Through a veil of tears or lingerie, God the Father who sent his Son is the Supreme Source of Love.   

Cheryl and I left this past Monday to balmy Peoria, IL (we watched a tugboat push several barges through ice on the Illinois River). Though married for over 33 years, for nearly 12 years now we have been taking the time to get away during Valentines week, hiding out somewhere using up Hilton points. Speaking of the subject, Valentines that is, I just read this by Kevin DeYoung:

Marriage Tune Up: Five Books, Five Questions

We spent time yesterday evening answering the 5 questions – what a pleasure to share our answers with each other. But I can’t help to think of those whose hearts are lonely of love either through death or divorce or a very hard marriage (Kevin did point this out, the loneliness of love in singleness). There are no quick and easy answers for the later and definitely even fewer for the former. But God knows how to hold us as his beloved when we are lonely and feeling unloved. Christ was momentarily cut off from the best source of Love so that we could be brought near to the best Love one could know . . . I’m so thankful for this. Because, as the next post below says, “marriage is not meant to fully satisfy.”

The erotic 50 Shades series still cannot provide what our hearts long for, as the post declares: “When we look for a mortal solution (perhaps I married the wrong person?) we ruin the good gift we have. But when we look to our immortal Lover, the good we have in marriage deepens and becomes better, because it is part of a larger love story.”

This is why I’ll look to my Lord for all that I need in this life. There’s only one Savior for mankind, “the man Christ Jesus.” There’s no other better way to enjoy a good marriage or endure a hard one, or to endure the loneliness of death and divorce and singleness. Through a veil of tears or lingerie, God the Father who sent his Son is the Supreme Source of Love. May this day remind you of the “the great love with which he loved us” (Eph. 2:5).

“No Grey Area”

Here is Kevin DeYoung’s recent post from the gospel coalition site – as always, worth reading.

“There is nothing gray about whether a follower of Christ should see 50 Shades of Grey. This is a black and white issue. Don’t go. Don’t watch it. Don’t read it. Don’t rent it.

I don’t even want to talk about it. Another blogger and I went back and forth for several weeks about how we could write a satirical review panning the movie and skewering those who think they need to see it in order to be relevant. We couldn’t do it. There was no way to make the humor weighty enough to sufficiently condemn such a vile film.

And no, I haven’t seen the movie. I haven’t watched the trailer either. I haven’t read a single page from the book. Reading about the premise from Wikipedia and the IMDb for two minutes convinced me I didn’t need to know any more. Sex is a wonderful gift from God, but like all God’s gifts it can be opened in the wrong context and repackaged in ugly wrapping.  Violence against women is not acceptable just because she’s open to the suggestion, and sex is not open to all permutations, even in an adult relationship. Mutual consent does not a moral philosophy make.

Sex is a private matter to be shared in the privacy and sanctity of the marriage bed (Heb. 13:4). Sex, as God designed it, is not meant for actors who pretend (or not) that they are making “love.” The act of conjugal union is what married couples do behind closed doors, not what disciples of Jesus Christ pay money to watch on a screen the size of your house.

As I’ve said before, we have to take a hard look at what we put in front of our eyes as men and women seated in the heavenly places (Col. 3:1-2). If 50 Shades is a problem, by what standard do we give ourselves a pass on the rest of the sensuality we freely consume? To be sure, awareness of sin is not by itself the problem. The Bible is full of rank immorality. It would be simplistic and morally untenable—even unbiblical—to suggest you cannot watch sin or read about sin without sinning yourself. But the Bible never titil­lates with its description of sin. It never paints vice with virtue’s colors. It does not entertain with evil (unless to mock it). The Bible does not dull the conscience by making sin look normal and righteousness look strange.

Christians shouldn’t try to “redeem” 50 Shades of Grey. We should not get cutesy and advertize a new sermon series on “50 Shades of Grace.” We should not give both art and holiness a bad name by thinking that somehow something as dark as 50 Shades is worth viewing or worth reviewing. According to Paul’s logic, it is possible to expose sin and keep it hidden at the same time (Eph. 5:11-12). “A good man is ashamed to speak that which many people are not ashamed to act” (Matthew Henry).

Some movies do not deserve sophisticated analysis. They deserve sober repudiation. If the church cannot extend grace to sexual sinners, we’ve lost the heart of the gospel. And if we cannot tell people to stay away from 50 Shades of Grey, we’ve lost our minds.”