Fifty Shades of Grey: A Red Flag to the Church

As we quickly approach Valentine’s Day, buying our sweetheart chocolate and roses, or quite possibly those cute, silky boxers with hearts on them (that I’m sure men just LOVE, right ladies?)…

…I am reminded of a home-made gift that I received for Valentine’s Day ten years ago—a short film featuring me in a fantasy love-story.

Up until a few years ago, it was hiding itself in the midst of other movies that I enjoyed watching cuddled up on the couch with my husband.

No, this wasn’t footage of me and my husband…

…or my high school sweetheart…

…or even my boyfriend from college.

This Valentine’s Day gift captured moments of my secret adventures with a man I was in love with when I was 19…

…who was married.

It was the ultimate fantasy love-story—we were involved in a musical production together. And even though he was almost ten years older than me, he played my boyfriend in the show. After he confided in me about his failing marriage, the feelings that I was only supposed to be portraying on stage, followed me home one night. I began to wonder if I was falling in love with this man. And once he said those three words all insecure girls like me want to hear, I was definitely in over my head.

I was desperately longing to find love and be loved, so much so, I found myself trapped in a lie that God just wanted me to be happy, even if it meant becoming “the other woman.” And I was a Christian!

That longing to be loved still burns within me, but is now satisfied by the love of my Savior, Jesus Christ and my God-honoring husband.

Yet, I know for a fact that I am not the only woman out there experiencing that deep desire to be pursued, cherished, and intimately loved.

1 million copies sold of the book, Fifty  Shades of Grey, and record-breaking pre-sale tickets sold for the film version boldly screams that fact to the world.

On the surface, it may look like women are just after a steamy sex life, but under the sheets, you will find a broken soul longing for true love—a love that can only come from God Almighty, Love Himself.

According to Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh’s book, Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart, women have five longings:

  • to be cherished by a man
  • to be protected by a strong man
  • to rescue a man
  • to be sexually alive
  • to escape reality

These are longings that only God knows how to satisfy because He created us.

Without the revelation of how much my Heavenly Father loved me, and how He manifested that love through the sanctity of marriage, I tried to fulfill those longings through the entanglement of sexual pleasure, running away from my reality that I was empty. Even after my relationship ended with the married man, my own lustful desires dragged me further into the pit of sexual sin, bound heavily in chains. It wasn’t just casual sex (there is no such thing), my friends, it was a war within my soul that caused severe anxiety and depression, alcohol abuse, and suicidal thoughts.

“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.” James 1:14 (NLT)
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Through the enormous popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, we are seeing millions of women, and yes, even Christian women, enticed and pulled under by their own secret sin, hiding behind the word “romance.”

Church, these numbers should be a huge wake up call to us!

I’m thankful for ministries like Dr. Juli Slattery’s Authentic Intimacy and Dannah Gresh’s Pure Freedom who are speaking up about this red flag in our society and in the Church, but why isn’t this coming from the pulpits?

Sex has always been a risque topic in the Church, often making us uncomfortable, but this isn’t the time for us to remain quiet because it makes us uncomfortable! The devil surely isn’t uncomfortable or silent in his tactics to steal the purity of our daughters and wives!

We cannot afford to keep our mouths shut about this issue any longer. The total health of women: spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical, depends on it.

We need to start conversation about it. We need to offer support for our women who are secretly suffering and hiding behind these kinds of “romance” fillers to help satisfy their souls, and explain to them where sex and love fits in God’s divine plans for their lives.

Sexual sin and pornography are not just problems men face. This is a moral cry regarding the sexuality of women all over the world.

Our wives, sisters, daughters, nieces, and grand-daughters are searching for their worth. They need to know that they are cherished—not just by us but by God!

As we see hundreds of thousands of women flock to the movie theater this weekend to meet Mr. Grey, waving a major red flag that something is severely distorted in the souls of women, let us lift up the Cross, the greatest Gift from the Father, and the red Blood of Jesus, letting them know of the Man who laid down His life for them, showing the greatest love ever known.

This Valentine’s Day, and every day, let us remember that Love.

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Emily Rose Massey is the author of Yielded in His Hands (eLectio Publishing, 2015), a true story of a life delivered from the mire and filthy pit and bondage of sexual sin and molded into a vessel for the Lord to flow through to reach others for His Kingdom. She and her husband are both active leaders in many areas of ministry, including worship ministry, drama ministry, prayer ministry, and youth ministry. In addition to teaching and preaching the Word of God, Emily also pours out her passion for the Lord through her songwriting. Her songs spring forth out of a forgiven heart full of thankfulness and devotion unto God. Believing she has been forgiven of much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power. To connect with or learn more about Emily, visit

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