WordPress and Google work together to show me which Google searches lead people to my blog. Every once in awhile I dig through some of the search terms that brought people here and explore some answers to their questions.
For the past month or so, I’ve noticed a trend in my Google searches. More and more men are asking the internet for advice about 50 Shades of Grey. In fact, they are specifically wondering how in the world to ask their wives not to go and see the movie.
It’s understandable that some of you men out there are worried about bringing this topic up with your wives. It’s risky, this business of holding each other accountable. It’s dangerous because you know that you aren’t perfect either. You know beyond any doubt that talking about this with your wife will be painful and awkward, and you wonder if you should just let it go and not say anything at all. I mean, it’s only a movie, right?
But, you can’t let it go. Because you know better. You know that what we see and hear as Christian people matters. You know because you have images of your own in your head that come back to you at the worst times, things you wish you hadn’t seen, but that your mind won’t let you forget. And, understandably, you want to protect your wife and your marriage from such images as much as you can.
So, I want to offer some suggestions for talking to your wife about this movie in a way that will reinforce your love and care for her and for your relationship.
1. Approach her with humility and gentleness. Don’t give her ultimatums or directives. Instead, admit to her that you have really agonized over whether to say anything to her at all, but that your relationship and her walk with Christ are so important to you that you just had to speak up. Tell her how you feel about her seeing the movie, but be sure to acknowledge that the struggle to keep the heart and mind pure is real for you, too.
2. Make it clear that you are on the same team. Speak in terms of “we” and “us” instead of “you.” Talk to her about your convictions, and make it clear that you want the two of you to be united in the mission to stay away from things that are spiritually harmful.
3. Be the opposite of a know-it-all. Don’t accuse her. Don’t imply that she is a bad Christian or a bad person for wanting to see the movie. Admit that we all feel tempted and enticed by such things, and beg her to look past any anger or resentment she may be feeling in the moment to see how great your love for her is.
4. If you haven’t already, commit to living by the same standards you expect of your wife. The very best way to get a favorable response from your wife when situations like this arise is to live out your convictions in your home. If she sees that you change the channel to protect your own heart and mind, she will be more likely to take this request seriously.
But, if you know that you haven’t been guarding yourself from things you shouldn’t see and hear, don’t let that stop you from approaching your wife. This could be the perfect opportunity for you to commit to making changes together that could strengthen your family forever. Go to God in repentance and come to your wife broken. Watch what an impact your openness has on your relationship with your wife.
50 Shades of Grey certainly wasn’t created to bring couples closer to Christ. But, wouldn’t it be amazing if it ended up being an opportunity, through a loving conversation with your wife, to draw you closer to each other and more in line with the heart of God?
Don’t be afraid to speak to her with kindness and humility. The worst thing that can happen is she gets angry and goes to the movie anyway. But, the best things that could happen are worth the risk. What if this is your chance to open up a spiritual dialog, to express to her what God is doing in your own life, and to show her how deep your love for her really is? All because of one little sex movie. God certainly works in great and mysterious ways.
Prayers for you, husbands, as you tackle the tough topics with your families. God is honored when you lead your family to seek Him above any other temptation or guilty pleasure. Lead well, with a humble heart and outstretched arms, and see if your marriage isn’t strengthened in the process.