Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Christian Response to Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey is coming to theaters everywhere this Valentine’s Day. It’s become the highest advanced ticket sales for any R-rated movie ever. Groups of women are going to see it together.

What should our response be?

Today all over the online world bloggers are uniting to talk about this movie and why it’s a bad idea.

And today, I'm trying to collate their ideas and summarize it.

I have to admit, I've read the trilogy and I was one of the excited women who wanted to watch the movie. Not until I was convicted by the Holy Spirit.

You see, the 50 Shades of Grey book trilogy is selling by the millions. The books are “mommy porn”, a bit of bondage erotica that married women are buying in huge numbers.

Many women are tempted by erotica–just like men are tempted by porn. And that’s why today I want to warn you about how Kindles can wreck your marriage.

Not too many decades ago, if a man wanted to see porn, he had to go to a store and purchase a Playboy. It was a deliberate act. It involved getting in your car, driving to the store, looking the clerk in the face and plopping down some money.
And so lots of people wouldn’t do it. The rate of porn use among Christian men was relatively low, in relation to the rest of the population. Fast forward a few decades, and now the internet has made porn so easy to access that it’s become a huge temptation for many men (and for many women), and a huge roadblock in people’s marriages.
Well, it looks like we have met our match in Amazon’s Kindle (or the Nook, or whatever e-reader you have). Because now we can do what men can do: we can access the things that tempt us the most without having to leave our homes, without having to look a clerk in the face, without having to spend a lot of time thinking about it.
And now we have to fight the temptation to access erotica anonymously.

Look, I think sharing “sexy” thoughts with one’s husband, and flirting, and playing together is all pretty great. I am not against sexual play or sexual fun at all. But when we use something outside of marriage to get aroused, we’re transferring our sexual energy from our spouse. And if you then have sex with your spouse after getting aroused some other way, it becomes increasingly difficult to “be present” when you make love. Your mind starts to focus on what you were reading, not on your husband. And that’s not really making love.

From the book
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I found that the couples who enjoyed sex the most were also those who felt most spiritually intimate with each other. And the couples who enjoyed sex the least tended to be the ones where porn had played a large part in their lives, and they were still trying to recover from it. Porn rewires your brain so that what becomes arousing is a picture, rather than a person. And now erotica has the same effect on women: it rewires your brain so that what is arousing is an idea or a scenario rather than your husband.
 

 
What Should Our Response to 50 Shades of Grey Be?

If you’re drawn to 50 Shades of Grey:
Recognize the reasons. Try to identify the roots of the appeal of the fantasy. Is it that you don’t want to be alone? Don’t want to feel in control all the time? Want to enjoy sex without feeling shame? If you can identify the root, then you can help heal any brokenness that’s there. You can run to God to work out your insecurities. You can work with your husband on how to feel more comfortable with your sexuality. You can start wrestling with God about how to trust Him in faith and not having to be so in control.
 
That’s a tall order, I know, because for many of us these roots run deep. Many porn addicts suffer from a similar thing. Their roots are often things like never being properly affirmed (in porn the women are always there and ready and eager), or never feeling like  you’re powerful enough. Sometimes a big part of defeating the temptation of these things is seeing the root.
 
If you’re talking with someone who is thinking of seeing the 50 Shades movie:
Explain the chemical process of how we start to pair sexual arousal with fantasy, and then we can’t get aroused in a relationship anymore. Tell her it’s a very similar physiological response as men with porn. And here’s what else happens: once we start using erotica, we tend to want more–and different. So we read weirder and weirder stuff that we would never have been drawn to before. It changes you in ways you don’t want.
 
Emphasize this rather than just “it’s sinful”. The “it’s sinful” doesn’t always help. Yes, it is, but sin has repercussions. If you explain the repercussions, it’s easier for people to see the danger.

50 Shades of Grey seems harmless, but it’s not. Intimacy is beautiful. 50 Shades of Grey is not. Don’t follow the pack!
 
If you’re tempted to click that link and download it to your Kindle, try the stop-look-listen thing. Stop and take a few deep breaths. Look honestly at your marriage and what you’re about to buy. And then listen to God.

So let’s spread the word that we don’t need bondage, whips and chains to have fun in bed! What we need is greater openness, less shame, and more intimacy.
via



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