Do We Need “50 Shades of Grey” Or Just Black And White?

This book is supposedly the latest and greatest!  Apparently women across the board, Christian women included, are reading it!

“50 Shades of Grey.”  Hmm, I wonder what that’s all about, I pondered after my friend told me about it being the craze.  I thought, maybe it’s a book appealing to an older generation of women, thus the play on words with grey.  I had no clue!

After reading the first few pages and tons of reviews, I got it.  Yes grey!

The 50 shades of grey in my life have been the times of the most confusion, compromise, and blatant sin.  Well this book is that exactly!  Sin.

It’s erotica, also being called “mommy porn.”   So pornographic, in fact, a few libraries in Florida have taken it off their shelves, according to NY Daily News.

So why are women, especially Christian women devouring this book?  It’s sweeping across the nation, and little grandmas are on waiting lists at local libraries to read it.  Why?  Because sex sells.  Because our culture has twisted it.  God is very clear that sex was created for intimacy and love between a husband and wife.

This book no doubt arouses the sexual senses, leaving readers with disturbing images that are difficult, perhaps impossible, to delete.  How is this healthy?  It’s playing with fire…really!

Be careful little eyes what you see!

Pornography not only interferes with clear (not to mention pure) thinking, it interferes with marriages.  It’s fantasy, not reality.  It skews sexual expectations, often making them unrealistic.  In her book, “The Secrets Women Keep,”  Dr. Jill Hubbard,  a Christian clinical psychologist, writes about the effects of sexual imagery.   Looking at images or reading explicit sexual content causes the body to respond with arousal, which is completely normal.  When this occurs we really should be thankful, because it means we’re alive and well, and the way God made us.  But Hubbard writes, “addiction occurs from a natural desire to repeat these pleasant sensations.  People become addicted to the brain’s neurochemical  response, similar to addictions to mood-altering drugs.”

All that to say, it’s easy to become addicted to the feelings achieved while reading or viewing porn.

The Bible is black and white, not grey!  It’s clear.  Lust is sin.  So the best thing to do to prevent it is stay away from it all together.  It starts with desire (in the mind), and when desire is conceived it gives birth to sin, and it grows.

“Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards.”  Song of Songs 2:15

 “Little foxes…ruin the vinyards,” and little sins do harm to a vulnerable heart.  He (Christ) hides his face behind your wall of sins, a wall built with little pebbles as easily as large stones. ~Charles Spurgeon

So have I read “50 Shades of Grey?”  No.  Only the first 3-4 pages.  Do I plan to?  Absolutely not!  I was turned off after reading the profanity in the second sentence.

I get it.  We are all adults and can make our own decisions about what we read, or look at for that matter.  But if you were considering reading this book, I hope this will discourage you.  And if you’d never heard of it, I pray this post won’t present any temptation for you.

I leave you with this.

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.   Do not be deceived, my beloved (brothers and sisters).”  ~ James 1:12-16  emphasis added

28 thoughts on “Do We Need “50 Shades of Grey” Or Just Black And White?

  1. lauraaranda says:

    So I did read the book(s) all 3 and they were exciting and as a married woman of seven years I truly did enjoy them and what it did for my hubby and I BUT here I am, days after reading the books and… now what? I read them, enjoyed them and now feel all empty..what do I read or do now? So my point is…you called it ‘sin’ so I guess, when ‘sin’ is finished it leaves you empty and feeling for more… not sure if this makes sense but it is what I have to say…..

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Thank you for your honesty Laura. I have several friends who have read these books, so I’ve had multiple conversations with them about this trilogy. But you bring up a great point. That IS exactly what sin does! It leaves us feeling empty and wanting. Sin is our futile attempt as humans to fill an emptiness only God Himself can fill. We just have to be willing to let HIm.

      You mention enjoying what these books did for you and your husband. I don’t know what your relationship with God is like (I’m not making any assumptions one way or another). But I’m confident God can do all of that and more for your marriage:)

      I hope this helps. Thank you for commenting, and I hope to hear from you again soon:)

  2. Mystina says:

    I too am very thankful for this post. I will be adding your blog to my bookmarks folder! I hadn’t even heard of the book before my husband told me about it. He is into more of the media than I am, thus how he heard about it. I found this post because of the “Touchy Subject” post my friend Pamela Nogueira shared on FB. Thank you for your “frankness”! I am tired of everyone tip-toeing around afraid to hurt everyone’s feelings. Let’s call a spade a spade! That is why our society has taken the downturn it has! I have not and will not read this book. I know I would be affected by it if I did. I also can not open the books Twilight and Harry Potter because I know what doors they would open! I am not perfect far from it, but I am on a journey to know my Savior, to walk hand in hand with Him everyday, and books such as these would be in direct conflict with my relationship with Him!

    I will cling to Jesus and hide this verse in my heart that I might not sin against Him: Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Mystina, thank you for sharing your thoughts and some of your heart! Phil 4:8 is one of my favs:) If we would all cling to that one, no one would decide to read 50 Shades of Grey! I’m writing a follow-up article on this 50 Shades piece in a week or so, if God doesn’t lead me in another direction. I would love for you to continue with me on this journey:)

      You might find it easier to “subscribe” in the side bar and receive posts via email. I normally post on Thursdays (and occasionally Mondays). Either way, thank you for stopping by, and feel free to “share” with your friends. There’s a button for that at the bottom of each post:) Pamela is a dear friend. She attends my Monday night women’s Bible study. She shares frequently on FB and Twitter. I’m so glad for people who do share, otherwise I would’ve never met you and so many others;) Blessings!

  3. Cara Olsen says:

    Wonderfully and terrifically written, Rivera.

    Honestly, I know very, very little about this book. One of the blogs I follow wrote an article the other day, in which I first learned of this book’s existence. She was not quite as direct and unequivocal as you (I appreciate you not beating any bushes, btw), but in short basically said much of the same. I said it then, and I repeat it now: this book will never make it on my Goodreads. Furthermore, I am saddened that so many women — Christian women! — are chomping at the bit to get their hands on this depraved novel.

    I suppose not all women are created equal when it comes to their ability to separate fantasy from reality; but still, it is clear that the foundations on which this book is built are WRONG. Not to mention hazardous to our self-esteem, our perception of healthy sex, and our marriages.

    I am saddened . . . but I can only hope and pray many of these people, men and women alike, will learn the hard way. It is true we learn best by our mistakes.

    Blessings,

    ~ Cara

  4. MD says:

    Can I just say that I have read this book and also consider myself a Christian woman. I did not know what I was getting into when I opened up this book but I finished it anyway. The language was disturbing and the premise of the book was as well. I think I just found it so astonishing this lifestyle I had no clue about and that women were okay with it. I will say without a doubt that this book did not “turn me on” in any sexual way. If anything it made me appreciate my normal, loving intimate relationship with my husband because I could never see myself wanting or liking participating in the kind of dominant/submissive relationship described in this book. I found myself desperately wanting the male character to become normal and their relationship to become that like normal loving couples. I was hoping this would happen by the end of the book but it did not and I found it to be sad. I can see why this book could be so offensive to people, but I don’t feel as if though I’m any less of a Christian woman because I’ve read it. If anything I feel that it proves my strength as a person and the strength of my morals that this book had absolutely no affect on me besides feeling sorry for the characters and making me appreciate the normalcy of my relationship that can sometimes be thought of as “staleness” or “monotony.” Maybe I shouldn’t have kept reading it, I don’t know. Or maybe I was meant to to prove that the evils can put lust and desire right in my face and I am completely unfazed by it and ultimately made stronger in love than in lust.

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your perspective and heart with me (and my readers). I love your transparency! I want to make it clear this post was in NO WAY to judge women who have read 50 Shades of Grey. I wish I had said that in the article. I guess hind sight’s 20/20. It was rather to warn and protect those who haven’t.

      I realize people struggle and react to things differently. What causes me to sin may not cause you to sin, and so on. However, I also know God wants us to be hot or cold, not lukewarm. He wants our yes to be yes. And I just felt He wanted me to speak truth over this book and the lingering effects it could have on some. We should run from anything that tears at the fabric of marriage or who we are as people. In Paul’s words, FLEE!!! But do I judge you for having read this book? Absolutely not. Am I thankful it didn’t have a negative effect? Yes! I just know, it may not be the same for everyone.

      I can’t watch a scary movie without being traumatized for days. Images linger in my mind. So I know this book would probably have that same consequence for me personally. Thank you so much for giving your insight. And remember “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 This article was not to condemn but rather to warn. Hope to hear from you again soon. Grace and Blessings. Rivera

      1. Sara Johnson says:

        MD, I can relate to what you said. I haven’t read this book, and I do not plan to. I have seen in my own life similar things to what you are talking about….. where you read or see something that just makes you SO thankful that you don’t “live there”. I think that God gives us clarity through unlikely things sometimes. Your intent reading this book was not to spice up your marriage or sex life. I think that God looks at our heart and our intent. He uses even this book, to give clarity and make us realize that we are superbly blessed. I think it is very cool that God can even use a secular book to do that. He is AWESOME !

          1. MD says:

            Yes, I suppose my only intent for reading this book was to see what all the hoopla was about. I am far too prude to even consider replicating anything in this book in my real life. I completely understand you on the scary movie thing! I have not watched a scary movie in YEARS because what it does to my psyche and anxiety. But this book did not have that affect on me, I could dismiss all imagery as quickly as I turned the page. I would not recommend it to anyone who can become uncomfortable easily. I most definitely would not recommend this book for those looking to spice things up or help salvage a troubled intimate relationship. The type of intimacy conveyed in this book is destructive to a relationship and a persons self esteem. Anyone truly understanding the lead female character would see the negative affect this type of sexual relationship had on her emotionally. It’s odd to me that anyone reading this could see the emotional trouble the girl experiences but still wish to replicate the situation in real life. I’ll admit that I am a sucker for media hype and always want to know for myself what the fuss is about. This book unfortunately did not live up to the hype. The only thing that could leave me with a better feeling about the book is if the male character changed his ways and they develop a love for each other intimately and emotionally as God has intended for man and woman. Rest assured I found no offense by your blog. I just wanted to share insight from the other side. God bless!

  5. Leah DiPascal says:

    Rivera, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and giving us a heads up about “50 Shades of Grey”. I haven’t head of the book but I’m so thankful you’ve equipped me to know more about it.

    The world is all about compromising our morals, doing what feels right, and being excepting of everyone’s actions. My heart is burdened for marriages where one spouse has strayed because of pornography. My good friend, Lysa, once said something I’ll never forget. I can’t remember her exact words but it was something like this…”The grass isn’t greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water, feed, and take care of with love”. There is so much truth in this statement, don’t you think?

  6. M Green says:

    I was wondering what this book was about, but it was on some reading list that I didn’t particularly care for, so I didn’t even think to pick it up. It’s funny to me that we all seem to want better sex lives, but the farther away we get from God’s design, the worse our sex lives get. Instead of going back, we seek out MORE advice from ungodly professionals, and we are even MORE unhappy. The world is a really strange place. Glad I strive to NOT be a part of it. 🙂

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      The world is a strange place for sure. One God created for us to enjoy, but we have to wear our armor as believers. The enemy is real!

  7. Vessel of God says:

    Well said, I wholeheartedly agree! The enemy uses fantasy, fiction and escapism as avenues to plant seeds of darkness we need to be aware of what we see, watch or read as the eyes are the window to the soul (heart and mind). How many people read Harry Potter and Twilight and think it’s harmless? I think we need to double check what God’s words says.

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Yes, Harry Potter and Twilight, I decided not to open that can of worms:) We have to certainly be careful not to open the door to the enemy in any way, whether through music, reading materials, videos, movies, TV… the list goes on really! It’s like that Casting Crowns song… Slow Fade. It truly is a slow fade when we give ourselves away…

  8. Crystal C. says:

    Thank you for this information, now I know I won’t be checking this one out or recommending it to anyone.

  9. RebeccaAarup says:

    Yesterday I posted a blog Nancy Leigh DeMoss put on her site (True Women) which stated “Why I won’t be reading 50 Shades of Grey”. I, too, had heard of it and wondered, but was quickly discouraged after reading the post. What was even worse, though, is the backlash of comments from Christian women regarding the “judgmental” tone of a blog discouraging readers from picking up this book. I couldn’t believe how many Christians defended this material! The comments were so heated it shut down the site and last time I checked, you still couldn’t read the post.

    Its really sad how deceived women are. They will read this book to “spice up their bedroom” and believe it’s acceptable in Gods eyes. Women need truth, not more ways to experience bondage. Thanks for standing up for truth and posting what will likely offend many Christian women! (sad that it’s that way)

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Thanks Rebecca! It is sad, but I can see how easy it would be to get sucked in, especially if your friends are reading it. Hopefully some will decide against reading it if they read this first:) I just hate to see women get trapped in something, when they went in completely innocent. I feel protective in a way.

      1. RebeccaAarup says:

        There was a soap opera I was introduced to at a very young age, and I continued to watch it for 20 years until God got a hold of my heart and opened my eyes to the destructive nature of the program to my thought life. Like Paul said, “All things are permissible but not all things are BENEFICIAL.” (1Cor.10:12) We become so desensitized to these things we start to think we’re immune to the harmful side effects, but Gods word admonishes us over and over again to think on what is “pure” and “be not conformed to this world”. I think part of discernment is being open to the Holy Spirits guidance on these issues, even if it means not going with the crowd or giving up something that’s been a part of our lives for 2 decades. Our obedience WILL be rewarded, that’s the thing to remember. Pleasing God rather then men….*end rant* 😉

  10. Pamela Healy Nogueira says:

    BRAVO!!! I love this!!! I will not be reading it either!!! You know that is sooo difficult for a girl who just LOVES to be up on pop culture!!! I have read the “Twilight” and “Hunger Games” series, but something (God) keeps whispering in my ear, “Don’t read this!” I will resist the urge and instead read more of what God has to say about the beauty of marriage in the Bible!!!

  11. Rivera Douthit says:

    Sara. You bless and encourage. Thank you. And you’re right, I do believe your story… and I KNOW it’s God 🙂 Love seeing Him:)

  12. Sara Johnson says:

    I want to say that you won’t believe what I was thinking before I read your blog post…… but I know that YOU will believe it. I was thinking, “I wonder what this “Shades of Grey” thing is about. I wonder if it is a book I need to read ? THEN, literally 2 seconds later, I saw this blog post. Crazy, right ? I think it is not crazy. I know it is God.
    I agree with your thoughts…… I haven’t read any pages, but if it is full of profanity and pornographic imagery, you have saved me from disgust. I think that as women, we have to guard our hearts from anything dark. Thank you, Rivera, for your boldness. Thank you for sailing against the current of pop culture. You are awesome and I am a BIG fan and cheerleader ! Please keep it coming ! ! !

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