Regular readers of mine know I often have a different opinion about things compared to the average Christian and with all of the to do about 50 Shades movie being made this weekend, I wanted to weigh in.
I often talk about the seven blind spots in the body of Christ. Well, one of the seven is SEX and that's what this film and thus this blog will center around. Let's face it, take away the sexual allure and this is a cheap romance that no one really cares about. Instead of joining with a chorus of outraged conservative Christian bloggers scalding the faithful for their thoughts of unfaithfulness, I see a wonderful opportunity to talk about the 800 pound elephant in the room, how sex within most marriages is tired, dull and boring.
Years ago I heard a preacher say something I have found to be very true. Before you are married the devil tries very hard to get you into bed with anyone he can. After you are married he tries very hard to keep you out of the same bed. See, it's really not about the sex for the enemy, it's about mocking God's covenant. Singles are taunted by Satan repeatedly that they "aren't allowed to enjoy sex yet" and then after you tie the knot the same devil lies and says "he/she isn't enough to truly satisfy you". There are of course hundreds of other lies he whispers, all focused around trying to redirect your focus off of one simple God based fact... Perfect, divine satisfaction and complete overwhelming sexual stimulation and gratification are waiting for you repeatedly within the beautiful freedom and flexibility of God's covenant of marriage.
Let's reestablish some basic facts here. No one is more passionate than God. We talk about shades of gray but God is so passionate He is black and white. He makes the rules and dictates than no one else is to ever be more important to us than Him. No one is more gentle with us yet at the same time no one is more challenging or "rough" as He knows exactly how and where to touch us to take us just past what we think we can take to bring results out of us that we didn't know we were capable of. No one has more depth to discover that God, no one searches your soul more deeply. If you have never been restrained or "tied down" by God, you have not walked close enough and given Him deep enough access to yourself yet. If you have not had the Spirit of God elicit indescribable emotions from the depths of who you are as of yet, you are simply not intimate enough with Him as of yet.
The reason so many people, and especially younger married women are so drawn to the 50 shades books and the new movie is because these are things that are not happening in their spiritual lives with the Holy Ghost and thus they are not happening in their bedrooms with their husbands either. Lori and I have had opportunity to help a lot of couples over the years with troubled marriages. WIthout fail, we have never met a couple heading for divorce that were having great sex on a regular basis. At the same time, in healthy thriving marriages, one thing that seems to be a constant is sexual play, trying new things, pushing some boundaries and making fresh, new and exciting discoveries with and about each other.
Sexuality is one of the most powerful things in the world. It instantly creates emotional bonding and soul ties with the people engaged in it. God created it to be that way and He knew it's abuse would be devastating so He very wisely set it apart to be unwrapped, discovered and thoroughly enjoyed within His life-long covenant of marriage between one man and one woman. Only in this protective chamber can the nuclear explosion of sexuality be contained properly so as to not harm anyone.
As a side note, same sex marriage divorce rates are approaching 60% now. I know, you don't hear that reported in the media as it doesn't fit the far left agenda, but it's true. This is because when you don't have a man and a woman in the covenant, it is too much to handle and creates too much emotional pain and confusion and ultimately destroys lives. God is not against the sexual pleasure of practicing homosexuals. he is against their lives being shortened and their hearts being broken and He knows to try and force that into His chamber of covenant will lead to those sad endings. That is why Homosexuality is an abomination before the Lord.
Ok, back on point now... God doesn't hate sexual pleasure. In fact, He's the one who wired your body to have nerve endings converging where and how they do. He is the one who genetically created you with a hunger for sensuality. As life happens, we all go thru a series of relationship and activities that contribute to our mental and emotional make up. These become part of our human personality and if the bad stuff goes untreated and unhealed, it opens the doors for demonic suggestion and can lead to a person being demonized. In these cases, the normal sexual piece of that person's sexual hungering is corrupted a bit and they develop what in our culture we would describe as a "kink". 50 shades deals with the specific kink of BDSM (a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, roleplaying, restraint, and other interpersonal dynamics). While God did not create us to sexually function in these ways, within the powerful chamber of His marriage Covenant, these is room for all sorts of "kinks" as couples explore and discover themselves and each other.
I'm not saying it's ideal or even terribly healthy but I am saying your fallen mind isn't gonna come up with anything God hasn't seen a million times already. I believe God would rather a man and a woman enjoy themselves with these "kinks" in the bedroom than seeing them continue to emotionally drift apart and end up legally leaving His protective chamber. In short, there's a lot more Grace for those folks within God's covenant than most Christians believe is really there.
If you struggle with issues such as Rejection or Self Hatred, you will want to avoid sexuality because it brings you pleasure and Self Hatred says that you do not deserve to be pleasured. Rejection says if you open yourself emotionally to sexuality that you will be rejected and so its best to not do that. Both are errors of course but sadly they are believed by many. In summary, the reason this movie is such a lure for Christians is because it appears to offer what they are not experiencing for themselves and that is sad because you absolutely can have that and so much better if you get a little healing and begin to freshly explore the chamber of God's marriage Covenant.
Should you go and see it?
This is the big question so many are watching for me to answer. if I say no, I am lumped in with the stuffy, old and out of touch far right wingers and if I say yes I am thrown under the bus by Christians far and wide for supporting "pornography". So my answer is found in the pages of Holy Scripture (as yours should be as well)...
Titus 1:15 - To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.
With that verse in mind, let me share something for men and women... and please understand I am talking in general terms here. I know every person/couple is a little bit different than the next.
I will not be condemning ANYONE for going to see this movie. Satan has so completely deluded this country about all things sexual..and the resulting curiosity is completely predictable.
The married MEN of the church for the most part have sat back and done nothing but lecture the world about how terrible lust is while their own wives are completely unsatisfied sexually and in many cases these same men of God consume porography themselves deadening themselves even futher to their wives cries for sexual exploration and intimacy.
The married WOMEN of the church for the most part are so caught in Self Hatred that they sexually sabotage their own marriages by forced abstinence or purposely being unresponsive limiting their view of themselves to being a "release valve" for their husbands instead of discovering and enjoying their sexual selves as God intended.
If you do decide to see this film, go as a couple. Nothing is served by simply watching something that titillates your flesh for 2 hours without your spouse. That is simply Satan tricking you out of two hours of your life. Instead go together and sit close, even cuddle as you watch. Pray before you go that God would recapture your imaginations and tie you together more deeply than ever before. You may find in praying that you don't even want to go see it any longer... or you may get half way thru it and both be convicted to leave the theater....or you may sit thru the entire thing together and God may deeply heal you both and ignite your curiosity about the other afresh. As is always the case, the proof will be in the fruit of how your marriage is AFTER the fact.
Closing thoughts on this very long blog...
It is a shame for us as a country that movies like this are made but porn like this has been around for centuries and the majority of Christian men and more and more Christian women are viewing it online on a regular basis anyway. It in no way makes it right or "ok" but it does give it proper context for us as a church to not point our finger at the world and scream about our moral high ground if our own back yards are full of the exact same stuff.
What comes up with stuff like this it is the obvious need for healing in our individual lives. Would Jesus go and see this movie? Probably not, but He did die for everyone involved in making it and for everyone who is about to go and see it. I believe Jesus is much more concerned about your heart and thought life the other 166 hours that week than he is about the 2 you will spend watching this movie.
To be extra clear, I do not believe single people should see this movie but traditionally married couples? Pray together and get the mind of the Lord on it. God used a Star Trek movie to save Lori and I's marriage almost 20 years ago so im not about to pronounce that God can't use it... just remember, the big point is whatever you do, do it together with the end goal in mind that God is healing you both so you can better love each other in every way imaginable.
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