Posted by Bob and Dannah Gresh
Last week I (Dannah) wrote a blog entitled I'm Not Reading Fifty Shades Of Grey. The applause and outcry were mingled with questions. And tough questions they are! I would really not prefer to be the one to answer them, but someone has to.
Especially when those asking are teenagers who are forming their value system concerning their sexual future. The question that's rising to the surface of the Fifty Shades debate is this: "Is BDSM really all that bad? Can't it be experienced in a marriage if both partners are in agreement?" As a married couple, we'd like to try to answer this question.
In several of the comments to the original blog on the book, Christian women defended BDSM. We're grateful for their transparency and the gentle way in which at least one of the women presented her opinion. We took time to receive much counsel before presenting these thoughts.
To those teens who defended or questioned what is wrong with BDSM, I'm sad you even have to trudge through this topic.
To those married women that rose up to defend BDSM, we can only guess that your marriage beds are loving in all ways and at all times, and that there are never bruises, blood, or injury of any kind in any way. And that you are both equally interested in what we’d prefer to call some aggressive play. The tone of your messages tells us that this is so. If you have moments of playfulness that include pushing each other around without harm, holding one another up against the wall, or ripping off each other’s clothes…who are we to judge?
But be careful what you call it! Please, be careful what you call it.
(Dannah has counseled women who have taken naked photos for their husbands that no other eye has ever seen and it has never been of concern to her. She would never let them call this pornography.)
BDSM stands for Bondage. Dominance. Sadism. Masochism.
Sadism? Masochism? In psychiatry, the terms sadism and masochism describe a personality type characterized by the actor or actrix deriving pleasure and gratification from inflicting physical pain and humiliation. The terms specifically refer to one who either enjoys giving pain (sadist), or one who enjoys receiving pain (masochist). These are words that are direct counterfeits of God’s attributes.
Bondage? Jesus came to set the captives free. (See Isaiah.)
Dominance? He emptied himself. (See Phil 2. Esteem one another.)
God never desires us to seek pain or to give pain to others. On the contrary, he created marriage to be a picture of his love. (See Ephesians 5:31,32) If that's so, the marriage bed must be a tender reflection of deep knowing and respect. Why, he even uses the word yada to describe what should happen in that place. Yada means "to know, to be known, to be deeply respected." No mention of the physical act happening, it is to transcend the physical to be an act of knowing and respect. In the marriage bed, we can experience this knowing.
Is the marriage bed always undefiled?
Some have argued that it is, no matter what happens in it. This is not true. To use that verse out of context is to imply that whatever goes on in the marriage bed is by definition “undefiled.” That is a perversion of the verse. It is the exact opposite of what that verse is trying to say. Marriage is honorable and the bed is TO BE undefiled. “Honorable”or “honoring” is the opposite of sadism, masochism, bondage and dominance. It is the ultimate oxymoron—the term “honorable sadist” may have never before been uttered.
The fact is we shouldn’t let the world abbreviate these words. Never shorten it to BDSM. Use the words. It’s a lot easier to “defend” the letters BDSM than it is to extol the virtues of bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism.
We challenge you to think of a worst word than sadism. Rape? No. That is just one characteristic of sadism. Torture? Just another tool of the sadist.
Even Satan must have a hard time believing he could get feminists to give up all their campaign for equality, rights, and power to promote bondage, powerlessness, and the rights of men to derive sexual satisfaction from chaining women and inflicting pain and humiliation. Can you imagine his surprise that he not only won over some feminists… But Christians as well. The only reasoning I can think of for feminists to capitulate and accept the utter perversion of everything they’ve worked for is the truth of the old adage that ” the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” So many Feminists consider biblical authority such an enemy that it becomes palatable to join in league with our enemy, Satan—even if it means giving up their cause. In reality, it shows what their true cause really is—emnity with God.
While it is OK to experience something rough and playful in the bedroom…nothing about BONDAGE, DOMINANCE, SADISM, OR MASOCHISM is undefiling or honorable.
Note: This post is based upon a comment I posted in response to a comment in the conversation regarding I'm Not Reading Fifty Shades Of Grey. Several readers asked if I could make it an entire blog post so that it could be shared. Here it is!