Last week we talked about Sexual Intimacy and what it takes to cultivate this closeness in marriage. In a culture that craves sex it is ironic that marriages are often sex-starved. Either for lack of sex or because of the quality of sex we’re experiencing.
There is a new book climbing the best-sellers list at lightning speed. The first in a trilogy of books titled, 50 Shades of Grey, it is a fictional story about a young, college student and her encounter with a successful, attractive businessman. I have read only a few sample pages available on Amazon, but it is obvious the hook is intended to draw women into Ana’s world as she begins a relationship with Christian Grey. Below is the book description on Amazon’s website:
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.
Why mention this obviously secular book? Because shockingly, it is growing in popularity among Christian women–women who enjoy reading a good book. But this book is hardly good, nor is it innocent. It has the ability to entice unsatisfied wives with a desire to have something more. It is discontentment unabated.
We write this post today as a warning; If you are not happy in your relationship with your husband, then seeking to fulfill this unhappiness in a fantasy world is only going to cause your marriage more harm.
When we were first married I loved to watch soap operas. It was a world totally separate from Tom. He had no idea of my afternoon obsession. I knew it wasn’t portraying a godly lifestyle, but I figured what harm could it do? It wasn’t real.
How deceived and naive I was. It wasn’t until I had a dream about this fantasy world (that was more like a nightmare), that I realized these shows were having a strong influence on me and my emotional state. By God’s conviction and His grace to say no to it, I haven’t watched one since!
How I wish I had had someone to warn me of the danger, the darkness, lurking in these fantasy worlds. These demons are invited into our homes and hearts and begin the process of dismantling our contentment.
1 Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain…”
We understand there are women hurting in marriages led by distant husbands. They neglect their calling to lovingly lead and to lay down their lives for their wife as Christ did for the church. This is a real problem which causes real pain, but the answer can never be found in the fantasy world. This is a lie by the enemy who wants nothing more than to destroy every Christian home he can.
We are a part of a larger group called The Christian Marriage Bloggers Association. Together we are addressing this issue with the hope of helping wives say no to this temptation by providing knowledge about the danger of what some are calling, “Mommy Porn.”
Mommy Porn is on the rise in large part because of the anonymity available through e-readers. No longer can others see what you’re reading on the plane, in the mall, or even as you lie in bed next to your husband at night. This is providing easy access and a greater temptation to these genres of books, in much the same way as pornographic movies have enticed men and women through personal computers.
Are you drawn to romance novels? Do you find yourself longing to experience what the heroine (if you can call them that) does? This is a dangerous road, so we’re sounding the alarm. Please talk to someone. Confess your temptation. Acknowledge to God your discontentment. And most of all seek the grace of God to change. Only He can empower us to resist sin and it’s pull on our hearts. But we can choose not to open the book in the first place. This is a call to fight hard for the health of your marriage. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth fighting for ever is.
Following are more posts on this topic from members of CMBA:
Intimacy in Marriage – Fifty Shades of Great Sex With Your Husband
To Love, Honor and Vacuum – Finding God After Pornography and Why Kindles Can Wreck Your Marriage
Mystery32 – Porn for Women
The Alabaster Jar – O Be Careful Little Eyes What You Read
The Generous Husband – A Disturbing Trend In Female Sexual Preferences (Husbands, please read this post. You may be surprised to find your wife is tempted in this way.)
The Generous Wife – Escape Into Grey – Lori provides a great metaphor that may open your eyes to the danger of these types of books in a powerful way.
Marriage By Divine Design – Lead Us Not Into E-Book Temptation
AffairCare- 50 Shades and Infidelity, There Is A Connection
Finally, we want to share with you a video Josh McDowell has produced for his 1 Click Away campaign against pornography. We must warn you, it is graphic and powerful, but the message may just rock the hearts of those who are most addicted to pornography, and it may scare away those who are playing with soft porn. This is our hope and prayer.
May God use these posts to rescue marriages from the sin that so easily entangles us!
How are you doing at resisting temptation?
Tom and Debi,
Thanks for sounding the warning on this. What concerns me is that a number of publishers have indicated they are working to provide more of the same. This both shows how hungry women are for this (a problem that needs to be addressed by all of us in the CMBA) and it means more women will be hooked.
I’m afraid you’re right Paul. I’m surprised that I haven’t received any other comments on this post. I pray this concerted message hits home with our readers and the Christian world at large. God help us!
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Thanks for being a voice of reason in this ongoing debate! We at MLM completely agree and appreciate your post. We NEED to talk about this! Porn is insidious and comes in all sorts of packages. It promises things that it can never make good on. We as women are buying into the lie if we think we are “helping” our marriages or ourselves by participating in this “mommy porn.”
Well said. I have counseled Christian Women who were so caught up in Christian Romance Novels that their marriages were suffering. They were living in such a fantasy of what marriage was “supposed to be” that their poor husbands could not keep up with “Romeo” of the novels. All that we Watch, Read and See becomes a part of us – permanently – and can have devastating affects on each of us. Nice article.
Jackie, you’ve said it well. What husband could compete with the perfect male as portrayed in this romantic novels? It is no different than the perfectly sculpted bodies men obsess over in various media. This is a serious issue that must be talked about openly and compassionately. There is a better way! I loved your line, “All that we Watch, Read and See becomes a part of us – permanently – and can have devastating affects on each of us.” Great comment, thanks!
Again, this is so awesome! Debi, I remember recently discussing the temptations to women in these areas and am so glad you guys are blogging about it! Shine the Light into this “new” and modern darkness, my friend! Love you!
Thank you, Missytex. You are such an encourager.
Thanks for this article. I’ll admit, I was thinking about getting this book to see what all the hype was about. I am so glad I read this article first!
Holly, You’ve made my day. Thank you for commenting and for allowing the Lord to use this post to shine light in a dark place before taking the first step.
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Now this is a post to stand upon! What a good way to let your light shine. Our society is going the way of the hedonist if we don’t revive the principles and morals of truth (not what we elvolve into believing on our own! — obama) given us through the Word of God as prescribed by our nations’ founding fathers and the pilgrims before them.
Thanks, Seth! I love hearing from you. 🙂
Thanks for sharing and shedding light on such a necessary topic.
We must given the nature of the fight. Thanks for adding your comment, Megan.
This is actually something I’ve been concerned about for some time. One thing that amazes me is that women will be comparing their husbands unfavorably to the “heroes” of these books without stopping to think how little they resemble the “heroines”! And I’ve heard women defend actions in soap opera characters which would appall them if done by someone they actually knew. Thanks for your post!
Excellent observation, Cherry. It’s true we often judge our husband’s lack without giving thought to our own. We must first look in the mirror before going after our husband–or anyone for that matter. Thanks for commenting!
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Just to be clear. In your opinion, Christian women shouldn’t read romance novels of any kind?
This is a great question, and I am certainly not saying that. But there is a huge difference between Christian-based romance novels and erotic romance novels. But even here we can’t draw a clear line. The best way to determine if a novel is okay or not is based on the affect it’s having on your heart. Only you can determine if something is helping you in your marriage and relationship with Christ or if it is drawing you away from either or both. My biggest concern is that women are reading without considering these effects. Living in a sinful world we can never let our guard down when it comes to holiness: not with our music, our movies, our TV shows, or any other entertainment. We have an enemy who loves to sing sweet songs in our ear to lull our conscience to sleep. This post is simply to sound an alarm for us to wake up and be on guard.
I hope I’ve answered your question. Thanks for asking!
Well said. I am a Christian book reviewer and I’ve been struggling with this – I’m having a hard time reading ‘Christian’ romance anymore because sometimes it’s a young unmarried couple kissing or having certain feelings that aren’t acceptable outside of marriage. The ones that make the husbands so perfect, who never get upset at their wives newest diet, or who doesn’t care that the dishes aren’t done – can make us discontent with our lives and our husbands, even some books that are ‘Christian’ can even have us seeing our children as burdens. We are too quick anymore to label anything that merely mention the Lord or Jesus or God as Christian – so just because it’s labeled ‘Christian’ doesn’t mean it is or should be read by Christians.
Amen! We need to use discernment in all facets of life, including what we read. So good to hear your perspective as a book reviewer and have it added to our discussion.
Wonderful post. Thank you for bringing people’s attention to this and trying to steer them along the right road! It’s a matter of great concern for me, seeing things like this.
On the heels of this Shades of Gray, just two weeks ago the new “Sherlock” premiered, and it was (unfortunately) most salacious and tawdry—on Masterpiece Theatre! Hubby and I were very disappointed—the storyline wasn’t even that great, having been much twisted from its inspiration story—but a dear Christian friend just loved it, and sadly, I think it’s mostly because of the salacious nature. I just sent her to the blog post of a friend who disliked it for much of the same reasons I did and said how disappointed I was in the show itself, but nothing else—I don’t even know how to respond anymore, not wanting to step into judgment over another, despite being concerned. It’s all very frustrating and saddening. I suppose all we can do is pray. This sort of thing is very dangerous indeed—its deceptive and attractive, trendy nature doesn’t really help us fight against it!
You are right in saying how dangerous this is. But prayer is the absolute best thing we can do because God hears us when we cry out to Him. It is a huge battle, and God will rescue those who are sincerely wanting to live for Him. It is easy to become discouraged in the battle, this is why so many of the marriage bloggers have joined together to post about this topic–hoping to reach more and more marriages heading down this sinful path.
Thanks for joining your voice with ours! God help us all.
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How can you review a book (or books) that you haven’t read?
We are simply sounding a warning signal for women to be aware of the porn content of this book. We don’t have to read the entire book to know this is a dangerous read. FYI, I did read the beginning until it was obvious where the book was leading, into a sexual relationship outside of marriage. After discovering the story encourages a BDSM affair, I’m grateful I stopped reading when I did. This is something we can not and will not condone. One doesn’t have to eat garbage to know the garbage is bad for you.
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