Editor’s Note: The popularity of the book Fifty Shades of Grey is growing as more women (and men) pull it off the shelves this summer. Dannah Gresh is a sought-after speaker and author who has studied sexuality in the Bible for more than fifteen years. In this bold article, Gresh shares her concern and wisdom to help ministry leaders approach the book with biblical savvy.
I’m not reading Fifty Shades of Grey.
I wasn’t planning to announce this, but I can’t help myself. I told my husband, Bob, that I didn’t really want to get involved. But then, I found out my girlfriend’s 70-year-old mom has her name on a long wait list at the library to borrow Fifty Shades of Grey. And then my mom told me that a relative I love and respect for her strong faith had already devoured the book. She regretfully “can’t get the images out of her head.”
So here I am. In an attempt to keep the images out of yours, I’d like to explain to you why I’m not reading Fifty Shades of Grey.
Let’s start with the facts. Fifty Shades of Grey is classified as erotic fiction. According to one online dictionary, this genre of literature is defined as that which has “no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire.” I’ve been studying what God says about sexuality for fifteen years. According to Him, there is only one who should stimulate sexual desire in me: my husband. Since that’s God’s plan for my sexual desire, anything other than my husband creating arousal in me would be missing the mark of God’s intention. (Translation: it is sin.)
Jesus said it this way: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The same is true of a woman looking at or reading about a man.
Reason #1? I believe reading erotica is sinful.
I guess I could stop there, but it won’t be enough for some of you. So let’s go to reason number two.