50 Shades of Shame: Why Christians Need to Stop Shaming and Start ENJOYING Sex

In Advice and Encouragement, Marriage, Relationships by Debra Fileta

“If they only knew the things my “pastor husband” and I did last night….”

She said these words with a chuckle, paired with a ridiculously huge smile plastered on her face. For a second, I didn’t believe my ears.

I was having lunch with one of my mentors and we had been discussing the topic of sex. I wasn’t married at the time, and for some reason the idea of two godly people enjoying sex that much seemed a little too “edgy” for me to hear, much less discuss in the middle of a restaurant.

If I’m completely honest, at the time, it made me feel a little uncomfortable to hear. But then again, there was so much about sex that I had wrong.

But these are the conversations that slowly began opening my eyes and re-shaping the way I viewed sex…and in turn, changing my future.

—-Fast forward 10 years—–

My husband and I have an AWESOME sex life.

Does that make you uncomfortable to hear? My guess is: probably (especially if you happen to be related to me…..).

I wouldn’t typically feel the need to share this fact with you, but even my hesitancy in sharing this fact depicts a continued problem within my own belief system, too.

You see, I’m not here to brag, and I’ll be the first to admit that it took us years of building trust. Our sexual connection wasn’t instantaneous, and we’ve had a lot of learning, practice, and even tears along the way. But what I’m trying to say is that sex has the potential to be more than good- it has the potential to be amazing.

But for some reason, we don’t really talk about that part, do we? 

Want a picture of amazing? Just read the Song of Solomon. A story of two people, madly in love with God and with one another, giving of themselves selflessly for the pleasure and good of the other. Talk about an amazing sex-life. And one that God chose to put smack-dab in the middle of the Holy Bible for us to see, to know, to learn.

But my question is, why is that we hardly hear that side of the story in the Christian culture? Oh, we talk about sex alright, but in a slightly different way. We talk about the dangers of premarital sex, the STD’s, the guilt and shame, the pregnancy out of wedlock.

We speak out about the WRONGS that come with sex, but we forget to focus on the RIGHTS.

But why is it SO comfortable for us to talk about the CONS of sex before marriage, yet so uncomfortable to talk about the PROS after marriage? 

Something is missing in our presentation, because it’s not enough to stay away from the “wrong” if we don’t learn to move into the “right”.


I recently wrote a post about 50 Shades of Grey that went viral with almost 50K shares in just a few days. It flooded my inbox with emails, comments, and messages – and sparked some really great discussion.

The idea of the post was to unveil the dangerous lies that our culture has instilled in us regarding the topic of sex and sexuality. But in doing so, it revealed something else to me….

One thing I noticed sifting through the comments, the conversations, and the emails I received was that oftentimes, Christians in general, including myself, are so good at talking about sex from a negative perspective, yet so hesitant to discuss it in a positive light. But the thing is- both perspectives are JUST as important. 

You see, for so long Christians have been seen as people who are simply out to snuff the flame of sex and sexuality. We’ve been dubbed as “prudes”; men and women with no sexual experience, desire, or interest who think they are “holier” than everyone else.

While many of these lies have been perpetuated by the misunderstanding our culture tends to have regarding Christians, some of these lies have actually stemmed from within the church. And maybe, within each of ourselves.

Many of us have grown up learning to repress, ignore, and stay quiet about our sexual desires and longing for sex. We’ve grown up learning that sex is dangerous, scary, and wrong outside of it’s proper context. We’ve heard analogies that have brought fear, worry, and shame into our definition of sex, and in turn, the way we view our sexuality.

While there are most certainly dangers of taking sex outside of God’s beautiful plan, part of the problem lies in the fact that we’ve failed to balance the conversation with the beauty and blessing of doing sex in God’s way, and in God’s time.

We instill fear, without instilling hope.

We heap shame, instead of offering healing.  

We preach the danger, without proclaiming the blessing.

We encourage people to wait until marriage, but then forget to teach them how to enjoy sex after marriage.

But what if we began to change the way we had this conversation? What if we started focusing on the joys and blessings that come within a fulfilling sex life? What if we could open up a little, and learn to have genuine conversations about the “song of solomon” experience of sex done in God’s way, in God’s time? Because maybe, just maybe, God has a glorious “song” for each one of us to sing within the framework of our holy matrimony.

What if we could show the world a glimpse of something better? What if we could open their eyes to the reality that we don’t need ropes, and chains and whips to feel fulfilled, loved, secure and satisfied?

How could that change the conversation, and in turn, the culture? Simply put, Christians need to stop shaming and start enjoying sex….

  1. Because sex is a great gift- and gifts are meant to be enjoyed.
  2. Because sex done in God’s way and in God’s time is NEVER in vain.
  3. Because the enemy wants to rob us of the deep and intimate connection God longs for us to have within marriage.
  4. Because sex is the glue that binds us together and keeps us anchored to our spouse.
  5. Because sex is HOLY, and through it we have an opportunity to glorify God and get a glimpse of something far greater than ourselves.

Over the next few posts, I plan to tackle this subject a little more, breaking down some of blessings of sex as well as some of the barriers in sex that can come up within marriage. 

If you’d like to add to this conversation, please take a moment to share this article and leave your comment (feel free to comment anonymously…baby steps)! Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, this conversation is for you, too.

Because it’s only when we begin to talk, that things begin to change.

Comment below: What has been your experience with regard to how Christians view sex before and after marriage? How can we make a positive impact in our culture’s view of marital sex?

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life as well as the 21-Days To JumpStart Your Love-Life Program, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 100+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of the True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!