Many years ago I cross-stitched a sampler for a dear friend, its words resonating with both of us as we found our way through our parallel lives as homeschooling moms. It simply said “the heart of the mother is the schoolroom of the child.” Over the years I have come to realize just how true those words are, for good or for bad. It is especially something to consider in this postmodern world of ours where absolute truth is mocked and often altogether absent. It is heartbreaking when demonstrated through the overflow of a professing Christian heart that mingles statements of faith with an affinity for filth and corruption.
I had never heard of the book series Fifty Shades of Grey until a month or so ago when a friend had posted a warning about these books on her Facebook page. Billed as a “love story,” all reviews both favorable and not, are acknowledging that it is a story of a man, interestingly enough, named Christian, and his bizarre lust for perverted sexuality, female bondage, and masochism; it is graphic eroticism at its worst (or best). Dubbed “mommy porn,” it appears to be the equivalent of handing your husband an X-rated video to watch.
I am absolutely in awe at the number of Christians who see no problem with reading this series or encouraging their friends to do so. “You will have to reorient your thinking to accept the naughty,” one woman told a mutual friend.
Maybe or maybe not.
You see, women are hearing ludicrous teachings in “conservative evangelicalism” that may have already “reoriented” them. Women may be willing to accept the physical, emotional, sexual, and spiritual abuse from their lovers (in the case of Christian women, their husbands) because they are already getting these messages from within Christian circles:
- women are the weaker vessels, interpreted as a weakness of character and fortitude
- “help meet” is reinvented as the equivalent of a plumber’s helper who stands by her man rather than the actual meaning from the Hebrew word “ezer,” which is most often used to describe God in the sense of one who comes alongside in battle (spiritual warfare, I believe)
- submission is only a one way street and not for men
- women are more easily deceived
- a woman’s worth is found in her sexuality (militant fecundity, obsession with calling young girls “maidens,” and betrothal scenarios where a dad brokers away his daughters with their virginity being part of the deal)
- women have no callings of their own and are never to be considered leaders
- Christianity should have a “masculine feel”
- fundamentalists like Jack Schaap and young, restless, and reformed sexpert, Mark Driscoll, zero in on the outward appearance and physical value of women
How tragic is this! In 1 Peter 2 our value before the Lord is proclaimed in no uncertain terms: “As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” Women are a royal priesthood, created for the purpose of proclaiming the excellencies of our Lord!!!
There are other reasons Christian women are reading and recommending this series of books without thought to how they are opening the door wide open for husbands to look at porn and children to allow “naughtiness,” ie, fornication and perversion, into their own lives. In a sex saturated culture where commercials for hamburgers and back to school clothing at Penny’s threaten the purity of the marriage bed, lust is never satisfied. Perhaps the simple beauty of a married and committed one man, one woman relationship seems boring if not antiquated but we are foolish to think so.
Solomon, the king who pursued lust to his own folly warned “above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) And Jesus admonished us that “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” (Matthew 15:19) reminding us that “the good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 9:45)
You may have a great stack of curriculum planned for your children this year but what will they be learning from the schoolroom of your heart?