True Love


A bell is no bell ’til you ring it
A song is no song ’til you sing it
And love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay
Love isn’t love ’til you give it away.
– Oscar Hammerstein II


Fifty Shades of Grey or an Old Fashioned Valentine’s Day?


So… what’s your idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day date? Dinner? Then maybe a trip to the show? What movie? Fifty Shades? It’s opening Valentine’s Day weekend. I’m sure you knew that.

Why that movie?

What’s the attraction?

I’ve never read a word of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. I do know what it’s about, though.

How can you avoid it? It’s all over social media. And television. Even a Super Bowl commercial. And now, you can even buy your sweetie a Fifty Shades teddy bear.

Seriously? Are you kidding me?

So… ladies… and gentlemen, if any of you are so inclined…

Clue me in.

What is the attraction of fantasizing about a relationship in which a naive young lady is coerced into a relationship with a man — not much older than her, but certainly more street-wise (if “manipulative” serves as a working definition of “wise”) — who subjects her to demeaning sexual acts?

Just because the dude is good looking?

Come on. If that’s the case, the overwhelming popularity is outrageously troubling.

I am not a prude.

But I do consider myself a gentleman.

Would it be an over-generalization to suggest that most of you who find this story fascinating would (or actually do) prefer an abuser to a gentleman in your life?

Please don’t be mad at me for asking the question.

Please respectfully consider what attracts you to the story.

Is it the sex?

Hey, if that floats your boat, the choice is yours. I am the last person to judge.

But I am compelled to ask:

Have you considered the impact of stories like this on your children?

The world is getting faster. News travels fast.

So do Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram and Pinterest “messages” (yes, I’d say those images have the potential to be far more powerful than a Facebook conversation; or rant).

What does your thirteen year old daughter think about Fifty Shades?

How about your ten year old daughter?

Or son?

How much information do they have about the story?

Are you sure you know the answer?

The world is getting smaller. News travels fast.

Yeah. They’re too young. I’m sure nobody their age talks about sex. Or relationships.

Do you think they have a clear idea of what a healthy relationship looks like? Or how to treat a member of the opposite sex? Or how they should be treated by a member of the opposite sex?

Just askin’.

Someone in a Facebook group I’m a part of — I forget where I saw it exactly, but that’s not necessarily relevant — shared a blog post discussing five themes in Fifty Shades. If you’re at all concerned about how your kids might react to any knowledge of this movie, why don’t you give this post a glance?

So… what’s your idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day date? Dinner? Then maybe a movie? How about Fifty Shades? It’s opening Valentine’s Day weekend. I’m sure you knew that.

Why that movie?

What’s the attraction?

There is an alternative. I wonder if you’ve heard of it.

It’s called Old Fashioned.

Let me ask you a question. What would you consider more romantic? A story that examines the concept of “true love?” Of what really matters in a relationship? About honor and dignity?

Or a story that reduces relationship to physical encounter?

Just askin’.

If you’d prefer the former, permit me to direct you to the movie’s website.

Old Fashioned isn’t getting the play that Fifty Shades is. Budget was a little smaller.

As in, about $600,000.

Yep, that’s it. Less than one million dollars.

But Old Fashioned is getting a fair share of attention. And not just from Christian or religious media.

Christian Toto, on, says:

“Hollywood is betting that the release of 50 Shades of Grey, the film adaptation of the sexually tawdry book of the same name, will be a hit with movie-going couples on Valentine’s Day weekend. One indie film begs to differ.”

But you would expect a conservative website to promote a movie like Old Fashioned, right?

Well, that’s not the only press the movie has received. Check out what Jenna Mullins at E! has to say about the film (personally, I’d say calling Old Fashioned “a clean, religious version of Fifty Shades of Grey” is a bit of a stretch, but…).

And Emily Blake at says:

“There’s a faith-based film about ‘old-fashioned courtship’ hitting theaters on the exact same day as the sinful, S&M-filled adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Pretty strong words for the Sex, Drugs, and <insert music genre of choice> Network!

Variety, The Daily Beast, International Business Times, and other secular news sources have all covered Old Fashioned‘s direct challenge to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Erin Bishop, Founder and President of The Whatever Girls Ministry, said it best:
“Lust lasts a moment, but true love lasts a lifetime!”

Moms and dads, did you click on the link for the blog post I mentioned above? Don’t be angry with me for suggesting it again. It’s well worth your time.

One has  a multimillion dollar budget. The other was made with a $600,000 budget.

One has been anticipated since 2012. The book has been out since 2011. The movie is highly anticipated.

The other is largely unknown.

One depicts exploitative sex under the guise of romance. The term “mommy porn” is used to describe it.


The other depicts a romantic chivalry.

One is Fifty Shades of Grey.

The other is Old Fashioned.

Hey, if you had your heart set on seeing Fifty Shades on opening weekend… well, I hope I convinced you to at least think twice about seeing it. But if not…

won’t you at least give Old Fashioned a chance?

If you’re bound (YES! pun intended) and determined to see Fifty Shades, no matter what this prude-who-claims-not-to-be-a-prude is telling you, will you make it a point to go see Old Fashioned, too?

If not for me, will you do it for your kids? Your nieces? Your nephews? For the kids next door or down the block?

If we can seize this opportunity to make the slightest bit of difference — even if the box office numbers of Fifty Shades dwarf those for Old Fashioned — isn’t it worth it?

If not for you, for your kids.

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