50 Shades of Grey, 1 Distinct Purity

Our culture has a virus. It’s destroying marriages, healthy self-images, and any semblance of respect or humility within relationships. It’s spreading and, instead of trying to prevent the cancer, we ask for more.

They call it the “50 Shades of Grey Effect.” Not only do we have the infamous book trilogy and the movie (releasing next week for Valentine’s Day), we also have the success of these splattered onto other works and genres. To this sex-obsessed culture, books like Pride and Prejudice, Sherlock Holmes and Jane Eyre aren’t good enough. They’re “missing” scenes. Two years ago Clandestine Classics started publishing new editions to graphically elaborate on the “sexual tensions and eroticism there.”

This infuriates me. Forget my love of excellent literature and my vehement defense of writers like Jane Austen. Even if I hated books (Oh, I think my heart just stopped for moment.), I would still recognize this as a disturbing commentary on our culture.

At this point I could call out the dangers of pornography, the underlying tones within this cultural that support domestic violence and exploitation; how it devalues and objectifies women while feeding human trafficking. I could cite statistics and action plans while proclaiming the diminishing innocence of children and the deteriorating effect on our youth.

I’m not going to do that, and I don’t need to, because there are plenty of other sources already doing that well. Here’s just one.

Today I’m concerned about another element of this. Today I’m issuing a call to be light rather than grey.

Christians are failing to be distinct.

I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey or seen the movie. I have no intention to do either. What I have read and seen are herds of women, many of whom claim to be Christians, flocking to get their hands on these. I’ve heard it justified with statements like “Oh, it will spice up your marriage” and “I just want to know what all the fuss is about so that I can discuss it intelligently.”

Bologna. (I really want to write that as “baloney”, but Oscar Mayer taught me better.)

Let’s call it what it is, ladies. This is porn. This is destructive.

If our men were reading and watching similar stuff, we’d go ballistic.

And don’t tell me that it’s “just a good story.” Book enthusiasts, experts in publishing, and even university literature professors have all said the same thing: the book is drivel and a waste of time to read, but it’s making great money. Most of them are not believers. If unbelievers say there’s no merit in it, then why would we, women who are supposed to be different, women who are supposed to be salt and light in the world, voluntarily pollute our minds and hearts with this?

Don’t get me wrong. I fully support healthy sex lives. Sex is good! This, however, does not foster a healthy sex life. It actually inhibits one.

If you want an exciting sex life, try something radically different: fiercely pursue and protect purity. [Tweet this.]

Let me clarify what I mean by purity.

Not all of you are married. Not all of you are women. Sexual purity, however, is the same for all.

Sexual purity reserves your body, your mind (any sexual or romantic thoughts) and your affections for your spouse. If you’re not married, then you shouldn’t be sexually active, fantasizing about sex or engaging in any activity that encourages you to do so. It’s as simple as that.

The world, in particular our culture, tells us that experimentation and pushing boundaries is the best way to incite passion. They’re wrong.

Nothing you read, watch or do will thrill your husband more than knowing you want him and him alone.

Commit now to pursue purity.

You can do this a number of ways.

Internally: We all have individual weakness triggers. It might be something you read, something you see or certain types of jokes or conversations with friends. Whatever it is that tempts you toward impurity, avoid it. It’s not always easy, but if you pre-determine your boundaries, they’re far more difficult to cross.

Externally: Don’t be afraid to tell others why you won’t watch that movie or read that book or go see that stand-up comic. Encourage alternatives. Refuse to entertain such conversations.

Fiscally: Don’t give your money to those who feed impurity. In the article linked above, the publishers expressed bold confidence in a market for erotic classics. It’s not about morals or ethics to them; it’s about money. Money talks. So let yours encourage purity.

When 50 Shades first blew up, Magic Mike was also all the rage. At that time a college classmate of mine and his wife had less than two months to raise the funds to adopt a girl who would, at the end of that time, age out of an Eastern European orphanage. As they sought to save her from a life of hopelessness, they asked this question:

“What if Christian women gave $12 to a family adopting a girl who has a 60% chance of ending up in prostitution if she stays where she’s at, thereby SAVING a girl from taking her clothes off instead of spending that same $12 to go watch men do the same at Magic Mike?”

How many other lives could be saved if we invested differently? If we supported rescue efforts rather than pornography and hedonistic fantasies?

You could also make a statement with your cash by donating it to charities that fight domestic violence and sex trafficking. A21 and IJM are tremendous organizations fighting globally. Justice Network is another, one that works locally in the NJ/NYmetro area. Check out our website for a list of fabulous organizations. With a little research, you may even find an advocacy group in your backyard.

Want something to read? Consider Kathi Macias’s novels that raise awareness of modern day slavery and promote abolition.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” — Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Your Turn: How do you foster and protect purity in your life?

About the author : Tanya Dennis

Writer : Speaker : Freelance Editor : Abolitionist -- I love God and live to help others fall in love with Him, too. My blog is a mishmash of thoughts on books, parenting, community, justice and finding God in the midst of it all. Join us twice monthly for Big Word Bible Studies, an in-depth exploration of Old Testament books. Learn more at: www.TanyaDennisBooks.com.

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