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Saturday, March 17, 2012

love is not a hamburger

"I got a fevahh..."

I hear it playing in the next room. When I walk into the living room and look at the TV, I wonder to myself, "Um, what channel did I accidentally stumble upon?" Oh, just channel 9 local news? (Okaaaaaay. And don't think this is midnight television. It's before 9am.) You've seen it, the cutesy vintage-style commercial featuring a pretty girl wearing a stylish outfit, sitting in an old-fashioned convertible at a drive-in movie. It's the latest racy Carl's Jr./Hardee's hamburger ad. And as the seconds roll on and most of the model's clothes come off, my jaw is on the floor.


"Was that intended to make me hungry?" I wonder to myself as the commercial fades and the news begins to air. Because, honestly - it didn't make me want to eat a hamburger at all. In fact, it kinda made me want to gag.
In a way, this is nothing new. It's not a news flash to anyone that the media is becoming progressively more sexualized, Carl's Jr. is now known for it's racy commercials, and we all see that the adage "sex sells" is, sadly, true. Yet, my heart broke when I saw this commercial and I began thinking about it. People can view whatever they want to and that is not my concern, yet this commercial (even though it was banned from the Superbowl due to being too racy) is being aired on national television, on family-oriented channels - thrust into the faces of little children and adults (like myself) who don't want to see pornographic images on their family television when they're simply watching the nightly news. The airing of this commercial is crossing a line, and I believe it needs to be talked about. And while anyone who knows me will tell you I'm the ultimate peacemaker who steers clear of confrontation, they will also tell you that my convictions are strong and I am a deep thinker. One of my biggest passions is sexual purity, and so I want to share with you, my sweet and precious readers, some thoughts on my heart regarding this subject, this commercial, and most of all - the value of women, sex, and purity which are being treated like trash in our media.

My heart in sharing this is not to tear anyone down, bash people, or sound "holier than thou", but I must admit - as a woman and a Christian - I am insulted and shocked by this commercial because not only is it offensive and degrading to women, but it's inappropriate for children, and devalues something very sacred: sex.

And I'm not alone.

Addiction counselor and expert Steve Arteburn is calling for the ad to be pulled from the air (article here) And Women's Rights advocates began a petition to stop the airing of the ad, calling it "...distasteful and inappropriate for the viewing of children" and stating that the ad's "explicit nature...is just one example of their inappropriate use of sex to sell their product with complete disregard for a large portion of their viewers, children." Find the petition here and please take a few moments to add your name.

They're just trying to make money, right? I get it - it's a rough economy. But hey, do us a favor, Carl's Jr. - and quit using sex to sell fast food. My heart aches over the impact this commercial is currently having. It goes deeper than 60 seconds of images the ad promotes. When you actually think of it and say it straight out, it is pathetic and very sad. Disrespecting women. Cheapening the value of precious things. Sending a message of: it's all about my fun, my pleasure, self-centered gratification - throwing the value of true love and meaningful relationships out the window. Treating a piece of meat between two stale buns like a man you go on a date with to a drive-in movie. Turning women against women, as one quick scene in the ad shows a woman turning her boyfriend's eyes away from the model's little "show".


This ad made me think. About more than a 60-second commercial that will someday be off the air. It made me think about the influence media has on our minds. Caused me to wonder what the future of our culture looks like for our children, our grandchildren. Made me question my own heart and my values - reminding me of precious truths I hold dear, ones I don't want to ever be careless with or fail to protect.

The truth is, we must be on our guard. And the reason I'm sharing this with you is because I want to remind you and me of truths my mom and dad taught me as I was growing up: that purity is a gem. A woman is not a piece of meat. Sex is precious. And that we must fight to guard what comes into our homes, our family's eyes, and our own minds.

I'm reminding myself that the things we listen to, read, see and watch ...one ad here, a billboard there, a radio single, a racy commercial we're "ok" with - they all slowly erode and shift the way we think... like a hillside in the rainy season. And if we are not careful, vigilant... the "hillside" of our heart and mind will oh so helplessly come crumbling down.

"I'm doing the very best I can, and I'm doing it at home, where it counts.
I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things."
-Psalm 101:2-3
The Message

So, please, do not be careless with your mind. Don't let your soul be influenced by someone else's agenda. Be on your guard, aware, alert. Don't fall into monotony. Don't be shifted like a house built on sand. Don't let a tolerance be built up in your heart, unawares, that cannot discern what is good and what is evil. Your heart is precious. Your mind is like a canvas, who are you letting paint it? Are we filling our minds with God's word and truth or sleazy commercials, billboards, radio singles?
Please, my friends - don't let Satan rip you off. Don't let him steal, kill, and destroy in the lives of your loved ones, your children.


"The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy.
But I (Jesus) came that they may have life,
 and have it abundantly."
-John 10:10
{emphasis mine}

I think about the impact that media like this has on precious ones we love. Our future. Moms, you're with me on this right? Just think of your little, impressionable children. The men you love who are fighting to stay faithful to their wives. The women looking for value. Ads like this one are not to be taken lightly. They're not cute, fun, or harmless. They are damaging to our minds, our families, our children. This ad (and many other forms of media in our culture) are dangerously teetering on the edge of full-on pornography. Let's not play with fire.
You just don't mess around with airing ads like this when current statistics state:

-The largest consumer of Internet pornography is the 12-17 age group.
-The average age of first exposure to pornography is 11 years old.
- 70% of 18 to 24 year old men visit pornographic sites every month. 66% of men in their   20's & 30's report being regular users of pornography.
-1 out of every 6 women grapples with addiction to pornography.
-For every 10 men in church, 5 are struggling with pornography.
-30% of adults surveyed said their partner's use of pornography made them feel like a sexual object.
-51% of adults surveyed believe that pornography raises men's expectation of how women should look and changes men's expectations of how women should behave.

I gathered all statistics via http://www.purehope.net/stat.asp


Tonight, my heart is breaking. And I pray you take a few minutes along with me to think about the value of purity, the slippery slope our culture is taking us on through media, and the things you can do in your own life to change your world.

My heart is breaking for...


the woman... comparing herself to a model's painted-on, airbrushed "beauty", her value diminished as every second rolls on, every time the commercial airs. Effecting the way she acts, thinks, eats, relates with men. The way she is treated. Her worth, her intrinsic God-given beauty, her inner soul - cheapened, compared with a nasty $3 burger in a stinky paper bag. The young wife, cringing every time she must endure those awful 60 seconds it's on, as she sits with the love her life just watching the evening news, secretly longing for her new husband's eyes to be saved just for her alone. Images of lust threaten precious vows, a sacred covenant, luring her husband's loving eyes, threatening to rock the foundation of a new marriage. Unnecessary insecurity surfaces in her heart, shakes her.

the man... he's desperately fighting for purity in his mind... failing, falling short with every screen shot. It shapes how he views the women he dates, the girls he interacts with at church, the ladies he works with, the female classmates he studies with in the college library. It reminds him of past failures, images he saw in teenagehood, triggering thoughts of things he forgave himself for long ago, luring him back to what he's fought hard to overcome. A hurdle thrown in his already rocky path, tripping him up on the road to becoming a man of integrity, strength and honor. The young husband...committed to be faithful to his precious new love, his new family. Desiring to be a man of purity, to be faithful in his actions, heart and mind. Yet, as he sits watching a typical news program, he's confronted with images. Distracting his focus, damaging the resolve in his heart. Another hit on the battlefield of his mind as he strives to love a real life woman with feelings and emotions, while messages in the commercial scream "women are things to play with" rather than cherished treasures to guard and love. (Remember strong men - what Job in the Bible told the Lord- "I made a solemn pact with myself never to undress a girl with my eyes." -Job 31:1)

the little girl...impressionable and sweet - learning what womanhood looks like, understanding the definition of beauty, worth, value. Learning how to act, how to dress, how to relate to men in this world. Her wide eyes taking in every shot as the commercial rolls on, gazing at images that won't soon be forgotten. She's like a little sponge, the beauty and sacredness of true womanhood demeaned in her eyes.

the little boy...innocent and curious, learning how to view the women in his future. Images cast into his little mind that shape his thinking forever, somewhere down the road effecting how he treats females...his future wife, his daughters, his co-workers. Shaping his mind, causing far-reaching consequences. Planting seeds of addiction, watered well by a sex-saturated culture and media. Addiction that could torture his entire adult life.

and for the model in the ad, Kate Upton... I know you're like 19 and don't really get it yet - being famous and rich is fun right now I'm sure, but pleeease I beg of you - have respect for yourself and the rest of us women. Not only is making out with food just plain gross but you're making every woman in the world feel like they have no value. And hun, that's just not worth it. Trust me. You're a pretty girl and so am I - please stop making us look and feel like pieces of meat. I don't know about you, but I choose respect from men over money and fame - and you'll see when you grow up a little how meaningless the attention you're getting is. My heart breaks for you, girl.

My dear friends,

pray.
sign the petition.
think about your heart and mind...don't let filth in.
talk about it with your hubby, your kids, your friends.
and don't be a pushover - take a stand.
it's our world, our life:
your future daughter's worth, the media your son will grow up to face.

and it is so very important....so very sacred.

And ya know what?
it deserves to be fought for.

Can I just remind you?
Intimacy will not be discovered on a TV screen or true relationship in a drive-thru.
Sex is not to be equated with cheap fast food.

And love is not a hamburger.

***

Praying for you and me -
may our minds be kept pure, may our hearts value true sacredness, may we protect our eyes, and may we discern truth and lies in this ever darkening world.

"Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to Your word."
-Psalm 119:37

I dedicate this post to the good guys and good girls who are fighting for purity
(sometimes failing and falling)
but always getting back up, and looking to God for strength, second chances, and sweet grace.

Together - we are can change the world.
I know it.

Stay strong.


XO

{love & prayers for every one who reads this}

Erin.



PS - A few Scriptures to encourage you in purity:

 "For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished.
It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own."
-Job 31:11-12

"So, then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."
-Romans 14:12

"Do not lust in your heart after her beauty of let her captivate you with her eyes,
for the prostitute reduces you to a load of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.
Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?"
-Proverbs 6:25-27

"I will set my eyes before no vile thing."
-Psalm 101:3

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires."
-Romans 13:14

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gauge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right eye causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."
-Matthew 5:27-30

"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming."
-Colossians 3:5-6

"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people."
-Ephesians 5:3

"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."
-Hebrews 13:4

***

35 comments:

  1. Girl, thank you SO much for posting this! This is something more and more people need to hear about. I thankfully haven't seen the commercial, but that it no way means I won't be signing that petition. Thanks for raising awareness about something as awful as this!

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  2. This is such a good word. I can definitely tell it's something that you are passionate about and it should be something that all of us are passionate about. Our purity is so sacred, especially to the Lord. And like you, it breaks my heart to see women participating in such filth, men and women enjoying it and defending it and children watching it without truly knowing the implications.

    We don't have tv for a few reasons. I will do everything in my power to keep my children from being exposed to such crap and to teach my future daughters their own value and worth. And my husband will do everything in his power to teach our son (and hopefully future sons) to respect women and to understand their worth.

    I am afraid for our country and our society and for the direction in which it is headed. I pray fervently that we will turn back to the Lord and do so quickly.

    2 Cor 7:14 "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

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  3. AMEN!! We don't have carl jr.'s here - but my aunt lives in california and we've talked about their commercials before and i've seen some of them. she decided not to eat there awhile ago after one of their commercials. it is sad what companies try to do to get attention - and scary of what they may do in the future if this is how it is now. thanks for your wisdom and encouragement regarding purity!

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  4. The end s near! Like seriously, this generation and the next are going to be so hard to follow Christ. It already is just by those statistics. I've never heard of that place or commercial but it's not right.
    I'm grateful for a hubby that whenever a vs commercial pops up, he will just stare and look at me. Lol he smiles and just takes me in. It was creepy at first but I understand what he was doing. :-)
    Sex is in almos t everything and it's really frustrating!! I end up watching old tv shows on my Netflix to get away but it always comes back. :-/ thanks for sharing

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  5. Fantastic post! I don't live around any Carl jrs so I've never seen their commercials, but it seems like just about everything on TV is like this. Little by little one more thing becomes acceptable and before we know it everything will be acceptable. I've been studying Daniel for the last few months and as Christians we need to be Daniel's in our own personal Babylon, standing up for what is true and having resolve to obey God to the fullest despite what our cultures does and says! We can't let our "friendly captivity" change us! Your post goes right along with what I've been thinking! Thank you!!

    <3 <3 <3

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  6. I cannot agree with you more, Erin! These types of degrading messages are everywhere, and it's no wonder that we have so many problems with self-worth, self-image and sexuality in our culture. The fact that we are taking something so beautiful and sacred and exchanging it for a cheap and counterfeit version that in no way rivals the real deal is so saddening. I'm glad there's not a Carl Jr's here, and if there was I wouldn't be frequenting it at all because of that sort of thing. The media uses all kinds of crazy tactics to subtly send underlying messages to our subconscious, and before we know it, we're believing these lies that seem to come out of nowhere, but have been building up over time because of the things we subject our minds to. Thanks for this reminder to guard our hearts and minds..to think on what is noble, right, and pure; to not be afraid to stand up for what is true. You're right on girl! :)

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  7. I applaud you girl!! =) Keep writing truth like this because you are right on!!! =)
    I signed the petition and sadly watched the ad and wished I hadnt...it really was AWFUL!!
    Dont worry about losing followers over this. Keep writing what our dear Father tells you to =)
    Love you girl!
    L

    allglorious-within.blogspot.com

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  8. You put everything into words that I was thinking and so desperately wanting to say myself, girl. That ad made me SICK. I was in awe at it and signed every petition that I could find. Sinful man has perverted EVERYTHING that God intended to be for good & it's something that we have become accustomed to. It is wrong & we need to take a stand & fight for purity. Let me just say that I am 100% with you on this. I support your post & will share it every way that I can. Thank you for being so bold & so genuine & so in love with the purity that God first intended for us to have. You are a true LIGHT & inspiration, girlie.

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  9. Erin, your light shines. I love how you are bold in a fight for purity. Trust me, even after you marry it is a fight! I am proud of you and do not even know you. Thank you for this. Signing it!

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  10. An interesting note: Carl's Jr bought out Hardee's a few years back. Hardee's is a prominent staple in the South - the Bible Belt. These vulgar, pornographic commercials which air in the West for Carl's Jr do NOT air in the South for Hardees. Why the difference? Does this company believe they need to use sex to sell hamburgers in California? I think this company has a very double (and ugly) standard. They have lost this customer for life!

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  11. Thank you for sharing those scriptures! Purity is something that is so sacred and dear to my heart.

    www.thedailyeverythings.blogspot.com

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  12. I haven't seen this advert, but I signed the petition as I am against anything that degrades women and devalues sex and purity. Powerful post, I am always inspired by your passion for purity :) I pray that someday the world will come to understand the true worth of sex and the value marriage once more!

    God bless you!

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  13. great post and about something that no one likes talking about! i get confused by all of the carl commercials. none of them really have anything to do with selling a burger but they're more about selling sex..

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  14. great post. thanks for posting truth through God's word. may we be ever mindful of guarding our hearts, minds, eyes and those our our children. praying for this struggle going on in those all around.

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  15. AMEN SISTER! Thank you for sharing your honest views and for encouraging what God wants! Blessings!

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  16. Such a powerful post with such good insight!

    The whole hamburger thing reminded me of something CS Lewis wrote about sexuality and how crazy and obsessed our society is with it. Don't know if you've read it or not but its really thought provoking! (I copied and pasted it below!)

    "Now suppose you came to a country where you could fill a theater by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us?"

    Thank you for posting on these topics! It makes me think.

    Allie Ruth Morris

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  17. WONDERFUL post. Thank you for being obedient and sharing your heart. It's a topic that can be uncomfortable to bring up but it's something that can't be fought for too much.
    xo Alanna

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  18. Absolutely love this Erin ! I have always found these images to be so wrong.it is not okay that a mother can't control what her kid sees on basic channels! Same with images stores use in the mall! I adore your passion for the truth! Keep fighting woman need more people like you!
    Xoxo

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  19. I always like how you are honest in your writing as well as your passion for the subject you're talking about at hand saying how you feel no matter.

    Always a Follower :)

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  20. I have never seen this commercial and I am so thankful for that! YUCK! And thank YOU for this post! It just breaks my heart that the media brings more and more sex into everything. It is just wrong. The hubs and I babysat 5 boys for a week in Feb and we actually watched the Super Bowl with them. The oldest boy is 14 and they are all about 2 years apart. I was mortified to watch some of the commercials (like godaddy.com) with those boys surrounding me. There was 1 commercial in particular that the 14 yr old actually admitted was embarrassing to watch. I felt embarrassed that the women were portraying themselves in such a sexual, non respecting way. And I fear that little boys will grow up respecting women less and less because of these commercials, the magazines, and tv shows. It is more important than EVER that when we become mom's we teach our boys the importance of respecting women. That sex is sacred and shouldn't be thrown around disrespectfully. I know this comment is all over the place and I hope I'm making sense! I guess what I'm trying to say is that with all of the horrible media these days... it's up to us to be the example!!

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  21. I am so glad you posted this. I feel like the older I get and the more I mature in my faith and go deeper in the relationship I have with the lord, the more I realize things like this. I love how you said purity is a gem. No dollar amount can be placed on such a beautiful thing. Thank you for speaking out on this sweet girl!!!!! Love your heart!

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  22. i completely agree!! its so hard to not compare yourself to some women on tv and definitely harder to sit there and watch some half naked woman dance around with your husband watching as well. makes you just feel horrible. sex is definitely a special thing. and women should not be looked at as just sexual beings. if anything - we are made up of pure feelings haha. thank you for sharing this wonderful post :) and thanks for reading my blog :)

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  23. Erin, this is so completely true. Thank you for sharing! Luckily for my geographic region we have not seen the commercial due to our lack of major restaurant chains of any kind. It's really unfortunate that in this day in time we can't turn on our tv's without being bombarded with images like these :(

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  24. It's reading posts like this that keep me going on some days :) Erin, I truly mean this - you have one of the kindest/most genuine hearts ever! Keep standing bold girl - you're touching and blessing so many people...including me.

    Honestly, I don't even watch much TV.
    A lot of it is because of things like this commercial.
    It breaks my heart and I don't want to open myself up to it...so sad.

    Anyway, hope your day was as wonderful as you :)
    xo

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  25. Amazing, Erin! We are so proud of what you are doing with your blog!

    Donald and I work so hard to fight for this and greatly encourage raising awareness on this overlooked lifestyle. About four years ago we committed ourselves to respect each other all the way. Starting with the movies we watched. We restrict what we watch for ourselves and our children! What kind of examples would we be if we didn’t, right? But it goes further than that. The people of this world, let’s even say Americans, have chosen not to see what Satan is doing so discreetly… We find that the vast majority of adults are saying “well, it’s not good for our kids, but we’re old enough to handle it.” NOT TRUE! You’re never too old enough to handle it. How much longer shall we continue to lie to ourselves for the simple pleasures of this world? It’s harmful and we know it!

    Let’s face it, when you’re at home enjoying a nice evening with your husband and you’re watching a ball game and a commercial comes on and it shows a half undressed model it makes us feel pretty low. Or even when you’re watching a movie and here comes the scene where Phillip is beginning to undress Jane, we are literally perverting our minds and involving ourselves in what Donald and I like to call “soft-core porn”. Husbands and wives, we really need to ask ourselves when we are in these situations… “Am I respecting my spouse?” Marriage is LOVE. Love is a long list of sweetness, intimacy, sacredness, respect and so much more. Love is beautiful and fulfilling. Love grows every day. This can be anyone’s love if you do it right. Especially with Jesus. He makes things clear, He brings light in the darkness and He is Love. Learning His love allows us to learn how to love others including ourselves.

    When disciplining ourselves with these things, we not only learn how to respect our spouse, but ourselves. Eliminate your “fun” the things of this world that distract us from all good. You will find that low self-esteem thrown out the window and finding yourself in love.

    Great tips for love and respect in marriage:

    Simply shut your cable off. Reading is better anyhow! Don’t work around it by making excuses also, like saying we should TiVo everything and forward through commercials. Spending a quiet evening with your spouse is definitely more intimate. That old fashion, look into each other’s eyes and share about your day.

    Movies. Doesn’t matter if it’s rated PG… look on the website kidsinmind.com and search what each movie has. Sexual content in a PG movie goes a long way these days. Even in a children’s movie. There is an agenda! Don’t settle for even the simplest scene. Ex. PG movie that has a scene at a bar and women are dressed in low cut dresses where clearly cleavage is show. Or a scene in a locker room where you find half-dressed men with no shirts wrapped in a towel.

    When at work, hanging out with a group of friends or any other similar situation and someone makes a sexual joke or comment. Don’t laugh. Don’t smile. Don’t involve yourself in something that you know effects your marriage or relationship. Do it for the women you love sitting at home. The beautiful, loving and nurturing women you married. Do it for the man that lives and works hard for you and your children. Do it for your savior. He knows all.

    Pornography is not real. Marriage, sex, intimacy with your spouse is real. It’s a beautiful creation of God’s perfect plan. Love is real.

    “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4

    “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

    Thanks again, Erin! Donald and I really enjoyed reading this. Very encouraging.


    Daisy Wagner

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  26. What an inspiring post! And so true, those commercials make no sense and are pointless for many reasons... love your "heart breaks for" piece..

    XO
    www.pearlsandpaws.blogspot.com

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  27. What a great post! I have a 2 year old son and now more than ever, I am starting to realize how trashy tv and media in general has become! I knew it before, but now that I have an impressionable young mind, watching along with me, it makes it that much more real. I'm sharing this on my FB page! Thanks so much for such a great post!
    http://preciousasrubies.blogspot.com/

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  28. Beautiful, beautiful post! Totally agree!!!

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  29. Carls Jr. likes to portray their products as being "man's food" with their $6 burgers and their sex sells commercials.

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  30. Amazing post! That commercial makes me cringe every time I see it. I feel gross and it sickens me to know my husband is sitting there with me looking at that girl on the screen trying to tempt him.

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  31. Obviously I've not see that ad here in New Zealand, but I definitely agree that it sounds inappropriate on several different levels. Ew.

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  32. You go girl! Haven't seen the commercial, but you're right on in what you say and how you say it. Renewing our minds is how we're transformed. Well put! Good for you.

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  33. I have not seen the commercial...and glad about that... but I have heard about it. Thanks for posting this.. totally agree 100%. I just found your blog today and love it!!

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  34. This is absolutely wonderful. It is such an inexpressible encouragement to me. I have grown to love your blog and the strong stance you take on things of Christ. Keep writing because you have no idea the effect you are having on my life. God bless you!

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sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.

xo.

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