I had a friend in college who used drugs ... a lot. I understood why. His life sucked. Stresses were growing and drugs gave him a "time out" from all the bad in his life. The problem was that the drugs weren't really helping. They felt good and gave him a break, but, every time he came down, life was still difficult (and becoming more so) and he was less able to work on the problems. He became less interested in fixing his life, opting to continue to escape into drugs.
What does this have to do with you and me?
Lately you've probably heard a lot about a book called Shades of Grey. It's erotica for women (sometimes called mommy porn). I think for most readers it is an escape similar to what my friend embraced. It's a "time out" from all that is not right in their world. But just like drugs, it doesn't really help. It "feels good," but every time they come back to reality the problems are still there (and probably growing) and they're less motivated to work on the problems and more drawn to escape into the pages of a book.
It's understandable, really. Life is full of stresses, marriage can be difficult and I think we all hunger for love, for passion, for intimacy.
The problem is that reading erotic novels is like eating Twinkies to stop your hunger. It's sweet. It's gives you a sugar high. It makes good food taste bland. It doesn't give your body the nutrition it needs and all you do is crave more sugar, more Twinkies. The long term results are cavities, extra weight, and a host of health problems.
The same could be said of reading erotic novels to fill your hunger for intimacy. They're "sweet." They give you pleasure. They make the rest of life "taste bland." They don't give you real relationship and all you do is crave more. The long term results are a starved heart, drifting relationships and a life unlived (only imagined).
Yes, life can suck, some days quite a lot. But escape is not the answer. (God does have answers. His Word is true and He has the ability to change hearts and lives. He is real food.)
Just a heads up ~ publishers see this kind of literature as a cash cow. There will be more of it and more of it available by electronic book (you don't have to look the cashier in the eye when you buy it on Kindle). The advertising will be very seductive. Be wise and do not start. If you've started reading from this genre, please consider tossing/deleting these books.
I do not know what became of my friend. We drifted apart after college. I pray for him when I remember those days.
I'm praying for y'all too.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35 ESV
Image credit (c) Lori Byerly
The Romantic Vineyard has a listing of blog posts about Shades of Grey ~ Stop Grey From Becoming The New Black And White
This is one of those must-read real-life kind of posts, good for everything life throws at you, including a difficult marriage ~ Crappy Marriage? What if it Doesn’t Get Better? Kudos to Julie (of Intimacy in Marriage).