WHAT IS IT?
Written by Emmy® award-winning director Melody George, helmed by seasoned producer Nathan Nazario, Your Love Is Strong is a timely, desperately needed film that is positioned to send shockwaves through Christian culture.
If you grew up in the church, odds are you’ve heard the age-old adage, “Don’t have sex before marriage.” But unfortunately, the concept of “purity” for so many comes with a lot of baggage, shame, and judgment. The stats show us that few still believe in the concept of waiting, and even those who do rarely succeed in living it out.
So we’re asking the question: What’s the rationale behind that statement we all know, “Don’t have sex before marriage?” What’s the truth behind that? What does it look like for people to walk that out in 2023, a time when sexual norms are being redefined like never before? What’s the truth about God’s design for sexuality? And how can the church do a better job of talking about it? That’s what this movie is about.
Mandy, a 30-year-old virgin, is starting to wonder if God will ever bring someone special into her life. When she finds herself tempted by the guy of her dreams, she has to decide if the Biblical principle of saving sex for marriage is still relevant in our hypersexualized, modern world. Meanwhile, Mandy’s friends from church all wrestle with singleness and dating, God’s plan and timing, sexual temptation, and feelings of shame and confusion. Ultimately, their search for truth in a messy world leads to powerful discoveries about the value of sexual integrity and God’s redemptive grace for imperfect, broken people—all of us.
IRREPRESSIBLE DRIVE, MEET UNSTOPPABLE PLAN
When mankind “fell” in the book of Genesis, something catastrophic happened. It was a divorce; CS Lewis called it “The Great Divorce.” Humanity, a species that had never known pain, never known need, never even conceived of the concept of rejection, became (chose to become) for the first time ever “separated” from Love Himself; from perfect union with a perfect Father in a perfect paradise.
God said, “The day you eat of the tree, you will surely die.” Yet, they didn’t die physically.
So, what died that day?
Post-Fall humanity seemed destined to crawl through life grasping for something. Groping in the dark, searching for love, esteem, significance, belonging. Somewhere, anywhere. So often we looked for it in the arms of another human being, and were met with disappointment, rejection, abuse, and/ or eventual separation.
At its core, the drive for sex is actually a drive for connection. For union. And let’s face it, whether emotional or physical in its expression, it’s a drive that can seem uncontrollable and often, insatiable. Add religion to that mix, and you have a recipe for perpetual inner turmoil, unmet expectations and cognitive dissonance.
Yet, most of us long for a lasting relationship. Most of us get teary-eyed at the beginning of the movie “Up.” Most of us really don’t want to make love to a computer screen, or to ourselves, and really do desire to grow old with one lifelong partner. Even the most sexually unbridled amongst us will usually concede to the profound spiritual nature of our human sexuality: “As much as you try to make it casual, it just… isn’t.”
So what's really possible here in this fallen reality? How good can it really be? Are we just doomed to struggle with porn and shame, loneliness, breakups, divorce, abuse, abandonment, and broken hearts? It’s passionate at first… then familiarity, then tolerance, then loathing, then… the break?
Everything’s been tried in this arena, from Josh Harris to arranged marriages to one night stands to cohabitation. But what if there was a model that transcended them all? What if having a successful relationship and marriage wasn’t only possible, but just the baseline?
What if romantic love wasn’t just two broken people trying and failing to meet each other’s needs, but two whole people coming together out of an overflow of love to give, creating a kind of synergy that unleashes the glory of God on the earth?
We’d like to boldly suggest that it actually can be all that, and more.
What if the power of the Holy Spirit in us — the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1) — really can do that in us? What if it wasn’t just about behavior modification, but about the total healing of our trauma and the total transformation of our appetites? What if you didn’t even desire to sin? And what if saving sex for marriage wasn’t just an arbitrary rule to ruin all our fun, or some weird, prudish dogma… but what if it was setting us up for something greater, something higher, something more epic than we could have possibly imagined?
Enter: Jesus. The Messiah. Our irrepressible drive for love is met by his unstoppable drive to get us back into total love; total wholeness. Nothing missing, nothing broken. It wasn’t just his desire to get us to heaven someday. It was a plan to restore us back to union with him, right here, right now (John 17). From that place, human relationships become downright supernatural. On earth, as it is in heaven.
Maybe, just maybe, the God who conceived the very idea of relationship, the God who literally created us for the purpose of relationship, a God who literally IS LOVE — maybe he wants us to experience it in its highest possible, most rapturous, most dignified form.
What if it really can be that good? And how do we get there?
We’re gonna find out.
God reached into the fullness of his image in man, and brought out the woman. He made one into two so that two could become one: a complete representation.
It’s important that we ask all the hard questions, like, “Isn’t it okay to test drive the car?” “Is masturbation wrong?” And, “What in the heck do you do if you’re still single in your 30’s and 40’s???” But ultimately, these questions reveal an elementary paradigm that hasn’t even begun to grasp the transcendent glory of God‘s plan. It’s a fallen paradigm that strips sex from its relational moorings and reduces it to its lowest possible expression: using another human being to temporarily meet our physical urges and emotional voids.
God is into covenant. God is into excellence. God is into dignity. God is after human flourishing.
There is a place in covenant intimacy that is so far beyond what we’ve made sex to be. There’s a supernatural place in marital sex where you can be more overwhelmed by the presence of God than by your physical experience. There’s a place that is safe, non-needy, non-driven. A place where I’m in it to bless, honor, and know you, not to get my voids filled.
It’s possible to live a life of radical sexual wholeness — not from striving to follow rules, but with Holy Spirit power and a radically transformed mind.
Virginity is not equal to purity. It’s just one part of it.
Purity is defined by our oneness with Christ. The Bible says, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6). And the Bible wouldn’t tell us to be like him unless it was possible, right?
You can stay a virgin out of religious pride, and there’s nothing remotely pure about that. Or, you can stay celebate because your nature has been so radically transformed that you think and love like God. One comes from flesh effort and always fails to produce true holiness. The other comes from the Holy Spirit and has the supernatural “dunamis” power to change you from the inside out.
Purity isn’t a list of do’s and don’ts. Purity isn’t going to “second base” but not “all the way.”
“Sexual purity” is a byproduct of spiritual purity. When you truly encounter God, you start to love people (and yourself) like God does. And when you see yourself the way God sees you, that vision produces the fruit of righteousness in you, and you begin to think and act like the absolute king or queen that you are.
IT'S ABOUT RELATIONSHIP
In the church, we’ve often been guilty of teaching people to have a relationship with the law more than a relationship with Christ, the source from which all power, purity, and identity flows. Your Love Is Strong will launch a new kind of movement: one that will help people come into a place of true oneness with the Living God. When that depth of relationship is in place, sexual integrity is the natural byproduct.
It’s time to get our focus off of religious technicalities, and onto the radical, abundant, incomparable life of power and love that is possible.
IT'S ABOUT HEALING
We refuse to preach the truth about sexuality without also being a force of healing and deliverance to bind up broken hearts and set the captives free. Jesus said of the Pharisees: “They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden” (Matthew 23:4 NLT). It’s time for the church to become a source of healing power for those trapped in addiction, broken by trauma, or stuck in endless cycles of broken relationships, rejection, and shame.
It’s time for the church, the physical hands and feet of Jesus, to say, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed” (Isaiah 61).
IT'S A RESOURCE
At a time when traditional sexual values are being shaken, many church leaders struggle to address these topics. Your Love Is Strong will provide a tool to do just that, empowering believers to walk in radical sexual wholeness.
The movie is designed as a resource that any church can activate. The goal is to train congregations to be intentional about the sexual culture they create. Conservative churches sometimes perpetuate shame and silence, while progressive churches may stray from truth, afraid of making people feel judged. The film, supplemental content, and curricula will help churches develop healthy dynamics and communication.
You can’t have true revival without purity.
Social anthropologist JD Unwin studied 86 civilizations over 5000 years of history to understand the impact of sexual freedom on societies. He found that without exception, every culture that experienced a sexual revolution collapsed within 3 generations. Meanwhile, those cultures that valued monogamy and practiced sexual chastity until marriage were the most successful in every civic sector from agriculture to science to the arts. He presented his findings in his groundbreaking, 600-page book, Sex and Culture.
The fact of the matter is, sexual decline is at the heart of all kinds of social problems. Studies show that fatherlessness is one of the greatest predictors of youth violence, addiction, suicide, and a host of other problems. One of the best ways we can strengthen the family unit is by empowering people to save sex for marriage. We can help our culture thrive by helping people avoid the devastation that can come from premature sexual relationships.
Thoreau famously said, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Get people to wait for marriage, and you’ve dealt a serious blow to STDs, AIDS, teen pregnancy, fatherlessness, single parenthood, abortion, teen suicide, depression, poverty, and the like. Talk about “striking at the root.”
We’ll partner with churches and ministries that are doing the hands-on work of repairing families, breaking bondage, and spreading the truth about Godly sexuality. The movie is designed to come up under these organizations, providing resources, bolstering up their causes and expanding their spheres of influence. They already have boots on the ground; we have a movie that will bring attention to the issue on a scale we’ve never seen before. Joining forces will only amplify the power.
IT'S THE POWER OF MEDIA
Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin may not be our favorite influencer of all time, but let’s face it: he knew how to change society on a mass scale. He said, “Of all the arts, cinema is the most important,” recognizing the power of a mass medium that could package a compelling message and deliver a formidable emotional punch to boot. Movies are a powerful way to touch peoples’ hearts. And as a mass medium, they have the ability to reach a large audience, create a lot of buzz, define cultural values and galvanize social change.
Walt Disney recognized it decades ago: “Movies have tremendous influence in shaping young lives towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.” And DeVon Franklin echoes, “This is why I’ve dedicated my life to making stories like this. It’s more than a ticket sale at the box office. It becomes real-life ministry.”
The world knows the power of the motion picture medium; it’s time the church did too.
IT'S A KAIROS MOMENT
We’re aiming to catalyze a moment in church history when Christian leaders from all over the world come together to focus the church’s attention on this crucial issue, bringing the healing and restoration that will empower us to finish the work and advance the second coming of Christ.