Sometimes, I really want to be an ostrich, sticking my head in a hole and pretending something doesn’t exist. Sometimes, I wish that people didn’t ask my thoughts on certain things because there are topics that are hard to traverse. Other times, I’m thankful for a voice and a platform to exhort women to a higher, holy calling of living a life that makes it impossible to not think about God. So with that said, I want to tread lightly, but deliberately through the waters of talking about the new book series that has been dubbed “mommy porn.”
There are multiple stories throughout the Bible that speak of immorality, rape, incest, etc. The difference between the Bible and popular fiction, namely Fifty Shades of Grey, today is that the Bible does not glorify the immorality and sin within the story line. For more information on what I mean when I say there is a difference between glorifying sin and using it to teach a lesson, I recommend reading Tim Challies interview with Russell Moore.
Before I dig too much further into why I’m not reading Fifty Shades of Grey, I want to give a brief summary of the book so that we can all be on the same page when we start discussing whether or not Christian women should read this book series.
Fifty Shades of Grey was written by a British author using the name, E.L. James. Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book in the trilogy followed by Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Within six weeks of this series hitting the shelves, all three books quickly became best sellers selling more than 10 million copies. It was so popular that E.L. James was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World“.
Fifty Shades of Grey is erotic fiction that explicitly describe sexual bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM). Anastasia Steele, is a 21 year old virgin who meets rich, telecommunications tycoon, Christian Grey. He convinces her to sign a contract bidding her to submit to his every whim and fancy. ABC News explains their sexual encounters this way:
“Ana,” as he calls her, willingly and excitedly agrees to spanking, whipping and gagging, with props like ice, rope, tape — a repertoire right out of a BDSM [bondage, discipline, dominance and submission] manual.
Grey instructs her to call him, “sir,” and sets rules on everything from her diet to her most intimate grooming routines.
From what I gather, the Fifty series portrays BDSM in a romantic light that culminates in the characters falling in love, and Anastasia helps the billionaire overcome his troubled childhood through her submission and love.
Here’s the thing, ladies. Generally speaking, men are turned on visually. Women are turned on emotionally. Men view porn. Women read porn. Fifty Shades of Grey, my friends, is pornography.
I don’t know about your marriage, but mine is hard enough as it is without bringing in a whole world of fantasy that is not based on scripture all while glorifying sexual sin. If women want to read something to increase their libidos, then read Song of Solomon not Fifty Shades of Grey. Song of Solomon records lovers fantasizing and longing for one another with intimate passion. They long for one another the way God passionately longs for us. The lovers long to be one together just as God longs to be one with us.
God intended for sex to be part of a marriage covenant not a signed contract between strangers. Furthermore, the relationship between a man and a wife is to mirror Christ and His Church not dominance and humiliation. You want a real life example of dominance and humiliation? Look no further than Calvary Hill, the Cross of Christ. Then, walk a few hundred years toward your life now and you’ll meet Mr. Hitler and the Nazi concentration camps.
I have to be honest with you. I want to walk carefully through this topic, but I’m angry. I’m angry that Christian women are reading these books and sharing it with their friends. I’m angry that this book is called “mommy porn.” I’m angry that the money that we pour into these books could feed hundreds of little mouths and adopt hundreds of children out of poverty from all over the world. I’m angry that pornography has become mainstream. I’m angry that pornography is not talked about in our churches. I’m angry that pornography is not talked about openly within our own marriages. I’m angry that we’re taught that this is a man’s issue when clearly women seek out pornography and are even desperate for it. I’m angry that Satan has such a foot hold on our society’s view of sex, submission, and marriage. I’m down right angry.
There has been plenty written on this topic from men and women that I respect. Men and women from all walks of the Christian faith are speaking out about Fifty Shades of Grey, and I’m proud of them. Below, I have linked my favorite posts for your convenience, and I highly recommend reading each of them. The only thing I want to add to what has already been said by others is this.
If you are a woman, specifically a Christian woman, and you have read these books, I want to offer you grace. If you have read them, and have since become convicted that maybe you shouldn’t have read them, then know that repenting is enough because Christ paid the price. If you are a woman struggling with pornography in any form, know that Christ is enough.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6). Death no longer has dominion over [Christ]. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:9b-11). For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14).
If you are a woman who has not yet read these books, then remember this.
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification (Romans 6:16-19).
And to all of us, let us remember this.
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you (James 4:7b-8a).
Further reading as you evaluate the book series, Fifty Shades of Grey.
So tell me. Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on erotica fiction?