50 Shades of Grey – Should We Read It? Part 2 of 2

50 Shades of Grey: To Read or Not To Read?

This is part 2 of a series discussing “50 Shades of Grey – Should We Read It”.  Click here to read the first part.

Sex is a difficult topic to discuss, even for grown women and maybe even more so for Christian women. It’s a private conversation that you might discuss generally with your spouse or close friends. But depending on what generation you are from, you may not discuss it at all! Lately, there have been quite a few Biblical books published on the topic. We all seem to have a lot of questions. But I think there are many more questions that we haven’t found the nerve to ask.

Unless you’re Lady Gaga, Tiger Woods, or Dr. Ruth, sex is probably something you do discreetly and have little courage to seek someone else’s outside opinion or guidance. So it’s no wonder that we might often find ourselves listening to what the world says, from someone who is well liked and trusted, like Dr. Oz! I mean he IS a respected Doctor, right? And his entire audience testified that it has really helped their marriages, right? Culture would have you believe that Dr. Oz knows more about sex than God.

Who’s Responsible for My Sexual Needs? – What the World Says

The world would have us believe that our sexual needs are our own responsibility. From the world’s standards, we should meet our own needs in the ways that the world has to offer. So listening to the world, we will only be pointed towards the world’s direction for meeting those needs. If sex or your relationship is not working for you, fix it with a book that stimulates your brain. This is the world’s answer.

Dust off a copy of another well-known sex book, ironically from another Mr. Gray, that classic guide to the opposite sex, Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus to understand how men and women differ in sexual needs. While men have a visual appetite for sex, women are cerebral in their sex drives.

Male and Female Porn: Different, but the Same

Yet consider this for a moment; it is very easy for us women to make harsh criticism against a man for his inability to fight a porn-addiction. We might never fully understand the daily assault that men deal with in regard to constant visual images from TV, the internet, and real life. But before we cast harsh criticism, realize that when we read a book like this, we are partaking of the same lustful devices designed to stimulate us the way we are stimulated. And get this; the book doesn’t even need to have physical sex described, to have the same effect on us.

Ephesians 5:3, 6-14“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

Any book that stimulates your mind to sexual or relational fantasy should be seriously considered whether worthy for reading or not.

It’s interesting in that passage, that the phrase “…deceive you with empty words…” is mentioned, especially when you think of words on a page in a book.  Any book that stimulates your mind to sexual or relational fantasy should be seriously considered whether worthy for reading or not.

Song of Solomon vs. 50 Shades of Grey

But let’s not be guilty of condemning sex altogether. It is after all created by God, and nothing God creates is bad.

Song of Solomon “…When my King-Lover lay down beside me, my fragrance filled the room. His head resting between my breasts—. As an apricot tree stands out in the forest, my lover stands above the young men in town. All I want is to sit in his shade, to taste and savor his delicious love. He took me home with him for a festive meal, but his eyes feasted on me! Oh! …His left hand cradles my head, and his right arm encircles my waist!  The sweet, fragrant curves of your body, the soft, spiced contours of your flesh Invite me, and I come. I stay until dawn breathes its light and night slips away. You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.”

Admittedly, I’ve taken some creative liberties in the editing this passage from Song of Solomon. I pulled together lines from multiple chapters, but the meaning itself is exactly what is being implied, straight from the Bible; sex is enjoyable and something to be praised.

What makes this passage so beautiful and different from the book 50 Shades of Grey is how she admires him and how he treats her. The tone of the book is so much more loving in her description of him. No where do you see elevated the actual pleasure, above the love for the person. This is really the real deal. The book is truly an authentic love story, designed to evoke compassion and long-term reverence for the love of another, and not just a cheap short-term feeling.

Sex is meant for pleasure, but in a specific way that God designed and one that is MUCH more revolutionary than anything Dr. Oz or E.L. James knows.

Sex is meant for pleasure, but in a specific way that God designed and one that is MUCH more revolutionary than anything Dr. Oz or E.L. James knows. Sex is meant for you to give more than to receive. Sex is an expression of love for your spouse. It’s more beautiful that way.

Who’s Responsible for My Sexual Needs? – What God Says

Our church pastor once stopped me in my tracks during a sermon on Song of Solomon when he asked this question, “Who is responsible for my sexual needs?”

He wasn’t looking for volunteers, but he was making a point that many of us had not considered (especially while sitting on a church pew!) Who IS responsible for our sexual needs? We’ve discussed that if you listen to the worlds’ logic, then we are responsible for it. Or, you may think it’s your spouse’s responsibility.

1 Corinthians 7:4: “Husbands and wives should satisfy each other’s [sexual] needs. A wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, but his wife does.” (God’s Word Translation)

So, who is responsible for my sexual needs? Me or my spouse? Actually, both answers are wrong. The person actually responsible for your sexual needs…is God.

This notion was completely foreign to me. And almost kind of icky. Like many of us, we might tend to separate sex from God. We might take the “Las Vegas” approach to sex: what happens in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom. And God is never involved.

Yet here is that REVOLUTIONARY part: When I hold God responsible for my sexual needs, it removes the burden and blame from my spouse for anything I am lacking. And that is exactly where He wants to be.

God is provider of ALL of our needs, even sexual.

God is provider of ALL of our needs, even sexual. So as we recognize anything that is lacking, we should be going to God for that provision; not Dr. Oz. and definitely not the lustful musings of a pop culture novel.

God or Pop Culture: You Decide

The concluding point I’d like to leave you with is this, it’s a slow fade, to head away from God and towards something that is not good for us. It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in pop culture instead of focusing on what God wants for us. It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in pop culture instead of focusing on what God wants for us. It’s my experience that whatever God has given to me, the world tries to re-create, repurpose, or change just barely enough to make it confusing.

God is fully aware of every need in us. So if we are experiencing a true void, He will fill it. But we sometimes seek to fill a void that is not really there. When we do that, we are just adding complexity to our lives that isn’t good for us.

So, should you read 50 Shades of Grey? Each of us certainly makes our own choices, but when we consider these points, I say NO.  What do you think?

About Kasey Harris

Kasey is a long time Christian who only recently found Christ. She tells people that she was 31 years old before she finally realized there was a huge part missing in her Christian walk, a part that made her long for something deeper, more relational and less ritualistic. That part was a day to day relationship with Christ Himself and a working application of His word. She has since committed herself to a deeper understanding of the Bible and God, and has come to the conclusion that for many years she was trying to change herself and not allow Christ to change her. She has completed four years with Bible Study Fellowship, enjoys leading women’s ministries, and is a member of The Gospel Coalition. Kasey is also a former board member of Changing the Face of Christianity. As a Christian Pop Culture writer, she loves sharing how we can be Christians IN the world, but not OF the world.


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Comments

  1. Gary Kobet says

    Thank you for an excellent article with a biblical perspective. Still chewing on this quote: “God is fully aware of every need in us. So if we are experiencing a true void, He will fill it. But we sometimes seek to fill a void that is not really there. When we do that, we are just adding complexity to our lives that isn’t good for us.” These are great thoughts, that help me put my focus on God where it should be, for every need, every area of my life. This has been and will continue to be very helpful. Thank you again for sharing this.

  2. says

    I agree with no on 50 Shades of Gray. We do not need to read porn to know that it’s porn. May I also suggest Benedict XVI’s Deo Caritas Est – God is Love: Yet the contemporary way of exalting the body is deceptive. Eros, reduced to pure “sex”, has become a commodity, a mere “thing” to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself becomes a commodity. This is hardly man’s great “yes” to the body. this counterfeit divinization of eros actually strips it of its dignity and dehumanizes it… An intoxicated and undisciplined eros, then, is not an ascent in “ecstasy” towards the Divine, but a fall, a degradation of man. Evidently, eros needs to be disciplined and purified if it is to provide not just fleeting pleasure, but a certain foretaste of the pinnacle of our existence, of that beatitude for which our whole being yearns.

    • Kasey says

      “…this counterfeit divinization of eros actually strips it of its dignity and dehumanizes it… not an ascent in “ecstasy” towards the Divine, but a fall, a degradation of man. ” agreed. I read a book, a long while ago by a somewhat controversial Christian author, so I won’t name him. But in this book he mentions that when we allow our sexual appetite to grow beyond our discipline and morals, we are reducing ourselves to mere animals who mate b/c they are controlled by an innate need for mating.

  3. says

    I agree with no on 50 Shades of Grey. We do not need to read porn to know that it’s porn. May I also suggest Benedict XVI’s Deo Caritas Est – God is Love: Yet the contemporary way of exalting the body is deceptive. Eros, reduced to pure “sex”, has become a commodity, a mere “thing” to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself becomes a commodity. This is hardly man’s great “yes” to the body. this counterfeit divinization of eros actually strips it of its dignity and dehumanizes it… An intoxicated and undisciplined eros, then, is not an ascent in “ecstasy” towards the Divine, but a fall, a degradation of man. Evidently, eros needs to be disciplined and purified if it is to provide not just fleeting pleasure, but a certain foretaste of the pinnacle of our existence, of that beatitude for which our whole being yearns.

  4. JR says

    I read the summary of “50 Shades of Grey” on wikipedia and I was so distraught by it! As a survivor of domestic abuse (and yes, this includes sexual degradation) I can clearly say that this book is nothing more than a “how to” manual of the destruction of a woman’s soul. Women are NOT walking talking blow-up dolls that can be used and abused and thrown away at a man’s whim and women should not allow themselves to be thought of and treated as such. We are precious gifts from God to be treasured and respected by men. I suspect that this book was inspired by the enemy of men’s souls because it perverts God’s natural order. Slavery is NOT freedom. Sexual abuse is NOT love!!

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