A Biblical and Christian Response to Fifty Shades of Grey


There are many things in Christian culture that seem and many times are “grey areas”.  What I mean by this are things that the Bible does not specifically address and so is left to our discernment to decide.  For example, drinking.  I would never tell a group collectively that drinking is ok, nor would I tell them it is wrong.  There are a few passages (such as Ephesians 5:18) that condemn getting drunk, but none that say drinking is wrong period.

My husband, for example, has no issues with having an occasional drink. In my case, God has convicted me that even having a single drink is wrong.  This is because of things like family history, past situations and the simple fact that I do not like the taste of alcohol, so if I were to drink it would be to receive a “feeling”.

So, what about a book like Fifty Shades of Grey?  First, let me preface this by saying I have spent a good deal of time praying and seeking God on this subject.  I, in no way, want to stand in judgment of anyone.  God (and many others) know I have no right to judge.  But, this is a subject that God has been stirring in my heart for a while.  Is reading a book like Fifty Shades of Grey a “grey” area, open to personal discernment? OR is this a black and white area?  I did quite a bit of research about this book, so lets first look at the facts:

Wikipedia defines Fifty Shades of Grey as an “erotic novel… notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism (BDSM).”  Numerous media articles have “dubbed” Fifty Shades of Grey “mommy porn”.  I could go on about the facts and the plot of the book, but I feel this is enough.

Ladies, would we be (or are we) ok with our husbands looking at pornography or going to strip clubs?  I would guess that many would answer no.  Is this any different?  I have heard numerous arguments that it is waking up the sex lives of many marriages.  Is involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism the type of intimacy we want with our husbands?  Is this a show of mutual love and respect?  Lets look at some of what the Bible has to say about lust/sexual immorality:

1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

A couple others are 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 & 1 Peter 2:11 (there, of course, are MANY more).  Look at the following passage about the “marriage bed”…

Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

Is brining this into our “marriage bed” defiling?  Does it seem exciting and new at first?  I bet it does, but then what?  What happens when this isn’t enough, where do we go next?  Sin is ALWAYS progressive.  It may seem innocent in the beginning, before we know it, we could be welcoming others in.  Maybe we become discontent with the spouses that God has joined us with because they do not meet the expectations that the book has set up for us.

The Bible tells us to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23).  What are we sowing to when allow books like Fifty Shades of Grey into our hearts?  What will we reap?

Galatians 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

I can assure you the end result of this road is not a good one.

We are all familiar with 1 Corinthians 13, the “love” chapter.  In verse 5, it says that love is not self-seeking; in verse 7 it says that love always protects.  Does this line up with the type of “love” that is represented in Fifty Shades of Grey?

My heart hurts for those who believe the lie that it is innocent, that it is beneficial to my marriage, that it is good because it exposes sexual abuse.  Operation Light Force has a number of resources that can help those hurting in these areas.  My husband and I have written a book called Marriage: What’s the Point in which we share our personal tragedy and triumph in our marriage.  I encourage you to pray and discern for yourself.  Truly seek God on if this is a “grey” area or not.

I pray that God would bless you as you walk out TRUE love in your life.

If you have read this book how do you feel like it has affected you?

Is this book running through your Christian circles?

~Kara Birkey

Jesse and Kara Birkey