Those who know me know my parents aren’t just great parents; they are exceptional. Those who know me also know that I love to read. I love words. I love stories. I love books. I’ve always been a reader, and I will read anything from any genre any time. My parents nurtured this. There were no such things as “banned books” at my house; in fact one of my summer pastimes in high school was to read at least one book from the banned books list. That’s how Catcher in the Rye came to be a favorite. Still, there is a big difference between good writing that makes you think and trash writing that warps your mind. I credit my dad with helping me discern the difference.
The next morning, I threw the book away. With just a wee bit of calm, gentle guidance, my dad changed the direction of my thoughts. He taught me I was better than that. He taught me to discern bad from OK and good from best. He taught me not to settle.
Later, I also came to realize the Apostle Paul taught the same thing, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8, HCSB).
That’s why I’m not freaking out about Fifty Shades of Grey. I haven’t read the books and I won’t see the movie. It’s trash, pure and simple. I don’t need to speak into the conversation.
But I think maybe my dad should speak into the conversation. On behalf of good fathers everywhere, I think he should say to young women everywhere,
“Remember, what you see affects you. You’re better than this.”