Fifty Shades of Confusion

So, there are these three books that were published two years ago and now the first movie in a series called Fifty Shades of Grey. You may have heard about them! Well, it’s taken the world by storm and women can’t seem to get enough of the story, the movie, the romance, the intrigue and ahhh, yes there’s the sex. And I assume quite a few men have found the sensation hard to resist as well.

While I have not read the books or watched the movie (and probably won’t), I’m not as shocked or appalled by the media putting it out there for us to see. That is the kind of world we live in and I don’t expect Hollywood to be changing its moral compass anytime soon.  Christians have criticized the movie for its portrayal of BDSM (which also disturbs me), people of other faiths have been mixed on their reviews. While I am neither condoning nor criticizing the movie, I have taken an interest in its popularity and what lies behind its intrigue.

Because I’m a counselor, I consider it part of my job to be abreast on current events, trends, social issues and our culture as a whole. As such, I believe this movie says volumes about who we are as people and how we see ourselves as men and women—and I don’t think it’s all bad. From what I’ve been able to learn about the plot, the characters and the setting of the novels, it portrays a typical story between a man and a woman who fall in love, but discover each one has baggage attached to them that they have to work through.

Part of what I think makes the story appealing is that it takes this similar story and pushes it to the max, where a man has to be in control and a woman is so needy for his attention she’ll do anything to be with him. But that is not where the story ends. As it turns out, even though she is enamored by him, she has more of a backbone in her than the reader first assumes and he has more tenderness in him than we see at first.

What makes the story appealing, I believe (again, realizing I haven’t read or watched the movie) is that they can’t stay away from each other, yet they can’t live under those circumstances. The baggage that each of them has brought with them has to be dealt with and left behind for them to truly be in a relationship together. And that is the story of every romantic relationship.

If your conscience allows you to read the books and watch the movie, keep this in mind instead of just focusing on the intense bond: It’s the intense discord that actually makes the story appealing and eventually redeeming, because Christian has to give up his need for control and she has to take control for their relationship to work. When we are in relationships with the opposite sex it’s a balance of control and trust.

– Trent

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