Shades of Discernment



While at the beach, I was amazed to see almost every woman at the pool and at the beach reading books from the Fifty Shades trilogy that is topping the current bestsellers list. The books are labeled as erotic fiction and feature explicit descriptions of sex and bondage. It’s definitely not your typical Sunday School reading material. Here is my big concern. I have seen many Christian women sharing thoughts and comments about the books. This concerns me on many levels because from my counseling I have seen first hand the damage to marriage that pornography causes. And make no mistake, just because a book doesn’t have pictures doesn’t mean it’s not pornography.

I have talked about pornography often in church because it is such a problem. But the last time I shared I had a young woman approach me after the service to let me know that she thought I let the women off too easy. She shared with me how big of a problem romance novels are for many women. The problem with romance novels is that they present an unrealistic depiction of true masculinity and intimacy. They present an image that is not only un-Biblical, but is also dangerous. Real intimacy is not based on the physique and strength of your husband, it is based on trust. Love is more than an erotic feeling, it is a choice that you make each day to put the needs of someone else above your own. Romance novels simply create discontentment in marriage, and they break the trust between husband and wife.

I have heard women say that “I’m not hurting anyone,” and ” it’s just fiction,” and “I’m just reading and not committing adultery.” But these are the exact same reasons that many men use to justify pornography. Women, let me ask you a simple question. How would you feel if your husband viewed pornography in your home? Why is there a double standard with what you read?

I’m not trying to be legalistic, but I feel that we have lost the discipline of discernment in what we read and watch. Philippians 4:8 gives us a filter for what we consume. I want to challenge you to think Biblically and to make the best choice for your family and for your marriage.

And don’t even get me started on the movie Magic Mike. Seriously! Going to a movie about male strippers? Women, take a stand for what is right and what is Holy. You will be blessed if you do.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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23 Responses

  1. July 5, 2012

    […] For another guy’s perspective, read this […]

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