What kind of woman are you becoming? What kind of woman do you long to be? It's a fair question and one that we should be regularly asking ourselves so that we can steer ourselves in the right direction. I was meditating on this the other day and out of nowhere the phrase "sensual saint" blossomed in my mind. It fits perfectly with who I want to be and more importantly, who I believe the Creator wants me to be.
Maybe that seems like a contradiction to you. After all, sensual probably isn't the first word that would come to mind if I asked you to describe some of the female "saints" in the history of faith and spirituality. Among the woman I would count in that group are Joan of Arc, Catherine of Siena, and Teresa of Avila. Teresa of Avila in particular wrote of a spiritual encounter that was charged with sensuality, a passage most commonly referred to as "The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa". Below are fragments taken from the passage that give a picture of her encounter.
"I saw in his (the angel's) hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron's point there seemed to be a ... fire. He... thrust it at times into my heart... and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so... sweet... that I could not wish to be rid of it."
While most of us probably won't share in that type of encounter on earth, we were crafted with a sensual nature. Spicy. Sweet. We were made to be consumed by sensuality and to enjoy it. Where that enjoyment stems from makes all the difference in the world though. Blogger Melissa Jenna has written a brief and fabulous post addressing the trend of women flocking to a book like 50 Shades of Grey and movies such as Magic Mike. You can read it here. One thing she nailed on the head: Striving for spiritual purity and consuming this "erotic entertainment" can NOT go hand in hand.
It isn't okay.
Maybe you consider yourself liberated and don't have a problem with men or women using erotic writing or movies to turn themselves on. There's a fine line there though. On one hand the Song of Solomon metaphorically references oral sex right there in the middle of the Bible and is considered one of the most erotic pieces of historical writing in existence. On the other hand you have women so stimulated by outside influence that their own husbands don't turn them on anymore.
What's a girl to do?
Even if Magic Mike or 50 Shades wouldn't cause you to lust, the fact that you would consume that particular movie/book knowing the topic tells me that to a certain degree you have accepted the content and are enjoying it. Do you morally agree with stripping? Do you believe that BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism) and sex outside of marriage leads to spiritually and emotionally healthier individuals and families?
If you answered yes then either your conscious is dead or you are determined to have your erotic entertainment no matter the cost. In Revelation 3:16 the Creator says, "Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth."
Grey... lukewarm... there may be 50 different shades and 50 different temperatures but in the end it's all the same. A waste.