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The Eagle’s Nest

True Love Doesn’t Need Fifty Shades of Gray (Weekend Column for the AJC)

AJC 02.23.15 50 Shades 001The frenzy is on. Hollywood has released the much-anticipated movie version of the international best-selling book “Fifty Shades of Grey.” I was visiting my husband’s family last weekend when our niece told me that the movie was sold out for all showings on Saturday, Valentine’s Day. It certainly was a strategic release date for the producers. In my humble opinion, it couldn’t be a sadder picture of what many people out there have decided to call love. On the day when Americans chose to celebrate love, couples and singles, young and old, rush to support a movie that encourages unleashed lust as the normal status quo.

Many years ago I heard someone say that they were raised to believe that there were no gray areas as far as God was concerned. This person proceeded to tell me that she didn’t believe in that anymore. I remember how uncomfortable I felt. I was a young Christian, having converted a little less than four years before, and yet that statement bothered me greatly. As far as I knew at that point in my life as a believer, there were no gray areas when it comes to God’s word. Right is right … and wrong is wrong. This happened over 15 years ago and, since then, my knowledge of Scripture and the ways of God have increased significantly. The closer I get to God the more I am convinced: As far as his ways and his plan for my life are concerned, I don’t see any gray areas at all.

Love and the way we express it toward other human beings is not an exception.

I’m not sure about other religion’s holy books, but I know what my Bible says. There are no fifty shades of gray when it comes to love. Or sex. For us – Christians, for example – we believe that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Just as we should not do as the enemies of God did in the Old Testament, entering the holy of holies and defiling the sacred places of the Most High, we should not allow our lust to degrade our bodies.

I have not watched the movie or read the book. I read enough summaries and reviews to decide I had no interest in wasting my precious time doing so. My marriage is a happy one – in all aspects. I’m certainly not judging anyone who has made bad sexual decisions in their lives. However, if you are a believer and you read his word, it won’t take you long to realize that there are no gray areas when it comes to our sexuality. Yes, there are very spicy stories in the Bible, but God never labels any of those as another shade of gray. He calls them what they are: Sin. Darkness.

I think the frenzy over “Fifty Shades of Grey” just inspired me to start writing another book. I might call it “Fifty Shades of Black and White.” I know I won’t sell 11 million copies worldwide. It’s OK. I’m not worried about being popular. I just know that love is not gray. The Bible can back me up on this concept, from Genesis to Revelation. I can follow this belief and have a fruitful, joyful life. I don’t need fifty shades of gray areas to feel complete.

Patricia Holbrook is a Christian author and national conference speaker. Her first book, “12 Inches – Bridging the Gap between How You Feel and What You Know About God,” will be available in stores nationwide this summer. Visit her blog to read her devotionals or email her at


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