50 Shades of Marriage

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chances are good that by now you have heard about the book "50 Shades of Grey" - either on a talk show or on Facebook or even from a friend or neighbor.  I heard about it on the Today Show, and was pretty appalled to hear that this new, sleazy series has swept the globe with such popularity.  They are calling it "mommy porn"...erotica that women evidently don't have to be ashamed to keep on their nightstand for the world to see.

Well, here at pardymama, I try to walk the line of airing my opinion whilst remaining compassionate in judgment.  I'm not here to say "don't do this or that" - I'm far from being your Holy Spirit.  But, it is my blog and frankly, I get to write what I want about whatever I want, so here we go...  Personally, I will not be reading "50 Shades of Grey".  Not only does it kinda gross me out at the thought of putting descriptive words about S&M in my head, but I have no desire to seek out sexual escape that reaches beyond my marriage.  That being said, feel free to judge me about making a judgment about something I haven't and won't take part in.  Fair enough.

So, why am I even writing this post?  

Because, I'm seeing crap about this stupid book everywhere.  And, what I find most troubling is the sense I get that so many women are desperate for an outlet beyond the boundaries of their bedroom, their marriage, and their every day life.  We're not talking about your usual mental escape either...this is not to say that every form of entertainment is worthless or without merit.  I enjoy a good story, a great movie, an uplifting read just like the rest of us.  But, certainly you can see the difference between watching Dumb and Dumber on a Saturday afternoon with your husband (albeit, no merit for the intellect) and losing yourself in some pornographic trilogy about a sadist millionaire.

This is what I'm saying:  as Christians, as wives, as mothers...red flags should be popping up on our radar when so many women are seeking fantasy.  This is dangerous stuff, wildfire even.  It's not that "50 Shades of Grey" is the problem...it's what it represents.  The popularity of such material just showcases the fact that "maybe something better exists out there" - a tease at our fantasy world, an escape from our life of burp rags and dish gloves, an outlet away from our husband who forgot to pick up the gallon of milk.

Fantasy for women is very emotional, and leaves us heartsick at the notion that either we aren't good enough to be worthy of a better life, or resentful at the fact that we deserve more.

Entertaining thoughts of a better life than the one God has given us stirs in our souls a belief that is nothing more than a downright lie:  "I'm missing out".  If you don't believe me, just ask Eve...you can start at Genesis 1:1 and go from there and give me a call when you get to the good part.

So, I'm here to say, guard your heart.  This isn't about sex.  This isn't about a pop-culture-phenomenon-book they are talking about on Entertainment Tonight.  This isn't about "but, Emily, you don't understand...my husband is so blah blah blah".  I understand there are hurting marriages out there, and there is actual, tangible help available for you to heal and find God's BEST for you.  But, to the majority of us - be wise and aware to the warning and quick to question whatever "fantasy" that you might partake and what it may actually be rustling up in you.

Maybe, it's not so much that you need a new partner as it is you need a new perspective.  

Remember when you first started dating your husband and you just felt like he was your entire world?  As your marriage grows and your love deepens and your kids start eating into your time together, it is amazing how roles in relationships change.  Sure, there is the mundane - the fact that my spouse is the handyman and the trash man and the tech geek and even the kitty litter changer.  But, he is so much more than that.  The next time you are tempted to wish for a new life or a different spouse, I want you to remember that God has given you a man who is a perfect fit to fulfill all the roles you need him for in your life together as a married couple.  In other words, it's what I like to call:

50 Shades of Marriage

1. Helper
2. Partner
3. Teammate
4. Lover
5. Comrade
6. Companion
7. Sweetheart
8. Co-conspirator
9. Accessory
10. Collaborator
11. Paramour
12. Flame
13. Darling
14. Dear
15. Beloved
16. Admirer
17. Treasure
18. Heartthrob
19. [the] One
20. Biggest Fan
21. Encourager
22. Defender
23. Follower
24. Champion
25. Cheerleader
26. Ally
27. Spouse
28. Compadre
29. Kin
30. Associate
31. Counselor
32. Better Half
33. Ball and/or Chain
34. Helpmate
35. Peer
36. Friend
37. Playmate
38. Bedmate
39. Sidekick
40. Accomplice
41. Complement
42. Date
43. Crony
44. Chum
45. Buddy
46. Rib
47. Steady
48. Aide
49. Supporter
50. Soulmate

What more could you possibly want?


  1. I totally agree! I have heard a lot of Christian women read them and justify it. I can't get that kind of thing OUT of my head and I have to be really careful about what I watch too. If it's R for sexual content, I try to steer clear! I'm single again and I don't need any temptation :)

  2. Love, love, love that you addressed this cultural craze in a direct, encouraging and thought-provoking way.

  3. I think this is great! I have a lot of Christian friends on FB bragging about reading it. I feel ashamed for them. We need to focus on pure things and not fill our minds with garbage. I applaude you for writing this!

  4. Very well written! This should be shared in a Christian magazine where millions can read your wise words. Thank you!

  5. I have to disagree with you on a certain point. You generalize what fantasy means for women, but that's not true of all women. In your words you said,

    "Fantasy for women is very emotional, and leaves us heartsick at the notion that either we aren't good enough to be worthy of a better life, or resentful at the fact that we deserve more."

    I'm a Christian and I read the books and they didn't make me wish for something better, more, different or what have you. I love my husband and he is my best friend and the most wonderful father I could dream of for our children. Reading these books was just that for me, something to read. Yes, there were parts that were disturbing, but that can be said for many, many books, tv shows, movies, songs on the radio, etc... I actually prayed about reading these books before I read them and I said that if at any point I felt like I was doing something sinful by reading them, then I would stop, ask God to forgive me, and move on. In truth, parts of the book (the love story portion), made me remember to pay more attention to my husband and show him how much I love him.

    I think we (myself included) all make justifications for what we do to entertain ourselves or unwind. And I do agree with you that there are many people who have read these books and it's been dangerous for their self-esteem and their marriage. Instead of judging those people, we should just pray for them and show them Jesus' love, end of story.

  6. I gotta say....to each their own, but this book was pretty rad for our marriage....and kinda made us make a new baby, if thats not good for a marriage, I don't know what is! ;)
    I think it just depends on if you are really taking the story THAT seriously, but its just a fun book as far as I am concerned :)

  7. Bravo! Emily you took the high road (the one less traveled) and I applaud you!


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