It’s been two years since I wrote the post How to Talk about Fifty Shades of Grey and then the follow-up post about a reader’s experience – Fifty Shades of Grey – A True Story. Without being able to verbalize the theology or biology behind our sexuality and how it is affected by books like this, I knew Fifty Shades of Grey was destructive. All you have to do is read the words of the woman who wrote me right after my first post published. She knows firsthand.
Since then I have been surprised to hear of women in my in-real-life circle who have read Fifty Shads of Grey. It made my heart heavy and burdened. Books like this are the enemy’s weapon to keep us as women in bondage to guilt, shame, hating our bodies, not believing we are fearfully and wonderfully made, believing that we are worthless, that we deserve this kind of treatment, and that this is God’s best. To put it very bluntly it makes me sick and angry and I want to fight back.
So this is my fighting back. Replacing the lies with truth!
Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart is a book that is hard for me to summarize because it is full of wisdom and understanding. I find myself wanting to quote the whole book. It is the perfect response that discusses both the theological and biological reasons why erotica destroys souls and marriages – present and future. But it does more than that, too.
“Not only do we want to pull back the shades of Grey for you to see God’s truth about what it and other books like it can do in your life, but we also want to pull back the shades on your own sex life.” Pulling Back the Shades, p. 13
In our Christian culture and in our churches, it is not very common for people to admit that women are sexual along with spiritual. However, God made us to be sexual beings along with being spiritual beings, and this is a good thing. Every way in which God created us is good. Dr. Juli Slattery says,
“We want to be very clear: your sexual desire is not wrong. God created you to be sexual. Your body and your mind are wired to long for sexual pleasure and intimacy. Unfortunately, many religious messages separate being a sexual woman from being a spiritual woman. Instead of encouraging you to seek God’s plan for your sexuality, you’re left with only worldly outlets to fulfill your longings.” (Pulling Back the Shades; p. 25)
And there you have it. This book is not telling you that you should not do something you were created by God to do. No, it’s telling you that God created sex to be so good, that if you do it His way you will get the complete fulfillment you’re looking for. Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.
In this book, Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery explain why erotica is dangerous and destroys our lives and our souls by starting with the question of why it’s different from other types of fantasy. They tell us that the reason it’s different is because not only does the fantasy change laws of the physical world, as it does not most fantasy books, it also changes moral and relational laws (p. 31). “You cannot pursue the kinds of relationships you read about it erotica without an outcome very different from the ones in the books. If you read Fifty Shades and then invest in a relationship that is built around sexual sadism, you will not end up in a loving, caring, committed marriage” (p. 33).
Throughout Pulling Back the Shades, the authors feature testimonies from women whose lives have been in emotional bondage from reading erotica and Fifty Shades of Grey. These women are Christian women, too. The reason erotica puts us in bondage to sexual sin is because sex is spiritual (p. 44). Sex is created by God as a symbol of His covenant love for His people. It is impossible to separate sex from your spiritual self.
Fifty Shades of Grey wants to not just be a fantastical book or a physical book or an emotional book for you. It wants to be a spiritual book as well. Satan knows sex is spiritual. So as he orchestrated the writing of Fifty Shades of Grey (and yes, he did orchestrate the writing of Fifty Shades of Grey), he threw in symbolism and spiritual references (p. 48-49).
Pulling Back the Shades gives the reader answers to questions like “What is right and wrong?” and “How do I know if something is okay?” (p. 60 and 65)
It also answers the question of submission, gives insight into how to create a wonderful sexual experience inside the marriage bedroom, and talks about the damaging effects this book has on singles.
Single women, I cannot emphasize to you enough – the enemy hates godly marriages and wants to destroy yours before it ever starts! He starts by first destroying you so that you are not healthy enough to make wise choices. Don’t let him get a foothold.
I highly recommend this book to all women, and especially Christian women. If you don’t think Satan is destroying our marriages, families, and teenagers through sexual lies, take a look around. We, however, have the Truth of God. The power of the Holy Spirit within us. And we do not have to be his prey.
I’m giving away my copy of Pulling Back the Shades! Enter to win below!