Enchanting Romance or Dangerous Lies
I guess I will have to throw my two cents in on an argument that really seems to be heating up the internet lately.
Many of us have come across some sort of dialog in recent weeks discussing the conflict of 50 Shades of Grey. If you have not however let me fill you in.
I have not read the book though many of my good friends have, so I was well aware of the extreme violent and sexual content in the book. Over the last two weeks as I browsed over internet news and blog websites it genuinely sparked my interest to the growing controversy of this book and soon to be released movie.
After reading an interesting piece on the similarities of the teen throb Twilight and the more mature 50 Shades of Grey here, I remembered something my dad made me do in response to my devotion to the Twilight books.
I was in high school as the craze that was Twilight captured the hearts of millions of teenage girls. In fact my husband and I had our first “date” to see that very movie. As an adult I can look back on that phenomena and see the unhealthy obsession that was created in my life at that time. What I see is a book that presented themes of dishonesty, immortality, selling ones soul, blood lust, dishonoring parents, dancing with death and other dangerous ideas in a way that seemed innocent and pure. I was allowing this content to fill my head and heart and soon the concepts presented in the book were romancing me into a beautifully perilous world that was not even real. I was so obsessed with the books that I grew hungry for the story. I read the whole series, 4 books 2,000 plus pages, in less than 2 weeks while in school! Imagine if we read our Bibles with that same passion and hunger with which I was pursuing the Twilight “love story”. My parents saw my growing obsession and were worried.
My dad asked me to go through the Twilight books and find 3 themes promoted by the series and then find biblical evidence condoning or condemning these themes. If you cannot predict the outcome here, I could find nothing to condone the book, but had no trouble at all finding plenty of evidence rejecting the themes of twilight entirely.
At the time I thought my dad was being a prude, judgmental, control freak. I didn’t get that what he was trying to do was show me that my obsession actually went against everything I believed in. I am not here to shame anyone for reading Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey I am trying to bring to light the truth of what these books promote and the dangers of diving head first into their frenzied following.
As 50 Shades of Grey hit the market millions of women were flocking to books stores to delve into the story. This book was consuming the minds and hearts of women as Twilight once had teenage girls. If only we dove into our Bibles with that same passion and urgent desire, never wanting to set it down. Instead the minds of millions of women were being filled with dangerous lies.
When we allow lies disguised in innocence to influence our minds, we begin to make exceptions or excuses and become blind to the danger. We must be careful to guard our hearts against lies presented in a way that seems harmless, because they are not. Not only do these lies influence our views on relationships and love, how will they affect our marriages? Are we not well aware of negative influence porn has cast into the bedroom of married couples? How can we say then that this porn that is introduced in written form is any less costly to the marriage relationship? As Christians we need to be alert to the ways in which Satan can work to creep his way into our thoughts. Allowing a book or movie with such graphic, damaging content into your life is allowing a door to open. Eventually the effects of allowing this influence into your heart will become evident, though it may take time, it is a “slow fade”. Casting Crowns anyone?
50 Shades of Grey expresses continuing themes of abuse, sexual immorality, sexual masochism, unhealthy portrayals of love, and to seal the deal the idea that a woman’s steadfast love and submission will change an abusive deeply disturbed man. I don’t think there is a psychologist out there that would agree that Ana’s unconditional love of Christian would bring him to mental stability… the guy had some serious issues and needed professional HELP! As a Christian I know that no person can change another and that it is only God that can change the hearts of man. For a women to read this book it is dangerous because it portrays love in a way that could be harmful to her wellbeing. It tells her “love your man no matter his faults and eventually he will change, and won’t hurt you anymore”. I am not saying all men are perfect, but no man should desire to harm (physically, emotionally or sexually) the woman he loves. The book sends a message to men that says being psychologically damaged and abusiveness is okay, women think it’s sexy. It shows a man who is powerful, abusive, and controlling as Mr. Dreamy and places a god like complex onto him. WHAT? How are we so okay with this, and why are we defending it?
Out of love to all the women who are vehemently defending 50 Shades of Gray I give you the same assignment that my dad gave me. Find 3 themes along with Biblical evidence condoning or condemning those themes. This is for you, so be honest with yourself as you research those topics.
As Valentine’s Day approaches (like it is tomorrow) so does the release of the movie portrayal of 50 Shades, if you are looking for a true love story check out Old Fashioned. Protect your heart, protect your marriage, and protect the definition of love that is pure and biblical.