My husband Derek and I are raising four girls. As far as we’re concerned the four most precious souls that walk this planet. As we parent, our intent is for them to grow up knowing their worth and our prayer is they live with the confidence of loved people.
I write today as a mother who believes sex and violence shouldn’t go together. And I want my daughters to know that. In a world where colleges are cautioning female students of date rape risks, this culture of violence and sex is real for our children. But more I write today as a woman who has been inspired and humbled by my husband’s work.
Yes every night when he comes home and fathers our girls with both a gentle hand and firm boundaries, he is countering the messages of 50 Shades of Grey. He is modeling what safe love looks and feels like. But that is not what I am referring to here. I am talking about his vocation. What he does all day and often does into the night. His job.
Derek and the team of people he works with at Providence Network, from staff to board members to donors, house women and children escaping the world of domestic violence. The world of fear and injury. Where love is skewed so dramatically it’s difficult for a woman to remember that it’s not supposed to hurt in that way. Where the threats mask her ability to think clearly or her finances keep her from knowing where to go. Where her self esteem and self worth are damaged to the point of believing she is only as good as someone’s punching bag.
This movie that is coming out…
I can tell you I haven’t read the book and I don’t plan to see the movie. I’ve heard enough to believe it perpetuates this culture of romance and violence intertwined that we are working hard to fight. So much to say here, but I won’t.
Except this: We can do better.
As a people, and certainly as the Church, we can offer healing and safety to women who have believed the lies they’ve been told about love, pain and their value. We can help them rewrite their stories. Rather than getting in arguments about the movie and the book, let’s offer the world an alternate route.
#50DollarsNot50Shades is a movement encouraging people to give the money they’d spend on a night at the movies to their local domestic violence service provider instead. We can use our dollars to make violence entertainment or we can spend our dollars on healing those who have been hurt by it.
I ask you to join me in this grassroots response to this movie. To not only say we can do better, but actually do something for good. If you have a connection to your local shelter or safe house, please give there. If you are looking for a place to give, Providence Network of Denver is staffed by my real-life heroes. I can attest to their compassion, perseverance, and tireless commitment to loving people in Jesus’ name.
Watch this video to hear how Providence Network provides more than a place to live, it is a home for those wanting a new start. If you have a few more minutes you can hear Lori and Spencer’s stories, real people, not Hollywood make believe. And if you are so moved to show the world a different way with your money, a donation can be made here. Or if you want to endorse this campaign please share this post with your network.
Fellow parents please consider your hopes for your child. Boy or girl. Is a culture of violent sex the best we can offer the ones in our care? I’m not asking this in a prudish way, simply an honest one. Is this really the direction we want to collectively move or can we do better? I believe we can.