Enough people have pointed out that the book and movie are pure garbage and filth, (and rightly so). I vowed that I wasn’t going to touch the 50 Shades topic with a 10 foot pole, but I noticed something lacking in the discussion. Most of the articles I’ve read, while solid and on point, have failed to strongly promote and discuss what real, Godly love is, what a woman should actually be looking for in men, or what a woman’s true worth is. So I decided to share some thoughts (50 of them in fact) from Godly men.
50 Shades of Grey displays the curse of the fall in a perverse and disgusting way, spinning the degradation of both genders; men portrayed as sexual monsters, and women allowing themselves to be grossly devalued, as a cultural phenomenon. Flocks of people have read the pornographic novel, and will flood the movie theater this Valentine’s Day.
“Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.’ – Genesis 3:16
God knows the depths of the human heart. Since the fall of humanity, people have sought to fulfill their deepest desires with anything and everything. We worship sex, money, fame, glory, food, music, sports, power, etc. The list of our idols is endless. Humans cannot break free from the bondage of sin. Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life, took our sin upon His shoulders as He died on a cross, and was raised again so that we might have new and eternal life.
Because of Christ’s atonement for our sins, we no longer have to be in bondage. No one is beyond Christ’s reach. No one has sinned too much, or gone too far for Christ to forgive and cleanse them from their sins.
With that beautiful picture of the Gospel on the forefront of your mind, please soak up what some men have to say to you!
Where should a woman find her value and worth?
1. You are made in the image of God. Your value and worth isn’t shown in how many men are chasing you down or texting your phone, but by how God created you wonderfully, sent his Son for you, and adopted you into His family. If your value and worth rests in anything that can change, you’ll feel worthless….often. God doesn’t change.
2. Whether or not she or anyone around her perceives it, there is nothing that anyone can do to increase or decrease the worth she has as one made in the image of God. It’s not a matter of adding to her worth, it’s recognizing the worth already there.
3. God created you specific and special, be confident in that. Men will always let you down, regardless if they serve God or not. It’s better to get value from the only person who gives value— Jesus Christ.
4. In a word, Christ. This is no Jesus-juke. He loves perfectly. His blood washes away sins purely. When I see a woman find her primary identity in Christ, it’s as though the rest of her is a beautiful expression of one glorious reality. Everything from appearance to conduct displays that Christ is her confidence, and that is something this world can’t touch. As a potential pursuer noticing a woman’s confidence in Christ somehow works to place every one of her traits in perspective, and godly femininity is gorgeous.
5. It is not a sin for a woman to be pretty or to be well-liked, but the unconditional love and approval of a Father who sent His Son to die for her is of eternally more significance. Discovering what it means to love and serve such a loving God is the ultimate pursuit of a woman, not working to please a man or to fit a stereotype.
6. A woman’s value comes from the same place as a man’s: they are together mutually reinforcing bearers of the image of God. Woman reflect the nature and being of God in a unique and powerful way. To find the basis for valuing woman, or any category of people for that matter, in anything other than their dignity from their maker indicates a misreading of Scripture.
7. Jesus. But seriously, that relationship with Christ is the key to overcoming discontentment and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). If you know Jesus you have accomplished the ultimate thing that anyone can do (or rather, he has accomplished the ultimate thing for you in reconciling you to God). As a result, everything you do in life, even if seems mundane and stifling or falls short of your potential, suddenly has value because it can be done for Jesus’ sake.
8. A woman should find her worth from being the daughter of the King, knowing that she is unconditionally loved and accepted not because of anything she has, or is, or did, or changed, but because of His great mercy in loving her. And from the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
9. On the most basic level, I think that a woman finding value and worth in a romantic relationship is a really dangerous thing. It will cause her to do things that she would never do otherwise in an effort to maintain that relationship for the sake of what it provides her with emotionally. I think that women (and men) should find their value and worth in the Lord for the simple reason that his love and delight in you is unchanging. God is clear that his love doesn’t change, and because of that, we have the ability to be who we really are. And being who you really are is the hottest thing any of us can do.
10. Every woman, as does every man, must find their value and worth in Christ, first and foremost. We were created by God with much love and care (see Psalm 138:13-16) and He gave His life for us (see Romans 5:8, John 3:16). But within the sacred bond of marriage, there is something to be said about the honor a husband gives his wife. Every husband should make it a point to build up his wife and protect her as the special gift of God she is. It is appropriate and good, I believe, for the wife to receive that in humility and love, and to be encouraged by it.
What characteristics should a woman be looking for in a man?
11. Look for a man that is confident enough in Christ that he is excited to build you up, as Christ does the church. Be careful with any man that feels the need to belittle you to make himself look good or if he feels threatened because of you in any way (your job, intellect, spiritual walk, etc.).
12. Self-sacrifice. There is a world of difference between a man who wants a woman to sacrifice her dignity for him and one who will sacrifice himself for her.
13. Loyalty, faithfulness, and obedience. All of those characteristics put together show a man who is willing to do what’s necessary to build a successful relationship. It’s not a works thing, it’s a love thing—if you really love Jesus, it’s obvious and these characteristics bear that out.
14. A man who has been redeemed–in the process and not at the end. Watch him. Does he submit to leaders? Does he spur others around him unto godliness? Can he carry on a simple conversation? No joke, he should make know Christ as savior and Lord but he should also be able to laugh as well. Godliness follows Christ, submits to the church, and is not above genuinely loving others.
15. The fruit of the Spirit, character, work ethic, holiness.
16. Society encourages us to get as much for ourselves at as little cost to ourselves as possible. Thus, it’s really tempting to ask you out in a way that costs us little face and ego if you were to say, “No.” Don’t go out with a man who does this. Go out with the guy who has the right combination of courage and humility to put it all on the line. It’s hopefully going to characterize his leadership throughout the relationship.
17. When a thoughtful Christian man says he loves you, he is also saying, “I am willing to suffer with you.” When he asks you to marry him, he is also saying, “I am willing to suffer with you for the rest of my life.”
18. One thing that I think is really important is consistency. I think that being able to offer another person consistency in life is such an important thing. Consistency in your spiritual life, consistency in your professional life, just an all-around understanding that you can be counted on. I guess that kind of ties into trust and responsibility as well. If a guy doesn’t have the characteristics you want in the dating relationship, don’t move forward assuming that he’ll acquire them in the marriage relationship.
19. Look for a man who isn’t isolated from other people. By that I don’t mean anti-social, but distant from people emotionally and spiritually. I say this because when I look at my own life, isolation is usually a symptom of one – or several – hidden sins festering in me.
20. A man that promises and keeps those promises (even the little promises). A man who seeks counsel from other more mature and Godly men. A man who serves humbly and joyfully. A man who is patient, self-controlled, and disciplined, among other characteristics of elders listed in Titus 1:5-9
21. Servant-hearted, possessing an understanding of the grace he was given by the Lord, so he never imagines the good things or the authority that is bestowed on him in life is anything to take pride in, humble, considerate, courageous, joyful, and someone who submits well to authority and is currently being held accountable.
22. Not necessarily those upheld by society. Men and women together should first pursue godly character, the expression of the fruit of the Spirit.
How should a woman expect to be treated by the men in her life?
23. A woman should feel loved, secure, wanted, inspired, encouraged, supported, valuable, respected. These are reciprocal things to be sure, but the man leads in every area. No man is perfect (no need for an “amen!”), but what you want is someone who is willing to take on that servant spirit that was in Christ.
24. She should expect the treatment due a daughter of the King. She should also expect to be disappointed by every man she knows. The way men in this life treat her does not reflect the worth she inherently has and will retain for eternity.
25. I hope every woman expects to be treated with respect. The least a man can do is honor you in that (even if he’s not a love interest). If he doesn’t respect you, he most likely doesn’t respect himself, which can only breed insecurity. There’s only one word that should be said to a man who doesn’t respect women—bye.
26. With dignity and respect, and as a fellow sinner. It’s great for Dad to have his little princess, but a woman shouldn’t expect that from every man. On the other hand, a woman should be expected to be safe, respected, and generally encouraged around men. Realize no man can stand as Christ in your life, but good men can, and should, point you to Him.
27. A woman should expect to be treated as a co-image-bearer. A sister. Men love, honor, and protect their sisters. She’s not property. She’s not a pretty face with no soul.
28. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. Women and men alike. No matter your gender, if you’re in an abusive relationship, seek help, and get out.
29. A woman ought to be treated with purity and gentleness. Sadly this is quite rare in society as a whole, from what I hear, but I’ve seen it modeled quite well among most of the Christians I’ve known. So take heart, there really are guys out there who strive to treat you well!
30. Kindly, respectfully, considering her opinions, placing her concerns comforts, and needs above his own, and like someone who has something to contribute to her family, friends, church.
31. With love and care, even in the most difficult and trying times. Just as a man should expect to be treated by the women in his life.
If I could tell women one thing…
32. I’m sorry this world sells you lies about what a woman is like. You’ve probably heard them–from the music videos to the magazine covers to the commercials. You deserve better.
33. It seems like the world’s assault on God’s wisdom is particularly strong for women right now. Godly women are shamed by this culture for following the Lord. Trust Psalm 25:3. “Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame.”
34. Please set your standards high. I didn’t say impossible—just high. Every woman is a prize to be won, don’t settle for a bronze metal, go for the gold!
35. Christ is your savior, godly men cannot be nor should they be.
36. I’m sorry there are so many boys that, through their lives, have lied about what a man is like. You’ve probably met them–from the absent or abusive fathers to the guy who said he loved you. You deserved better.
37. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Hold on to your relationship with Christ above all. Cast all your cares upon Christ, whatever your situation. He loves You, is standing with You and is for You. No need to spend so much energy worrying.
38. Christ is the king who will return on a white horse, far better than any Disney prince, trust me.
39. Don’t go for a man who belittles or uses you. Just don’t.
40. One of the best feelings in the world for us is if we know that you feel beautiful, safe, like you can trust us, and (most importantly of all) loved.
41. I can’t overemphasize the importance of being yourself. There’s just something so fantastic about seeing a person who marches to the beat of their own drum and doesn’t care what the masses are doing or thinking. The easiest way to not care what others are thinking or doing is to know that you are fully accepted and loved by God.
42. On behalf of men as a gender, I’m sorry. I think men these days are facing an unprecedented degree of sexual temptation, which has really messed up a lot of us. The selfishness and unrealistic expectations resulting from that spill out and affect everyone – hence the 50 Shades phenomenon. As a gender, I think men need to be given an exceptional degree of patience and forbearance these days, and I’d exhort women to stand against the cultural shift even though so many men have not.
43. Love is a conscious, daily decision to mutually submit to another person — not a fickle eruption of infatuation and lust.
Additional Thoughts From The Men
44. Make room for Christ and his word in your heart, live life in a church, and trust your Father in heaven who is far more than any man. If he places a good and godly man in your life one day, praise God, because he is still far greater.
45. Trust our Father who works all things for our good. Pray honest prayers. Redeem the time. Don’t settle for someone who won’t treat you as if he’s with the King’s daughter.
46. We would be willing to fight and even kill to protect you. Hollywood and some books make this seem easier than it actually is.
47. So many of our problems with sexuality stem from chasing and embracing fantasies. 50 Shades of Grey isn’t real. It just isn’t. The problem isn’t so much that it’s fictional as that it obscures, rather than illuminates, the human heart. Find stories (even fictional ones!) that do the latter, and embrace those instead.
48. Men are called to “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph 5:25). I think this is so powerful and paints such a clear picture of how we as men are called to love our wives: selflessly and unconditionally. Laying down our life for our wife. That is what a woman is worth. She is worth fighting for. She is worth protecting. She is worth dying for. As men, we are called to emulate Jesus’ love for the church in how we love our wives.
49. Sexual expression is, at its root, a demonstration of unity between two people who have chosen to give themselves in soul, mind, and body to one another. It is an inherently spiritual act. Failure to act in accordance with that reality will only bring pain and brokenness.
50. A man who seeks satisfaction from the Lord and lives within the riches of His grace, will lead you to be obedient to the Word of God and refuse to tempt you to sin. The purpose of his relationship with you should not be your body, but the spiritual nurturing of your soul
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