50 Shades of Grey: Now What!

Admittedly, I’ve had numerous conversations with women about this “50 Shades of Grey” business.  I’ve never seen anything so obviously dark and un-Godly sweep across the nation with such hard-core influence.  You wouldn’t believe the number of people who have drifted over to my blog to read the post “Do We Need ’50 Shades of Grey’ or Just Black and White?”  The search engine terms they’ve used to find this post amaze me, like  “depression after reading 50 Shades, what to do after reading 50 Shades, sad after reading 50 Shades, should men read 50 Shades, the effects of 50 Shades on marriage,” and on and on.  I think you get it.  This blows my mind!

I wonder, how many (Christians) have devoured the Bible like many have apparently devoured these books?  I can’t help but get a little fired up thinking about it.  A few weeks ago, I was in a local bookstore.  I passed a huge display with stacks of this trilogy to get to the Bibles and Christian literature.  Yes, it was a secular store, and I know it’s the world we live in.  I get it.  But it still saddens my heart that one of the most promoted and suggested readings in our current culture is a “mommy porn” book.

I’ve had friends confess that they read it and suggest that I read it.  The argument of course was “Rivera, how can you suggest people not read something if you haven’t read it yourself?”  I understand where they’re coming from.  I really do.  My argument in response was “How can I justify telling someone not to do something with any credibility at all, if I’ve done it myself?”  The “do as I say, not as I do” thing doesn’t work with most people.  Besides, I did enough research for my previous post on this subject, and I’ve had enough detailed conversations with women since, to know I’m not interested and won’t be reading it.

Does this mean I will view you differently or judge you if you have read it?  No, absolutely not!  I still love you, and God does too…no matter what!  But, God wants us to guard our hearts and minds.  There’s too much good material out there.  We don’t need to saturate our minds with the world’s garbage.  You know what they say, “Curiosity killed the cat.”  We just don’t have to be in the know on everything!

One reader mentioned Philippians 4:8.  She got me thinking, we should ask ourselves if what we are about to fill your minds with is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.  If it isn’t, we shouldn’t read it, watch it, listen to it, or participate in it.  God’s Word tells us not to be anxious but to present our requests to God through prayer and to give thanks.  Then it tells us to think on all the before mentioned things.  If we do that, guess what happens?  The peace of God, a peace so big and amazing we can’t wrap our minds around it, will guard our hearts and our minds.  (Phil 4:6-8)

One of my friends mentioned feeling embarrassed to read “50 Shades” in public.  Then she asked, as if she already knew my answer, “If I’m too embarrassed to do something in front of total strangers, I probably shouldn’t be doing it at all, right?”

I just smiled, “Probably not.”

I love my friends.  They are so special to me!  As I explained to this particular friend during her sweet confession, I just want to save people from any unnecessary hurt.  I don’t want anyone to go down an unexpected path of pornography addiction, depression, hindrances in marriage or anything else as a result of reading something I had the opportunity to warn them against.  What people decided to do with the information I put out there in my previous post was their decision.  I did what I felt God wanted me to do.

A couple of days ago, a reader admitted she read the books, loved them, and loved what they did for her marriage.  But she admitted feeling empty afterward.  She asked, “Now what?”  She reminded me that I had called it “sin,” which may have been a little harsh on my part, though I do think the books promote a sinful lifestyle.  Anyway, I digress.  She brought up a great point, “When ‘sin’ is finished, it leaves you empty and feeling for more.”  Yes I would agree with this reader.  Sin does exactly that!  It leaves us wanting.  It’s our futile attempt to fill an emptiness and longing that every human being has.  But our longing to be filled and made complete can only be satisfied by God Himself.

So, after all of this random discussion over the aftermath of reading “50 Shades of Grey” (and forgetting about what I think personally), I have one question.  If we would stop before reading and ask Jesus whether He thinks we should read “50 Shades of Grey,”  I wonder what His response would be?

30 thoughts on “50 Shades of Grey: Now What!

  1. Courageous Jane says:

    I had to come back to this post to do a little venting. I’m wondering what most women’s responses would be if a man came into the break room at work and sat down with a Playboy or something similar and proceeded to “read” it while eating his lunch. I, personally, would be offended. So why is it ok for my co-workers to sit there and read these books. These have been called “Mommy Porn” all over the place, so how is that any different, other than the pictures are created in a woman’s mind rather than printed in the book. I’m offended.

  2. lauriewhin says:

    I love this post Rivera, and I really love all of these readers’ comments. I really don’t have anything to say that they haven’t said. I love Phil 4:8, and James is my favorite! I could not consider reading this book because of its subject matter. But also because I have a 100+ and growing must-read book list. I will never in my lifetime read all of the wonderful Christian books (and I read only non-fiction) that I want to read. Each different author and subject matter brings me closer to the heart of Jesus, and that’s where I want to be!
    You are sharing wisdom from above. We are instructed to speak the truth in love, which you have done in these two posts. I thank you that you have the conviction to so eloquently share the truth of God’s word to many people who may not yet know it.
    May the Lord continue to bless you in your writing.

      1. Lea Mikosz says:

        I agree with Laurie. We need to fill our mind with good thoughts. And if we feel uncomfortable sharing with others what we reading or feel empty after. Then we need to ask God to take away those things that are keeping us from living a holy , acceptable life. Love your Blog.

        May you continue to share with us what God has laid upon your heart.
        Blessings always,

        Lea MIkosz

        1. Rivera Douthit says:

          Sweet Lea, YOU bless me with your words. Please continue to pray for Holy Spirit to lead me as I write. Pray He anoints it to speak His truth. Pray He uses it to lead hearts closer to His! Pray I always follow Him with my written and spoken words. May He continue to give me courage and boldness. Love you! Thank you. xo

  3. Diane Bowlin says:

    My dear Rivera. You spoke a bundle of truths.I have spoke openly about this myself and now I have even more to say after reading your blog.May you continue to grow in wisdom from our Lord Jesus Christ and continue to speak truths to an ungodly world..All my love and prayers. Di


  4. Tina says:

    I had an a-ha! moment one day listening to some random song on the radio. It wasn’t a ‘bad’ song – but the lyrics were not something I would want to impress upon my children about love. True love. I got to thinking – what does it do to me when I listen and repeat in my mind … lie after lie … or even just non-sensical things without even realizing it? Hmmm. I was starting to figure out where the conflict between my heart and head were coming from. I loved my kids, and my church, and my job, but somehow I felt like my testimony was lacking or I was lacking peace/harmony in some area of my life. I started reading/reciting the lyrics of my music collection (even stuff I would work out to ‘just for the beat’) – but if they weren’t words that I could say aloud with conviction about that particular subject, I started ditching them. I decided to only keep CD’s, song files, etc that had true and meaningful lyrics – and that still left me with a million +1 options! Eventually that logic trickled into my reading, and tv watching. Now I don’t have cable, I walk past the gossip rags at the checkout without a 2nd glance, I could probably even live without the internet – if I didn’t like blogging or knowing the weather forecast – but I found out that I am what I eat. We only have so much head space – and we should strive to follow Phillipians 4:8 – just as you mentioned. I agree with everything you said – it’s never popular to go against the crowd, but when you do, so many people are relieved to hear that voice of reasoning! I’m proud of people like you for standing up for what you believe in. Too many of us, myself included at times- just don’t have the energy for the debate that will inevitably follow, but I admire you for having that oomph! God bless!

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Thank you Tina for sharing. I’ve had similar aha moments with music, TV, even activities. It’s those Holy Spirit nudgings that let us know what we are doing is wrong. At that point we have to stop it and ask for forgiveness. And you’re so right, it’s not always easy to stand in the face of adversity. The tendency is to want to write what is acceptable and popular with everyone. But unfortunately, what the world thinks is ok and what God thinks is ok are two different things. He wants us to speak up and say the hard stuff, sometimes.

      Thanks for your encouragement. It means more than you know:)

  5. GodGirl says:

    Well said. I agree you don’t need to have done/read something in order to talk about it – especially if it takes you into a ‘dark’ place which isn’t edifying or productive. Keep talking about these issues, it’s important. May the hungers expressed in books like these be directed to the One who truly satisfies in every area of our life.

  6. Mindy Bowman says:

    I have read my share of secular books as well as Christian titles. I can honestly say that 50 Shades is one that I have no desire to read. That’s just my personal choice. I’m thankful that God give us free will.

    Oh…and the whole sin thing? Well a t-shirt that my husband bought at Acquire the Fire a couple of years ago sums it up pretty well: “Sin is chocolate covered feces.” Yeah it’s kinda gross but totally caught the attention of all the teens we took. 🙂

    Great post!

  7. Ben Nelson says:

    Wow Rivera, this is so good. I have not read this book, and I am a guy, but those 2 items aside, porn, soft, hard, or otherwise, is a pit that is desperately hard to find your way out of. I have always thought of it more as a guy problem, but that is probably because I see it’s devastation in men’s lives.

    Two things I want to say about your post (at least)

    1) Phil 4:8 – Yes and Amen! An exact translation of that verse is “Don’t read smut”

    2) “When ‘sin’ is finished, it leaves you empty and feeling for more.” James 1:15 – “and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” or as KJV says “…and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” That emptiness is something dead

    Thanks for this post – Stand strong.
    Ben Nelson

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Hey there Ben. Thanks for stopping by and having the courage to give a male perspective on a predominantly female topic (book). I love that you mention James 1:15. At the bottom of “Do We Need ’50 Shades of Grey’ or Just Black and White?” (mentioned above), I used James 1:12-16 to describe sin. It’s the perfect illustration!! Thank you!

  8. Pamela Healy Nogueira says:

    I don’t think FSOG readers would ask Jesus…they KNOW what he would say and they would be too embarrassed to ask! I’m not judging my friends who are reading it…that would have been me a year ago had I not gotten closer with Jesus on my walk! I have heard many ladies admit that they are having a hard time getting through it and they are forcing themselves to finish it! Crazy! I don’t like anchovies, but I’m not going to force myself to eat them because it’s the “it” food!!! Oh, and If I see another Fifty Shades-themed onesie posted on Facebook, I’m going to scream!!! (If you haven’t seen them, they read, “My Mom Read “Fifty Shades of Grey” Nine Months Ago” and “Fifty Shades of Grey Baby”!) By resisting the temptation to read this amateur piece of Mommy Porn, I won’t be left with that “What now?” feeling! How empowering…now THAT’S sexy!!!

  9. securelyheld says:

    Good job, Rivera! But please don’t ever regret calling sin “sin”. If people feel that is “harsh”…..they must take it up with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords….not you.

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Thank you so much Cheryl for your encouragement. I totally agree with you. I’m no judge. God is! So with that said, I don’t want to condemn people for reading the books. Rather, I’m calling out the book. The book is sinful and promotes a sinful lifestyle. I wanted to make that clear in my writing. If I see something that is clearly wrong, dark, potentially sinful for people, I feel a responsibility to warn them against it. What people do is between them and God. If He shows them it’s wrong and they go on and do it anyway, they have to answer to Him. Hopefully that makes sense.

  10. Judy says:

    I think that it breaks his heart to see people looking for satisfaction from books that will leave them empty. I share your desire for readers to look past the shades of grey in our culture to find light and life in Jesus Christ and in his Word,

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