A large Christian publishing house recently asked women this question: What book influenced you the most this year?
Their answer: 50 Shades of Grey.
50 Shades of Grey will be out in theaters this week. Apparently, this book has women all in a tizzy.
Weren’t we just foaming at the mouth over misunderstood vampires and blood thirsty body-building werewolves?
I can’t speak for everyone, but as a Christian and as a woman, I won’t be spending Valentine’s Day with Mr. Grey this week.
It’s not that I’m not curious. I am.
It’s not that I’m a prude. I’m not.
With online pornography destroying relationships more than ever before and the shame of sexual brokenness still keeping women silent, marriages nationwide are already limping along.
Mr. Grey may be handsome–and might I add wealthy, but he’s as deceptive as he is good looking. While he takes a tender young girl under his wing and teaches her the twisted, distorted lessons of sadomasochism and dominatrix, we are enthralled by a man who beats her for sexual pleasure, and goes as far as using a cross as a tool.
Seriously, girls, why? If you’re hurting for a little romance or in need of some spice in your marriage, this movie and these books will have the opposite affect. There’s some great resources for marriage help in the bedroom that won’t leave you feeling sick to your stomach or cheated emotionally.
There’s a reason God warns us to guard our hearts. In this case, we’re opening the door wide open for hurts and the desire of crooked fantasy.
We’ve confused darkness for light and it’s taking our marriages for a ride.
What Love Stories Do to Me
Years ago, the movie Phantom of the Opera came out in theaters. I couldn’t wait to purchase my movie ticket. I love the music and I love the story line.
Two men in love with one woman. Is that even a problem when you’re young and single? It’s the daydream of any middle-aged woman with four kids and a sink full of dishes.
Sure, I could overlook the fact that one man was a stalking serial killer, because, cmon’ inside his ashen heart he passionately loved the young and beautiful Christine.
See…I’ve been where you are…
The problem came for me when I got home.
My eyes were still damp and my heart still tightly wrapped around the love story when I walked in the door to find my husband watching football on the couch–in the tshirt I despised–his lone companion, an empty bag of chips cuddled up beside him.
A far cry from either of the men who fought to the death to win the heart of Christine.
I remember arguing with Paul about something silly that evening. Why? Because after two hours with the Phantom I believed I just wasn’t loved and wanted by my husband the way Christine was loved and wanted by her two male suitors.
I don’t remember the Phantom finishing off a bag of chips and watching football in his favorite threadbare tshirt.
So, even if I overlooked the blaring facts that 50 Shades of Grey is demeaning to women and a sinister substitute to a healthy and God-honoring sexual relationship, these movies don’t help my heart.
Here’s why I won’t be spending Valentine’s Day with Mr. Grey:
- My husband is my love story. I’m loved by a real man. He may have a penchant for salsa and chips. And, I may catch him staring at football every now and then, but he is real and kind and faithful. He loves me selflessly and works hard for our family. Plus, the salt and pepper look on him is pretty hot.
- Erotica is just a girly way to say pornography. I wouldn’t want Paul watching pornography, so why is it any different for me?
- Marriage is sacred. God says so and I believe Him. The first time the word sacred shows up in the Bible is in Exodus when the Hebrews have escaped Egypt. It’s the last line I’ve underlined that speaks loudest to me. Exodus 23:24–“Now get yourselves ready. I’m sending my Angel ahead of you to guard you in your travels, to lead you to the place that I’ve prepared. Pay close attention to him. Obey him. Don’t go against him. He won’t put up with your rebellions because he’s acting on my authority. But if you obey him and do everything I tell you, I’ll be an enemy to your enemies, I’ll fight those who fight you. When my Angel goes ahead of you and leads you to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, I’ll clear the country of them. So don’t worship or serve their gods; don’t do anything they do because I’m going to wipe them right off the face of the Earth and smash their sacred phallic pillars to bits.” TheMessage
- Sex is a Gift God gave us. Because I believe the God of the Bible and in Jesus His son, I believe what His word says. Sex is His gift to to use in the best and most blessed way–marriage. 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 I’ve lived a sexually immoral life and carry the scars. I know personally the heartache and consequence it brings. God’s ways will always bring peace and life.
- Guard your heart. We’re told we must guard our hearts above ALL ELSE. It’s that important, because our actions flow from the heart. It’s so true. When I see a false substitute on the BIG screen, it’s not long before I’m irritated and annoyed and treating Paul poorly. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Our pastor was sharing one Sunday about Jesus. He went on to share, “Jesus is the true light of the world.” He went on to explain what this light meant and how radiant He is. “In Jesus His light is pure and brilliant. His love is blinding. In Him there’s no darkness at all…not even 50 shades of grey.”
This week I won’t be wasting my time with Mr. Grey. I’m spending Valentine’s Day with a real man.
Resources for your heart.
Are you struggling with sex in your marriage? Don’t rely on Mr. Grey. Here’s a gal I respect. She can help.
Joanne Kraft is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family and Family Life Today. Joanne is the author of The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids. She’d be the first to tell you she has four kids who are great – most of the time.