I am taking a break from my normal blogging routine to address a popular phenomenon in our culture. The following paragraphs chronicle my thoughts and research on healthy sexuality, and how 50 Shades of Grey can threaten it. Please read with caution accordingly…
I wanted to title this post “50 Shades of Uncomfortable,” because the previews and chatter surrounding this film always makes me feel so uneasy. Unfortunately, I can’t escape the conversation.
The 50 Shades phenomenon has given women an outlet to sing the praises of soft porn and erotica. Porn is growing in popularity among women, and has been for some time, though our society has not publicly celebrated or promoted it until recent years. Sensations like Shades (and Magic Mike, and dare I say The Notebook) has given the media a platform for women’s sexual fantasies to be openly celebrated.
I scroll through my social media feed and see ladies whom I adore, respect, and share a common faith in Jesus Christ with, all proclaiming their excitement for 50 Shades of Grey. A few women even proclaimed how blessed to read this book that rekindled passion in their marriages.
Now, I love the women in my social circle. Again, many of these are ladies I respect and look up to. Because of this, I truly want to be a voice for a healthy and Christ-centered approach to sexuality. The following is a collaboration of many remarks, quotes, and articles, along with my personal thoughts on the subject:
50 Reasons to Avoid 50 Shades of Grey this Valentines Day
The love story of 50 Shades of Grey does not display God’s original intention for love.
- Love is patient
- Love is kind
- Love does not envy
- Love is not boastful
- Love is not conceited
- Love does not act improperly
- Love is not selfish
- Love is not provoked
- Love does not keep a record of wrongs.
- Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.
- Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
- Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13)
- “The sexy, tantalizing ‘love’ of Hollywood mixes seduction, scandal, and passion. It suggests that the best love is forbidden love. True love — the purest, fullest, most pleasing love — was designed by God for our good, and then displayed by God at the cross. If love looks selfish — if it takes, rather than gives — it simply isn’t love.” (Source)
The Sex displayed in 50 Shades of Grey does not display God’s original intention for sex.
- Biblically, sex should be a result of unconditional love and commitment in marriage.
- God is not a fuddy-duddy; He designed sex in marriage to be pleasurable, fulfilling, and fun.
- Our sin nature and deep-rooted selfishness tells us He thinks otherwise.
- Finding pleasure or sexual stimulation outside of marriage draws us away from our husbands.
- Finding pleasure outside of marriage draws us away from our Savior.
50 Shades of Grey promotes unrealistic expectations for the desires of single and married people.
- “The sexual desire of the unmarried person is good, is holy, and is part of the shining creation of the image of God.” (Source: desiringgod.org) Let’s not ruin it.
- “The things that you see cannot be unseen. The feelings that you experience from being entertained by those scenes cannot be unfelt.” (Source)
- Jesus, the humble Savior and victorious King, is the appropriate subject of our longing and desire for a strong man, not Christian Grey [or even our husbands, for that matter].
- The feelings 50 Shades of Grey can arouse are often the same feelings any new relationship can bring up: new energy, excitement, even anxiety. God designed these feelings to fuel passion in the beginning of a relationship; however, those emotions are not healthy to sustain a long–term, secure relationship. More on this very insightful perspective here. (Married ladies, please take the time to watch this video!)
E.L. James did not invent passionate sexuality, God did.
- Christians don’t need “Christian Grey” to give them permission to be sexual.
- God gives us that permission: “A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband…. Do not deprive one another sexually — except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:3, 5 HCSB)
- In fact, God emphasizes His design of passionate enjoyment in Song of Songs: “Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is more delightful than wine… Take me with you — let us hurry. Oh, that the king would bring me to his chambers…” (Song of Songs 1:2, 4)
- The Bible contrasts the currently lusted-after Mr. Grey, with a different kind of heart-throb who displays selfless love:
- “You are absolutely beautiful, my darling, with no imperfection in you.” (Song of Songs 4:7)
- “Your navel is a rounded bowl; it never lacks mixed wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat surrounded by lilies.” (Song of Songs 7:2)
- Women don’t need to get inside the head of Miss Steele to explore sexuality. God provides the narrative of a woman, in the Bible, who gives this brazen invitation to her husband: “Awaken, north wind — come, south wind. Blow on my garden, and spread the fragrance of its spices. Let my love come to his garden and eat its choicest fruits.” (Song of Songs 4:16)
- And these: “Like an apricot tree among the trees of the forest, so is my love among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.” (Song of Songs 2:3)
- “I would lead you, I would take you, to the house of my mother who taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink from my pomegranate juice.” (Song of Songs 8:2 HCSB)
“Marriage must be respected by all.” (Hebrews 13:14)
- Husbands and wives have the immense privilege of being a picture of Christ’s love for the church, and the church’s devotion to Jesus.
- It is our responsibility to show a hopeless world that Jesus LOVES unconditionally, without manipulation, guilt, fear of rejection, or harmful behavior (See Ephesians 5).
- If married women protect our eyes and imaginations, we will not need imagery outside of our marriage to be aroused.
Followers of Jesus should hate sin, not celebrate it.
- Glamorizing dominatrix and sexual violence can promote a culture of rape: see this site for more.
- Young women may feel pressure to be available, or even instigators of, violent sex acts. As one Facebook commenter said: “Fifty Shades is about making a young girl ‘good’ for sadistic sex.”
- “Domestic abuse always starts somewhere. When you watch or read and then decide to experiment… this book/movie is a gateway to abuse spilling out of the bedroom…” (continued below)
- Boycotting the film is a way to support women with domestic violence histories: (continued from above) “…I speak from experience as a former domestic violence victim. I will never allow myself to give up that kind of control to an earthly man.”~Facebook user.
- “The reality is that if you take away the glamour, “Fifty Shades” is just a sensationalized lie, telling women that they can, and should, fix violent and controlling men by being obedient and devoted, and that, somehow, this is romantic.” (Source)
- “Because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong… They are filled with all unrighteousness… inventors of evil… they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them. (from Romans 1:28-32)
- “because God will judge immoral people and adulterers.”Hebrews 13:14
- 50 Shades of Grey is listed on The National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s 2015 Dirty Dozen List – See more at fightthenewdrug.org
- “The kind of relationship portrayed in 50 Shades of Grey glorifies self and pleasure and ultimately Satan.”~another quote from a Facebook poll.
- There are lots of good stories, stories of redemption (which many claim the story of Grey has), available for reading and watching that do not bring dishonor to God.