“Fifty Shades of Grey” has become a popular phenomenon in the United States, and is spreading across the nation with a total of 37 countries holding rights to the book. It sold more rapidly than J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, and outsold the previous record holder “Brisgner” by selling a total of 205,130 copies in one week! “The extreme demand for [50 Shades] books have accounted for as much as a 25 percent boost in adult fiction sales.” To say “Fifty Shades of Grey” is trending, is an understatement. **
When I worked at Walmart, as a cashier, I scanned numerous copies of every book in this series. Many women purchased it along with a new Bible or Beth Moore book study. There was a young lady, freshly out of highschool, who complained that her pre-ordered copy wasn’t coming soon enough and that she would wait in line at midnight to get her copy in the store. Grandma’s were reading it in the breakroom, teenagers were reading it without a bat of an eye from their parents, Christian women used it to accompany them in-between Bible studies. No sect, no age, no demographic was to be seen without at least one representative proudly holding the series in their hands.
And to tell you the truth, I get it! I understand why you love it, I understand it’s charm & appeal, I understand why you are drawn to it. As long as we are human, we are sexual. This means we have deep desires and needs that are inherent in who and what we are. We can not divide ourselves from this! In fact, these desires are God ordained. Did you know that? Christian women are NOT meant to be prude, we are encouraged to indulge deeply in sexual encounters with our husband.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.
Eat, friends, drink,
and be drunk with love!
Song of Solomon 5:1b
However, unfortunately the Church has a history of sweeping these verses under the rug. While there is a need for sexual understanding, the Church is shushing anyone who dares speak about it, and instead they are shouting the words “Celibacy, Wait, It is Wrong, Don’t Do It!” And we get stuck in this crossfire. Our bodies are pulled one way, and religion is pulling us in the other.
Instead of getting wrapped up in “religion,” we need to come to the Truth of God’s word and let it penetrate the lies of religion. God created you, God created sex. Sex is not “dirty,” “earthy,” and “worldly.” Sex is actually Heavenly, because it is God created, God encouraged, and points us in understanding God’s love for us in the most understanding and practical way.
So why 50 Shades? Maybe you read it because it’s talking about sex, while the Church is not. Maybe you read it because you desire to fulfill your husbands needs- You thought this book would improve your libido, would spark up your romance, would “switch things up” a bit, would save your marriage. These are worthy reasons, and I sympathize with you. You are not alone! Obviously, look at how many other women are desperately seeking answers along with you! But let me offer you hope and understanding.
50 Shades- just like other erotica, porn, sex toys, etc- is a quick fix with a lot of long-term damage. It’s saying your spouse isn’t good enough, it creates un-meetable expectations of romance and pleasure, it’s pulling up the bedsheets and inviting someone or something else to come in. It’s a threesome, foursome, or whatsome. It might switch things up, add some intrigue, and create a spark, but it will leave you and/or your spouse feeling empty, shallow, unacceptable. Instead of binding up your intimacy, you are ripping open the seems to let others come in.
Fifty Shades is reigning in our culture and completely changing the landscape of American sexuality. It is stealing the beautiful design God created and replacing it with a cheap imitation. If you want true intimacy, life changing relationships, out of this world SEX it’s time to work a little harder, and dig a little deeper, and to say goodbye to the fictional characters and scenes playing in your head, and let your spouse come back in.
This is just the beginning of a long journey. If you want to go through it with me, take a look at Dannah Gresh and Juli Slattery’s “Pulling back the Shades.”
** All statistics in the first paragraph were pulled from an accumulation of facts from “BY THE NUMBERS: The ’50 Shades Of Grey’ Phenomenon” article here, at Business Insider.