Fifty Shades of Deception
By Kerry Clarensau
Most of us have heard about the erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, reaching best-seller charts, and the release of the movie about a male stripper called Magic Mike. As Christian women, how should we respond to this cultural trend?
Even standing in the grocery store checkout line, we notice the large number of magazines promising secrets to improve our sex life. It seems our culture continually bombards us with images and ideas about sexuality.
Growing up, I was completely unaware that the Bible has so much to say about intimacy and sexuality. When families and churches fail to communicate God’s truth, many women look for answers wherever these issues are discussed. Christian women can buy into secular ideas, and the results are devastating. We are created as sexual beings, and sex is an important part of marriage. However, true intimacy in marriage is more than sex. It is the exclusive bond between husband and wife, characterized by affection, warmth, openness, and connectedness.
When we buy into our culture’s views of eroticism, we damage our relationships. But we can look to God’s Word for insights into improving the intimacy in our marriage:
- Focus on fulfilling your husband. Real intimacy and fulfillment are found when each person takes an “it’s not about me” attitude and looks to please their spouse (1 Corinthians
- Ask God to help you guard your thoughts. We need to be aware of activities or situations that can tempt us to fantasize about other men, to be dissatisfied with our husband, or to criticize our appearance or our sex life (Psalm 101:2,3).
- Avoid talking with others about your sex life. Sexual intimacy is designed for exclusivity. Only then can a husband and wife experience complete and total trust, complete and total freedom, and complete and total fulfillment (Ephesians 5:3,4).
- Keep sexual toys and pornography out of your marriage. God wants us to associate sexual release with our spouse—bonding us and nurturing true intimacy (1 Corinthians 6:18).
- Avoid fantasy role-playing. If we dress up or role-play as another personality, we open the door for our husband to fantasize about being with someone else (Philippians 4:8).
- Ask God to help you desire and enjoy pure sexual intimacy with your husband. God wants us to invite Him into the intimate places of our life. He has the power to heal, restore, and bless (Proverbs 5:18, 19).
Friends, it grieves my heart to think of how many women are being deceived by this type of literature. Since the fall of humankind, women have been victimized by men—pornography, physical abuse, rape, sex trafficking. Men seeing women as objects rather than viewing them as someone with value is a result of sin—never God’s ideal treatment for the women He has created. Love is always self-sacrificing—each one giving themselves for their spouse.
I have great concerns with books like Fifty Shades of Grey and movies like Magic Mike:
- Women considering such deviant behaviors as acceptable,
- Women thinking these choices might lead to a meaningful relationship,
- Women pursuing these forms of “entertainment” rather than taking seriously God’s command to guard our hearts.
We must encourage one another to understand God’s ideal and not allow ourselves to be lured into this harmful way of thinking. God calls us to purity, both in our thoughts and our behaviors. As the Author of intimacy, God wants us to experience life-giving closeness with Him and with our spouse. This requires us to fully trust God’s Word and reject our culture’s oversexualized, demoralizing views. We can experience intimacy that is fulfilling and whole when we chase after God and allow Him to lead every part of our life—even our sexuality.
KERRY CLARENSAU is an author, mentor, speaker, and National Women’s Director for the Assemblies of God. She speaks to women’s hearts from 25 years of experience in local, district, and national ministry to women.