Ladies, this is a post I had to write but feel hesitant to share with you. I don’t expect it to be popular, and that’s okay.
The words you’re about to read literally bled my from heart over the weekend. As much as I prefer to stay away from the hard topics, I feel like I cannot be silent.
The highly anticipated film, Fifty Shades of Grey, will hit theaters this week. Should Christian women watch Fifty Shades of Grey?
I can’t decide that for you, but as far as I’m concerned…
I can’t really describe it in single word.
Maybe stunned? Shocked? Horrified?
I’m not ashamed to say that I’m don’t watch racy movies. Anything with language or sexual innuendos is out, as far as I’m concerned.
So yeah, I was pretty amazed when I picked up my smart phone a few days ago and saw the movie trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey dancing across the screen in front of me.
Aside from feeling incensed that Pandora had just played an R-rate movie advertisement on my phone (way to go, Pandora), I was dismayed to see the “romance” trilogy that hit the best-seller lists in 2011 coming to life as a film.
I have never read the Fifty Shades trilogy, so this isn’t a review. What I am going to share with you are facts (you can read them online, just like I did), stats, and the honest-to-goodness opinions of a conservative, Christian woman.
Please keep that in mind as you read.
I’m sure you’re aware, but Fifty Shades of Grey follows the story of a wealthy, handsome business man (Christian Grey) and his sadistic, abusive sexual relationship with young, naive Anastasia Steele.
How could a story like this become popular in a world dominated by feminists? That’s the question I’m asking myself and I still haven’t found any answers, except to conclude that ours is a culture infatuated with the perverse.
I’m not snubbing Fifty Shades of Grey simply because there are better books to read or movies to watch.
I am alarmed- deeply alarmed– by Fifty Shades of Grey because the message it is sending to the women (and men) in our culture is absolutely toxic.
It grieves me to realize that the popularity of Fifty Shades, and other media like it, simply points to a culture that has completely lost it’s moral bearings.
If I sound like I’m exaggerating just a bit, let me throw a few statistics your way:
- Fifty Shades of Grey is listed on the Dirty Dozen List of top contributors to sexual exploitation.
- The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) recently launched an aggressive national campaign against the controversial film. (source)
- Despite the racy content, Fifty Shades of Grey has topped best-seller lists around the world, including those of the United Kingdom and the United States. The series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide, been translated into 52 languages, and set a record in the United Kingdom as the fastest-selling paperback of all time. (source)
- A new study out of Michigan State University (published in the Journal of Women’s Health) indicates that young women who read the bestselling bondage-and-S&M-laced story by British author E.L. James were more likely to engage in a range of risky behaviors compared to those who hadn’t read it. (source)
- According to more conservative sources, Fifty Shades of Grey popularized “mommy porn” and the scenes depicted in the books/movie are explicit and abusive. (source)
Is it an overstatement to label Fifty Shades of Grey as “porn”?
- The book’s erotic nature and perceived demographic of its fan base as being composed largely of married women over thirty led to the book being dubbed “Mommy Porn” by some news agencies. (quoted from Wikipedia)
And speaking of porn-
- 47% of Christians claim that porn is a major problem in their homes. (source)
- According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Research, about half (49 percent) of young adult women agree that viewing pornography is an acceptable way of expressing one’s sexuality. (source)
- 89% of scenes in mainstream pornography today depict violence against women and this is spilling over into the mainstream media. (source)
- Pornography creates and drives the demand for trafficked women and children. (source)
How does all that sound for romantic entertainment?
What this means to me, as a conservative, Christian woman…
1. I am humbled by my great need for Christ.
Just in case I sound like the proverbial Pharisee, let me assure you that what I discovered about Fifty Shades of Grey (and the moral issues that pertain to it) has brought me to my knees in soul-searching prayer.
I can easily point my finger at “the nasty, bad guys”, but the awful truth is that sin and lust and perversion aren’t always cloaked in shades of gray.
And a deceitfully wicked heart is buried inside us all.
————————–> “Now if you feel inclined to set yourself up as a judge of those who sin, let me assure you, whoever you are, that you are in no position to do so.
“For at whatever point you condemn others you automatically condemn yourself, since you, the judge, commit the same sins.
“God’s judgment, we know, is utterly impartial in its action against such evil-doers. What makes you think that you who so readily judge the sins of others, can consider yourself beyond the judgment of God?
“You have a certain grasp of the basis of true knowledge. You have without doubt very great advantages. But, prepared as you are to instruct others, do you ever teach yourself anything?
“You preach against stealing, for example, but are you sure of your own honesty?
“You denounce the practice of adultery, but are you sure of your own purity?
“You loathe idolatry, but how honest are you towards the property of heathen temples?
“Everyone knows how proud you are of the Law, but that means a proportionate dishonour to God when men know that you break it!”
taken from Romans chapter 2 <————————–
2. I cannot play with sin, not even in secret.
Sometimes sin is ugly and obvious. Other times, it is innocently, even beautifully disguised.
But the monster behind the mask is still out to kill.
I am painfully aware of the need to be completely honest with myself, and honest with God.
“Thou desirest truth in my inward parts;
in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”
3. I am engaged in a battle for my personal purity, my marriage, and the innocence of my children.
Is this the kind of media I am prepared for my children to grow up viewing as normal?
Is this message acceptable for married couples? For singles?
Is this all that is left of our culture’s wrecked view of love and romance?
4. Now more than ever, Biblical sexuality must be understood, embraced, and lived out.
With the constant onslaught of twisted sexuality in our media, I have to wonder how on earth Christian women are ever going to stay the course concerning what God actually intended when He created sex?
We hear and see such distorted and vile messages from our culture… and, unless God’s people are bold enough to speak and live the truth, that is often the only voice anyone is hearing.
Ladies, it is paramount- absolutely vital– that we understand and embrace every part of our role and design as Christian women.
Articles to read on sexual exploitation and pornography:
- The Truth About Fifty Shades of Grey Movie
- The Reality of a “Fifty Shades” Relationship
- The Real Reason 50 Shades of Grey is so Wildly Popular
- Fight Sexual Addiction Like a Man
- Handle With Care: Wives Dealing with Pornography in Their Marriages
Should Christian women watch Fifty Shades of Grey?
I’m nobody’s conscious. I’m not the movie police.
I’m not facetious enough to believe that everyone has to think and believe and live just like me.
But, my sisters, be careful. Be very careful.
Fifty Shades of Grey is not entertainment.
It is not romantic.
It is not a game.
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.