Concern versus control- 25 ways to tell the difference

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I’m finally able to finish and wrap up my posts centered on abuse. For some reason I couldn’t finish but now I can. This one is hard to learn and navigate because I’m so independent. How do you know if someone is genuinely concerned for you or is just trying to control you?

Getting out of an abusive relationship can be difficult and dangerous. You sure you didn’t do something to make him mad? He looks so sad. Forgive and forget. When you love someone- you stay with them through the bad stuff and you know why they do what they do (their childhood, etc.) so you excuse their behavior. We forget it’s possible to forgive and still leave. We forget it’s possible to still love and say no more. You don’t allow yourself to keep being abused.

A simple internet search shows us signs of abuse. Does your boyfriend act in ways that scare you, does he act jealous or possessive, does he try to control you or need to know where you are at all times, does he check your email, phone messages, or texts? Does he tell you what to wear or make you change your clothes? Does he call you or text you excessively or insist that you answer his calls within a specific frame of time? Does he shove, hit, or kick you? Does he blame you for the hurtful things he says or does?

Concern for your well-being is good; control is not. Sometimes it can be very difficult to tell the difference because the difference may be in motives and not necessarily actions. Here’s 25 ways to try and help you navigate:

Concern wants to make your life better; control wants you to make their life better

Concern encourages your own identity; control gradually steals your identity

Concern wants you to pursue your dreams; control finds reasons for you to pursue theirs

Concern helps you to seek God for answers; control tells you they already have the answers

Concern wants you to be happy; control wants you to be only happy with them

Concern convicts; control condemns

Concern is protective; control is suspicious

Concern feels pain when he’s hurt you; control feels empowered

Concern feels bad for mistakes made; control tells you we all make mistakes

Concern guides you; control guilts you

Concern helps to bring out the real you; control suppresses the real you

Concern cares about your convictions; control cares only about theirs

Concern is open and direct; control is secretive and vague

Concern talks rationally; control talks in extremes

Concern protects; control threatens

Concern accepts responsibility for their actions; control excuses their behavior and twists it back to put the blame on you

Concern is humble and looks for ways to improve; control highlights their strengths

Concern cares about your desires and needs; control has to have their way

Concern makes you feel safe; control makes you look for ways out

Concern makes you feel free; control makes you feel in bondage

Concern brings clarity; control brings confusion

Concern leaves you with peace; control leaves you in denial

Concern is always honest; control lies if it’s in his best interest

Concern respects your boundaries; control looks for ways to invade them

Concern loves you, control wants you

Because some of these do have to do with motives and not actions, one of the best things on your side is time. Does he do what is right to avoid negative consequences, to maintain his image, or for admiration or is he motivated by Christ’s love? Don’t refuse to look at all angles of a person or take the time to observe their behavior objectively because you are afraid to face the truth. It’s easy to watch their behavior when everything is going great but what happens when you disagree? What are they like under pressure? If there is something they are hiding, there is something they haven’t dealt with yet. And if they haven’t had time to heal, they will attempt to go through the healing process at your expense. A person needs to be complete in Christ or they will end up abusing you in an attempt to find wholeness.

Honestly, at the end of the day, concern doesn’t even look like control. Not when you take the time to step back and look at it objectively, putting your emotions to the side. Concern will feel like love. A love that puts you before themselves. And control will not. So if you’re already questioning, you already know.

– the virgin heartbreaker

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Why I stayed with an abusive man part 2    

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For the last two weeks I’ve blogged about abuse (Why I stayed with an abusive man- part 1 & 8 reasons people stay in abusive relationships). It’s something we don’t talk about often. Maybe we are ashamed. Maybe our definition of love has become so distorted we afraid to face reality. Afraid to admit we’ve been living in a fantasy world we created to help cope with the pain. Society and Hollywood only helps with confusing us more as we attempt to figure out what love is.

We can go back to Shakespeare. Hamlet drove Ophelia to suicide and yet, at her funeral, states that 40,000 brothers could not make up the sum of how much he loved her. Othello kills his wife in a jealous rage and tells us he loved not wisely, but too well. What does this teach us today? That love and violence goes hand in hand?

Abuse can mask itself in many different ways. Here’s 7:

Guilt

Promise you’ll never leave me.

You need to adjust your behavior and make promises to cater to his upbringing, to his baggage. So your desire to initially stay with him slowly changes to staying with him out of pure guilt. You don’t want to hurt him so the only option is to stay with him.

Control

Him: Hey, you’re not going to wear that shirt out tonight are you?
Me: Why not?
Him: Because it’s way too tight. Guys were looking at your earlier…

He’ll start to make you feel uncomfortable about your decisions. Get you to start depending on him as to what decisions you should make.

Obsession

He calls every hour and expects you to answer. Do you have a life outside of him? Sometimes this behavior is masked as love, devotion, the fact that you are soul mates… He can’t stand the thought of you having fun without him.

Don’t forget to leave your phone on…

And you make sure you don’t because he will freak out on you if you don’t.

Him: Hey, I’ve been texting you. Why haven’t you answered.
Me: In class.
Him: Well leave it on silent.
Me: I don’t want the teacher to see us talking.
Him: If you love me, prove it- leave your phone on.

Disrespect

He has no respect for rules in general. Then it becomes no respect for the rules you are supposed to follow. And then no respect for you…

My dad was right. You girls get together and you talk trash about guys and tear them down. My ex was a terrible person, always trying to accuse me of stuff and make me feel bad. I thought you were different. If you don’t trust me what’s the point?

You’ll soon see this disrespect toward you is actually hate. But sometimes that’s a hard pill to swallow. It requires us to admit we were completely wrong. Not only does it make us doubt our judgment, it makes us wonder if we can trust our decisions ever again.

Self-pity

You begin to cover up for him. After he hurts you, he attempts to paint himself as the good guy, the one that should be pitied.

Him: I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
Me: Stopppp.
Him: I can’t help it, I’m scum, I don’t even deserve to breathe. I didn’t know it was coming. When you started saying that crap about me, wondering if I was telling the truth. I never thought I could hurt you. I still can’t believe I hit you. At least I know now all that messed up stuff that is inside of me because of my dad- I can watch out for that. You could have told your parents but you didn’t.
Me: I don’t understand how everything could have been so perfect…
Him: I had one bad minute, actually 2 bad seconds. It’s not like it was for no reason- you were acting all suspicious of me- you were talking about me behind my back. It hurt me so bad that you didn’t trust me. The way that I love you I’m wide open. I mean you have the power to kill me. It’s worth it for me I mean even if I get hurt sometimes. I mean don’t you feel the same way?
Me: I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I should have thought about what I was saying. I didn’t mean to make you think that I didn’t trust you. Sorry. Sorry.
Him: It’s okay- I’m not mad at you. I could never stay mad at you.

Crazy how the tables turn so quickly…

Manipulation

You begin to piece together the pieces. Maybe you have enough strength after all to leave.

Him: Why haven’t you answered? Can you sneak out? If you really want to be with me you’ll find a way.
Me: I have a lot of homework.
Him: And that’s more important than me. I’m calling you right now where’s your phone. I asked you a question.
Me: I’m breaking up with you.
Him: Are your parents listening?
Me: No. I’m serious. It’s over I’m breaking up with you.
Him: But you love me.
Me: I know but I’m still breaking up with you.
Him: Why?
Me: Because I don’t want to be scared anymore.
Him: Why are you scared? I haven’t hit you again.
Me: You call me constantly. You try to control where I go…
Him: Where is this coming from.
Me: It doesn’t matter.
Him: Well then I’m going to kill myself. I can’t live without you.

Hate

And then you cycle back to guilt. You start doubting. You start remembering the good times. And part of you wants to go back. Not because you miss him but part of losing him also consists of losing some of yourself since you’ve bound yourself so tightly to him. And sometimes we go back. We dug ourselves in a hole and we feel that we can’t get out. Do we really deserve something better? At least we know what his faults are… But sometimes, if we’re lucky, we may get a text so shocking that it wakes us from our trance.

You are a liar. You just want to be with some other guy. You don’t deserve to live.

This isn’t love. You don’t control, hit, kill people you love.

We aren’t stupid for falling for these guys but I think sometimes we have to be honest enough and ask ourselves- am I sure this is how I want to be treated for the rest of my life?

(Points are taken from the movie Reviving Ophelia, showcasing the subtle, calculated takeover of sweet innocence.)

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Why I stayed with an abusive man- part 1

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I used to judge women who stayed with abusive men. I wish I could say I didn’t but I think I did. And then I realized how easy it is to stay. How hard it is to leave. I finally realize what Shakespeare meant when he said “the prince of darkness is a gentleman.” Because with all the bad, deep and hurtful experiences, there are also great, wonderful and amazing times. And this mind game twists our brains, our hearts, into an uncomfortable delusion.

His manners made everyone think he was a southern gentleman. Looking back, instead of respecting boundaries, his pursuit made me feel loved, wanted. He was slowly worming his way into every area of my life. It was control masked as care. He would discuss our futures together, each word igniting hope for our happily ever after. The mind manipulation, the passive aggressiveness, the guilt began to eat at me. I was frantic to save what I didn’t even want.

Him: You made plans for Friday night without even talking to me?
Me: I’ve been ignoring my friends for a month.
Him: So have I but that’s because you’re the most important thing in my life. I guess that was pretty stupid to think that you felt the same way about me.
Me: I do feel the same way.
Him: No you don’t. Otherwise you wouldn’t be putting me in second place. I never realized how self centered you are…

And there I am. Left wondering, left thinking is he right and am I the one in the wrong? I didn’t realize he was telling me how I felt when he didn’t know me yet. But that’s what control does. He was working to control my behavior by responding in a negative way. A way that would make me not dare to act the way I did ever again. We do this to children when they are little to teach them right and wrong. Only we typically do it out of concern, not control. And I wasn’t his child.

But the mind control continues and leaves you second-guessing even further. He comes back apologizing and encouraging me to do what I initially wanted.

I love you way too much to stay mad at you. I know you didn’t mean to hurt me and I know you aren’t going to make plans anymore without talking to me first.

The last part of that sentence says it all. We get excited at the thought of a love that’s “way too much” only to be left feeling beat down, feeling like we did something wrong when we didn’t. I was so focused on the good, that I didn’t realize he was telling me what to do. How often we think about the good in order to drown out the bad.

The ideas above are all too real. Points are taken from the movie Reviving Ophelia, showcasing the subtle, calculated takeover of sweet innocence. Check back next week or subscribe with your email to be notified as we pick up next week with part two. For more signs of abuse, check out last week’s post 8 reasons people stay in abusive relationships

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8 reasons people stay in abusive relationships

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched women stay in a relationship with an abusive man. My words of “leave” “press charges” or “come with me” seem to have always fallen on deaf ears. And I never knew why she couldn’t see what I saw. Is it possible to get in so deep, we’ve lost all sense of reality? Have we distorted the meaning of love into some definition that fits our circumstances because we don’t see anything better? We don’t see a way out?

It is so easy to fall into this trap and not even realize it. Here are eight reasons why we choose to stay when we know we should leave.

  1. We excuse or justify their behavior. They are only acting this way (insert something from their past or circumstances here). Our pasts help us to understand where each other is coming from; they are not an excuse to treat the ones you love poorly.
  1. When they are nice, they are really nice. They make you feel so loved by the things they do for you and the things they get you. We have to understand that motives here are everything. We enjoy the nice things but we have to be mindful of the strings that may be attached. If you think someone loves you because of their nice behavior, what does their cruel behavior tell you?
  1. We blame ourselves for their behavior. We know we aren’t perfect so we start to rationalize. If I was a better boyfriend or girlfriend, they wouldn’t have reacted that way. He/She wouldn’t have gotten mad if I didn’t do that. I really could have said that nicer. The truth is sometimes we all mess up and act in ways we shouldn’t. But we should never blame ourselves for someone else’s decisions.
  1. We take responsibility for their life. This one is closely related to the one above but instead of taking responsibility for the way they treat us, we take responsibility for the way they treat themselves. We don’t want to hurt them. We don’t want to cause them pain and we blame ourselves when they call crying. They say the pain is too much if we were to leave them and they may even threaten suicide. If this is the case, they are manipulating you or they need professional help. It is not healthy to stay with someone because of fear.
  1. The jealousy is cute at first. We like the attention. We like someone fighting for us. And we justify it because at least they care. But oftentimes this jealousy can become obsessive and possessive. And then they start to blame us if someone else flirts with us. It’s nice for someone to care about us; it’s not nice be afraid of how much they “care.”
  1. We think they will change. We believe the best. They just don’t realize how much we love them yet. Maybe when they are more secure. They apologize and say sorry so at least they know it’s wrong. They felt really bad. So we hold out for another day. Another week. Another month. Another year. Waiting. Hoping. Praying. Sometimes people do change. But sometimes they just mask their behavior temporarily until it’s safe again. See if they change for themselves or see if they change for you. Know the difference.
  1. They give us ultimatums. They threaten that you don’t really love them if you don’t do something they want you to do. They want you to prove your love to them by doing certain things. They play subtle mind games in an attempt to control you and your behavior. No one who really loves you should ever threaten you or make you feel less than because you do or do not act the way they think you should.
  1. We become dependent on them. This is probably the scariest of them all. They slowly remove everyone and everything from your life and make it so they are the only good thing in your life. You don’t even realize it because you become so caught up in what you think is love. You look around and you realize you have nothing else. And you don’t want to lose the one thing you have left.

These are so so powerful. They slowly strip away every ounce of our self-confidence until we forget who we really are. But I think there is a way we can see more clear. A way for us to be above this trap. And that is total and complete dependency on God. I think sometimes we make people an idol and don’t even realize it. It’s during those times we are able to be controlled and manipulated because we found something other than God to bring us what we feel would make us happy. It’s our attempt to better our lives, we lose them. But God tells us, whoever will lose their life for His sake, will find it. I pray we are humble enough and strong enough to let God take over and never ever fall into this lethal trap.

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I could be the perfect girl and still not be good enough because I’m not her

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While I want to be mad at you, I’m really mad at myself right now. One, for letting this go on longer than it should have. But more so, for letting my pride and vanity get in the way of something much more important. You see, I should have known early on when you would mention your ex way too much. But I’m sort of naïve when it comes to this I suppose. I mean why would you be talking to me if you were in love with someone else? But you did. And you continued to. As I look back it was never about seeing if I actually liked you but seeing if I could get you to fall for me because I didn’t want to accept the fact that someone could be better than me. How noble was I?

Maybe I deserved the way you treated me then because can I honestly say I was any better? But the way you made me feel- it’s like an abused victim who keeps going back for more beatings. I had hoped you’d change. That one day I would be pretty enough. One day I would be smart enough. One day, maybe you would think I was good enough. It took awhile but I realized that day was never going to happen. I read a quote on Instagram from @thegoodquote and it hit me like a ton of bricks:

“At your absolute best, you still won’t be good enough for the wrong person. At your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right person.”

And it was at that point I realized I was done trying. I’ve never had someone make me feel so bad about myself in my entire life, yet you do it under the guise of “I really do like you, Sarah.” What?! I’m not sure if I should feel bad about being treated so horribly or bad for you since you think there’s nothing wrong.

So what exactly makes them the wrong person? Why can’t they be the right one? Why is it then that some of these guys can’t seem to get over that one girl? I’ve still struggled with this. And so has my vanity and pride. Why am I not good enough? What makes her better than me? But you see, many of these stories involve “the one that got away” aka the one that rejected him. The one where he thinks he could have had something great but he messed it up and now is left wondering. And therein lies the root of the problem if we really face it dead on.

The truth is I know how the guys in my life treated their exes and I don’t think it was ever true love. They miss how that girl made them feel and their own pride and vanity was hurt when she left for whatever reason. He was in love with the idea of her and what she represented. Remembering the good, forgetting the bad. I hate to say this but I’d be hard pressed to find a girl that would leave a guy who was truly in love with her. I’m not talking about lust here. Not talking about like or obsession either. True love, in love. A girl knows when she is truly loved and it’s rare to find a girl who would leave that.

I heard a quote once that I enjoyed- “men are like taxi drivers- when they are available, the light goes on.” There is so much truth in that statement. It has nothing to do with you because they don’t even see you yet. You could be the perfect girl but if the guy isn’t (emotionally) available he won’t see it. And he isn’t available because he’s distracted and dependent on that feeling again. He’s obsessed with it. But we won’t call it love. Because if he was really still in love with her he wouldn’t be talking to me. And he wouldn’t be talking to you. No, what he is missing is the love and attention that he was used to and until he gets over himself he’ll never be able to get over “her.” And be careful because you may be next. Remember when he comes crawling back or attempts to chase you this time, it won’t be about you either. It’ll be about him and the way you made him feel and the cycle continues yet again.

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Fifty Shades of Grey: What attracted me to it & what made me stay away

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I’ve watched the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey more times than I should have. I’ve researched. I’ve talked to a very diverse group of people about the subject. 100 million books sold. 250 million trailer views. And while tons of women file into the movie theaters this weekend (Valentine’s Day weekend, how ironic), the woman that plays the lead is hoping her family and childhood friends won’t go and see it. How fitting. Disclaimer: I have not read the book and will not see the movie. My credibility in who I am in Christ is more important than my credibility in writing this post. I personally don’t think I need to do either to say what I want to say so here goes.

What attracted me to it:

1. The excitement of something new. Curiosity. Kind of how we are attracted to the bad guys. It’s something new. It’s something different. So many people have never been exposed to this and feel it’s justified because it’s sold in local bookstores- coming out in theaters. Some may fight me, argue, disagree, but I think we justify these types of books and movies because there is something deeper we are seeking behind the wild sex scenes.

2. The ability to make a difference and feel loved. Christian is not a good guy. He “doesn’t do romance.” Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I have yet to encounter anyone who has wished for their son to grow up and be like him. Yet to encounter a dad who would want their daughter to date this type of guy. We justify Christian’s behavior because he was abused as a teenager. And we all know women love to change guys and be their savior. But all too many times this is where women find their worth. I can’t speak for everyone but who doesn’t like a challenge? It’s rewarding and it’s satisfying. How awesome would that make me if I can make this young, rich, handsome, successful man change his ways for me?! Feeling valued and loved is one of the best feelings in the world. The fact that Ana impacts Christian’s life makes her feel that way. How hard is it to get a guy to change? Nearly impossible. So seeing this happen gives us hope.

3. The desire to submit. I’m a pretty independent person but I think there is something in each woman deep down that desires to submit to a man. It releases the burden. We feel safe and cared for. We feel comfortable. We can relax. While in this story, I think it’s pretty clear that Ana submits to things she doesn’t really want to- there is something freeing about letting go and allowing the man to lead you. Men were created with this natural instinct, as well. This story and society has just twisted up how these natural tendencies and desires were intended to be.

4. Christian Grey. Grey encompasses a lot of what women are looking for. He is good looking, rich, successful. He knows what will turn Ana on and please her. We believe he cares about her through some of his actions- he grows to care about her and fall in love with her. As much as we would like him to be real, he’s not. It doesn’t stop us from having hope. What’s scary about this [false] hope is that it can cause us to stay in abusive relationships. To stay in a relationship where we think we can change someone. If only life were that simple. As Maya Angelou says “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

What made me stay away:

“We are sinful not because we’re victims of darkness but because we’re lovers of darkness.”- John Piper

1. I understand that I’m programmable. We all are really. Think about it- everyday we are “at school” training our minds, our hearts, our beings into what we desire. Just because we have a desire to do something, it doesn’t mean it’s always right. It doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for us. “The heart is deceitfully wicked, who can understand it?” –Jeremiah 17:9. Sometimes this programming is noticeable, at other times it is more subtle. This book, movie, is desensitizing us to this sort of behavior whether we want to acknowledge it or not. I see the dangers and what it’s doing to our society. Especially to our young girls. One of my biggest concerns is for these young women who look up to their moms and see them and other women reading and watching this. Do we realize what we are doing? Many have developed fears and insecurities from the book- yet are in love with Christian. It’s a damaged concept of intimacy. Many sex shops are expanding their section of BDSM. Tell me it’s just a movie. I heard on the radio today that hardware shops on stocking up on additional supplies, such as rope, in anticipation of this movie. Tell me it’s just fantasy. We are socializing behavior that we don’t really want. This story tells boys that women like violent porn and it tells women they should like it. And there the twisted cycle is birthed of two people engaging in acts that miss the mark on the very beauty that’s behind making love.

2. The abusive relationship is evident. So what is so bad about this anyway? Explicit sex scenes? BDSM? What does that even mean? I’m not going to lie, I had to look it up. Bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism. Do you even know what those words mean? Look them up and tell me they can be interchanged with the words love, intimacy, and respect. The definition of sadism is “enjoyment that someone gets from being violent or cruel or from causing pain, especially sexual enjoyment from hurting or punishing someone…a sexual perversion in which gratification is obtained by the infliction of physical or mental pain on others.” What I think is important to share is that we can’t just look at this type of activity and simply say it’s fantasy and isn’t abuse. Step out of your comfort zone and talk to an abused victim. I don’t think people enter a relationship knowing it’ll turn into an abusive one. This happens over time as we become desensitized to ideas- to acts- to new ways and meanings of “love.” It happens when people put up with things they don’t like for fear of losing that person.

3. It’s a lust story. It’s porn. I won’t beat around the bush. Most people agree with this- whether you want to call it hard porn or soft porn, it’s porn. Do you want your guy watching porn? Most women going to see this don’t want their man watching porn. I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. I don’t desire to be with or look at anyone other than someone I am madly in love with. Someone that will one day be my husband. That to me is what will make sex so great, so intimate, so loving. Christian possesses the exact opposite qualities of love- jealousy, controlling, manipulating, stalking, unstable. He is a slave to his lusts and “tormented by demons with the need to control” according to the published summary of the story. Is this what women really desire? Isn’t self-control a positive attribute? This is not true love. Am I the only one who sees this? Sin promises to please but destroys us instead. It’s like drinking poison because we think it tastes good. And here this movie is destroying our ability to enjoy a real loving relationship because reading and watching this “feels good” while planting alternate desires in our mind instead.

Love is selfless, not selfish. One of the most beautiful things about marriage and the level of intimacy is the fact that it serves as a representation of Christ’s love for us. Pure. Deep. Vulnerable. Sacrificial. It’s the most sacred experience two people can have on this earth. Society tries to diminish this but it’s one of the most beautiful things you will ever experience when you share that intimacy with someone you love. And Satan is fighting tooth and nail to steal that and give us this counterfeit garbage of anything but love instead.

4. My heart and my time is valuable. Even if you aren’t a Christian, several of these verses are just simply good practices for life.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. -Proverbs 4:23

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. -Philippians 4:8

But I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. -Romans 7:23

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, -Philippians 2:5

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. -Matthew 15:8

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. -Ephesians 4:22-24

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. -Colossians 3:1-2

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. –Romans 7:25

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. -Matthew 5:28

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. -Colossians 3:2-5

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. -I Corinthians 6:18

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. -Romans 6:12

There were so many additional scriptures on this that I left out. Do your own research and look for yourself. You see, if you are a Christian and you believe in the Bible, you have to believe these verses are true and knowingly in good faith, can’t say God is okay with or desires for you to watch or read these types of things. If you are not a Christian, you follow your moral compass- whatever that may be- but you still have to recognize that you can’t separate yourself from what you put in your mind.

The biggest justification for this book and movie I’ve heard is the fact that it’s just fantasy. And maybe you do see it that way. The problem with this fantasy is that it’s showing something that is not okay and should not be chased after in a positive light. Other violence, other sex movies, other “bad” things shown in movies are shown as being wrong. Killing isn’t glorified and we aren’t wishing death on someone. We are typically wanting the good to defeat the evil. This movie is slowly programming you to desire what isn’t good for you. Just because it’s wrapped in a pretty package, don’t think it isn’t affecting you. False hope and false fantasies are cleverly masked with “it’s just a story” and in an attempt to think we are more powerful than what we put into our soul, we slowly start to forget who we are.

“It is so much easier to avoid temptation than to resist it.”

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