Y’all might have heard there’s a notorious little movie coming out just in time for Valentine’s Day. Two weeks before the movie’s release, Fandago is already reporting that the movie based on E.L. James’ erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey is the fastest selling R rated movie of all time. Early projections are that 50 Shades will take in $60 million for its four-day box office total.
I’m not going.
I’m not watching because God calls us to flee sexual immorality, not fantasize about it.
In 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul urged the Corinthian church to “flee sexual immorality.” Why? Apparently there were some members of the church who were participating in sexually immoral behavior and justifying it with bumper sticker slogans like “I have the right to do anything” and “food for the stomach and the stomach for food.” Paul doesn’t mince words in his reply. You may have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial. You have the right to do anything, but don’t be mastered by it.We are called to flee sexual immorality because our bodies–and minds–are the temples of the Holy Spirit. We are called to honor God with our minds and our bodies. Flee temptation–don’t flirt with it.
I’m not watching because erotica and pornography distort God’s good gift of sex.
God designed sex as a good gift for husband and wife. Erotica and pornography pervert and distort that gift. In the Old Testament, the Bible often uses the word “yada,” “to know,” as a euphemism for sex. At its heart, sex is about knowing and being known. In marriage, sex is an act of commitment, intimacy and vulnerability between husband and wife. We’re able to share our bodies with one another because we have shared our souls. Erotica and pornography strip sex away from the context of relationship. They tell us that other people designed in the image of God are there for our titillation and consumption. They tell us that sex is just a meeting of parts, not a merging of souls. They tell us that it’s all right to exploit another person for our entertainment. Sisters, recognize those lies for what they are. Erotica and pornography are nothing more than a Satan-inspired twisting and perverting of God’s good gift of sex. We should have nothing to do with them.
I’m not watching because BDSM denies God’s ultimate purpose for sex.
Can we just spell out what those initials stand for? Bondage. Dominance. Sadism. Masochism. Sadism and Masochism have to do with taking pleasure from inflicting and receiving pain. Bondage? Pretty much what it sounds like. Dominance is the role played by the sadist who seeks to dominate his or her partner by taking authority over them through tools such as humiliation, whipping, domestic or sexual slavery, and worse.
Does this sound like the kind of fantasy Christian women should be indulging in?
Somehow even in Christian culture we have accepted the idea that as long as it happens between two consenting adults and no one is harmed it’s okay. No harm, no foul.
Not so fast.
If sex is a gift from God, then we are meant to exercise that gift in accordance with his purposes. Pleasure and procreation are part of that purpose, but God’s purpose for sex goes beyond that. Marriage itself is a picture of Jesus’ sacrificial love for his people. Within the context of marriage, sex is a portrait of union and intimacy. We are meant to glorify God with our bodies in all that we do–even in our sexual relationships. Does enjoying inflicting pain on another person glorify God? Does dominating another person through humiliation and servitude reflect the attitude of our Savior, who made himself the servant of all?
I’m not watching because this type of fantasy breeds discontent with reality.
Anyone out there married to a billionaire with control issues stemming from his dark past? Didn’t think so. We live in the real world with real husbands who leave their socks in the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, and worry if we’re going to run out of money before we run out of month. I get the need for a mental escape. But just as pornography makes it harder for men to connect with non-silicone enhanced wives, erotica makes it harder for us to connect with our real live husbands. Life is not a Cinderella story. In marriage you’ve got to do the hard work of negotiating who does the dishes and who balances the checkbook and whose turn is to use the steam vac to clean up after the carsick child. And here’s the deal: the real thing is so much better than the fantasy. Want to know what romance looks like? It’s a husband who’s faithful. Who brings you honeycrisp apples because he knows they’re your favorite. Who changes the diapers, rocks the babies, feeds the dogs, and yes–takes the steam vac to the car when necessary. It’s a man who loves Jesus and loves you and isn’t ashamed of either. Maybe it’s not the the stuff epic romances are written about, but it’s real and it’s solid and it lasts. And I wouldn’t trade it for a daydream.
I’m not watching because God has better for me.
Yeah, I’m skipping the movie. But I’m not missing out on anything. Mr. Grey can keep his 50 Shades. I serve the God who spoke the galaxies into motion. I have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus and I live for his glory. I want what God has for me, and I’m not willing to settle for anything less. Who needs grey when you’ve got glory?
Couple things: If you’ve read 50 Shades and want to get rid of your books, Danna Gresh and Julie Slattery will give a free copy of their book, Pulling Back the Shades to anyone who sends in their copy of 50 Shades of Grey. Their book is a short but highly beneficial read and they address many of the questions raised by the 50 Shades craze in a series of videos on their website. If you’ve got questions or want to know how to respond to friends who have been reading the series, it’s a great resource.
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