Copping A Feel Without the Aid of Christian Grey

      I always pray about what God wants me to write; that's why it usually takes me so long between posts. I've been working on the one below for about a week now, and have prayed constantly over it. I've also sought the opinions of my husband and my sweet friend Lindsey. I'm very well aware that I'm going to lose some friends over this post, but such is the life of a Christ-follower. My posts are never meant to judge--at this point, I don't think it even matters if I say that anymore because everyone will draw their own conclusions. But I can say this without fear, as I wasn't born of a spirit of fear or timidity, but one of power and of sound mind in the Holy Spirit: when God tells me to do something, I've learned not to ask questions. Just do it. I must warn you that there are numerous references to sex in this post; however, they are tasteful and Biblical. If you are sensitive to such or are under the age of 13, you might wanna have your momma proofread this before you proceed. Most of you know how I feel about God's gift to man and wife, and this post doesn't move from those opinions. My opinions are formed based on the reading of God's word, prayer, and His Holy Spirit. I just sit back and let Him do His thing through me. So if you've got some issues with me, that's cool. But I'll not apologize for God's direction for me. I'll not apologize for who I am in Him. And I'll never apologize for who He is in me.

      Our country is possibly entering another war and ABC's headline from the other day concerned the lead role for a possible NC-17 rated movie. And we wonder what's wrong with our present society.

      So often I see women write of the man of their dreams, that knight in shining armor that glistens in the moonlight of an innocent first kiss on the front porch, a kiss that happens only after permission, when marriage is sought out through the young lady's father first, and sex is never expected let alone requested.
      I'm very well aware that my circumstances weren't as such. Jordan and I had planned to wait until marriage to have sex with one another, but young love doesn't always wait. We're human just like the rest of the world and this area with each other was our soft spot in which the devil honed his eager little claws. Regardless, the Lord has never left our side and we've only drawn closer to Him. We know that this marriage and all of the beautiful ups and downs it brings would never work if it weren't for His grace and His mercy. And as our love grows for Him, our loves grows for each other, and vice versa. Every day I see how amazing God is as I watch Jordan grow in Him. He works hard for peanuts at a job he doesn't particularly enjoy, but he praises the Lord for humbling him, for teaching him patience in the struggle, for shaping him into what God wants him to be, and for fine-tuning his ministry and his walk. This is what makes me fall even more in love with Jordan. Not his amazing thick head of chocolate brown hair or those sparkling eyes of his that let me know that I'm the only woman in his world. Not his beautiful David-esque build, or the way he strums a guitar as if he's strumming the very sinews that knit me together. Not his money, not his car, and not the things he does for me or the things he buys for me. No, my love for Jordan is deepened through my relationship with Christ and his relationship with Christ. To watch him grow in Jesus only pulls me even further into him, for I know that when I'm closer to Christ, I'm closer to Jordan. When I'm closer to Jordan, I'm closer to Christ. And in all of this, I become a better wife, a better mother, a better Christian, a better me.
      My marriage isn't perfect. It's a constant work in progress just like I am a constant work in progress. We can fight like cats and dogs if needed, and we've said some hurtful things to each other that neither of us are proud of; we're both messy with arguments and I'm horrible at letting a dead dog lie. I like to "take care of business" but I'm learning that my timing for that isn't always the greatest; I'm learning to wait on God's timing instead which helps me to wait on God in general. Still, I'm moody and I'm loud. It's ridiculous really. Sometimes I don't even realize that I'm raising my voice above the level considered normal because my voice is already so loud. I have temper issues toward nothing really, I'm just a very passionate person and "passionate people tend to over react." He always knows when I'm about to blow, too. If I'm art deprived he'll leave me be so I can create....even if it's just a mess. I also speak before I think; I have the filter of a water hose when I'm stressed.....and when I'm not. Jordan gets so irritated with me; he's quiet and more reserved with his words and thinks very carefully before he ever speaks. He's blown it a couple of times, but he's a jewel compared to me. I've been known to throw a cell phone....or a frying pan....lots of Kotex pads. Regardless of the fits I throw or dead horses I beat to bloody pulps, there is one thing Jordan can always be sure of: I love him with a passion that far exceeds anything written in a book or seen in a movie, and no flying kitchen utensil can ever change that. He's my gift from God. Why would I want anything less?
      This brings me to the point of my post. For about two years now I've heard the moans of social networking ecstasy about the luscious character Christian Grey of the book Fifty Shades of Grey and his sexual dungeon of doom. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, friends, acquaintances, people that just randomly follow me or I randomly follow them, girls that have said things to me at school, hanging out, and even in church....the list is never ending.  "Oh, you can nail me to a cross any time, Christian!" said one lady. Another said, "I'd let that man spank me any day of the week!" And yet another screamed, "I'm gonna buy this for my husband so he can take some notes!"

      Really?

      Mind you, these were all said or written by married women. In fact, the many memes, shirts, and quotes I've seen were rarely posted, worn, or said by any single gal but instead married women. This is sad, ladies. And now I'm going to be brutally and unabashedly honest: What's even worse and more painful is that women are flocking to read this trash or view it when they've got husbands at home of their own, most of the time lying right next to them as they feverishly turn page after sticky page. And we wonder why men feel inadequate and move on to greener pastures. I'm not justifying infidelity's actions; it was just a thought.
      Before I continue I'm going to address some of the questions that are popping up in your pretty little heads. First, how do I know so much about this book. Well, for one, my newsfeed is full of it, especially today as the star picked to play the fabulous Grey was announced on most if not all social media outlets and everyone shared it.  Second, prior to knowing anything about the book I sampled the free first chapter on my Kindle. Warning: this was months before I knew anything about the book. I'd only heard of it. I was so excited when I received my free sample! I'd only heard, "Read it! You'll love it!" The silver tie on the cover said to my gullible eyes: MYSTERY! LAWYERS! I was thinking Robert Whitlow or John Grisham type literature. I began the book. The first page in was excruciating. For an English major and one who enjoys literature in general, I was shocked at how the general public was enjoying this read. For one, it's confusing how the writer was even published as a coherent or finished thought never really entered the page. I continued for a few pages until the supposed protagonist met Mr. Grey. I was so overwhelmingly bored and confused by the author's usage of the same four words, I knew I wouldn't make it through the rest of the book. I deleted the one chapter sample without even finishing it and thought to myself, to each his own, and moved on.
      Shortly after, the social network sites exploded with wonderment at the voluptuous Christian Grey. One day I asked what the big deal was and a dear friend was honest and said, "No. Stay away from that. You'll hate it." Within minutes of posting my question on Facebook a flood of messages came into my inbox. Women were begging for me to stay away from this "evil," as one friend called it. Another was all but vomiting through her message in her plea for me to, again, "stay away." I soon received phone calls, emails, and texts from other women saying much of the same. Of course I was concerned, so I did some research and found all that I needed to know about E.L. James and her Fifty Shades of Grey.
      For weeks I kept my opinions to myself. Then I read a beautifully written article by a Christian writer concerning the book, the characters, and the effects of erotica/pornography on the brain. I shared it. From there I received some backlash and was deleted by a few people, but the overall response was good from the people who chose to weigh in. For the most part, I felt like it was a healthy dialogue. I've also seen a few interviews with the author and read plenty of articles, Christian as well as secular. This is how I know anything about the book and the author.
      Second, allow me to address the Twilight Saga questions. Yes, I've read it. Most of you have read Twilight. And yes, I had an Eclipse party.....with my youth director's wife and all of my Christian friends. Really?! Who ME?! Have a Twilight party?! Oh, for SHAME! Yes. I did. And it was downright fun. And I'd do it again. We weren't partying because we love Edward or Jacob, or because we wanna have hybrid babies with a vampire or a litter of half puppies with a half-naked perpetually 17-year-old boy, nor were  partying over the literary prowess of Stephenie Meyer. No, we partied because we enjoyed the fairytale....and it was an awesome excuse to hang out and eat cupcakes. The Twilight Saga was magic and to me, much like Harry Potter, only not nearly as well-written. We couldn't wait for the wedding of Bella and Edward or the war between the tribes and covens, or, for me, the makeup that would transform Bella in the movies. There was nothing sexual for my friends and me when it came to the Twilight except for the fact that the main characters waited until their wedding night to do anything sexual at all other than the occasional painful-for-Edward kiss. But such is the life of dating in general, right? I also never said I had a "thing" for either of the main male characters. While I'm not going to lie, I think both Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are handsome fellas, neither one of them or anyone else hold a candle to Jordan. I loved the characters in the books; while the Twilight Saga is far from being referred to as literature, it's a fun read and in my opinion most of the characters are well-mapped out but a little flat, with the exception of Bella who clearly has some self-loathing issues, but that's a different topic for another day. However, I have always said that Edward's character reminded me of Jordan; he was very "old school" and genteel much like my hubby. That's what drew my attention in the book. As for Jacob, his character reminded me of my younger brother and a close friend of ours: hot-headed and little over-confident, but rightly so. And I can be quoted several times in saying, "I get the best of both worlds: Jordan acts like Edward and looks like Jacob so I don't really have to choose a team!" Our affinity with the saga never crossed the line between appropriate and "I wish I could get dirty with the main character." And I never once compared the two or said that Jordan needed to take some notes.
      A few people have asked me, "How do you differentiate between the two books' purposes and stories without being hypocritical?" Easy. I'm not reading about someone else's sex life and getting stimulated or aroused by it. Here's the kicker: erotica and pornography are set into place as such to stimulate the senses, particularly the southern regional senses, and I'm not talking about geographically. If Twilight did that for anyone, I would like to know how. This is where my case rests.
      Allow me to backtrack to the messages I received concerning my inquiring post at the beginning of all of this. Out of all of the messages I received, only one did not have the mention of prayer in it. The rest were from women asking me to pray for them. They were having trouble in the bedrooms with their husbands, some were seeking counseling, others were on such rocky ground with their husbands that they didn't know if they were going to make it. Some used the book as a "healing tool" in the bedroom but it only further damaged what was breaking. I wondered if this was normal; as I continued my research (in the loosest sense of the word) I found that women had graduated from erotica to porn and were soon after struggling with an addiction. Fifty Shades of Grey is classified as erotica. The definition of erotica according to Miriam Webster is 1. artistic or literary works having an erotic theme or 2.depiction of things erotic. The root word for erotica is simply erotic which means 1. of, devoted to, or tending to arouse sexual desire and 2. strongly marked or affected by sexual desire. Friends, simply put, this means that erotica's main purpose is to turn its viewer or reader on sexually. How is this different from pornography? Well, it's not. the definitions for pornography are as follows: 1. the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement. 2. material (as in books or photographs) that depicts erotic behavior intended to cause sexual excitement. 3. the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction. The two go hand in hand, friends. One is no different from the other. Pornography and erotica could almost be used as synonyms for one another. If that isn't enough to convince you, I'll leave you with this: to even look up the term "definition of erotica" I had to remove the safe search option from my Google filter. That speaks volumes, friends.
      Let me put this into more perspective: First, Matthew 5:28 tells us that if a man looks upon a woman and lusts after her in his heart then he has committed adultery. You feel like you're being cheated if your husband looks at a naked woman, don't you? What if she's engaged in a sexual act with someone? Still feeling cheated? Why? Because the images of this woman that isn't you are being sown into your husband's heart and mind. He is aroused by her. He has lusted after her, and YOU are the one he's supposed to be lusting after. Now let's turn the table. You are imagining Christian Grey and the many sexual and deviant acts he performs on another woman. You're becoming aroused and those images rather real or fantasy have taken over your heart and your mind, and while you're lying next to your quiet and slumbering partner that God created especially for you, your heart is pounding and your mind is racing at the thoughts of how he'll never measure up to Christian Grey and this facade of a man that you have created in your mind. Before you know it, the book between your eager eyes and your husband's breaking heart isn't the only thing separating the two of you. See, when we become one with our husbands, it isn't just in body. We're one with him in heart, soul, and mind as well. So by reading pornography, because let's be honest, girls, that's what it is, you're cheating on your husband and giving part of yourself away to something else. And let me just add that making love to your husband after you've read the books, your head filled to overflowing with thoughts of the Grey lover, does not constitute making things right with your man or your Lord.
      This is where the Bible and grace pick up the pieces. And this is where I am in total awe of my God and His amazing imagination.
      People say the Bible is boring. You know all of that excitement in private quarters with your spouse? It's so fun, isn't it! The giggling and the kissing and the freedom to do whatever with your hubby? I just love that! It's so precious and more than special.
     Anyway, all of that sexy love stuff? Yeah....that's in the Bible. (Insert bug-eyes and shock-and-awe HERE.) And it's not just in one place, it's from beginning to end! And guess what else: GOD invented ALL of that fun stuff you get to do with that cute little thing you call your hubby any time you want, but let's keep it a little private, please.
      From the very beginning God blessed man and wife with sex. He means for it to be pleasurable, between only the two, and for them to procreate. What an awesome gift! God tells us in Genesis 2,  Matthew 19, Mark 10,  1 Corinthians 6, and AGAIN in Ephesians that the two become one flesh. If He's mentioning it several times I think it might be important. His word also reminds us in Hebrews that the marriage bed is undefiled. But the key word here is marriage. So if the two married parties, a man and a woman have joined together to become one flesh, how is it Biblical to invite others into this one being which is created in an undefiled space? By inviting others either physically or through imagination, we're defiling the marriage bed and adding a third, which has no place. Again, the two become one
       1 Corinthians chapter 7 goes on to remind us that our bodies are not our own. As a wife, my husband has rights over my body. My body belongs to him and only him. But get this, it continues in saying that my husband's body is mine and not his own. So neither one of us rules over our own bodies, but each other's. And as a couple, we're to basically be together as one all the time and to only stop for prayer. Now, God understands that we have kids, jobs, school, meals, etc., but the point of this verse is to remind us of the importance of sex in marriage. God places a great deal of emphasis on sex and the marriage bed. He created within each of us a desire for our spouses, better yet, a fire that can only been quenched when we're together in the secret place that yes, HE created for us as well. He also understands that we're human and we'll cave to temptation if we're not constantly quenching this fire meant for one another. It's not just for physical pleasure or even procreation; sex is a means of communication between you and your husband. Girls, this is the conversation you've been waiting for, the one only the two of you share in which no one else is invited. You have his attention. Take it. You want him all to yourself and you have him all to yourself. He's all your's, and you're all his. This is the most crucial form of communication between you and your husband other than intercessory prayer for one another. It's our extra special way of saying, "I love you" and reminding one other that we belong to no one else. It is the resounding claim that "I am my beloved's and he is mine." Song of Solomon 6:3.
      Some of you are seething with anger right now, poised and ready to type a rebuttal. But I don't write these words for fighting or judgment, for hype or to call anyone out. As a believer and a friend, as a fellow wife, I genuinely care about marriages because they're the root of the body of Christ. As the church we are the likeness of a beautiful bride whom God is preparing for the return of the bridegroom, Jesus. Our own marriages and the kind of bride we are in them are but a reflection of the relationship between Christ and His church. Do we want our dresses stained? Do we want flaws and wrinkles? We want to be perfect for Him. On your wedding day you wanted to be perfect and spotless for your groom. How have things changed? We live in a society where sex is sold at a pretty fair price in your cable bill, where women are idolized based on the size of their bodies and the amount of skin they reveal. These same women are giving to the world, without shame, what was meant to be kept in secret for one man.
      As believers, the issue of this book is much larger than our minds and our marriages being at stake. The question at hand is are we doing our part as the bride of Christ? We'll never be perfect, but by weakening ourselves with material such as pornography, drugs, violence, control issues, greed, etc., we're not only falling for that prowling lion that seeks to devour us (1 Peter 5:8), we're falling for his tricks! Folks, this angel of darkness comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). The lies that he throws at women in this book are nothing but tripwires to steal our joy in our union with our men and our God; his mission is to kill those unions and to destroy every last ounce of any gift God gave to us, leaving us hopelessness and nothing but broken pieces to sweep up with the tattered pages of a meaningless book.
      I love how Solomon describes his wife. He sees her thighs as jewels and her breasts like graceful does. While this may sound a little weird to us, Solomon hasn't seen half-naked women twerking on television. He only appreciates the beauty of the woman God gave to him. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac worked and waited for years and years to marry Rebekah; to protect her, he pretended she was his sister, but a man saw them in the field and caught Isaac copping a feel of Rebekah. This very small passage in Genesis that captures the deeper relationship between husband and wife spoke volumes to me the first time I read it. God wants us to have some fun in our marriages; He wants us to flirt and play and be that precious couple that just can't get enough of each other. He wants us to not only love one another but be in love with one another, to want each other, just as He is in love with us and wants to be with us but on an agape love level.
      So in reference to Grey and his fifty shades, I ask you this: why would you want to steal away what your man deserves from you by giving part of yourself to a garbage-filled book with a character who lacks the depth of a teaspoon and doesn't even exist, a fictional person who isn't your husband---the other half of your heart?
      In the end, friends, you don't need any book, magazine, video, or film to draw you closer to your husband. As you draw closer to the Father you'll draw closer to him, and that special time in secret places will be even more meaningful. You'll find the woman God created you to be rather than an "inner goddess" that revolves around self and loses sight of the grander picture. You'll be the woman your husband needs and deserves, sweeter and more perfectly beautiful in the Savior than any photograph or verbal description can offer. Every aspect of your marriage will blossom to reveal a more beautiful gift than even King Solomon couldn't describe with his poetic words. What a blessing that will be, and what sweet, perfect magic in only two shades: Jesus and your husband.


Comments

  1. I love it. My wife has had this same conversation with her friends. I made the same comment about this book and Magic Mike! If a group of guys were going to go see a movie, with famous actresses as strippers, their waves would go crazy yet going to see males doing it was OK. If a husband was looking at porn they wouldn't like it but this pornographic book is just great. I wonder what the response was to this post but looks like some ladies got some conviction or got gone. Ha Ha! Love to read your work young lady! It's an honor.

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  2. Kelly, I'm so sorry I'm just now reading your comment....four months later! Hopefully I will have more time for writing and responding in the next few months with all of our new changes. Thank you so much for reading and for your continuing support and prayers. Our family is grateful! And thank you for your thoughts! I have to ask myself: How would I feel if the shoe were on the other foot? This can be so hard! I think we all should be better stewards of 'borrowing" shoes in every situation, as hard as it may be.

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