Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review: Pulling back the Shades

I will start this off by saying I was naive. I am familiar with the popular series 50 Shades but I did not know what it contained. I really didn't have a desire to read it although a good friend and sister in laws have read it and raved about it. But they are also Twilight fans and I am not, so I overlooked the suggestion.

I say I was naive because I read books that are in the genre of romance. I love a good love story, but some of them had explicit content in them. A lot of argument and controversy centers around the 50 Shades series and books with explicit content known as "soft porn" or "mommy porn". The trouble with this is addressed in this book and opened my eyes to the harm of it not just for me, but for Christian wives.

Dr Juli Slattery (co-author) is a clinical psychologist and co-founder of a ministry focusing on intimacy for women. Dannah Gresh teamed up to write this book to expose the dangers of erotica and the phenomenon of what 50 Shades has become. What I was shocked to learn is Christian women and even teens are reading it. It may not be fair to base my opinion of this book on theirs but it gave me enough information to form my own. It doesn't feel like something I want to expose myself to.

They list reasons why women read books of this type. They (when I say them or they I am referring to the authors) talk of the contradiction of women's independence and feminism, yet this book is "spreading like wildfire" (20). A book about bondage! "No longer is it considered romantic or chivalrous for a man to open a door for his date or even to ask a woman out in the first place. Men have to be told "step aside-we can take care of ourselves!" (20). Yet, a series surrounded by bondage, submission, and torture for pleasure is a best selling book. I was appalled to find some of the things that was in this series like "red room of pain", BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism) are used. I have to admit that my naivety showed through because I did not know what BDSM was and this book answered that. I came to the conclusion I am not the type of person that would want physical pain and torture to achieve pleasure or gratification. I find it disgusting and degrading to what God has made "making love" to be. It pains me to know women are turning to this for whatever reason. Yes it is fiction and maybe read for fun, an escape from reality. I will admit that is why I love to read. I get lost in a book and escape. The harmful part of erotica and books like 50 Shades is it leaves a dissatisfied look at your marriage or love life. The authors tackle reasons why the books are read and other harmful reasons not to. Juli and Dannah state that "we have met with women who started reading erotica to awaken their sex lives with their husbands but it actually caused them to be less satisfied in their marriage bed than ever" (30)." 

The author of 50 Shades has even gone as far as stating in an interview "what I wanted to demonstrate is that I do not look at the world in terms of black and white...I think it's shades of grey (32). She wanted to test the boundaries of morality. That my dear readers, is scary for Christians.  Christians are reading this series and getting sucked in and blurring lines. God believes in black and white; his instruction manual is the bible for us. You want a good love story and a guide to romance? Read Song of Solomon (maybe I will do a bible study of it and blog about it? What you think?)

I think the authors said it best with this quote: "God designed sex as a powerful symbol and celebration of covenant love. It is a physical and emotional expression of the deepest commitment two people can make to each other. But sex is more than that. It represents the ultimate covenant love: God's love for his people (44).

Bottom line of this review...this book was an amazing eye opener to a very controversial topic. I had no intentions of reading the series and I definitely won't. I also will be a lot more careful of my romance/love story novel choices. I applaud the authors for tackling this and hope more Christian women will read this book instead. 5 stars.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Let's have some fun...

I have a few ideas roaming around in my head right now for some blog topics...but I wanted to take a break from the usual marriage talk and just have some fun and type and talk to my readers.  How are you?  Leave me a comment if you are reading this and tell me where you are from :) Tell me a random fact about yourself...I am from a small town in South Louisiana, about an hour away from New Orleans. And I love tomato sauce, salsa, ketchup, etc...But I hate the taste of raw tomatoes :)

In almost 15 years that K and I have been together, we have had some really funny and fun memories. I am a picture and scrapbookaholic, so I have lots of pictures to look back on.  I am going to post a few and tell you what was going on at the time...I want you to have more insight into this crazy, blessed union that God has brought together.

Taking serious pictures are not in K's vocabulary. He loves to make sure we have goofy pictures on hand. Which describes his personalty...he is a goofball. He loves to have fun and loves to make people laugh, especially me.  He always knows how to make me smile. It's one of the many many things I love about him.

Finally graduating college was such a huge accomplishment for me. I had to sit out for 3 years, got a full time job and when K and I got married he knew I wanted to go back to finish. He made sure I did and I was able to stop working to work hard my final semester and focus completely on school.  My final semester had the best grades I ever made!  I was beyond blessed to have his support and help.  

K and I love to travel and try to take a vacation once a year to somewhere we love. We have been to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area three times (once for our honeymoon) and in 2010 we were able to make a trip to Disney World.  K and I are big kids...I love everything Disney and being able to go to Disney World together as a couple was amazing!!  We had so much fun and at times it was stressful and busy, but it was so worth it. Having fun as a couple is so very important. It helps relieve stress and strengthens your marriage.  Make sure to laugh together everyday!  Make it a challenge! ...see I can't go one blog without trying to help :)

This picture was actually done on our last vacation to Gatlinburg last Dec. It was so much fun. There was a lot of these little Old Time picture places around, but where we did this one, the guy who took our pictures was really funny and nice and made it so much fun. 

We love to have fun with not only each other, but those around us, especially our nieces and nephews. They definitely keep us smiling and laughing. 

Well, that is a little insight into who we are as a couple. Have a great day!