"…for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her." (Proverbs 8:11)
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Breath of Life

Earlier this week, I discovered an unusual video that my husband left behind. He was testing a new camera gimbal and recorded jerky footage of our living room furniture as he fiddled with various settings on the remote control. I watched eagerly, waiting for a greater narrative to unfold, but Craig had switched off the camera after less than a minute. Others may have found the footage unremarkable. To me, it was priceless.

I could hear him breathing.

The sound of Craig’s breath gripped my heart as if he were reading me a love poem. Every inhalation, every sigh, had been imprinted in my soul during our 14 years of marriage. I recognized the slight huff as he lifted the camera and the way his breathing changed when he was problem-solving. I listened to the air flow from his lungs as he went about his work and pictured the way he pursed his lips while deep in thought. The tears came.

We take so much for granted with the people we hold dear. Their mannerisms. Their gait. The sound and cadence of their voice. We tacitly cherish those qualities, yet rarely give them any thought. For 14 years, I laid next to my husband in bed at night, quietly comforted by the sound of his breathing. Those times that he would snore, I preferred to forego sleep rather than have him move to the couch. Even when we fought, I wanted him near. Next to me. Sighing deeply.

In the creation story, God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the very breath of life. Whereas God had spoken the rest of creation into existence, man was different. God’s divine breath made Adam a living being.

I could hear the breath of life in that video—the wind from Craig’s mouth carrying the melody of his spirit. That haphazard scene of the living room couch reveals how his presence once filled our home, even when no words were spoken. I will listen to it again someday and cherish a sound I hadn’t much considered before. It’s a sound we should never take lightly, as each breath holds the essence of someone we love.

© 2019 Leslie J. Thompson. All rights reserved.

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

JOB 33:4 (ESV)

September 26, 2019   Comments Off on Breath of Life

Christian Grey and the Veneration of the Wanton Woman

Unless you have been living under a rock, you undoubtedly have heard of 50 Shades of Grey. The erotica trilogy, written by a woman for women, has sold more than 10 million copies and is still going strong. The story revolves around a sadomasochistic relationship between Anastasia, a naive college student, and a libidinous young billionaire named Christian. He is the dominant, she the submissive in an enticing narrative about mind control and kinky sex.

The overnight success of 50 Shades of Grey and the current media frenzy surrounding the film Magic Mike — the story of a young male stripper striving for stardom — are part of a growing cultural shift that encourages women to gratify their sexual desires and feed their lust. They also are the latest evidence of the devil’s schemes to destroy the family unit and tear down the covenant of marriage. Far from harmless entertainment, they are like arsenic in the water, bringing decay and death to couples.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10

Women, like men, have a natural sex drive — God created us that way. But, that does not mean we are meant to fulfill our every sexual whim. Thousands of men suffer from an addiction to pornography. Their lust for hyper-sexualized images of women increases exponentially every time they see a pornographic photo or film. Using pornography for personal pleasure becomes an insatiable craving. A man no longer looks to his wife’s inner and outer beauty for fulfillment, but instead replaces her in his mind’s eye with nameless strangers who make no emotional demands and perform solely for his pleasure.

Traditionally, women have frowned upon their husbands and boyfriends looking at pornography. They have felt demeaned and abandoned, never able to measure up to the fantasy created by the porn industry. But now, women are being lured into sexual fantasies of their own, and encouraged to act on every impulse. If women fall prey to porn — whether under the guise of “erotica” or a ribald “chick flick” — they can no longer demand that their husbands eschew adult entertainment. The last bastion of defense will crumble.

Lust for one’s spouse can add spice to a loving marriage relationship, but if directed elsewhere, it can be cruelly divisive. As soon as a man’s attention is diverted from building an intimate relationship with his wife, it becomes much easier — too easy — to look at other women in the real world, as well. An office flirtation becomes a full-blown affair. A night out with the boys becomes a trip to the strip club or a one-night-stand with the woman at the bar. Entice a woman with the promise of sexual gratification, no strings attached, and the outcomes are the same.

He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:43-45

Satan has been working methodically over the past several decades to “emancipate” women from marriage and destroy the family unit that is at the foundation of our society. From the Women’s Lib movement of the ’70s to shows like One Day at a Time in the ’80s to Sex and the City in the ’90s and today’s TV trash, like Desperate Housewives and Jersey Shore, women young and old have been indoctrinated with the message that they don’t need a man. Premarital and extramarital sex are glamorized. Women are encouraged to pursue their every fleshly whim, to have children out of wedlock, and to divorce their husbands, Kim Kardashian style, if they just aren’t feelin’ the love.

God understands that we have sexual desires, which is why he created marriage in the first place. God wants us to enjoy sex to the full, so long as it is within the context of marriage.

…each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband…. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Corinthians 7:2, 5

Do not be deceived. Remember that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” but Christ came to give us life to the full.

God created marriage for a reason. Research shows that children raised by a father and mother in a two-parent household are more emotionally stable and more successful than those raised by a single parent. From the very beginning of time in Genesis 2, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him…That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Ephesians 5:22-33 gives specific instruction for how husbands and wives are to love each other, saying that every man “must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Entertaining lustful fantasies about other people, whether in books, movies, or real life, is not a demonstration of love and respect.

Experiencing the fullness of life in Christ requires us to keep our eyes on Him, and turn away from temptation. If something or someone that is not your spouse thrills you sexually, you are embarking on a slippery slope when you take a single step in that direction. Focus on the person you pledged to love for every day of your life. Invest time and energy in your marriage. And if you are not married, trust that God has a great plan for your life and will deliver your perfect partner when the time is right.


July 7, 2012   Comments Off on Christian Grey and the Veneration of the Wanton Woman