There are many “Do Nots” swirling in regard to 50 Shades of Grey. Let’s have some helpful “Dos.”

What’s the Deal with This 50 Shades Movie?

Unless you’ve been living in a media vacuum, you have heard the hype — and criticism — about the movie 50 Shades of Grey. Dubbed “mommy porn,” this book trilogy, originally in the fan-fic genre created from writings the author E. L. James based on the Twilight series, has created a mass following, and along with it a mass controversy.

This Valentine’s Day weekend marked opening weekend for the hugely popular movie adaptation of the first book.

I admit I glanced at the 50 Shades books in curiosity a few times. I’m a total sucker for romance. I did read the Twilight series as did one of my daughters. I’ll be honest I felt a pull (I could download it on my Kindle app! No one would know I was reading it!) to check out these books. I read a few excerpts online. I was sure the books would be a quick read that would help me check out of real life for a few days of enjoyable adult pleasure. I’m not saying I’m proud of it, just speaking the truth here. Yet the conviction from God remained that this was territory I should not enter, especially considering my marriage has been going through ups and downs this last year. The last thing I need is to fill my mind with unrealistic fantasies of any type.

Fast forward to 2015. I wasn’t especially interested in the movie — less interested than the book. The movie trailer looked darker and a bit creeper as often happens with movie adaptations (think Harry Potter series or Roald Dahl books). Yet this is everywhere.

Helpful “Dos” for Talking to Teens about 50 Shades of Grey

1. I asked questions. Neither of my daughters is interested in seeing the movie. One is disinterested and said her friends aren’t into it, so it was a short conversation. My other daughter works in a movie theater, and some of her friends have been discussing it, so we’ve talked about it more.

2. I told them they are beautiful — because they are! My daughters are amazing, gorgeous, smart, beautiful young women with so much God has planned for them.

While God has laid on my heart concerns about this movie, I won’t use this blog to debate it since there is a plethora already written. Here is a great article that goes into detail about what can be considered abusive aspects of the movie. The author planned to watch the movie thinking it would be a big joke and left in tears. (Note: The author isn’t Christian and the article does contain swearing.)

3. I reminded them sex is meant for marriage. Regardless of other aspects of the movie, it portrays sex outside of marriage. The truth is other movies we have watched do the same thing, like The Notebook. Those really aren’t okay either.

A helpful dating mantra for my daughters is: “Never grant your boyfriend a husband’s privileges.” This isn’t just about sex but all sorts of ways they deserve to be treated with the respect and honor they deserve.

4. We talked about birth control. I told my beautiful daughters that while I hope they wait until marriage, if they do decide to have sex before they are married, it is not an unforgivable sin. I will still love them. I would rather they come and talk to me about it, and together we will get them the birth control options they need.

5. Sex inside of marriage is really great. What I’ve shared with all my children is that I really do hope they choose to wait until they are married to have sex, because sex inside of marriage is really, really great. It’s better than great, actually. It’s amazing! I hold back from sharing too much more at the risk of getting the “Mom, eeew, gross!” comments, but I want them to know that it’s so deeply holy, and very, very much worth the wait. So I’ve told them.

Of all the blogs and articles I’ve read about 50 Shades this is far and above my very favorite. The author describes so well what God intended when he created sex: Who Needs Handcuffs? by Gary Thomas

Readers, what are your thoughts?