50 Shades of Grey makes me see red. How is it that—smack dab in the middle of the #metoo movement—Hollywood can put out a film depicting pornography, and women are flocking to the theater for a third time(!) to see it?
Are we that hopeless as a society?
Finding out about the movie’s release made me want to rant and curse Hollywood (yet again) and throw my hands up in defeat.
But then I remembered something.
It only takes a little bit of light to dispel the darkness.
What a better way to chase away grey skies than a little bit of sunshine? If I can’t speak words of light into a dark world about this topic, then who can?
Seeking the light (aka, the truth) saved my marriage. When a young woman with a long history of childhood trauma (including sexual abuse) marries a man formerly addicted to porn, there are bound to be struggles. And we had plenty.
But shining a light on the truth, painful as it was, brought healing and closeness only our God can provide. If there were ever an insidious plan to ruin marriages and destroy families, it’s the dark forces behind porn (that ensnared my husband) and its inbred cousin, pedophilia (that violated me).
As we healed, every tearful conversation, every act of forgiveness, and every gradual revelation of truth brought my husband and I closer. We weren’t each other’s enemy; we were only collateral damage from the porn industry’s war on genuine love.
Instead of snuffing out our relationship, righteous anger sparked a desire to be a light amidst a dark and dangerous culture spawned by the porn industry.
Whatever meager light I can shine, I pray will be magnified by the Holy Spirit, and that my efforts will bring the same kind of redemption to other damaged relationships.
As I think back on our experiences, these are a few glimpses of light shining, despite overwhelming darkness:
~a wife who listens to her husband’s tearful confession again about how he’s fallen into the trap of pornography and offers forgiveness yet another time
~a husband willing to go to any lengths to beat temptation, even if it means taking the cable from the hotel television down to the trunk of his car after a 14-hour work day and calling his wife to let her know it’s done
~a wife who dares to forgive and trust, despite her fear of betrayal
~a husband who mustered the courage to share his testimony of overcoming pornography in front of the entire adult population at their local church, and leading a group of men who came to him privately and shared that they struggled too
~a wife who stood by and supported her husband as he spoke publicly, even though she wanted to crawl into a hole in shame
~a husband who diligently and gently sought to figure out what caused his wife to withdraw from him when she became emotionally paralyzed from PTSD
~a wife finally willing to reveal to her husband what selfish and perverted men did to her, hoping to God her husband doesn’t see her as dirty or damaged goods
~a husband who embraces his fragile but newly-open wife and assures her that he still sees her as a treasure, even as horrible memories of sexual assault and molestation plague her constantly
~a wife no longer afraid her secrets will be revealed (because she posts them on a blog) and no longer lives under the shame of what sick and perverted men did to her in childhood and her youth (The shame’s all on them.)
~a husband who will always look his wife in the eye and gently assure her that he hasn’t succumbed to the temptation of pornography, no matter how many times she asks
~a husband and wife more willing than ever to talk about formerly taboo subjects surrounding intimacy in their marriage
Pornography’s distortion is a poor substitute for the amazing miracle of what God’s perfect design for marriage can be. Becoming one flesh means emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and physical connectedness. We’ll never get that from a screen.
Hollywood may always try to put out a pornographic, faux-romantic movie around Valentine’s day. But we don’t have to buy the lies that make for a $97-billion-dollar industry. We don’t have to sell our souls to be entertained and feed unhealthy lusts.
We can choose to do more than curse the darkness.
We can choose the truth.
We can choose to spread the light.