Lots of chitter chatter out there in the social media world about a little movie called 50 Shades of Grey.
Like a lot of movies, this one comes on the heels of an incredibly successful book by the same name (actually a series of books).
Not since Harry Potter has a book generated so much noise, disagreement, attention and controversy. I’m not here to debate about Harry. You know as well as I know that sex is my wheelhouse; not clever coming-of-age wizards.
A few years ago, I was talking to a woman who went on and on about how much she liked the book 50 Shades of Grey. She asked if I had read it, and I said, “Well, I’m a Christian, so the content doesn’t exactly appeal to me. I have not read it.”
She squealed with delight at our sisterhood, smiled and said, “I’m a Christian too!” Without skipping a beat, she said the book had done wonders for her sexual connection and arousal with her husband.
“Why do you need a book about promiscuity and sexual manipulation to heighten arousal with the man you married?” I thought.
I didn’t speak those words out loud, of course. I mean, we were at a women’s business networking event for crying out loud. And we had neither time nor setting to unpack a conversation about moral compasses.
When the gal and I had that brief encounter, who would have thought a producer would turn that book into a movie?
And now here we are and the movie 50 Shades of Grey is clamoring to entertain us and enlighten us… to show us how much we’ve been missing, trapped in our naivety, bound by boredom and outdated sexual boundaries.
To be honest, I had decided to put off blogging about 50 Shades for… well…forever. Mostly because the phenomenon of the book and movie seemed to be no more than that — a phenomenon that would come and go. (One can only hope, eh?)
But my heart kept being tugged, relentlessly pulled back to this whole notion of power and sex. And if ever there is someone who wants to speak about power and sex, it is me.
You want inspiration for tantalizing sexual encounters in your marriage? If so, I guarantee you won’t find it from counterfeit and cheapened sexual images upon a screen. Such images will offer you no lasting inspiration.
But your own heart and hands and mouth and ears and mind? Well, now we have something to work with.
What is the best way for you as a wife to respond to this movie?
Don’t see it.
Spend your time instead making love to your husband. And then make love some more.
“But Julie, you just don’t understand. We have big issues in our marriage. And even bigger issues in our bed. I can’t just flip a switch and start liking sex.”
If that describes your marriage, I am saddened with you. But I am not without hope, and I pray you are not either. I pray you find some helpful encouragement in my post 3 Things to Do NOW If You Don’t Like Sex or in my many other posts.
I understand how contrived and skewed sexuality on the screen is alluring. I get it.
50 Shades of Grey, no doubt, leverages in a painfully distorted way what is actually natural and real at its core — the desire to be desired, the way our bodies intuitively crave sexual response that catches us off guard, the hunger to be turned on by someone’s touch and attention.
I get it.
Sheila Gregoire digs into this deeper in her incredible post The Appeal of 50 Shades of Grey. (She also includes links to many other posts on 50 Shades, so I passionately encourage you to cruise over to her post at some point).
Sexual arousal and fascination are not wrong, but God commands us to keep them in their right context. He is the biggest fan of sex in its right context. He longs for husbands and wives to craft authentic intimacy for which there is no substitute — no counterfeit.
My hope for your marriage and for all marriages really is that sex is a pathway to not just a stronger relationship, but also a more genuine appreciation of God’s gift of sex.
The best way you as a wife can respond to 50 Shades of Grey?
Make love to your husband.
As sisters in Christ, could we be women who are not drawn to a movie about cheapened sex, but compelled toward nurturing the real thing beneath the sheets?
Could you be a wife who whenever you hear 50 Shades of Grey mentioned (at work, on TV, among friends), you make a mental note to touch your husband affectionately the very moment you see him?
(I know, it sounds like one of those college drinking games. Whenever 50 Shades of Grey is uttered, you caress your husband. When the two of you are at Target, and you catch a glimpse of the book cover of 50 Shades of Grey, lean into your husband and give him a passionate kiss. Sounds. Like. Fun!)
Obviously, you don’t need book covers and mindless office banter about a movie to be your cue. But you get my point, right? What you need is to be intentional about sexual arousal and sexual pursuit of that guy you do life with.
Sex does indeed have a lot of power. Within it, you hold the power to affirm the person you love. To bring him intense sexual pleasure and to embrace your own. To let go of your sexual inhibitions.
Sex has the power to convey oneness and tenderness in a way that is unlike anything else. With sex, you and your husband have the power to worship, to say to the Lord you are grateful, and to lose yourself in something that is both sacred and scrumptious.
The best way you as a wife can respond to 50 Shades of Grey?
Skip the movie. Make love to your husband instead.
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15 thoughts on “BEST Way for Christian Wives to Respond to 50 Shades of Grey”
I really have to agree with you. I wouldn’t want to disrespect my husband by watching it.
I agree – LOVE our husband. But I also have a very personal reason for not watching this movie. One I wrote about here —> https://follow2serve.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/a-piece-of-my-heart-about-fifty-shades-of-grey/
Amen. I have chosen to avoid the books and the movies, and I wish the commercials on tv would disappear. The thoughts and ideas they try to play on kinda disturb me, so I try to run into my husband’s arms when this series comes up. It’s the simplest way to protect US from outside influence, too! Thanks for posting, it can be hard to explain to some of my friends who are fans. 🙁
I’ve heard about Fifty Shades and how its an unrealistic approach to sex. I think its sad that the woman said her relationship with her husband changed when she read the book. Seems to be a deeper issue there that needs to be addressed.
First, let me say, I haven’t seen the movie or read the books. My only knowledge of it is from hearing from others who have read the books (and that was only in passing…).
When you mentioned “power and sex” above I got hopeful that you would touch on that subject in a Godly, scriptural way. I have been reading your blog off and on for a long while and I have a lot of respect for what you say on here…and I also say…keep fighting the good fight!
The church has been PAINFULLY silent about sex for far too long. In recent history blogs like yours have begun to light candles instead of cursing the darkness (the default setting of most churches regarding sex).
In my own life I have struggled and prayed about sex (as a man) for most of my life…pretty much since puberty when the physical part of my sexuality began to gain my attention.
Cutting to today, I believe that God has provided me with some insights into my sexuality (because of my many years of praying, “God!? What is at the root of my desires?? Why do the things that appeal to me sexually appeal to me at all?”
In an effort to keep a long comment short I will make my point and hopefully open up a discussion: women have sexual power over men. This power is a gift from God to women and men alike (husbands and wives to be specific).
To be crystal clear, I don’t mean power like the kind of “power” portrayed in the movie or books mentioned in this post. God designed men to be stimulated through their eyes…and God designed women to be beautiful and attractive to the eye.
We are surrounded by sexual imagery at every turn (online, magazine ads, tv ads, tv shows, everywhere images can be put…there are sexually-themed images to be seen).
Having said that, the sexual power that wives posses, in my opinion, is there to keep their husband’s vulnerability covered and protected (while he does all the other covering and protecting outlined in the Bible for husbands to do). When wives “wield the power” for their own sake and their husband’s sake, then the husband feels loved and fulfilled sexually, the wife feels loved and beautiful and attractive, and her “power” bolsters her husband in such a way that makes him invulnerable to ALL other sexual imagery (artificial or natural…meaning ads or the advances of other women toward him).
This is a vast, deep topic that my comment barely scratches the surface of…but it’s time for God’s people to take back control of sexual information being made available…Satan has had free-reign for way too long.
This is just so true. Thank you for publishing. It’s also something we can be fighting in our prayer times, this is not a battle of flesh and blood. God cares about every couple that plans to watch this and His heart is for them to turn away and towards Him and each other.
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No advice to single christian women who don’t have a husband to make love to?
@ Julie: Thank you for standing boldly and speaking the truth on this! We need to pray for our nation like never before.
@ Bob: Excellent comments well stated, and my sentiments exactly; especially when you shared the following:
“In my own life I have struggled and prayed about sex (as a man) for most of my life…pretty much since puberty when the physical part of my sexuality began to gain my attention … because of my many years of praying, “God!? What is at the root of my desires?? Why do the things that appeal to me sexually appeal to me at all?””
@Shioh… I still would recommend you not see the movie. I am not dismissing that sexual desire is not a genuine thing for singles. However, God promises in His Word that He will not allow someone to be tempted beyond what they can handle, if we only do our part of trusting Him and seeking Him. Not always easy, I know. But the only other choice is sexual immorality, which isn’t God’s plan for your life. Surround yourself with like-minded Christians who are striving to be obedient to God’s Word.
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@Greg Thanks for your words 🙂
You made me realize I didn’t finish that thought haha. I meant to follow with, “I believe, as an answer to those prayers, God has begun to show me that He created men with a vulnerability that is ultimately meant to be covered by our wives.”
Satan has convinced many that sex is dirty and sinful and that causes women who want to please God to feel a conflict between being sexual with their husbands and pleasing God (a topic discussed many times on this blog thankfully).
I believe that if a wife embraces the power she has as a woman (as God intended for it to be used) then it becomes a shield for him and a blessing to the entire marriage and family.
For single men…trusting in God and choosing the right thing in the face of sexual temptation (flee!) allows Him to cover you with His grace and mercy.
My husband and I work side by side all day. We were installing at a jobsite yesterday. The homeowner is a young married woman with a baby and a toddler. Her father-in-law was also at the house. He works on our combine too. We live in a small community. Basically, the house had 3 generations of ages represented.
I was on the TMB (The Marriage Bed) website earlier and we talked about how we would respond next time 50 Shades…the movie comes up in conversation. I was prepared.
You guessed it. The father-in-law brought up the 50 Shades movie and asked me if I was gong to see it. I, matter-of-factly told him, that I have no interest in the movie. I consider it porn. I also said that what I have at home is so much better than any cheap movie, or book. He and the daughter-in-law both laughed by my boldness. It was the truth.
My husband is extremely shy. He had his head in the cabinet working when I made the comment. He probably said to himself, “Preach it to them”. I also shared with this new mom that I personally was exhausted with babies in the house. I had to keep my priorities straight during that trying time in our marriage. I told her that if she keeps God first, husband second, and the children and everyone else after that, then she will have a very blessed marriage.
I considered that conversation productive for all three generations present.
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My wife is eagerly waiting for the next movie to come out in a couple weeks. She dragged me to the first one and I was disgusted by it. As a man, the nudity was difficult to get out of my mind. As a man who has a shred of respect for my wife, the violent nature of the sex scenes bothered me deeply. I refused to go with her to this one. It bothers me to know that she finds such things enjoyable to watch. I just don’t understand why she would want to go to it. Does she fantasize about being treated like this? Does she want to be controlled and abused? It just seems so off. I found the whole idea of a man treating a woman like that appalling.