Why I’m not reading Fifty Shades of Grey

I am not reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

Recently there have been explosions of women and men(–totally weird, I know), who have become obsessed with the new novel by EL James, and, to put it bluntly, I refuse to be one of them. At the risk of sounding perfectly closed-minded, I would like to explain to you why I’m not considering reading Fifty Shades of Grey and why I think you shouldn’t either.

Reason #1: Simple. Fifty Shades of Grey is sinful. This book is classified as erotic fiction,which, along with pornography, is defined a genre which has “no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire.” That right there is enough for me to say “no thanks, I’d rather just sleep with my husband”. (Excuse my honesty)

Now i’s all very well for me to give you my opinion, but let’s look at what the Big Man says; God tells us that there is only one who should stimulate sexual desire us: our spouse.

Since God’s plan for my sexual desire involves only my own husband, then anything else that adds to my arousal 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 #2: This book may rob of your desire for real sex. The Bible confirms that lust is hurtful and harmful. And guess what? So do modern biopsychologists. Research shows that over time your body becomes conditioned to self-stimulation and gratification. Lust can cut a literal pathway in your brain tissue. At first a little bit of erotica might give you the desire to be with your spouse, but overtime that self-stimulation and your own imagination (or porn) is not only enough to satisfy you, you actually prefer it to real sexual intercourse.

…I’m not just making this up. Check out this article in The New  Yorker  for more information.

Reason #3: This book will make it difficult for women to fully respect their husbands.

Okay, let’s be honest, women. Sadly, a few of our men have looked at porn. I mean, most guys over the age of 12 have. If you’re like me, you find this extremely sad.

You may feel like you can never compare to the perfection created by lights, camera, and Photoshop that is presented in some porn. Or maybe you just feel like you have to compete for your husband’s sexual attention.

Well, he may likewise feel like he can’t compare to the fantasized interpretation of manhood depicted in this particular book, and he may feel like he has to compete with a fictional character. Which would suck right?

If you don’t want your guy to look at other naked women, don’t read about naked men. I personally want to have more respect for my husband than that. How about you?

Reason #4: This book directly contradicts what God created sex to be. It is meant to be a union that is fuled by love and service, not pain or humiliation. Fifty Shades of Grey deals a lot with BDSM: Bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism. And if you recognize what any of those words are, you can get an idea about why this book is so damaging.

It’s not just that Fifty Shades of Grey misuses sex; it redefines it into something evil and transgressive. The lead character uses dominance in a hurtful way.  In our emasculating culture, there is indeed a hunger for strong men, but this book takes the role of headship to a new level- a sinful one.

A man is supposed to lovingly and sacraficially serve his wife and lead her in the Christ-like direction. This does not involve dominating her or holding her in sexual submission. 

A woman is supposed to respect her husband and support him in his leadership. This does not involve becoming a sexual slave to him. Nor does it involve reading trashy novels about men who abuse their sexual partners just to get an arousal.

…Also. Vanilla is an ice cream flavor, not a type of sex. Ew.


I will never read this book. And many of you might be up in arms with me about this post because I am (for lack of a better term) ripping this book apart before even opening it. Judge away. In a way, I’m judging the book by it’s gossip.

I’m going to quote another blogger here to explain my point: “There are many things in this world I need not partake in to discern that they are going to be harmful to me. God has given me more than fifty shades of truth in His Word and when just one of them is in conflict with my entertainment choices, I choose to pass”!

I love my marriage, my God, and myself. Why put those things in jeopardy for a quick read?

If you find yourself seeing my side of the story, please take a moment today to post these words on Facebook or twitter: “I’m not reading Fifty Shades of Grey.”

If you have friends who need help understanding why, send them to my blog. I’d be happy to explain!

The art of… failing?

Well, we all flunk at something….

  I am sitting on my aunt and uncle’s couch in Wildwood MI after an afternoon of wine tasting, olive oil and vinegar tasting, farmer’s market shopping, and jean trying-on… I feel very content and privileged.

It’s a good day.

On such a day when I feel pretty happy and lucky to have such wonderful people in my life, I also am grateful to have such wonderful books in my possession. My latest and greatest print indulgence is by Jana Riess, entitled Flunking Sainthood

I quite admire people such as Jana and Ben Franklin (yes, I place them both in the same category, hold on you’ll understand).  They are both people who value self-improvement and world betterment. Ben Franklin actually inspired my husband to work on chosen attributes. These values would include cleanliness, discipline,  compassion, wisdom, and other such admirable attributes. According to Dennis, Ol’ Ben would focus on one specific value per week until he mastered it, then moved on to the next one, and so on and so forth until he got till the end of his list. Then he would begin all over again, always having something to work on.

Talk about a model of self-improvement! But Ben seems a bit intimidating to me, a more flighty, artsy, eclectic kind of gal.

This is why Jana appeals to my taste a bit more.

Jana’s book, which I fortunately received from my lovely sister Mary Margaret as a Christmas gift this past year (Thanks sis!), is similar to Ben’s way of dividing up some admirable values, but she has a bit of a “Jesus-flair” to her practice.

In Flunking Sainthood, Jana decided she needed to work on her spiritual life and relationship with Christ, so she devoted a full year to revamping her faith by working on one spiritual practice per month. She assigned herself reading from books by modern and ancient theologians, including the writings of saints and monks. It’s great for readers who want a survey of spiritual books and I guarantee that, upon reading this book, you’ll have yet another book list written up.

Some of these spiritual practices include finding God in mundane tasks, fasting, the Jesus prayer, lecto divinia (more on this topic later), and living simply by not coveting anything materialistic or buying new things (a hard task to do during mother’s day).

I won’t give away too much, but the biggest thing I love about Jana’s book is that she finds so much grace and beauty in failing. She tells her book and blog readers that one should never set out to fail, but in the process of working on such a variety of spiritual diciplines, she found herself screwing up more often than she wished or expected.

With devoting only one month to each of these very in-depth and sacrificial practices, I’m not too surprised that she didn’t succeed in all of them. In fact, she might intimidate me if she was triumphant in all of these complex little lifestyles.

But in all her failings, she finds herself all the more dependent on her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, keeping her identity placed in Him and not in how well (or not well) she did in her monthly discipline.

If you are looking for a book that will challenge you to read more, work harder, but also that promotes grace and encourages, I highly recommend Flunking Sainthood where you’ll discover the art of failing and the great gift of grace.