Why My Wife Won’t Go See Fifty Shades of Gray

My wife and I have three sons under the age of five and a brand new baby girl.

Even at these innocent ages, sensual images enter their minds on a daily basis. These images appeal to something that they don’t even understand. Their environment beckons them to consider the temptation and culture says, “It’s ok.”

As their father, I want them to understand my unwavering belief in the importance of slaying this deceptive temptation before it becomes cancerous, as it did in the early years of my marriage.

And now, with a daughter, it’s even more important.

We must choose to be the example.

100 Million Shades of Grey

The moral poverty of our culture has caused an uneasiness within me to grow into a great concern.

“Game of War” commercials feature scantly-clad supermodel Kate Upton, stepping out of a bathtub (a curious marketing notion for a video game about war).

Kim Kardashian’s book, Selfish, is a collection of selfies infused with cleavage and curves.

The final straw, for me, has been the success of Fifty Shades of Grey. The movie trailer leaves much to the imagination—a flash of seductive innuendos followed by the boastful tagline: Over 100 million books sold.

100 million! That’s one out of every three Americans.

Why is this stuff so popular?

The Root of the Problem

The majority of Fifty Shades’ readers are women. Just as Kate Upton appeals to their male counterparts, these books seem to offer women the guise of entertainment and escape from their seemingly mundane lives. It beckons them to get lost in its fantasy.

I believe that the mystery and intrigue of Fifty Shades of Grey can be blamed on men.

If we loved our women with unconditional passion, I doubt that millions of them would flock to search for it elsewhere.

The trouble is, men have been conditioned by marketing and popular culture to compare their wives with alternative standards.

It is an endless cycle that corrupts itself as it grows.

So how do we fix it?

We must first understand that we are being appealed to by something on a much deeper level.

Whether money or sex or drugs or food or some combination therein, we’re promised the enjoyment of escape, yet as we indulge, we find ourselves captive. Entertainment often ends in a rabbit hole of unquenchable indulgence.

I recall many mistakes in my own past that began with these simple justifications: “I was just having fun” or “It was harmless.”

C. S. Lewis said it best:

“Our appetites grow by indulgence. Starving men think much of food, but so do gluttons.”

The more we indulge in this type of entertainment, the more gluttonous we become, sliding every-so-gently down the slope toward isolation.

The Consequences of Indulgence

Our heart and our affections follow our indulgence. Everything from golf to bird watching can be, at some level, harmful when it becomes obsessive. Anything can become indulgent and the consequences of Indulgence are shattering.

So what are the consequences of a culture that is desensitized to sexual indulgence?

It’s already known that our children will grow up in a world where sex trafficking is real, where strip clubs are as common as Wal-Mart, and where pornography has begun to creep into everyday marketing.

In Proverbs chapter seven, a father warns his son:

“With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.”

The cost of exaggerated sexual indulgence is our very lives.

Fix Yourself First

I don’t blame Miss Upton, Mrs. Kardashian-West, or Fifty Shades of Grey author, E. L. James. They are simply supreme marketers who have learned how to capitalize on our condition. And I’m sure they would attest: a culture longing to repair broken places pays well.

Instead of pointing fingers, which seems to be what most of Christian culture does, I believe we can only fix the problem by fixing ourselves first.

We must take action. We must be responsible for ourselves first. Then, those we have been entrusted with.

The best way I can assure that my wife doesn’t find Fifty Shades of Grey entertaining is to treat her in such a way that these illicit temptations seem meaningless when compared to the true love of her husband.

When I made the decision to commit my heart and my affections to her through the covenant of marriage, I chose to love her with reckless abandon.

I can’t, for one second, allow a seed of doubt to be planted in her mind that I would ever compare her to someone else.

The best way to combat the challenges of a sexually explicit culture for my sons is to love their mother. In order to fight for them, I must fight for her. Then, I must teach them that what they see on television and portrayed in culture is a far cry from true fulfillment.

I’m sure I will fail at times, but this is a battle worth fighting.

Will you join me?

MH

To receive weekly perspective for an enriched life, sign up here

About the Author

headshot-footerMatt Ham is dedicated to guiding others toward rich living. His own experiences have led him to the understanding and freedom of a rich life, and through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover true richness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment.

His first book, Redefine Rich, is a journey of uncovering a deeper, more fulfilling life by shifting your perspective. It is available in both Kindle and paperback on Amazon: here

You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com

To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking

, ,

  • Great post Matt totally agree!

  • Hi Matt, great article. Interesting point of view. I myself am not into Fifty shades of grey, but more Jane Austen. Thank you for stepping op for the cause 🙂 I’ve heard about a good alternative to the fifty shades of grey-movie. There will come an “ond fashioned” romantic movie http://www.oldfashionedmovie.com/

    • Mariane – thank you for reading and sharing the link to ‘Old Fashioned’. I keep hearing more and more about it.

    • Thanks for sharing that link Mariane. It looks like a very good alternative!

  • Winnie

    Wow thank you!!! Our world needs more men with this conviction and commitment!

    • Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment, Winnie.

  • Fantastic Matt, nailed it.. many people blindly accept the perverse marketing tactics.. one way we ‘fight’ is we don’t support companies that do (i.e. Hardees aka Carl Jr.) Second we change the channel and filter as much garbage as we can out of our lives.

    • Brenda Watkins

      Whoa! You can’t get much clearer than that. And it’s true, Matt. I’m not interested in movies or books that try and lure me in with their promiscuity. They do nothing but make me sad. I’m proud that what I know breaks my Father’s heart, also breaks mine. I’m so thankful I have a husband who treats me with respect and who doesn’t let a day go by without showing me his love in more than “fifty” ways.

      • Brenda – Liz picked the title 🙂 Tell Mike hello, he’s a good man!

  • Revka Stearns

    Matt, thanks for sharing your heart. I think you hit the nail on the head.

  • Pingback: True Love | Nice One Nana()

  • Pingback: Top 30 Must-Read Posts on Leadership | February 2015 | Paul Sohn | Salt&Light()

  • Pingback: Marriage is Under Attack | Matt Ham()

  • Pingback: American Frankenstein | Matt Ham()