Why Women Read “50 Shades of Grey” but Don’t Talk to Their Husbands About Sex
In light of full disclosure I will admit that I have not read the novel 50 Shades of Grey. So I will refrain from making specific comments about it. That would be like the preachers I heard as a teen who preached “agin’ the devil’s music” and thought “heavy metal” was a vague reference to the period table of the elements. Although I have not read the book, I am familiar with its content and feel qualified to address the cultural phenomenon it has created.
50 Shades of Grey is an erotic novel that is the first in a trilogy by British author E. L. James. The series has sold over 40 million copies worldwide and is currently being developed into a film series. Women readers comprise the largest portion of the audience.
This leads me to two important questions. How is it any different for a woman to read an erotic novel than for a man to look at pornography? One is pornography for the eyes and the other is pornography for the mind. Secondly, why do Christians talk about sex with everyone but their spouse?
Because this is a blog and not a book I want to give you some food for thought. These are principles based on what God says about sex in the Bible. It makes sense to listen to what He says about it since He created it and blessed it and gave a grand and glorious purpose to it. Why would you follow the advice of Hollywood, anyway? They can’t even stay married!
I love The Message paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 7:1-6. The Apostle Paul writes,
Now, getting down to the questions you asked in your letter to me. First, Is it a good thing to have sexual relations? Certainly—but only within a certain context. It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it.
Here are several principles that will help you enjoy sex in marriage the way God intends.
See sex as an image of God thing.
Read Genesis 1 & 2 and you will understand that God created us in His image to fill the earth with true worshippers. Sex was created by God to be in His image. In fact, the first command to humans was to have lots of sex! He told Adam and Eve to fill the earth.
Understand that sex is sacred.
The ancient world got this principle better than we do in modern culture. It is astounding how many ancient religions even got this. Many incorporated sex as a sacred ritual even though they were false religions. Don’t misunderstand my point. I am not suggesting we should emulate false religions but we must understand that sex is sacred. That is why God put so much emphasis on it in the Bible. He even gave us an entire book on sex and romance in the Song of Solomon.
God sees sex as an act of worship.
Every command in the Bible is rooted in God’s love for us. Ultimately, everything in the Christian life is to be an act of worship – our work, marriage, play, and especially our sex lives. This is true in the Old and New Testaments. (See Genesis 1-3; 1 Corinthians 7; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12)
Learn God’s purpose for sex.
In spite of what much of our modern culture believes, God is not prudish about sex. He created it for a purpose. When it is enjoyed His way it brings joy to us, binds us together in marriage, produces children, and brings us pleasure. Sex is a gift from God.
Look for love in all the right places.
God’s plan is for sex to be between a married man and woman. When we follow His plan we are happier and more fulfilled. It is when we go outside His commands that sex destroys.
Don’t think that pornography is harmless. Pornography always begins in the mind, whether it is visual or in an erotic novel. It hurts both men and women and can destroy what God intended for you. On the other hand, God is gracious and merciful and always willing to forgive and restore. No matter what you have done in your past you can be forgiven and made whole again! Some of the great heroes in the Bible had a devious sexual past but found God’s love and forgiveness. Read Matthew chapter one and you will discover that Jesus’ genealogy had adulterers, a rapist, a rape victim, and even a former prostitute. God loves you and will forgive you and use you in spite of your past if you will turn to Him.
Talk to your spouse about sex. Tell him or her your desires and needs. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t be afraid. God has a grand and glorious plan for your life.
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