This topic has been on my heart now for a few weeks. I wanted to avoid talking about it, which is why it has taken so long for this post to materialize. I asked the Lord, “isn’t there someone else who will write about such things?” But, the answer remains the same. As a single female in her 20’s, I’ve openly shared how I struggle with lust and sexual fantasy type sins, so when temptation is blatantly thrown in my face I’ll admit it really tends to upset me.
The trend I’ve noticed lately is that porn is revealing itself in new and different forms. Pornography, how we as a culture know it to be has become bored with the simplicity in “arousing” men’s sexual fantasies, and as of late in it’s “new and improved” look, is encouraging women to indulge their sexual appetite as well. This new take on porn for women, as I see it, is taking the shape of books, movies and even commercials where women are bombarded with sexually explicit images and stimulating mental impressions. How dangerous is this for the single Christian woman? Perhaps even more dangerous for the married Christian woman? The nonchalant attitude towards sex in our culture is becoming more apparent as television is daring enough to portray inappropriate content during daytime hours allowing this mindset to even creep into watching children’s minds. Since being home from college (where I had no access to tv), my eyes, heart and mind have been affected by the content that is continually running across the screen. I have now learned that in order to protect myself I must change channels during commercials or at times choose to not watch at all. For me, these types of pornography as I dare to call them, are trying to ruin the expectations and views that I have about my future husband and our future marriage inside and outside of the bedroom. I cannot speak for married Christians, but I will say that to watch or read the current sexualized media expressions geared toward the female population can only serve to devastate a marriage in the same ways as when a married man views internet pornograpy.
For the past month and a half I have had posts strewn across my facebook wall about young women purchasing and reading the book 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James. The book has spent 16 weeks on the NY Times best sellers list. It is actually the first part of a trilogy where parts 2 and 3 have now spent 16 and 15 weeks on the best sellers list consecutively also. The series is supposed to bring the reader intensely from one page to the next, one chapter to the next just like The Hunger Games or Twilight Series did for teens and young adults alike. However, this book is not for PG or G rated audiences.
Beaming off the pages of this fictional book are scenes that depict fantasies of sexual encounters and encourage women to idolize these acts; removing women from their real life with their real husband into a made up world. Now, I personally will not read the book. From what I do know E.L. James creates an erotic novel based off Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series. The male character, Christian Grey is a young billionaire entrepreneur, who was abused himself as a child. He meets a recent college graduate Anastasia Steele who is still a virgin. Grey requires Steele to sign a contract allowing him total control over her. Due to her love and fascination for him the results are the development of a BDSM relationship.
Now, I could get into an entire discussion about all the reasons why you shouldn’t read it or all about how unbiblical this book is, but Mary Kassian author of Girls Gone Wise already covered a pretty thorough read through of how this book not only violates the marriage covenant, but also violates biblical authority and submission.
As a Christian, I along with many others believe this book to be pornography for females. A woman who reads it becomes sexually stimulated or “hot and bothered” and in her mind can visualize various inappropriate sexual acts. This is sin. This is no different than a man viewing a sex act on the internet and becoming sexually stimulated. The methods for how arousal occurs are different, but the results are the same. In the end, both are sins.
There is also a new movie that is coming out in theaters, Magic Mike. Like 50 Shades of Grey, this movie encourages infatuation, lust and sexual fantasy for women. If you’ve seen the previews there’s a bunch of young, good looking men that strip themselves of their clothes and parade around in front of what seems to be a bunch of crazy sex-deprived women. While the trailer also gives light to the possibility of a romance, it does not take away from the main theme of the movie – male strippers.
As the world continues to push these images into my face I cannot help but want to push back with, “No, this is not okay!” As the show fades to commercial and a Magic Mike trailer begins my flesh screams to me, Keep watching Laura you know they turn you on! But, I must fight the urge to sin and turn off the tv. I have been working long and hard on my journey toward a sexually pure life in Christ. In fact, too long to throw it all away on a frivolous movie. I read the reviews, and it all comes down to naked men. If it’s not about naked women… well then goodness it’s about naked men. And sadly one review from the Examiner even interviewed Christian women who claimed that they found nothing wrong with going to see this movie with their friends. Debra says, “I go to church and read my Bible and love the Lord and me and my girlfriends are going to see it, it’s a girl’s night out and I don’t think people should judge me for that.” Gail Johnson says, “I consider myself a Christian and I don’t see anything wrong with anyone going to see the movie, I just personally won’t go but I can’t judge.” Well, I ask what has happened to Christians? Jesus told us not to blend in with this world.
Along with movie trailers, is the tragedy that commercials think that overtly explicit sexual advertisement helps to sell their products. I remember the day I was home watching reruns of some show when a commercial for the newest Liquid-Plumr product flashed on the screen. It starts off with this nerdy and disheveled looking woman walking down the aisle of a store. She picks up the brand new product and says the name of it twice “double impact” and immediately drifts off into a daydream. In her daydream, where I might add her appearance has drastically improved, the door bell rings and the first good looking man says “Hi, I’m, here to snake your drain.” She blushes and says, “Okay come in.” As he proceeds to walk into her home the doorbell rings again and the second good looking man says “Hi, I’m here to flush your pipe.” She slams the door shut and removes her hair clip shaking loose her locks in a sensual manner. The commercial then goes to a James Earl Jones type of voice that states what the product can do for your drain, ending the sentence with “double impact baby!” It then flashes back to her in the aisle at the store where you see her grabbing two or three more from the shelf.
Upon first viewing of this commercial, I screamed out loud in my living room “Oh my gosh! This is so sexual.” No one else in my family seemed to understand what I saw in the ad that warranted yelling. But, I explained myself because double impact is just a politer way of saying something else, which is a sexually perverted act and Liquid Plumr is getting away with it! Sort of like a read between the lines. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. I couldn’t believe that this was allowed on television AND during the day!
All I can say to Christian women is be careful. Be careful what you read and what you watch. Satan has a hold on this world and it is becoming increasingly more demoralized each day. We can choose to partake in this evil or we can take a stand for righteousness.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:1-2,5
In Colossians, Paul wrote about how as Christians we have been raised above the things of this world and because of that we need to keep our hearts and minds focused in that direction. He commands us to essentially overcome our sinful nature that craves the evil ways of the world because as new creations in Christ we have been privileged to be set a part. Therefore, we need to start acting that way.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12:1-2
In Romans, Paul wrote that God had such great mercy on us, to save us, through the death of His Son Jesus that the least we can do is give back to God through how we live our lives. Paul goes on to tell the Romans and to tell us that we need to not be swayed by the culture we live in, but change our attitudes and the way in which we think to a godly mindset and outlook. This goes hand in hand with what we as Christians choose to view or read because whatever we put inside us shapes who we are.
I’ll end with one of my favorite verses from Titus. If we are Christians and we are going to walk around calling ourselves followers of Jesus, then we need to make sure how we talk and how we act is aligned with the Bible. There is nothing more frustrating to me than Christians who claim Jesus and continue on in their sin. And let me clarify, I understand there are Christians who struggle with sin, but strive toward righteousness…those people I’m not referring to. It’s the lukewarm believers that God will spit out of His mouth.
Women, not only does our culture demean us as sex objects, but also is pulling us down by way of porn in disguise playing to our emotions and desires. Please do not be fooled and pulled in by this game. Stand up for what is right according to scripture, resist evil and temptations and a choose a life aligned with Jesus.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,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.” Titus 2:11-14