First of all, I grew up in a wonderful Christian home. I had great parents who intentionally discipled me and this was really before the internet was in everybody’s phones. I grew up before we had the internet on a cell phone, if you can imagine a day when that was the case. As a child, I was exposed very early on, around 12 years old, to erotic novels. These are like Harlequin romance novels. These are books that basically have a pretty loose plotline and throughout the novel, there are sexual scenes written into the content. They’re basically pornography, but marketed to women. They’re not so much visual as they are story driven, which allows a woman to get absorbed into the story but then utilize these erotic scenes for fantasizing. In my case and in the case of many women, it leads to addiction. It’s often accompanied with other sexual addictions like masturbation. It was a problem for me into my early 20s when I finally found freedom from that addiction and from that sin.
When I share this part of my story, I also have to share the aspect that because of my experience with erotica and my experience struggling with erotica in purity culture, I was very passionate about freeing people to find God’s design for sexuality. When I started my blog, I actually mostly wrote about God’s freeing design for sexuality and shed a light on the fact that women struggle with pornography and sexual addiction. I wanted to show the way God had showed me to be free from that shame. I share this because when you’re talking about something as popular as Redeeming Love, and when you’re bringing up issues that you want people to consider, I think it can be really easy – if you loved the book, or you’re really looking forward to loving the movie, or even if someone you trusted recommended these things – it can be easy to get defensive against the person who’s bringing up those issues. I’m sharing my personal background and my passion for healthy, vibrant, confident female sexuality, because I am not a prude. [chuckles] I’ve been writing about this for years and I’m very open online of both about my story and about positive female confidence and sexuality and I believe that that’s God’s heart, and He’s a healing God and a redeeming God and His love is a Redeeming Love, but I do have some very significant concerns with Redeeming Love the book and the movie.
I’ve shared my concerns about the book online before. They are on a highlight on my Instagram. I decided to do this podcast episode about it to move the content from the Instagram highlight to this episode due to popular request. When I initially talked about this on my Instagram, I received so many responses from young women who had similar experiences to me with erotica and one of the gateway drugs to erotica for them was Redeeming Love. My concerns that I’m going to be sharing with you, is not meant to make you defensive, but I think it will bring some awareness to some of the issues that are involved in both Redeeming Love the book, and now in the screen version, which is rated PG-13 for sexual content and nudity. A lot of Christians either don’t recognize that or see the problem with that, or are painting over that because they believe the story justifies the content that is going to be portrayed on the screen.
I’m just going to walk this through biblically. I’m going to share some of the things that I shared in the highlight on Instagram. And then I’m going to share the messages I received from my community online regarding their experiences with this book, and I hope that you will prayerfully listen and consider and understand that I’m coming to this with as much grace and truth as possible. Even if you were really blessed by this book, that maybe it will open your eyes to the fact that there are so many other young women out there who have really faced an uphill battle because of the content in this book, and potentially in this movie. I hope it will just give you some more grace and thoughtfulness for that portion of the church and that portion of female audiences and help you to maybe walk alongside them and help them heal in ways that maybe they haven’t been able to heal before. Without further ado, let’s get started.