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I'm sure you've heard about it - the popular, controversial book Fifty Shades of Grey is now a movie. It's been called "mommy porn" because supposedly it's a hit among moms. However, I don't want to focus on the allure of Fifty Shades of Grey has among moms. Instead, I want to talk about how Fifty Shades of Grey is hurting our daughters.
I have not read the book or watched the movie, nor will I, but I have read the synopsis, and that's enough for me. What's ironic is that in our culture, many women want to be equal to or stronger than men, and they want to be viewed as the ones in control of their bodies, relationships, money, careers, and futures. And yet, women are still drawn to a story where the female character is dominated, abused, and oppressed by a man.
This dichotomy gives us keen insight into what's really going on behind the scenes of this book and movie. They are pawns in Satan's scheme to continue to confuse us as women about who we are in Christ and what our role is here on earth as it relates to men. Satan orchestrated the writing of the book and the production of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey. The Bible makes it clear that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). And he has packaged up a whole set of lies to convince women, not men but women, that they are worth nothing more than objects to be used by a man all the while disguising it as power. You see, the scheme isn't all that original. Do you remember the first person he deceived? Yes, Eve - a woman. He's been after women ever since.
This is important to remember as we talk about how Fifty Shades of Grey is getting our daughters because our enemy is not the book or movie or author, E.L. James, or even our culture. Our enemy is Satan. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" Ephesians 6:12.
Fifty Shades of Grey is getting to your daughter through the lies of Satan.
As time goes on, the facade is that women are becoming more secure with themselves, more independent, and more assured of their identity. However, the opposite is actually true. From a young age, girls are being taught by our culture that they must look a certain way, dress a certain way, think a certain way, be a certain way in order to be accepted. By default, girls are not becoming stronger; they are becoming weaker. When girls grow up believing they have to jump through culturally-defined hoops in order to be accepted, then they continually work to jump through those hoops - whatever they might be.
So for instance, if your daughter grows up thinking she is not beautiful unless someone else tells her she's beautiful or she's not worthy unless a boy recognizes her, she is going to continually try to find the next "hoop" to jump through in order to get the attention she seeks. The most obvious hoop to jump through is a sexual experience. It may not be complete intercourse; however, there are many sexual experiences that are just as damaging to her soul, mind, and body. One of these is reading erotica, or pornography, like Fifty Shades of Grey.
The way we prevent this is by speaking truth into our daughters' lives starting at an early age. She needs to know that her identity is not at all based on her body or physical appearance. Her mind needs to be saturated with truth from God's Word that tells her exactly who she is in Him. She needs to be fully armed with the Sword of the Spirit so that she learns to counter lies with God's Word.
Fifty Shades of Grey is getting to your daughter first.
For several years I taught fifth grade in a public school. Every year in the spring we taught sex education. The boys and girls were separated, and for two days we addressed any and every question, complete with diagrams on the overhead projector, that the children asked. I always taught the girls.
The first day was a lecture day, and I simply stood up and taught. However, at the end of the first day the girls were allowed to write any questions they had on index cards, fold them up, and put them in a box. I took the questions home to review them, and the next day I answered them in class.
If you can imagine the question, it was asked. I was always shocked at how much ten and eleven-year-old girls knew, and didn't know but thought they did. The school where I taught was even in an affluent suburb of Atlanta where there was strong parental involvement and many two-parent homes. But it didn't matter. So I always gave this advice to the moms: "When your girl walks into my classroom, she should know everything I'm going to say already. It should come from you - not me."
The same is true for our daughters today. Everything they learn about sexuality should come from us. We should be the ones putting it all out on the table, even the most embarrassing or disgusting acts, and holding them up against God’s Word. Because you see, sexual immorality isn’t a behavioral issue, it’s a heart issue. We are the ones who should be getting to our daughters’ hearts first.
Fifty Shades of Grey is getting to your daughter through you.
Yes, that’s right. It sounds harsh, but if we, as moms, have the book Fifty Shades of Grey laying on our nightstands, or if we’re planning a girls’ night to see the movie, our daughters are observing us. They’re learning how to be women through what they see us do.
Even if she doesn’t know you’re engaged with the book or movie, your exposure to materials such as this affects your parenting. When we view material like this, we become conditioned to worldly behavior. It begins to normalize in our minds preventing us from giving our daughters the wise counsel they need. Peter writes, “prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit” (1 Peter 1:13a). We are to prepare our minds and keep sober in spirit so that we can lead our daughters in truth and holiness.
As Christians, we are called to holiness. We are called to be set apart from the world’s standards (1 Peter 1:13-16). This is what we want for our daughters, so it must start with us.
God created us to be sexual and spiritual. This is what we need to be teaching our daughters. For more information on what it means to be sexual and spiritual, read the book Pulling Back the Shades by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery. Also, see the website, www.PullingBacktheShades.com for more information.
Brenda Rodgers considers herself a “recovering single” after years as a single woman chasing after marriage instead of chasing after Jesus. Now her passion is to mentor young women to live purposefully and grow in their relationship with God and others. Brenda has been married for five years to a heart transplant hero and is the mom of a toddler girl miracle. She is also the author of the eBook Fall for Him: 25 Challenges from a Recovering Single. You can also read more on Brenda’s blog, www.TripleBraidedLife.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.