Home » Marriage » » Should Christians See 50 Shades of Grey?
- By Erin Smalley
- February 11, 2015
Although it seems logical to think a book like 50 Shades of Grey could possibly reignite life—even in the bedroom—I’m not convinced the outcome will be as women hoped. Seeking excitement through reading about sadism, masochism and sexual bondage can truly end up causing more harm than good.
Recently, I discussed “sexual intimacy in marriage” with a group of women. I walked away from that conversation grieving. It was so clear to me that something the Lord had given to us in marriage as a gift was being completely distorted by the enemy.
Many of these women talked about their disinterest in sex or low libido, past sexual abuse, their husband’s struggle with pornography, boredom in the bedroom and ultimately, the negative impact these things were having on their marriage relationship. Between these ladies’ experiences and what our culture is leading us to believe about sex–no wonder the enemy can so easily lead astray.
False sexual intimacy
With the popularity of Harlequin romance novels ($1.08 billion in 2013[i]) and now the new movie “Fifty Shades of Grey,” our culture is being impacted with a false view of sexual intimacy. The books are being read by women of all ages—both Christian and non-Christian and, thus, they have been taken to the top of the bestseller lists. After my chat with this group of women, I had a better understanding of “why” women across the world might be turning toward these types of books.
Although I am sure there are many reasons, I clearly see that women are seeking an intimate connection. We were created to be the more relational, care-giving spouse in a marriage. And sadly, as a marriage hits difficult seasons or the mundane, routine married life doesn’t seem so exciting anymore—women can be led to a place of disappointment and dissatisfaction. With this, both physical and emotional intimacy can begin to fade. Often women can begin looking to fulfill this righteous desire for intimacy through “counterfeit” methods and it just doesn’t work.
A distorted, dangerous image
Although it seems logical to think a book full of erotica could possibly reignite life–even in the bedroom–I’m not convinced the outcome will be as they hoped. Seeking excitement through reading about sadism and masochism and sexual bondage– can only end up causing harm. The bottom line is this creates an unrealistic, distorted, dangerous image of what should be happening in the marriage bed. It sets up the average married woman to experience a disconnect when it comes to comparing intimacy in a disturbing “fantasy world” with the reality of intimacy with her hard working, caring, “human” husband. Although sex in a marriage can be extremely exhilarating (as it was created to be by the Lord)—just remember you are now comparing fantasy with reality. The movie provides an avenue for seeing images of something that is “new and exciting” and, much like other kinds of porn, it changes the chemistry of the brain and thus changes the view of the routine, ordinary married life.
Knowing your spouse intimately
Sexual intimacy in marriage is the most powerful picture of our relationship with the Lord and how intimately He knows us. Psalm 139 speaks to this in depth “You have searched me and you know me,You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar…You are familiar with all my ways.” The Lord desires to know us intimately and therefore, in marriage, He gave us the most exhilarating way to experience this gift by knowing our spouse intimately.
If you are currently being tempted to read “50 Shades of Grey” or see the movie, I encourage you to think twice before you do. Instead:
- Seek the Lord and ask Him, “Would this be beneficial to me or my marriage relationship?” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24). Turn away from anything that the enemy might be tempting you with that could lead to destruction for you personally or in your marriage relationship. (John 10:10).
- Instead of seeking a false, counterfeit intimacy–seek true intimacy with Him and allow Him to fill the desire for deep connection in your soul. (James 4:8).
- Focus on building intimacy with your husband through planning new and exciting date nights; plan a time to dream about what your marriage will look like in 5,10 or 15 years; serve together on a missions trip or at a local soup kitchen; plan to pick up a new hobby together such as hiking, working out or healthy cooking. Amidst the busyness of life, taking time to pursue your spouse can ultimately lead you to a very intimate place in your marriage– both emotionally and physically. (“Marriage should be honored by all.” Hebrews 13:4).
For a more in-depth look at how 50 Shades of Grey is impacting intimacy within relationships, there is a great book called Pulling Back the Shades by Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh. For a gift of any amount, you can get your copy here.
Copyright 2015 Focus on the Family. Originally published on FocusOnTheFamily.com.
Copyright 2015 Focus on the Family. Originally published on FocusOnTheFamily.com.
Dynamic CTA Template Below
Entertainment Reviews Your Family Can Trust
Plugged In shines a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving families the essential tools they need to understand, navigate, and impact the culture in which they live. Let us help your family make wise and informed choices about movies, TV shows, music, video games, and more!
Talk to a Counselor
If you need further guidance and encouragement, we have a staff of licensed, professional counselorswho offer a one-time complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. They can also refer you to counselors in your area for ongoing assistance.
Reach a counselor toll-free at 1-855-771-HELP (4357).
Understand How to Respect and Love Your Son Well
"Why doesn’t my son listen to me?"Have you ever asked yourself that? The truth is, how you view your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. We’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.
Start the FREE Series
Focus on Parenting Podcast
Mom or dad, could you use some encouragement and support? Put your ear buds in for this Christian parenting podcast and get practical, faith-based inspiration through all stages of parenting. Hosted by Dr. Danny Huerta, in every 8 to 15 minute episode, you’ll hear parenting experts share Biblical truths, effective parenting techniques, and useful resources that will help you feel equipped as a mom or dad in today’s culture.
Learn How to Speak Your Strong-Willed Child's Language
In this free 6-part video series, Cynthia Tobias, author of many popular parenting books including You Can’t Make Me, explains why your strong-willed child thinks in certain ways and gives you effective tools you can use when communicating with him or her. Start today!
Get Your Free Video Series
Revitalizing Secrets of a Healthy Marriage
Did you know the Hebrew root word for "marriage" is the same as "mess"? Okay, maybe not, but it wasn’t a stretch to believe, right? Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage is the podcast for Christian married couples who are in the middle of a messy moment. They need to laugh. They need clear practical advice. And they need to hear from someone with an actual degree in this thing. Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley are those people. They have reached countless couples through their counseling practices, books, events, and work at Focus on the Family.
Like, Follow, and Listen
Journey with Jesus!
This holiday season, take a journey to Galilee and discover what it was like to walk with Jesus! Get your copy for today for FREE with a donation of any amount!
Get Your Copy!
Get Equipped With the Truth So
You Can Bring Light to the Lies
Abortion is not an easy subject to talk about. You want to defend the truth, to expose the realities so easily confused during these times. Yet, it is so easy to tense up, to get nervous, to get so concerned with wanting to say the “right thing” that you end up saying nothing at all. If you feel at a loss when these conversations come up, this video series, “8 Lies About Abortion,” can help equip you with the truth, and the confidence to engage in the discussion.
Start Your FREE Video Series
- Topics: , Spiritual Growth
About the Author
Erin Smalley serves as the strategic spokesperson for Focus on the Family’s marriage ministry, where she develops content for the marriage ministry. Erin is also a licensed professional counselor with a private practice (Smalley Marriage), as well as an author and conference speaker.
More by Erin Smalley
PrevPreviousStudying the Bible as a Married Couple
NextShould Christians See 50 Shades of Grey: A Husband’s PerspectiveNext
Read More About:
You May Also Like
Effects of Media & Technology
13 Reasons Why Not
Help your teen see that hope is always there.
May 2, 2017
Serving Together with Your Spouse
4 Ways to Connect Spiritually as Empty Nesters
The term “empty nest” evokes an array of reactions. Some couples wonder about the future of their marriage after the kids move out. But you can grow closer to your spouse and the Lord during this time.
April 5, 2018
Growing Your Faith Together
Faith Conversation: A Beautiful Love
All the excitement about Valentine’s Day makes it easy for us to spend a day focusing on romantic love, but committing to act in love all year long is more difficult.
January 24, 2017