50 Shades of Love: a note to my girlfriends

beach heart bw

I know our time is precious so I’ll try to keep this short.

Browsing through Barnes and Noble, I noticed a larger than life display for the 50 Shades series positioned directly beside the Christian/Inspirational/Bible section.  The Holy Spirit inside me raised to attention and was deeply saddened.

**Before I get too far into this post, let me first explain a bit about where I am (or where I’ve been). Over the past months the Lord has called me to a place of rest with Him. Oh I’ve stayed busy, but He’s been teaching me to still my soul in the midst of busyness. Teaching, speaking, taking women on retreats, and yielding to Holy Spirit have held my attention, so writing has been on hold with the exception of journaling.  Most of you know I write when something riles me, but lately God has put a muzzle on it. Each time I’ve wanted to write, God has gently spoken, “You don’t have to have the last Word.  Silence can be louder than words.”  So this silent period has been healthy, submitting to the Spirit.**

This time He’s given me permission to speak up!

What I have to say may surprise you. I’ve read so much hype about this 50 Shades of Grey movie, I’m really over it. I’ve overheard conversations between women over breakfast and coffee. It really is the buzz.  If you’ve read my previous posts (when the books came out), then you know my stand already. (Do We Need 50 Shades of Grey, or Just Black and White? and 50 Shades of Grey: Now What).

The message I’m hearing from God loud and clear is “Learn to live 50 Shades of love.”

If these movie characters were real people (which they are not), God would love them.  He does love people who may have lived a similar lifestyle. He wants us to do the same. None of us are perfect.  We all have a “story.” Am I saying we should go see the movie?  No, not at all.  I’m saying continue to love those who get sucked into it, regardless. Girls please. Let’s not get caught up in being judgmental, self-righteous, unloving people who turn the world further away from God. We represent Him to the world in how we respond. Our focus shouldn’t be to make ourselves look perfect, it should be on becoming His manifest presence here on this earth by loving the way He does.

YES we must take a stand. Please. Encourage women (and men) not to fill their minds and eyes with garbage.  We know that in the same way “we are what we eat,” we also become what we watch, listen to, read, and who we hang out with. However, lets not be judgmental hypocrites either.  Lets choose to love people regardless of their choice in this matter.  This is one movie.  All rated R movies should be off-limits. Even many PG-13 movies push the limits.  So much of it is unhealthy.  So be careful what you fill your eyes and minds with in general. Maybe you feel this way too…when I’m pressured by life, I don’t want 50 Shades of anything but God to squeeze out of me.

So above all…. LOVE each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  ~1 Peter 4:8

LOVE is patient, kind, humble, hopeful. LOVE counts no record of wrongs.  LOVE is not boastful, prideful, rude, bitter, envious, or easily angered.  LOVE rejoices in truth and the success of others. LOVE thinks the best not the worst.  LOVE perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)

We can create healthy boundaries and still love.

God is love.  If we don’t have love, the Bible says we don’t know God. (1 John 4:8) That’s a pretty stout statement.  (Not mine, but God’s.)

**Before I forget to mention it, if you want a great love story, GET READY!!  “Redeeming Love”  will be in theaters this year.  It has been a long time (like 10 years) in process.  But God’s timing is so perfect.  It’s no accident it’s coming out the same year of the 50 Shades of Grey movie.  (Haha.)  God knows.  He sees.  He’s perfect and wastes no time in turning around for good what the enemy meant for harm.  Take all your friends to see this one!  And if you haven’t read the book, “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers is a must read.**  (You also might enjoy my book, “Intimacy: into me You see” about how to have real and lasting intimacy with God and others.

We can’t manufacture love on our own.  It’s not until we KNOW perfect Love and learn to RECEIVE from Him that we learn to love right.

Open your hearts to Love this Valentine’s Day.

10 thoughts on “50 Shades of Love: a note to my girlfriends

  1. Natasha Alford says:

    Love this Rivera! A friend and I were just talking about being careful of what we watch etc. This post was a confirmation of what she and I discussed. As always, another great encouraging post. Thank you!

  2. laurabennet says:

    Thanks for a great post. Very well said and I agree with your heart (God’s heart) to love no matter what people choose. I appreciate your encouragement to set boundaries and love at the same time. “As for me and my house…” can be be our standard without being judgmental about someone else and their house. And can I say how thrilled I am to hear about Redeeming Love the movie!?!? Happy dance here. It is my all time favorite book (and author). Yippee 🙂

  3. lauriewhin says:

    Hi Rivera,
    Thank you for always reminding us to live in God’s truth as He reveals in His word.
    He gives us grace so that we can pour that same grace out on others. And He gives us love, indeed models it for us, so that others may see His love manifest in us. This is not easy to do. Some of us will work at it all the days of our life. But I praise Him because every day He is working to reshape my heart, and loving others gets easier as I surrender to His healing hands.
    I liked what you said, too, about keeping silent. He has given me so many wonderful words and experiences, I want to run right out and tell the world! But there are times when I sense Him saying to keep some things silent. I think He uses those things we hold together in secret to deepen my love relationship with Him.
    I miss your more frequent posts, but always treasure your insight whenever it comes. Happy Valentines Day to the Douthit family! ❤️

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Thank you for YOUR insight and words of encouragement. You always bless me deeply when you comment. Yes we are all in process, aren’t we? Love how He loves so unconditionally. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours Laurie. You are a treasure. ❤

  4. Mary says:

    So grateful that Holy Spirit opened your mind, heart and hand to share this message of Love! It is one worth sharing… one worth living!

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