This is sort of an "anti" post, hopefully not too much of a diatribe, but certainly something that I found thought-provoking and so wanted to pass it on. Just before we left for the Peacemaker Conference, a friend of mine posted a link to one of his friends' blogs, where she had commented on "Edward Obsession."
Even though it's a little longer than the average blog post, I encourage you to read the whole thing. Here is the key sentence from the opening paragraph: "Frankly, I think it's attraction to this kind of man [Edward Cullen or Emily Bronte's Heathcliff] that lands so many women in abusive relationships."
Coming from someone who (I think) had a counseling degree, that comment made me sit up and think. I know a lot of youngish women who've been fascinated with Twilight, so I was instantly intrigued by this link.
Okay, so I find myself basically wanting to copy and paste the two main paragraphs here, so I'll try to refrain -- go read it and then come back for a discussion of the main points!
- The overwhelming, unquenchable desire that these fictional characters have for their women is something that is desirable for many women in real life.
- Unfortunately, these behaviors in real life are red flags for abusive behavior in the future.
- Falling for characters in literature like this *can* help women fall into the trap of "he's my Edward" instead of realizing that in the fictional world, the obsessive behavior is attractive, but in real life, it can be dangerous.
- The desire to be desired this much is basically idolatry: we want to be wanted the way we're supposed to want God.
- Conclusion: "Ultimately, it's wanting to be loved more than you want to love, to possess rather than to serve. I think this is the reason things go south so quickly--people weren't designed to be worshipped or to worship each other...But it so resonates with our sinful desires--and even our legitimate ones--that it convinces us this is okay, even natural.... [But] compared to God's vision for romantic love (i.e. marriage), this just seems really sick and not at all glorious."
Okay, so honestly, my bullet points don't do justice to the incisive nature of the post (have I spent enough time yet telling you to read it?).
Now, to end on a positive note briefly: this is where this post has to do with "mercy" -- I am becoming increasingly convinced that mercy is such an important part of a marriage relationship! What do I need when I am struggling with weakness or sin? Mercy. What am I called to show my husband when he is struggling or sins against me? Mercy.
How do I do it?
In a nutshell: "We love because God first loved us" (1 John 4:19).