All the Magic I Need…

…is right at home.

So you’ve probably heard about that movie, Magic Mike.

I’m not going to argue with anybody about it, because arguing is just not my style and personally, a movie like that isn’t worth the effort spent on an argument.

However, I do want to address it in light of marriage, because as you know, I like talking about marriage. Grin.

In the review on pluggedin.com, which is my favorite site for checking the content of what I see or listen to before I spend time or money, the reviewer for Magic Mike wrote in the “sexual content” section:

…”And it’s difficult, if not impossible to describe the pornographic nature of these scenes without sounding, well, pornographic. To detail every pawing grab at a leather g-string, every mimicked sexual act and every naked male backside we see would take pages.”

So the guy couldn’t even write about the whole movie without it sounding pornographic. The review also goes on to say that the story line is pretty weak, because the main point is just to demonstrate gratification of lust.

I could go see it if I want to, he doesn’t tell me what to do and not to do. But I love him, and only him. I want him, and only him. I need him, and only him. If me going to see a movie that is so obviously geared to visually stimulate and cause lustful thoughts would dishonor him, then I’m not going.

On a side note: the reviewer also said that there were one hundred and fifty f-words in the movie. Y’all, I’d hate that no matter what the movie was about. There are so many movies I’ve only seen the first thirty minutes of, because the language was awful. I just really don’t like it. I don’t understand how people can make money writing screenplays that have no other words. How is that entertaining? It makes my head hurt.

So instead of spending our hard earned money on movies that desensitize our thoughts and ultimately hurt our relationship, I’d rather spend it on a date night with MY Magic Mike. He’s better looking to me than he was on our wedding day, and still looks better in blue jeans than anyone I know. I adore his gray hair, and the way his eyes crinkle up at the corners when he smiles. I love his voice and his sense of humor. I love the way he works hard and provides for us, but will jump on the slip-n-slide the first chance he gets. I love how he looks at me and talks to me. I love that he thinks I’m pretty cute. Those guys in the movie? They don’t, and they won’t, and they offer us nothing of any value.

Wives, love your husbands…and husbands, be your wife’s dream guy. Apparently, by the response to the movie, she’s looking for a dream guy and if you don’t step it up, then she will find him in a book or in a movie.

I think it’s ultimately about trying hard for each other. If you want Magic Mike, then you have to be the kind of girl your husband would want to be a Magic Mike for! I had a boss tell me a long time ago when I was engaged that he didn’t believe marriage should be work at all. Love should be enough. (He was divorced.) Well, in almost thirteen years, I’ve learned that yes, love is enough, but love is not a thing. It’s an action. So love is giving your one hundred percent to love your husband. If that’s work, then work! The good thing about work is that you get paid back!

The sex industry is huge. It’s huge because we accept substitutions for what we have, which leave us wanting more of something that ISN’T REAL. If Michael goes to movies with naked women, then that becomes his standard for women. Even if he never actually acts on what he sees in the movie, those images are in his head. Well, I ain’t ever gonna look like those women. So he chooses me, and I choose him, and our standard is each other, and we hold each other accountable and spend our life together building each other up and steering one another to looking more like Jesus. It’s a choice on our part to live that way, and the payback on the investment has been amazing.

It’s your choice what you go see, and how you spend your time and money. But if you’re married, please consider investing in each other, rather than something that’s not real and offers you nothing.

Real life, and real love, is the best way.

 

 

 

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It’s Hard to Write About Marriage…

…when you’re spending so little time with the one you’re married to.

Michael’s in the middle of a crazy time with work. It gets like this every few months and he works pretty much around the clock. He’s also teaching at a local college (and is so great at it), and he gives that a few nights a week. This week, we’re going to a camp with first through third graders from church and then next week we leave for our mission trip to England. I hope that the eight hours we have on the plane together will be a good time to catch up on the quality time we’ve missed in the last month.

So while I haven’t had much time with him this summer, I’ve had tons of time with the kids. They’re having a great summer and except for a few days when I wanted to go sit in my new van and just stay there while they yelled at each other in the house, it’s been fantastic.

But I miss my husband.

Right now, he’s sitting on our bed working, and listening to Needtobreathe. We’ve watched the US Olympic swim team trials and played Twister with the kids…and he just reached across the bed and squeezed my hand. I said “I love you.” He said, “I love you, too.”

Even when the quality time is limited, I’m grateful for the quality of this man, and the quantity of his love for me.

 

A Word from Your Friendly Neighborhood VBS Teacher

VBS.

Those initials evoke memories of red kool-aid, the cookies with a hole in the middle that you could stack on your finger, pledges, songs, crazy games and fun.

I adore Vacation Bible School. Regardless of denomination, it’s a big week in the life of kids and the church. Many, many children grow in their faith during this week and many become followers of Christ.

I’ve worked or taught in VBS for more years than I can remember. I started in the seventh grade, and except for the four years that I worked at an office, I participated in some way. I’ve helped with snacks, assisted in crafts, led the worship rally time, counted the attendance sheets, worked with preschoolers, and for the last five years, fifth and sixth grade. I love these kids. They’re fun, and the games for older kids are games that I enjoy too, so it doesn’t feel like work at all.

Side note: I know this is a marriage blog. But my husband is crazy busy at work, and I am crazy busy with VBS. We’re still happy. Things are great. But I have nothing new to say about married life at this moment. Oh wait, yes I do. He bought me a minivan yesterday. It’s my dream vehicle and the nicest thing I’ve ever owned. I adore it, and I adore him for getting it for us. The old one was about to fall apart. That’s the update on married life.

So this is what’s on my mind right now. Children and teenagers have an awesome opportunity to grow spiritually over the summer. Camp staffers, ministers, volunteers…lots of people spend lots of time investing in kids and praying that they will discover how much God loves them and enter into a relationship with Him. Summer is a wonderful opportunity for a young person to start to become who God has created them to be.

The flip side of that is, so many parents want the church or the camps to be the source of spiritual training for their child and hope they’ll “catch it” while they’re there. The kids come home and the attitudes or behaviors of the parents de-validate everything they just spent a week learning. The kids are surrounded by people that love the Lord and want them to know Him, and they come home to parents that are absent, critical, abusive, hurtful and mean. Or they come home to people who have good intentions, but take no responsibility for the spiritual training of their children, and everything they learned falls by the wayside because the parents are not taking the time for spiritual growth themselves and the kids receive the message that it is not important at all.

It’s a responsibility issue. The church is there and wants to be a part of the spiritual growth of young people. But the church is not the biggest influence in their life. Parents are, whether they think they are or not. The church supports and facilitates, but kids are going to learn truth by what is modeled in the home. We as parents cannot expect the church to shoulder the responsibility for our children growing up to be godly people. If we are not following Jesus and shaping our lives to look like Him (meaning who God’s Word says He is, not who we want Him to be) then our kids will have a much harder time following Him, even if they want to.

Now, I believe with all of my heart that God can and will protect those that want to follow Him and they can grow and have an intimate walk with Christ on their own. I’ve seen that happen with people I love many times. God draws people to Himself all the time, despite our circumstances. But if a child has parents at home that care enough to send them to camp or church, it’s the parents’ responsibility to live in such a way that what they learn at church or camp cannot be denied. Mixed messages can confuse a young person and cause them to doubt and draw them further away from God. Consistency is the key.

Living a life of faith requires effort and sacrifice. It also is full of blessing and ultimate reward. Your children will benefit greatly by you caring about your own spiritual life. It’s worth it. Jesus is always worth it.

 

 

Summer.

My kids have been out of school a few weeks now and we’ve gotten into a summer vacation groove.

Apparently, they think that ten o’clock p.m. is the appropriate bedtime these days.

It’s nine o’clock now, and they just went upstairs and they’re talking. Loudly.

Michael and I are exhausted. He works really hard all day long, and I work hard here and come up with activities that keep them from watching the television all day.

We would love a little bit of time together in the evenings, because that’s what helps us deal with the constant demands of our jobs.

Next week is VBS, and the kids and I will be really busy every morning. My hope is to get bedtime back on track as of Sunday night.

However…in the midst of my grumbling about being really tired…we are LOVING summer. I love doing crafts, and reading books, swimming, and picking up Michael and making a run to Sonic during happy hour for cherry limeades.

Our kids are vastly different in their approaches to summer vacation. Aidan wants to lie on the couch and watch tv or play the wii. He thinks summer should be brainless. Molly has made four friendship bracelets, colored a million pictures, painted, read books, played games, built forts, and had long discussions with me about things I didn’t know a seven year old thought about. Today I bought her a workbook to do over the course of the summer and she worked twenty-two pages in it this afternoon. Paisley wants someone to play with her at all times. But not her mother. She wants her brother or sister to play with her toys and do what she tells them to do. This is not going over very well with her siblings.

So during the day I motivate (Aidan), plan creative activities (Molly) and referee (Paisley).

And when it’s finally quiet at night, I think about all the housework that I need to do, and my head begins to ache.

This is really good material for a blog on marriage, huh? But life moves in seasons, and when you have three kids close in age, the summers are pretty much their time. Michael and I have to be very deliberate to have time for us during these months. We have to put away computers and phones. We have to pray together. We have to watch funny stuff on tv, because laughing at the end of a long busy day feels awesome. (Duck Dynasty is our favorite these days!)

It’s now almost ten. I figure I have about an hour before both of us are passed out cold. I’m going to pay attention to the most important person in the world to me.

The dishes in the sink will be there tomorrow.