Last Friday I was privileged to bring a teaching at the Pen-Florida Women's Breakaway entitled, "Fifty Shades of No Way!"
Recognizing the impact the book, Fifty Shades of Grey
, is having on women and our society as a whole, our district women's director, Marsha Woolley, and asked me to address it. (If you would like to read the copy of my message, you can get the notes here.
The response was overwhelming. I am still getting e-mails daily.
Women came forward for prayer who have been FORCED to read the book. Forced by who? By their husbands. It is hard to shock me, but even I was shocked. How might a man "force" his wife to read a book? By purchasing it for her and demanding she read it in order to stay married to him. Or, being told, "if you respect and honor me as your husband, you'll read this to improve our marriage." They are shamed that they are not good wives if they don't comply with the request.
Another lady was not forced to read the book but she was forced to "submit" as the BDSM acts contained in Fifty Shades were forced upon her in the bedroom, in order to fulfill her husband's fantasies.
Of course there were women who read the book on their own, because they were curious. In the aftermath, they now need healing. Others were not forced to read FSOG but were coerced to watch porn in the bedroom, with husbands who are addicted. Still others came forward who have not read FSOG themselves, but have daughters or daughters-in-law who are reading it and they are very concerned about their welfare and wanted to stand in prayer for them. One teenage girl came to the altar weeping and said, "Please pray for me. At least 50% of my school has read this book, and they desperately need Jesus and healing. I want to be used by God to help them."
Here's what I want to say today. Ladies, we all answer to God for ourselves before we answer to a husband. You and I have a personal relationship with God. We are to obey him first and foremost, before anyone else. One day on judgment day we will not be able to blame our husbands for our obedience or lack thereof.
Shepherds are also going to stand accountable! Two ladies confided to me that they went to their pastors for counseling and were told that as long as they watch porn in response to their husband's request, it is covered under "the marriage bed is undefiled" scripture. FALSE!! They were told that as long as they were making an effort to please their husbands, God is also pleased. FALSE!! Woe to pastors who are giving this counsel!!
I'm going to put this out there as plain as day here, my sisters.
I love my husband. And I know I am called to fulfill him sexually, and I do. But He is not God! And if he ever asked me to do something that was not pleasing to God, I would not do it.
Before I answer to God for pleasing Larry Shrodes, I answer to God for pleasing God.
God is not pleased with the filth and degradation of porn.
It is an abomination.
If your husband is asking you to read or watch porn in an effort to please him or to improve your marriage (it won't work, by the way), please get yourself a backbone and say NO. This is NOT disrespecting your husband. This is NOT a lack of submission. You are not an unGodly or disrespectful wife for refusing to participate in pornography.
If your husband is addicted to pornography or says he needs it to be fulfilled in your marriage, it's not something YOU can fix. Only God can heal him. Do not take the blame for his addiction. You didn't cause this. Encourage him to get help. Pray for him. Support him in whatever way you can without defiling yourself with pornography. "So then, each of us will give a personal account to God." Romans 14:12 (NLT)
A personal account.
That means you and me - alone, up close and personal with God.
God has given you not only the right but the responsibility to say no to things that are sin. Yes we are to respect our husbands, but not to the point where we engage in sinful behavior.
I Thessalonians 4:3-8 relates directly to sexual purity and not being taken advantage of by anyone - even a husband - who may ask you to engage in impure practices in the bedroom.
It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)
My heart goes out to my sisters who may be dealing with this issue at home. Stand strong! I am praying for you and for your marriages. May our sex lives be God-honoring!