I read it. There you go. It’s out there. I read it long before it was a big deal. I read it because someone said “it’s a crazy good story”. It was just suggested reading from a total stranger at the book store. Before California movie studio’s were making 83 million dollars on it, before women’s rights groups were livid about it, before the box office made it clear that this is the direction secular America would lean, I read 50 shades.
I was going through a rebellious stage, a period in my spiritual life where I wanted to secretly dip my toes into the water. I was tired of trying to be good all the time and thought I needed a break from the constant grind of trying to keep up with my theological husband. I hit a place where I was not constantly being stimulated by my Christian walk(that is another post in its self- like God is suppose to entertain me; as if grace were not enough) and I did not see the significance of guarding my heart or my mind. I was bored. I did not capture my idle mind and it began to wander. I thought I needed to see if there was anything that I could mix with my Christianity to create a one world order in my soul. You know, Spice it up a bit. Water it down so that I could do what I wanted instead of doing what God wanted me to do. That is the truth of my behavior. A little bit of having my cake and eating it too, I pretended not to know what I was getting myself into and as the chapters revealed themselves, instead of putting it down… I read on. I drank the koolaid with a smile on my face.
I cannot unread it. I cannot change the effect my deliberate disregard of what I knew Christ wanted for me had on me. I cannot express the result of the guilt that I carried knowing that I had filled my mind with the very thing that I claimed to abhor. Most significant was the stuff it brought up. A lot of my own abuse history was churning in there and I was really, secretly suffering from it, ashamed to even talk about it. because I knew better.
I Knew better because I have already lived out in this world. I have spent years making terrible decisions and I know that life with Christ is better than life without. I know what God expects of me as a disciple. I chose.
I tell this little dark secret of mine so that you will know that as I write this article, I understand the premise of this 50 shades thing. I get the hook. I see why it’s so wildly popular. Sin is fun. Sin is available. Sin disguises itself as something harmless. But the harm is in where it leads you and this, sisters, is about the lies that we, as Christian women have to tell ourselves in order to be able to go to the 50 shades party.
These are the lies I discovered.
*) It’s just a romance novel. Call a spade a spade. This is not a love story, This is porn for chicks. It is a how to book about sin. If I walked in and saw my husband watching a flick… I would freak out and call it cheating, but because I am a woman and it is left to my imagination, I hide behind the romance novel excuse. Sin is sin… you can put 50 shades of lipstick on a pig and dress it up with roses and it is still just a pig and smells just as bad.
*)It’s good for your sex life. This is not about sex. It is about abuse. It is about a guy who gets his kicks from abusing women and a girl who got sucked into an abusive relationship. It is not about some foreign form of love – it is glorified abuse. It is the very thing we, as Christian parents warn our daughters about avoiding. It is the very thing that we tell our sons not to do to their wives. It is the thing that people spend years in therapy over, and cover up with destructive behaviors. It’s about hurting another person for pleasure. It does not enhance relationships to hit someone… ever.
*)It’s about Learning to trust. It is not about trust. Trust is not about a safe word. Trust is not about letting others know when they have gone to far using you. Trust is about the expectation that you have value and that your best interest is in the heart of the trustee.
*) It’s about Submission.Submission is not about being abused. It is about a reverence, respect and love for your God and your husband. And there is an expectation of mutual respect. This book will not teach you about the proverbs 31 wife.
*) I’m not hurting anyone. It’s just a story. When I asked my husband how he felt about me reading it, this was his response:” I did not understand why you needed to read porn”. He was offended. I don’t blame him. You cannot pretend that your 50 shades moments or Magic Mike night with the girls is not going to hurt anyone. It did. It hurt the most important man in my life, the one I promised to be faithful too. No less than it would hurt me if I felt like he was comparing me to those airbrushed magazine spreads. And It hurt my relationship with my God, because I knew better. Go ahead and pretend like you don’t know better… but a spade is a spade.
*) This will not effect my walk with Christ, its just a story right? This book would not make the Creators top 10 things He want you to read before you die list. Its a book about sinful things and the thing that separates you from God is sin… Do the math. It will not further your walk with God. It will not inspire you in the be attitudes, or create a “love your neighbor as yourself” mentality. Examine how you are spending your time and what you are putting into your heart and mind in respect to your relationship with Jesus before you pick up this copy. It gives love your neighbor a whole new spin.
7)This will enhance your relationship. It will not address the fact that a marriage takes two really good forgivers and two people who are willing to admit when they are wrong and repent. It will not express even one biblical principle that pertains to how husbands and wives are supposed to treat each other. It does not talk about the hard work it takes to create a relationship built on teamwork and hard work and heart work. It wont tell you about the time it takes to get to know someone so well that you can see when their heart is broken before a word is spoken. It wont tell you how commitment to the marriage sometimes is more important than how you feel at the moment, that being holy is more important than being right. It doesn’t tell you that putting your mates needs ahead of your own, or how God calls us to serve one another or how loving your neighbor as yourself is mandatory in creating a strong, fireproof marriage. It does not speak of how damaging sexual sin is to your relationship with your spouse or your God. And it speaks nothing of making Jesus the center of your life and relationship.
8)It’s no bodies business what i do in my personal life. 50 shades is about broken things. It is about broken people, doing broken things for broken reasons. It’s about SIN! How many Christian women took their copy of 50 shades with them to Sunday school? None.. because it is not something you want everyone to know you are reading. Just a thought…. If you don’t want your kids doing it, or your secret sister at church knowing you’re doing it or your pastor knowing you’re doing it, if you are hiding and lying to your kids or your hubby about it…. maybe you should not be doing it. Accountability is a booger but its why God calls us to assemble together, to be a support for one another.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
I had to grow into this one.
It was just a book. Just a romance novel. Just a 1 hour break from my day… Then it wasn’t. Then it was something else, three chapters in I knew. I knew that it was wrong, I knew it was not good for me and I lied to myself so that I could keep doing what I wanted to do. It was never harmless because it separated me from God. I never once prayed ” oh Father, please bless me as I read this smut,” I pretended like it had nothing to do with Him.
But it has everything to do with Him.