The other day I found myself singing along to a song on the radio, not really thinking about the lyrics, just singing along. I must’ve heard the song again last night and decided for some strange reason to google the video. I was absolutely horrified at what I saw. The song was “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem. Keep in mind, I was not put off by the language or by the fact that it was Eminem. I mean I expect that his songs will be vulgar and ridiculous. What horrified me was that the song stood for everything that I am against relationally. The basic premise of the song is that love = pain. And not just the pain of heartache, but an addictive, dysfunctional abusive pain that leaves people devastated and sometimes dead. What???? NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Not on my watch. Not in my lifetime. I am taking a stand today against this message, and I’m hoping after you read this blog you’ll stand with me and repost this blog.
One reason I am outraged is that Eminem took his message to a new level. This video is so Hollywood. It stars Meagan Fox, Dominic Monaghan, Rhiana and Eminem, and it targets young people who still don’t know what real love is. He has gone above and beyond to make abuse look glamorous, seductive and appealing. It’s not. There is no magical deep connection that turns into rage and beatings. It’s a lie. Don’t buy into it!
Love does not abuse, it does not beat, it does not lose control. It is not jealous it is not crazy. Love doesn’t cheat, love doesn’t betray and love doesn’t use you and throw you away when you’re not convenient to deal with. Love doesn’t threaten and it doesn’t punish. Let’s call all this what it is, it’s insanity. I’m going to go through some of the lines he writes to really dissect what’s being said and promoted by all involved:
High off my love, drunk from hate
It’s like I’m huffin’ paint and I love it the more I suffer
That’s not love Eminem, that’s sick. It’s called self-hatred when you love to suffer, which brings me to Rihanna’s section of the song;
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn?
That’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and watch me cry?
That’s alright because I love the way you lie, I love the way you lie.
Here’s the deal, I believe you Rihanna when you say you like it, because you keep engaging with it, you keep choosing that for your life. It makes me so sad when people choose this, because we all decide for ourselves what we believe we deserve. Rihanna’s not the only one believing this lie, the lie that she deserves burning pain. What I hear her saying is she not only deserves it, but has come to embrace it as something to feel affection for.
Back to Eminem:
You ever love somebody so much you could barely breathe when you with ‘em?
You swore you'd never hit 'em; never do nothing to hurt 'em
Now you're in each other's face spewing venom in your words when you spit them
You push pull each other's hair, scratch claw hit 'em
Throw 'em down pin 'em
So lost in the moments when you're in them
It's the rage that took over it controls you both
And how is it that you can live with yourself displaying that kind of relationship as sexy, enticing, and enchanting? With great influence and great power comes great responsibility. Your voice holds a lot of power and influence in this culture (Why? I will never really understand…but that’s another topic). Millions of kids, and young adults look up to you Eminem, and you Rhianna. What kind of message are you sending here? What are you telling them, what are you promoting? It is the greatest perversion of love I have seen lately. I have lived this kind of torment. Thank God I got out, I don’t even know how I got out, I just did. I was saved from this by grace and now I don’t have the prison sentence that some have given themselves by living that kind of abusive life from here on out. Because I’m free, I have dedicated my life to helping others be free of it. So, this is personal for me, very personal.
You may wonder why I bother speaking out. I do it because “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” (Martin Luther King Jr.). To me this video is no different than if he had created one that made child molesters look glamorous and sexy. The picture of love that he has distorted and perverted is an abomination to me. I said this once already, but it goes against everything I stand for. It’s wrong, and someone needed to say it’s wrong. Someone needs to use their voice to fight for what’s right.
Sometimes I don’t even fully understand myself why I react so strongly to some issues and not strongly to others. I think I sense at a deeper level when things have the potential to shift a nation, or a culture, or a large group of people. This can be positive or negative. In those moments I will either get behind it or I’ll want to fight it with everything that is within me. I’ve been helping so many couples lately get back on track with their marriage. I’ve been contending for their families, helping them heal from wounds of the past, hoping to salvage what is left of their lives, and then this video comes along. This video screams “we’re so hot, we’re all about what’s hot right now, you know you want to be us, this is the glamorous life.” And I know some will buy into that. Some already have. But please don’t let it be you. Please don’t let it be your friends. This is not reality, this is not truth, this is not love.
It’s time for the good guys to win. It’s time for marriages to succeed and for families to heal. It’s time for young women to know they are worth far more than that, and it’s time for young men to rise up and be the protectors they were created to be.