any virtue and there be any praise, think upon these things.” (Philippians 4:8 Berean). One shade.

Wayne R. Faust, MA, PE, HSP      Author of 300 Billion to One! (www.300BilliontoOne.com)

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