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?