Are You ALL IN? - Haley Morgan Smith
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Are You ALL IN?

07 Aug Are You ALL IN?

Why, hello people I love.

 

Ya’ll. Crazy thing. Last week I wrote about blog about sex and marriage based on some of the response I’ve seen about the book and movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” (If you haven’t read it, you can here). A lot of people read it. Some people loved it. Some people liked it. Some people wanted to give me the world’s worst wedgie (say that 3 times fast). It was kinda like the Doritos kid on the Super Bowl commercial a couple of years ago. “Don’t talk about my momma! Don’t talk about my 50 Shades of Grey!”

Doritos_kid-300x199

In all seriousness, I get it. No one wants anyone to disagree with something they say, do, or like. It’s annoying. I understand.

Many people responded to me afterwards. I tried replying back as much as I could, but it got to a point where I couldn’t really keep up. Hopefully, if I didn’t get to respond to you, today’s blog will work as a response for you. Either way, if you read that blog last week or didn’t, I have something really, very important for you today.

First, here’s this. I initially wrote about the problems I see in 50 Shades due to the incredible response to the trailer of the movie that came out in the last couple of weeks. On every social media site I was on, my news feed was covered with that trailer from women sharing it. In almost every share, there was a comment talking about how hot, or sexy the guy playing Christian Grey was and how they couldn’t wait to see him in action on the screen. It was a lot like the reaction some women had about Robert Pattington (Twilight) or Channing Tatum (Magic Mike). A lot of these ladies were married. This made me sad. One- because our culture is so overly saturated with sex. Two- because I believe with all my heart, if people (women and men) were as compassionate about their marriages as they are with these sort of things, they wouldn’t fall apart as easily as they do. We aren’t guarding our hearts like we need to.

Now before you go, “Haley, that’s judgmental. And God don’t like that mess,” there is one thing I have to clear up. There seems to be a stigma about the word “judging”. Honestly, as Christians we’ve probably made that stigma ourselves because we have a habit of reacting to things we disagree with in two ways. Either we’re silent or we’re hateful/condemning/ “judging”. Not all of us, but a lot of us. Here is the deal. There is a difference in “judging”, being hateful, acting like we’re better and then speaking out of concern, love, and honesty because we want the best for people. My words have nothing to do with legalism, or judgement, or condemnation. Frankly, I can’t be better than anyone. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I’m perfect and have it all together, but rather that I recognize how jacked up I am and that I need a perfect Savior’s grace. I’m as broken as the next person. And I’m not immune to sin. That said, I can recognize something and make someone aware of it out of love and concern. Just like if you see me slacking off at work and see that I’m potentially going to get written up, you can respond to me in different ways. You can say, “Haley, you’re an idiot. You’ll never amount to anything.”  You can say nothing at all. Or you can say,” Haley, get it together, my friend.  I love you and I don’t want you to lose your job.”  I’d rather not be called an idiot. I’d also rather someone speak up in my life and not just sit and watch the show. I believe that a lot of the brokenness we see in the church and in the world is due to an incredible lack of accountability. We need to speak up. We need to be honest. We need to get real. But we need to do it in LOVE while reminding ourselves that we are not immune to sin.

So, why is the “protecting our heart thing” so important anyway? What is the big dang deal, Haley? This is the big dang deal. God loves you so much that it’s ridiculous. His love for you is so big and so intense. Just like a new daddy loves his brand new baby girl or baby boy and would walk through fire for them, God is head over heals in love with you like that, but multiply that by infinity. He is all in for you, and He’s proven that by sending Jesus to die in place of us so that we may live in His freedom. He’s proven that by the air you’re breathing as you read this. Regardless of where you come from or anything you’ve done, God loves you.

I’m gonna shoot straight with you. I don’t come from a perfect background. My mom was 18 and single when she had me. She and my grandparents raised me and loved me and were actually really awesome, but they were imperfect people and made mistakes just like any other parents. I grew up in a pretty legalistic church. For a lot of my life, I followed God’s “rules” because I was scared of Him. I thought if I broke one of them, God would strike my butt with lighting and send me to hell. I was trying to work my way to heaven and trying to work my way into getting Him to like me. Later on I found out about this thing called “grace”. I learned what God really thought of me. That changed the whole game for me. I learned that these “rules” God had set, weren’t necessarily rules, but guidelines for my life that He made out of love for me. God wanted and wants me to be the best version of myself that I can be.  God loves you and wants you to be the best version of yourself you can be.

So here’s the question. Knowing this truth- that God loves us, wants the best for us, and is ALL IN for us- are we ALL IN for Him? Are we All IN for Him in what we watch, what we read, what we listen to, what we say, how we speak to people, how we live our lives behind closed doors, etc.? Those things DO matter. Is He our number one? Do we love Him enough to put down the things that we might want to do but don’t necessarily need to do? Do we want to reach the full potential He has for us, or do we want to Bon Jovi this junk and say “It’s MY life,” and do our own thing? This is the truth. God is too good for us to love Him with anything less than our best. And you know what, you’re too awesome yourself to be anything but your best. You are the only you God created and He created you fearful and wonderfully. Why cheat Him? Why cheat yourself? I’m not saying be perfect, because we can’t. But we can give ourselves a self check and determine what spots in our lives are keeping us from loving Him and living at our best.

I am not perfect. I don’t have a perfect marriage or a perfect husband. But I am loved by an incredible God. And He blessed me with an incredible man. I’m going to make mistakes in both my relationships with my husband and God. But they love me too much and I love them too much to say that where I am in my life is good enough. God loves me just the way that I am, yes. But He doesn’t want me to be stay this way. He wants me to grow. Because He loves me. Just like a good dad wants for his kids. He wants you to grow. Because He loves you.

So here’s my encouragement and challenge to you. I encourage and challenge you to evaluate where you are with God and how you can love Him and others better. You are here for a purpose. You have one life. Are you going to live it ALL IN?

I am all in

Till next time,

HMS


Haley Face Haley Morgan Smith is a Christian speaker, worship artist, and writer from Atlanta, GA. You can connect with her on these other sites.

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11 Comments
  • Megan
    Posted at 17:50h, 07 August Reply

    I really loved your blog regarding Fifty Shades. I, among my two other married friends, have all read the books and watched the aforementioned raunchy movies with sexy leading men. Until I read your post, I had considered my viewing of this and others to be innocent. I never lust after other men, and I love my husband more than anything. As someone posted before, it really does give me ideas to only try with my husband. I am also a Christian, and I never likened watching or reading these sorts of things to porn! It was a wonderful perspective that I never had. I told my husband about your blog and admitted that it would be just the same if he were to watch porn on the internet, and I would not be expected to be upset bc it was “just innocent” as long as he desired me more. To say all that, thank you for your Godly view, and I look forward to reading more of your blogs in the future!

  • Kendra Gardner
    Posted at 18:17h, 07 August Reply

    “The Problem with 50 Shades of Grey” is the first blog I read, and even though I’ve never read the book or watched the movie, I still knew what it was about and I LOVED your blog about it, because it’s so true how preverted we can be…
    Now, this blog, “Are you ALL IN?” hit home with me! Thank you for allowing God to use you and keep it up! I live in Alabama and Georgia isn’t that far away… I would love to meet you!

  • Debbie Leech
    Posted at 18:18h, 07 August Reply

    Haley, I totally agree. People don’t understand that “judging” & “loving” are two different things. Although there are times when I’m guilty of judging. Love your perspective on things.

  • Amber Barrett
    Posted at 20:54h, 07 August Reply

    I learned about your blog from reading the 50 shades post. This is the best post “controversial” response post I think I have seen. Straight forward, humble, and honest. I felt like we just discussed and figured it all this out over coffee. Good job. Hope the internet people are nice to you. 🙂

  • Kim
    Posted at 01:54h, 08 August Reply

    I, too, learned about your blog through reading the 50 Shades post. More than anything you said in the post, I appreciated your responses to those who opposed your opinions. They were so refreshingly respectful, kind, and obviously not in a retaliative way. Thank you! And thank you for both of your posts. I have subscribed to your blog and look forward to reading many more of your posts! And….yep, I’m All In!! God bless!

  • MJ
    Posted at 03:03h, 08 August Reply

    This was amazing. Thank you for writing this. I completely agreed with your 50 shades blog post and now I am so pleased that you wrote this. Its refreshing.

  • hmathis32
    Posted at 16:46h, 08 August Reply
  • The Problem with 50 Shades of Grey. | Haley Morgan Smith Blog
    Posted at 01:01h, 13 August Reply

    […] my follow-up blog to this one, click here. Thanks for […]

  • Alabama Momma
    Posted at 02:11h, 31 December Reply

    I love your point of view. And, while I am saddened by the heart-tearing effect this book and movie will take upon good men’s self-esteem, a part of me is glad for these events. First, because men now can have real opportunities to feel the crushing, devastating, and ripping hurt that happens when they feed on and invite porn into their hearts and marriages. And, second, because women now have some evidence at how utterly captivating (not in a good way) porn is on a person. My marriage was rocked and almost destroyed by porn. I completely detest it with every cell of my body.

    And, because I know very well the hurt and emptiness it causes, I am fully devoted to protecting my heart for my husband’s sake.

    My prayer is that women will realize immediately that sexual satisfaction is a PRIVILEGE and not a RIGHT. And, that men will become sensitive and sympathetic to the hurts they can cause. Maybe what was meant for evil can be turned into an opportunity for revelation and growth in compassion and fervent protection of the marriage bed.

    Thank you for your honest and edifying messages. They are much-needed!

  • doula51
    Posted at 05:48h, 05 February Reply

    Below is info on a new book that the authors talked about today on Focus on the Family. One of the authors read 50 Shades and the other did not. It was an interesting interview and hopefully their work will really cause Christian women to think this thing through. There are other books for Christian women on making their sexual relationships with their husbands be amazing and pornography is not on the menu. It is sad to think that some married women do not really enjoy or look forward to sex:(
    http://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/daily-broadcast

    To Air 02/05/2015
    Exposing the Lure of Romance and Erotica (Part 2 of 2) (Guests Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh)

    Dr. Juli Slattery and author Dannah Gresh talk about the cultural fascination with erotica that’s been largely spawned by the popular novel and now movie Fifty Shades of Grey and other sexually explicit media. Our guests explain why such material especially appeals to women, and the danger it poses to marriage and families. (Part 2 of 2)

  • Esther
    Posted at 03:47h, 09 February Reply

    Just read your blog for the first time with the 50 Shades post, and I am excited to keep reading!! I love how real you are and how you so eloquently voiced your take on the book and movie. My husband was set free from the addiction of porn about 6 years ago, so I know the struggle. This book/movie is just another form to take our eyes and heart off the truth of what God says is marriage. If lusting after someone in your heart is a sin (according to Jesus himself), then this is a no brainer….protect your heart and your marriage/future marriage.

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