A few years ago, before I married, I worked at our county Library. It was there that I came face-to-face with the ever-popular romance novels. Growing up in Church and with godly parents, I had heard on numerous occasions to flee the books and not be drawn into their lust. I never quite understood just how harmful a little book could be. Little did I know....
I remember one morning at work, watching as an older lady came in with (literally) a bag full of romance novels to turn in and exchange for a new bag. As she exited the library and I looked at the stack before me to put away, my curiosity got the better of me and I wondered, "What on earth is in these things?!?" I picked one up, I opened it, and after less than two minutes of skimming, I was slammed with foul, obscene, sexual talk that I had never been exposed to before. Quite honestly, I was shaken. I was disgusted. I was embarrassed. I was affected. And then I was horrified and angry as I watched countless Church women grab armloads of the books to cart home.
Now I have sat quietly and observed scores of women - young and old, Christian and non - who are raving about the series, Fifty Shades of Grey, and are about as obsessed with its content and characters as most tweens are with the Twilight phenomenon. I can't sit quietly anymore because I have a passion for purity and for marriage. So I have listed below 15 reasons to avoid Fifty Shades. I don't want to offend and make anyone upset, and I am in no way going to be drawn into a debate. I'm just speaking what I believe the Lord wants someone to say. And I pray we will all have ears to hear and hearts to obey.
15 Reasons to Flee Fifty Shades
- It glorifies sex outside of marriage. Of course, it's common these days to have sex outside of marriage, but that makes no difference to my God who said in Malachi 3:6, "I change not." The relationship between Ana and Grey in Fifty Shades is an immoral relationship, simple as that. They are not married, yet they are engaging in premarital sex over and over again. God's Word says to "flee fornication." (1 Corinthians 6:18) If He says it, we should obey it and run from it. Not place a glorifying picture of it on our coffee table or download it onto our Kindle.
- It's all about lust. Let's just be honest. People aren't reading Fifty Shades because it is a literary masterpiece. I'm no fool. It's ALL about lust and the Bible has some strong words against lust. I'd go as far as to say that the root problem for nearly every sin is lust. The Bible says in 1 John 2:16 that the lust of the flesh and the eyes is not of God, but of the world. In James 1:15, it says "Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." That's a serious verse, people.
- BDSM is praised. Hebrews 13:4 tells us that the marriage bed is undefiled. That means, as long as you stay within God's guidelines, you are free to enjoy the pleasures of marital intimacy. First of all, the couple in Fifty Shades is not at all married, so it's still sin. But even if they were married, it is wrong to beat, harm, be demanding and hateful, controlling, and enjoying inflicting pain upon another.
- The book(s) are explicit. You can go ahead and argue that Song of Solomon is explicit. But before you tune me out (if you haven't already) I would like you to sit down and read the whole book of Song of Solomon and then compare the most detailed and "explicit" verse with a basic sexual paragraph from Fifty Shades. Song of Solomon is a beautiful, poetic picture of marital love and intimacy. It is written in allegory and because it is in God's Word and goes according to His principles, it is good. Fifty Shades is nothing more than a trashy counterfeit that's more about "hot-sex-in-the-backseat" than pure and holy marital love. Sorry, but it's true.
- It takes the glory away from marriage. Been there, done that. I have had to sit still, biting my tongue, as I've listened to hurtful and degrading remarks from wives about their husbands as they tote a bag full of romance novels to the front desk of the library. I've seen women belittle their hardworking husbands on Facebook and then gush about the hot and steamy "love" in Fifty Shades. NEWSFLASH: Marriage is not like movies and books. Marriage is hard. It is not for the weak, the lazy, or the "pamper-me-princess" type. It takes 110% on both parts and, honey, if you're soaking up the made-up "ideals" in books like Fifty Shades, you're slowly breaking down your marriage, piece by piece.
- It's pornography for women. If your husband (I'm including your FUTURE husband, if you're single) excitedly sat down with a Playboy magazine and spent an hour turning the pages, would you be offended? Here he is, gazing at naked women and maybe even excitedly telling you about how great the magazine (or website, etc) is. Let's get real. It is no different. You can try to justify it, but YOU sitting there reading about a man ripping clothes off of his conquest and letting your mind take flight in your own private movie is the same thing... it's porn.
- It stirs up discontentment in marriage. I've heard it. "Why doesn't my husband do that?" or "Why can't my husband treat me that way?" Romance novels - and I'm not just talking about Fifty Shades - are written to appeal to women's sexual appetites. They gaze at the "hunk" on the cover or read his detailed description in a book and wonder why their husband can't look like that. They read about a passionate moment and become discontent because they haven't had one "just like that." Ladies, IT'S MADE UP. It's fiction. Expecting our husbands to live up to this make-believe man in a book (or movie, for that matter) is stripping him of HIS glory. God made him the way he is. And you married him. Toss the garbage and focus on your husband. He may not be as romantic as the made-up guy in the book. He may not say the same things in the same way. He may be 50 lbs heavier than he should be. But hey, if you're like me, you probably don't look like a supermodel yourself. My husband loves me. He works hard for me. He is the father of my children. And I adore him. Not for one minute would I think of belittling his good qualities and try to change him into a mold of man some woman made up. No, thank you.
- It mistakes lust for love. Reviews say that Fifty Shades is "bringing marriages closer." Come again? All this book does is point our affections to a fake man. Yeah, it may possibly make you run and jump into your husband's arms. But what's the reason? Because you're desperately in love with him? Or because you're in a lustful frenzy brought on by a fake experience? Is it because you find this man God gave you absolutely desirable? Or because you have a mini-movie playing out in your head and you want to act it out for real? Don't mistake cheap lust for love.
- It gives unrealistic expectations to the single. If you read Fifty Shades as a single person, you are setting yourself up for disappointment in marriage. All you are doing is focusing on made-up, sinful fantasies from a woman who does not know Jesus Christ. If you want to prepare for marriage, go to the best marriage manual ever written - God's Word. I'm serious. There are plenty of Godly resources and Godly people who can help you become ready and worthy for a great marriage. But mark my words, if you absorb the mentality of romance novels like Fifty Shades, you will not only be ill-prepared, taint your mental and emotional purity, but have a distorted view of how a marriage relationship (or any relationship) should be.
- It has the potential to lead to adultery. Fifty Shades is full of immoral sexuality. As I mentioned above, it can EASILY lead to discontentment in marriage or unrealistic expectations prior-to marriage. Discontentment often breeds a need to find....well...contentment! And I've heard people say, "Well if I can't find "it" here, I'll go elseware!" Don't say you are above it. Many greats in the Bible failed because they did not guard themselves properly against Satan. Do not be surprised if you find yourself unsatisfied with your husband and begin to wonder how green the grass is across the fence.
- It's sex with "No-strings-attached." There is no romantic relationship in Fifty Shades. Only a sexual one. There is no commitment of marriage. Just raw, sexual vomit. As a happily married woman who waited for her wedding day, I can testify that they (and the millions in the world following the same destructive path), have no clue what they are missing.
- It's captivated the world. If you take a step back and even open up your Bible and read the history of God's people, you can find that usually whatever is wildly acceptable in the world is anti Christ. Fifty Shades of Grey topped best-seller lists around the world. The series has sold 40 million copies already, worldwide. Book rights have been sold in 37 countries. It has set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time, beating the Harry Potter series. Usually, that's a red flag to stay away. Whatever is loved and admired by the world, is usually hated by a holy God. 1 John 2:15 says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world...
- It makes us vulnerable to Satan. Lust begins with the eyes and mind. It's been said that the mind is the devil's playground. By opening our mind up to books like this, we are hanging a big "Welcome" sign to the devil. 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." Satan would like nothing more than to destroy our marriage, our purity, and our walk with God. And he will use tools exactly like Fifty Shades to fill us with vile, sinful thoughts.
- It will mare your purity. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." In other words, if I may paraphrase...."Guard your heart, your mind, and your life in its entirety no matter what it takes, because what's in the well comes up in the bucket." When we fill ourselves with impurity, (and, be honest, Fifty Shades cannot in any way constitute as pure) make no mistake, it WILL overflow. Purity is important, and it isn't solely for the single. Purity is a LIFESTYLE. It physical, but it's also spiritual and emotional too. The Lord says be holy (1 Peter 1:16). 1 Timothy 5:22 says to "....keep thyself pure." It's important while single. And it's important while married.
- It will draw you away from God. You may be a Christian and secured in your salvation, but if you soak up perversion and filth, you will not be close to Jesus. Sin drives a wedge between us a God. That's why Christ came and died for us - to bridge that gap and give us a way to Him. When we willfully indulge in sin or toy with evil, we are spitting in the blood that saved us from hell. We are all human. We all make mistakes. We all fail. But that doesn't mean we should frustrate His marvelous grace and embrace sin, while waving the "I'm saved forever" card in His face. Pursue righteousness. Run after Jesus and all that He is. If we try to ride the fence and have our cake and eat it too, we will drift farther away from His blessings and have little to no impact for our Savior.