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Two weeks ago the movie trailer for “50 Shades of Grey” was released.

Haven’t heard of it? Then you’re in the minority. It’s been the most watched movie trailer EVER. And the movie doesn’t come out until February 2015.

Want another glimpse of the book-about-to-turn movie? Here are a few staggering statistics:

Why does it matter, and what’s all the fuss? “50 Shades” is not just another book—it is pornography. If you want to debate that statement, consider that Barnes and Noble, The Huffington Post and The New York Review of Books all consider the book to be erotic romance literature. The author’s website describes the book saying, “Erotic, amusing and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.”

While I won’t say the book is an acceptable read for non-Christians, I want to specifically address the dangers of this book in regards to Christian women and how it is affecting our marriages, our families, and our future.

One of the most familiar stories of the Old Testament involves a man and a woman involved in sexual sin. The names of Samson and Delilah are pretty familiar—even if you aren’t a Bible scholar. I encourage you to read Judges 16 for the Biblical account. If you really want the entire story, read Judges 13-17.

I’d like to propose that the tables have turned in the 21st century. Today the seductress is Christian Grey and women following Christ have fallen into his snares. We are the Samsons of our generation. How? Here are a few observations.

Samson was called to observe a Nazarite vow—a vow that set him apart to be devoted primarily to the Lord. As Christian women, we have been set apart to be devoted to the Lord. 1 Pet. 1:15-16 says, “But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” Christ redeemed us of our sin through His sacrifice on the cross, and although we will continue to sin, we are called to submit our lives to Christ’s lordship each day. Our lives should have an ever-increasing desire to be more like Christ and less like the world.

Samson had an appetite for sex and for women. Let’s face it—that’s not inherently wrong. God made men and women sexual beings. But appetite for sex has gone beyond God’s design. Pornography is designed to stimulate sexual excitement with writings, pictures, and without another human (just look at the definition of pornography on God designed sexual intimacy for covenant marriage—a binding agreement between a man and a woman for life. Samson disregarded God’s plan by marrying an unbeliever, seeking prostitutes, and sleeping with Delilah. When we go outside the boundaries God has designed within marriage, even by reading erotica, we allow our sexual appetite to be filled with a substitute. When you bring it into your marriage, you are allowing a “third party” into the bedroom.

Samson lost his power when Delilah tricked him into revealing the source of his strength. Pornography has been around a long time, but Satan has primarily targeted men in the past. We’ve seen the devastating effects of pornography on families and in the church when men give in to its temptations. Now Satan wants women to fall too. By targeting women, Satan is destroying the power women have to influence the world for Christ. I believe women are making an incredible impact for Christ in the areas of human trafficking, domestic violence, gender mutilation and more. What better way to destroy this power than through the subtle pages of pornography that elevates abuse, bondage and perversion? If we continue on this path, erotica will damage our testimony to our husbands, our children and to an unbelieving world.

Delilah caused Samson to lose his strength and his effectiveness. The result was a man who became a slave to his enemy. It’s interesting that the Philistines gouged out Samson’s eyes in Judges 16:21. Was it because Samson’s eyes were the source of what brought about his destruction? Were his eyes focused on the lust and appetite of a seductress instead of God? Why has “50 Shades” sold so many copies on Kindle? I believe it’s because women believe they can hide behind the cover of their tablet and hide their secret sin of reading pornography. But the long-term effects will be revealed in time.

Consider what you are reading and watching. If you’ve already read the book, this post is not meant to judge or shame you. Believe me, you could easily criticize some of my TV viewing habits. Instead, as Christian women, let’s encourage one another in the following ways:

  • Let’s encourage married women to love their husbands and have eyes only for him. Let’s be the sexual pursuer and satisfy his needs (as well as ours) with the gift God has given us in marriage.
  • Let’s encourage single women to put their trust in the Lover of their soul, not the lover of the world. Encourage them to see value in their singleness. Whether God has allowed singleness for a season or for a lifetime, He loves every woman the same.
  • Let’s develop a safe place for women to struggle through the addiction of pornography. Does your church offer help for those ensnared in sexual sin? Is accountability built into your small group discipleship program? Will you be someone who can be trusted with another woman’s sin and restore her in love and confidence? If you need help or know someone who does, check out ministries such as Beggar’s Daughter, Bethesda Workshops and Dirty Girls Ministries.

Phil. 4:8: “Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.”