Intimacy: Why 50 Shades of Grey is Not the Problem

 

 

Intimacy: Why 50 Shades of Grey is Not the Problem

 

Intimacy. Just say that word out loud once, maybe even a couple of times. What does it mean to you? Does it give you goose bumps? Does it make you blush? Does the word make you feel nasty or bring back memories that you would do anything to forget? Is the emotion that this word delivers to your heart positive or negative…OR, do you really not even care about it? Maybe intimacy is something you have not experienced and you are fine if you never do.

In my 31 years, I have had many different responses to this word. As a child, of course, this was something I giggled at. I didn’t quite understand what the word meant but I knew it was something about love and the mushy stuff that came with it. As I grew into a teenager and probably even through college, it meant sex; something I couldn’t wait to experience! After getting married, I grew to understand it as something very treasured  and given to me as a gift to share together with God and my husband . Just because I had that understanding doesn’t necessarily mean I experienced it though. It has taken me 10 years of marriage and 26 years of a relationship with God to even come close to comprehending what it truly was intended to be and experiencing it in my life and I hope 10 more years from now I am experiencing it even deeper.

We all are aware of the movie coming out next year called 50 Shades of Grey. It is everywhere right now.  This is a big deal with Christians and non Christians a like.  There was much debate about the book series and now the movie being released has brought about an uproar.  Some feel like it is completely ok to read and are bold about their stand. Some feel it is complete heresy and they intend to make sure their beliefs are declared. In this debate I am sure there are also those who have read the books but care not to get involved and maybe even others who are too embarrassed to admit it!

Let me be honest right now, I did read part of the first book.  I know this may come as a shock to some who know me or even after reading some of my posts, but hear me out. When it first came out, I had no interest in reading the book AT ALL.  Over time I heard more and more about the story and the “love scenes” and I was very curious. So curious I chose to give it a try. The first chapter was slow, the next chapter caught my attention and within the next chapter I knew I had made the wrong choice and returned the book I had borrowed.

Last week, when the news started exploding and the movie preview was released, I was very proud of the stand that many Christian women were taking on this book. Aside from some that I felt were teetering on the side of ugly judgment, I felt most articles I read were honest and truthfully asking us as a generation to consider why we are even allowing this into our homes. This got me thinking though.

I asked myself and my husband, what happenedThere has to be something deeper there that we would take the scenes in this book  as entertaining, romantic or even love. I then turned to God for direction and answers to this not only concerning my peers but in my own heart.

Truth is, 50 Shades of Grey is not the problem. 50 Shades of Grey is a book and now a movie.  It has no power in our lives unless given. Instead, it is the state of our hearts and what we have let ourselves believe about true intimacy. You can’t turn on the TV, walk into a store or even drive down the road without seeing sex anymore. It is everywhere. It is flaunted before us as women and we are grabbing it. We are taking what the world has to offer us thinking that this is all there is. Life and love become about me, about what I want, what feels good, and how I can be satisfied.

The real issue here is not whether we should or shouldn’t read this book or watch the movie. Instead, it is a question we have to ask ourselves about our hearts.

Philippians 4:8 says And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 

This verse is very clear and I love that the writer includes women (sister) in his statement. We are to think about things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. If we are to follow this guideline, we have no business watching, listening to or reading half of what we are offered now days, not Just Mr. Christian Grey. If I were to sit down and ask myself is this pure?  Is this book I am about to read, true? The movie I am about to watch, is it honorable?  Before I say this out loud, is it lovely or admirable? What would change if we pondered this before allowing anything in our minds and hearts?

Maybe you read the above verse and you think that it is impossible or even unrealistic. I can see how you might think this but do you believe God knows what is best for you? Do you believe your creator has a plan for your life and knows the struggles you will face that will keep you from the purpose and fulfillment He has created you for? God is not depriving us but instead, helping us thrive. He knew from the beginning what would be thrown at us on earth and what it would do to our hearts and minds.

That is where intimacy comes back into play. In the beginning I asked what the word intimacy made you think of. Intimacy is not what we are allowing our minds to be  trained to believe it is by the entertainment and social media we encounter. It is not sexy, passionate lust. Contrary to the worlds definition, intimacy is not sex at all. Sex is a means to express our intimacy with someone but not in itself intimacy. Instead, intimacy is a vulnerable closeness that is between a husband and wife,  and between God and Soul.

As Christians, we have been given the greatest example of love and intimacy. I can’t think of two people that knew intimacy more than Adam and Eve. They literally walked with God in the garden that was created just for them. They talked with Him each day. They knew a closeness with God that was unexplainable. Then the lies came to Eve. ” Did God really say …”  The enemy started with putting doubt in her mind and then went on to tell her how God’s instruction was not truthful. “You won’t die” was his reply to her about the instruction she and Adam were given concerning the fruit in the garden. Genesis 3:6 says She was convinced. She SAW that the tree was beautiful and its fruit LOOKED DELICIOUS and she WANTED the wisdom it would give her so she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it to.  Thus began the vicious cycle of sin and believing the lies of the enemy. Also, here is where we see God’s design for intimacy first fall apart.

At that moment their eyes were opened and they suddenly felt shame of their nakedness. Their intimacy between each other and with God was broken and they felt it! Just as Eve beleieved that God’s instruction was not in her best interest, we believe the same when it comes to guarding our heart and allowing impureity into our minds. We see the lies of the worlds view of intimacy and we accept it as our own, leaving behind something so beautiful that God want’s to share and give to us.

As the reality of this in my life hit me, sitting there as I rocked my son to sleep, I began to cry and ask God to forgive me of all the ugly trash I had let in between He and I and my husband and I, obstructing his purpose for us. I visualized a beautiful gift. A perfectly square box, wrapped in gorgeous shiny wrapping paper and adorned with a faultless bow on top.  On the box, it reads INTIMACY.  God hands this priceless gift to me. He smiles as he presents me with one of his most valuable offerings. I accept, excited to receive it but then, I grab a large black sharpie and I proceed to scribble and mark all over the box.  I ruined the present.  I damaged his priceless gift to me.

This is our reality when we do not follow his instruction for our lives and thus defiling the true intention for Intimacy. The fabulous truth is that God can make it beautiful once again and we can be brought back to what was once planned for us to experience. My heart is broken over what we are missing and I want to share what God has been laying on my heart in the areas of our intimacy with our spouse and our intimacy with God. I will be walking through this in two separate posts over the next few weeks.

Until my next post, which will focus on intimacy in marriage, I want to end with the verse:Titus 2:11-14(NIV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

It is the grace of God that has called us to this. Not a selfish God who does not understand our desires (for he also lived here on earth and was faced with the same temptations), not an unloving God who wants to keep us from having fun, but a God full of grace who wants to cash in our wicked ways to make us pure people that He can call His own and who are eager to do good. Isn’t that the ultimate intimate sacrifice? Grace, salvation and purity.  He has saved us out of this mess for so much more. Please, don’t settle for the trash when He has offered unimaginable fulfillment.  As women, we long for more. If this were not true, books such as these would not even make it off the book stands and many authors would be out of a job. We are searching for more because the avenue we are choosing is leaving us quickly empty after the high. I promise…God Promises a fulfilling intimacy that will satisfy our cravings and our desires. You won’t find that promise anywhere else. Take the gift, it is yours!

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