This isn’t the post I want to write for Valentine’s. I wanted to write something peppy and Pinterest-like. But, I must be true to my promise to be genuine with you.
First, let me say that it’s my honor and greatest joy to serve you with information and encouragement in your womanhood. I hold the relationship of mentor and friend tenderly in my heart.
With that said, let me start…
I long to see women living in the fullness of their design and that includes sex.
In recent decades, the line between black and white regarding sex has blurred to gray. So it was no surprise that a book like Fifty Shades of Gray was written.
What did surprise me was that 100 million women have read the book. What saddened my heart was many of them were Christian women. What shocked me was that the movie would be released on Valentine’s Day. A day meant for love and commitment was the day when potentially millions of women would be seeing exactly the opposite.
“There is an attack on what true love feels like to a woman and
what true love looks like in a relationship.”
It was then that I realized if I was going to be true to my promise to talk about the hard stuff, I would have to write a post I had been putting off.
As a spiritual mentor, I’ve received many questions regarding this book/movie and others like it. Wanting to be helpful to those I mentor, I studied erotica, intimacy and the effects of it all on spirituality and marriage.
Will you take a moment to read a few questions I have received along with answers I have given? As you do, will you hear the answers given in my most tender voice – not one of judgment, but one of sisterhood that would never want you hurt or deceived.
Question: “I have longings that my husband isn’t meeting. Isn’t it ok to read books like Fifty Shades of Gray?”
Answer: While sex is gratifying to you as an individual, it is ultimately designed as a covenant between two people. God created sex to be enjoyed within a covenant called marriage. Anything outside of that will never satisfy. It is the only place where the wonder, adventure and fun of sex in covenant can be fully experienced.
- Even research agrees. The National Survey on Christian Female Sexuality highlights that married Christian women have the most fun and most sex of all women in the study. Yet there are still women all over the country, including Christian women, who are lonely and desperate for intimacy.
- The temptation to fulfill their longing is everywhere. Then, along comes something erotic wrapped in romance and they believe the lie that it is ok and they begin to indulge in it. While it’s true that the longings will be satisfied in the moment, it is also tragically true that the indulgence is at great expense. The temporary indulgence will actually move them further away from the intimacy they long for.
“The truth is, erotica erodes intimacy each time making it even
harder to fulfill the longing of a woman’s heart.”
Question: “It’s not like I’m having an affair, it’s just fantasy, so why not?”
- Bringing another person into your sexual life, even through fantasy, is a violation of the design and covenant. It is very difficult to be in a fantasy and reality at the same time. One interrupts the other. And the one that can be manipulated by your mind to please you will win. Aka: the fantasy. Again, fantasy erodes the intimacy between a man and a woman with other people in your thoughts or in the room. Erotica erodes the connection between you and your mate.
- Erotica shifts the focus from us to me. It makes sexual satisfaction solely about self-satisfying and not the God-kind of intimacy.
- God’s design: a relationship where each person is able to share themselves and their feelings with vulnerability and love. A self-giving, life-long friendship where in safety you can know and be known and be real. Real is always better than fantasy. Books like Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas, suggest that sex is actually giving, not getting.
“Authentic sexuality is highly fulfilling.
Expressed in covenant love, it moves us to share
our lives, bodies and our very essence with our mates.”
Question: “I’m not hurting anyone and it spices up our sex life. I’m married, so that’s ok, right?”
- While it’s true that hormones and chemicals might temporarily fire things up, that blaze isn’t going to stay burning without adding more wood to the fire. Science shows that the ability to fire it up the next time will require more and different erotica. This means one book or one movie will never be enough.
- We are familiar with the thought that pornography for men is very visual. However, for women, it is highly relational.
- Science shows that it starts as harmless romantic stories or soap operas to online erotica and eventually to porn. Don’t be fooled. It happens to women every day, whether they are married or single.
Question: “I’m single and I have desires. So that’s ok, right?”
- Yes, your desires are real and yes you need to address them in the light – not in the dark or in any shade of gray. Some things really are black and white. Thinking you’re saving yourself for marriage and using erotica as an outlet? You’re deceived. The stakes are too high for you as a woman and for your husband if you marry.
- Do not be condemned by your own sexual sensations. Learn how to deal with them in a godly way. Honest community and resources that answer your questions from the Bible are good places to find answers to hard questions. I recommend a few of the best books and websites at the end of this article.
- Erotica and romance will draw you out and connect you in a way that can easily step over the line of romance to pornography. This will create unrealistic and harmful expectations for men.
- Fantasy and erotica can become your “mate,” and worse, can become your “god.”
- Women of all seasons are turning to pornography of different kinds to meet their desires. Sadly, the fastest growing users of online pornography are teenage girls.
Yet, there is some good news this Valentine’s Day. God isn’t about the big NO for everything regarding sex. He’s all about the sex. He created it to be adventurous, fun and bonding. As women, perhaps it’s time we looked at the original intent of sex and start enjoying all of it. Frankly, I’m glad Christian women are asking questions and getting real answers. Here’s to Valentine’s Day and putting true romance back into the bedroom. Be a friend and Share this post today!
This post will most likely generate questions some about this topic or another one. If you have questions or want to encourage women on this topic, join the conversation on Facebook or email me confidentially. Join the community and conversation of women who are helping restore the value of womanhood, marriage and children.
Here are some other excellent books, YouTube videos and websites.
- “Pulling back the Shades” by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery
- “The Passion Pursuit” by Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery (10-week video course for women)
- “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas
- “Intimate Issues: Twenty-one Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex” by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus
- “Is ‘Fifty Shade’ series harmful to your marriage?” The spiritual reason.
- “What are you waiting for? The One Thing No One Ever Tells You about Sex” by Dannah Gresh
- “And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity” by Dannah Gresh. (10-week study for teens)
- Authentic Intimacy – Best site for hard answers
- Dirty Girls Ministries – An online accountability community for women overcoming sexual addiction, especially porn or erotica.
- X3pure – An online thirty-day recovery program featuring confidential, streaming video workshops.
 The study, titled “The National Survey on Christian Female Sexuality,” was conducted by Debra Taylor, M.A., MFT, Archibald Hart, Ph.D, and Catherine Hart Weber, Ph.D. An AASECT-certified sex therapist based in Ventura, Calif.
 Pornography Addiction a Growing Problem Among Women
 Teens and Porn: 10 Stats You Need to Know
Watch video: Is ‘Fifty Shades’ series harmful to your marriage?