Yesterday, while the children were napping, I turned on a four o’clock news program. The anchor began talking about the book Fifty Shades of Grey and how it (or maybe the trilogy) is about to reach the twenty-million-dollar sales mark. He began a monologue about what that says about the true state of our economy. I didn’t exactly know what he was talking about, as I have not read the books and, until yesterday, I did not even know the plot.
The news anchor was clearly not happy about that much money being spent on “that type” of book, and he brought on an expert psychologist to explain why women read this book and others like it. This “expert” could not have said more harmful things to married women and couples.
She first began by explaining a little of the book’s plot, which the host had not. If you are unaware, the book is apparently an erotic type of book that describes sex that is sadistic in nature. To be clear, I have not personally read the books, so perhaps I am mistaken, but the “expert” on the news referred to it as mommy porn, which is a bright red flag to me. She explained how all these women don’t feel loved in their marriage, and so they are going to the book to meet their needs. She claimed this was a good thing to do!! (WHAT?!) She said men are so tired and don’t pay attention to or look at their wives, and the ladies need books like these to fulfill them. She claimed that it helps them feel sexual and pretty, which is beneficial for them and their partner. She said if you see your wife reading this book, you should be proud of her and perhaps ask her to show you what she wants done from the book. She pointed out that the sales mean there isn’t a lot of sex going on inside the home and that in order to help that, couples should watch or read porn together.
She said a lot of other things, but I didn’t catch all of it because I was so angry and saddened by the things she had already said.
I want to refute what she said about pornography being beneficial and talk about a conversation I had with Jason about this Fifty Shades of Grey book. Before I do, I must clarify that my convictions come from the Bible. I consider myself a Christian and strive to live according to the Bible. So, if you happen to be reading this and you aren’t a Christian or don’t align yourself with what the Word of God says, then you will think I’m crazy or I’m blowing things out of proportion. And that’s okay, because you are welcome to think and believe whatever you want, but here are my thoughts based on my faith.
Married or single, pornography is never, ever beneficial.
Instead, it is destructive. It adds a third person to your marriage. It opens the door for deadly comparisons. It takes the holiness out of sex. It devalues men, women, and marital sex. It is based on lust and selfish needs. It is adultery and in every way it displeases the Lord. To say that it is beneficial to marriages is a complete lie; in reality, it destroys marriages and families and fuels addictions. Pornography doesn’t have to be just visual, but it very well can be in written form, the category Fifty Shades seems to fall under. It doesn’t have to reach a certain extreme to be considered destructive. Pornography can be in movies, TV, and even mainstream commercials.
In our marriage, we avoid movies or TV shows that have nudity or sex scenes and conversations in them, because we have made a commitment not to expose ourselves to anything that might hinder the sex life God wants us to have. We also have strong Internet filters on our computers and phones. This is for our protection and our children’s protection. We are trying to be diligent about guarding our eyes and ears from anything that hinders the pure and incredible gift of sex. We truly view sex as a gift.
And I have to say, as a married woman who believes sex should only take place within the context of wedding vows, I was insulted by this woman’s condescending remarks about sex within marriage. Her description is not the case in our house. For my husband and me it is fulfilling, meaningful, satisfying, and pretty much amazing. It is based on an expression of love and commitment rather than selfish needs. It is only between us. It is a renewal of our wedding vows, but it requires a lot of communication, work, and prayer–lots and lots of prayer.
This post isn’t about how to have a great sex life without pornography (although I do believe a healthy sex life is such an important part of a marriage and a wife’s ministry to her husband). I do want to make sure that I encourage Christ-following couples, and especially women, to be on their guard and protect their eyes and ears and minds from intruders in the bedroom. This book and many other sources of “entertainment” like Magic Mike or even Twilight would seem to be intruders.
Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
God isn’t some prude who doesn’t want fun and creativity in the bedroom. He created sex. He knows all about it, and he knows that heartache and destruction come when we venture outside his guidelines. So prayerfully consider ways to keep your mind, heart, and body pure for your husband or future husband. It will pay off with incredible blessings—this I can promise you.
Now on to my next point regarding Fifty Shades of Grey:
If you have read it (or anything like it) please be cautious who you talk about this book with and where you are. Last night, after the kids went to bed and I was with my husband, I brought up the news program I’d seen. I started by asking him if he had ever heard of the book Fifty Shades of Grey. He said he had and that a lot of the ladies at work talk about it. He said many of them have it on their e-readers, where they can reference and quote the book as they discuss plot and details. And though his coworkers aren’t talking to him about it, they are discussing it within earshot of his desk.
At first, I was a little mad that these women would be talking about this book near my husband, but then I felt a burden to pray for him. The particular conversation he overheard has not proven to be much of a stumbling block to him, but yesterday was not the first time he has told me about conversations he’s overheard. He’s mentioned others, in the past, in which words spoken (not to him but around him) became a struggle to keep out of his mind. I appreciate his honesty and understand his struggle, but I stay home with our children and I have forgotten the intensity of the battlefield that this world can be at times.
I need to be much more aggressive in my prayers for his ears and mind to be protected while he is out in the world. I pray that he will continue to be a man of integrity who can stand up for marriage when needed. I also pray that he will be a light in the darkness of this world. I am so thankful that he makes choices to be on guard against lustful and evil thoughts, but none of us are above temptations. And who can’t use more prayers in this area?!
This has also made me think a lot about women and how we chat with each other about almost anything when we are together. I know that I don’t always take into consideration who is around me or what they might be able to overhear. I would never want to say anything (no matter how innocent my intentions) that might place a mental image or thought into someone’s head. I don’t want to talk about a book or a movie unless it is pure and uplifting. I don’t want to say, “I need to purchase a new bra on my way home,” when I’m out to lunch with a friend, because my waiter might be in earshot, and who knows what images that might send into his head (not even about me, but perhaps about the steamy commercial he saw the night before).
We not only need to pray for our husbands (and sons!) to guard their eyes and their ears, but we need to guard ours and be careful of the words that come out of our mouths—we never know who might be in earshot.
I apologize if this post was too lengthy or preachy! Getting off my soap box now… 🙂Photo Credit: Intruder photo Photo Credit: Gift photo