It happened on the night of the Superbowl this month… I was sitting on the couch with my housemates and a movie commercial came on. At first it appeared to be the beginning a sweet romantic movie. What I thought was a love story ended up turning into scenes of an intense make out in an elevator and then a few suggestive clips to follow. Yes, I was utterly shocked when the title “Fifty Shades of Grey” appeared on the television. Let me tell you, Hollywood is doing their best at selling this movie as the next Chick Flick.
I have not read this book, but I feel that it is my responsibility as a Christian woman to research about it and know why it is not a healthy book to be reading or movie to be viewing. A quick synopsis of the storyline… The main characters are Anastasia and Christian. Anastasia is a virgin who goes to interview Christian who is a risqué businessman. Christian ends up going after Anastasia and luring her to sleep with him. On top of it all, she signs a contract that she will basically be his sex slave and do whatever he wants. The two then embark in an extremely unhealthy relationship involving torture.
These two characters are very broken. Christian has a distorted view of sex and is a power-hungry male that wants nothing more than to dominate women. Anastasia is a desperate and (for lack of better words) a stupid woman who thinks she is being “submissive,” when in reality she is being abused. It is funny to me that all of these women are glued to this book and are about to go pay to watch this on the big screen. The book and movie are demeaning to women and it is pornography. It portrays women as sex slaves that sign off their bodies to painful and unnatural encounters.
Let’s look at the Biblical definition of love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
Christian is not patient with Anastasia, he forces himself on her and tempts her. He is not kind by performing cruel acts in the bedroom. He is jealous for her virginity and boastful of it because he has her sign a contract for her body (which also displays pride). He is rude to her when he dominates her. He does not care about her satisfaction. He definitely demands his own way. He is irritable and clearly keeps a record of wrongs through their contract of sex bondage. He takes pleasure in the injustice of abuse in their relationship. If she stopped giving him what he wanted he would give up on her because he does not truly love her.
Ok, now let us compare Anastasia to this scripture passage. She is not patient and jumps in bed with a guy she does not know or love after waiting so long. She is not kind because she lets him feed of his mental disorders. She is jealous for him. She is boastful and proud of her actions and sees them as accomplishments. She is rude by not seeing that this is unhealthy for him and her. She has a twisted view of submission and forgiveness. She is the other extreme because she enslaves herself to sexual and emotional torture. She rejoices in her own injustice and in the lies of her partner. She gives up on true love and loses faith and hope that she will be able to love a man who actually loves her.
Clearly, these two people have MAJOR issues. We should not be looking to them to feed our desires and passions. Their problematic relationship will only infiltrate our minds and distort our marriages and our view on sex and love. This is why I say 50 Shades No Way! We must stand together as men and women that value and love each other. True love is not torture. I have to disagree with this book and with the line in Blank Spaces by Taylor Swift, “Men only want love if it’s torture…” Not to be rude, but maybe she does not have a serious relationship because she is drawn to men that want “torture” and not men that truly love her.
So this is my plea, do not fall into the temptation of reading or watching this pornographic and twisted story. We do not need to financially support this. I desire for everyone to have beautiful, playful, and healthy sex lives within the context of marriage. That is the only contract that we should ever be signing. It is to love another person more than ourselves and to serve them for better or worse for a lifetime. May we never confuse the fantasy of steamy novels and movies with the reality of what true love is and what selfishness is. Pray about this with me and ask that God would teach us what a real scandalous love story looks like within the context of His guidelines.