‘Royals’-Living The Fantasy

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Why in the world do we watch reality TV? Really though, why?

It’s because we long to escape our boring reality into someone else’s story, a story far bigger and seemingly greater than our own. Somehow the Kardashians seem to be a little bit more intriguing than changing diapers, going to the office, making dinner, and trying to find all of those missing socks (seriously though, where do they go?)

Our desire to be around greatness has created a culture of celebrity worship. Against my better judgment, I always end up on E! Entertainment. Be honest, we know you look through People and Us Weekly magazine columns out of the corner of your eyes in the Kroger checkout line. I totally get it; I do it too! We need to know which celebrity has a saggy bottom and who is getting fatter by the second. Although I hate to admit it, I’m somehow interested to see if the Bachelor has found true love (ha – ha). I mean seriously…. It’s important for me to study the downward spiral of former Disney Stars.

Entertainment pulls us in and out of our boring life’s. By switching back and forth between reality shows, are we really just seeking to escape our own seemingly dull realities?

Although we may have a dream for greatness and a drive to rule (even if it is living vicariously through someone else), not everyone can be “royals,” as Grammy winner Lorde proclaims.

And we’ll never be royals.
It don’t run in our blood,
That kind of lux just ain’t for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.
Let me be your ruler, you can call me queen Bee
And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I rule, Let me live that fantasy.”
Why has this song resonated with our culture?

Lorde is not only an incredible artist with fabulous locks and my new favorite up and comer…. she is right! Not all of us will be “royals,” but in many ways we still possess a fantasy to rule. If you are like me, you have probably come to terms with the fact that you are never going to be a real life princess. In all likelihood, we will never hold an OSCAR in our hand, and will probably never even be nominated as “mom of the year” in our hometown. We realize we may not have what it takes to rule the red carpet, but it’s okay. There are still plenty of little kingdoms that we can rule. We become Daydream believers amidst our ordinary lives.

Our kingdoms can be found in the midst of laundry piles multiplying on our couches, dining room chairs plastered in weird looking remnants from dinners long ago, surrounded by our court jesters covered in peanut butter, in a cubical with one of those swivel chairs and posted notes everywhere, pews, play groups, classrooms, seminary, and even the blogosphere.

We mock celebrities for their absurdities and lavish lifestyles; as Lorde says, “Gold Teeth, Grey Goose, Trippin in the bathroom, Bloodstains, Ball gowns, Trashing the hotel room.”

We may say, “We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair,” when in truth every one of us have been in a love affair with ourselves.
Although we may have never “seen a diamond in the flesh,” oh how long to capture greatness. (Even if its just flipping through the television.)

Even if it is simply, “driving Cadillacs in our dreams.”

We were not made to be “Royals” receiving applause; we were made to give the applause to Jesus Christ – the only One worthy of praise.

Our little kingdoms will one day be destroyed.

 

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Beyonce, The Grammys and When I Almost Kissed Another Man

Beyonce grammys
“You need to grow a pair!”
These are the words I yelled to my husband the night he told me I couldn’t kiss another man. Other profound statements that immediately followed were, “You are just insecure;” “you’re just not man enough.” Marital bliss was surely on the verge of destruction all because I wanted to kiss another man and my pastor-husband was not okay with it. Really?!? Are you kidding me? I am about to land the lead role of Maria in West Side Story and you are going to let your insecurities keep me from my dream! So what if I would have to have a pretend love scene with another man – it is acting. It’s called art. Plus, an opportunity like this does not come around every day.

My husband was jealous for me. He did not want to share me with anyone – even if it was just for entertainment. The thought of me pretending to love another man made him nauseous and angry. Mistakenly I accused him of being insecure when what was really happening was my husband was seeking to protect and cover me in his love. Like Boaz on the threshing floor with Ruth, he had placed his blanket over me and vowed to love and protect me, even if that was protecting me from myself.

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Drunk On Love

There is no doubt Beyoncé gave an intoxicating performance at the Grammys singing “Drunk On Love” with her husband Jay-Z. It would be more appropriate to title the song “Drunk On Beyoncé.” Leather. Wet hair. Bumping and Grinding. Racy. Sexual. Sultry. It was everything the producers could have hoped for and more –it was scandalous to say the least. They forgot to include chains and whips but these bondage devices were unnecessary because everyone’s eyes were chained to the pop star- like wax before an open flame.

Still, many of us saw Beyoncé’s performance and thought to ourselves, “Well, she must think she is something – sitting up on that chair like a goddess!” I get it! Most of us would not want to do a chair dance for the world to see, but so often we still have a desire for power. Lorde was right to sing that although most of us realize, “We will never be royals,” we still have a fantasy to rule. So we sit on top of our thrones and attempt to rule our own kingdoms. “This is my party; I can do what I want! I can marry whomever I want, touch whatever I want, eat what I want,” etc. Though outwardly we appear to be a dominatrix taking control of our lives, whipping everyone into shape, we end up paralyzed and tangled in our own chains of bondage. We become a slave to the “wave,” literally stuck out in an ocean of sin (on our little surf board) just waiting for the next big wave, only to be disappointed the fun did not last. Yet this so-called power is only an illusion.

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Shocked? No, I am not shocked by a pop star twerking half dressed on stage or grinding on a surf board. I was more shocked when 17 year old Lorde kept her clothes on during a performance!! Sad is the word I would use to describe how I felt after watching this married couple grab each other on stage. Don’t get me wrong; I am all about married couples enjoying sexual intimacy, and I am also all for women feeling good about themselves after having babies – but do we need the entire world to see?

It crossed my mind that somewhere in time the married couple had to have the following conversation: She said, “Honey, I think I am going to do a chair dance on stage for millions to watch.” He said, “Sounds GREAT!”

After watching Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “Drunk On Love” performance at the Grammys, I was reminded of how thankful I am that my husband 8 years ago took a stand to keep me for himself and didn’t share me with the world. My husband was jealous for me.

Jay-Z was ok with his wife spreading her legs for the entire world to see. Jay-Z apparently saw no problem with millions of men taking his wife to bed that night – a leather thong playing through the Rolodex of their minds.

Even Jamie Foxx admitted openly and casually to America the fact that he could not stop thinking about Beyoncé’s smoking hot performance. If a man walked up to my husband and said the same thing, I shiver at what would happen to that man.

Men – young and old – are being trained to exploit women.

Performances like what we see at the Grammys is a training-ground for young eyes. We are shocked and horrified that human sex trafficking is taking place in America (and rightfully so). But we should also be angered at artists who encourage men to view women simply as objects instead of individuals created in the image of God.

The culture is teaching my sons the following:

They need to be looking for the next exciting, sexy image. So they flip through the channels until they find a stimulating image – always flipping back and forth – never satisfied long enough.

Women are not to be respected. They are objects for a man’s viewing and using pleasure, and when you get bored, you simply move onto the next hot thing.

Women are for sex. Her face is replaced with genitals in a way that is depersonalizing. The pornography industry is the epitome such.

Our boys are learning it’s all about conquering women instead of treasuring one woman.

They are learning to be an abuser instead of a protector.

They are being taught that women want a guy who will come and get it.

Not only is the culture communicating something very harmful to our boys, but our girls are hearing mixed-messages that their entire self-worth is based upon how well they perform.

My little Ellie, for example, will be faced with the questions: Is she pretty and sexy enough to get a man’s attention? Can she entertain him? Can she keep his attention with her performance? Dress? Talk? Texting?

Where a man is looking for a vivid image, our daughters are learning they need to be that image (and that they need to be as skinny as the girl on the cover of the Victoria’s Secret magazine).

She is learning to be exploited, used, and rejected – over and over again. Is this what we want for our children? To be exploited?

Oh how we need a love that will not exploit, leave us, take advantage of us, and merely use us?
Yes, women need love from a Man, and that Man is Jesus.

Christ was exploited. He was punished for sins that He did not commit. His love is unfathomable. Jesus’ love is a love that longs to cover us. It is a love that does not ask us to do anything to merit its affections. We don’t have to perform. We don’t have to entertain. We don’t have to be the prettiest or the best. We’re accepted not because of how beautiful we are, but in spite of how spiritually ugly our sin can make us. Jesus’ love is a love that covers all of our ugly sin and clothes us in his righteousness.