After reading the title of my post, “What My Debut Book Has in Common with Fifty Shades,” you just might need to pick your chin up off the floor.
No, I haven’t read any of the books in the Fifty Shades trilogy or seen either of the first two book-based movies.
Nor do I have any desire or intention to.
For research purposes, though, I have checked out several online articles.
If you breathe air and don’t live in a cave, then you’ve likely heard about this twisted, sexually explicit series.
In a nutshell, Fifty Shades of Grey is about how an inexperienced twenty-something girl’s natural longing to be pursued and romanced drives her into the arms of a wealthy sociopath who convinces her to consent to sadistic sex.
True confession. There was a decade in my life (my early twenties to early thirties) when I might have been easily drawn into this erotic series—hook, line, and sinker.
During that time, I was on a personal quest—in hot pursuit of my Mr. Perfect—the one man who would ride into my life on a white stallion, sweep me off my feet, and whisk me away into the sunset of Happily Ever After.
Yeah, I really believed that life was supposed to happen like it did in the movies, the Harlequin and Danielle Steel romances, and soap operas. Nobody ever told me any different!
You might be tempted to label me as naive and gullible, but my craving for passion and romance was a very real, driving force in the destruction of my first marriage and the termination of my short and not-so-sweet second marriage.
In November 1996, I found myself a twice-divorced, disillusioned mess, living with the consequences of the choices I made.
Choices that not only caused a lot of personal, emotional damage, but also resulted in tons of collateral damage.
And frankly, there is no doubt in my mind that my voracious appetite to be romanced would have also led to the ultimate demise of marriage #3 (now twenty years strong by God’s grace)—had it not been for God’s passionate intervention.
One early morning, five years into my marriage to Steven, I found myself whining to Jesus about the lack of romance I was getting from him.
That’s when He immersed me into another grace reel:
Jesus and I were in a canoe on a very still river surrounded by beautiful mountains and landscape. He was rowing, and I sat facing Him, just resting. I noticed that the blue in His eyes matched the color of the sky and the river. Then He said, “I want to be your romance, Kim! Let Me romance your heart, and you will never be disappointed!”
This grace-saturated motion picture launched me into a divine romance with the Perfect Lover of my heart and I have never been the same.
The one book of the Bible that Christ kept drawing me to during that time was the Song of Solomon, nestled right smack-dab in the middle of His holy Word.
I believe God strategically placed it there because its message is central to His heart.
This highly symbolic and poetic book has more than one interpretation. Its literal interpretation celebrates love in an earthly marriage and has only existed within the last one hundred years.
Many marriages have been strengthened through studies based on the Song’s literal interpretation.
Its allegorical (symbolic) interpretation, however, is its most ancient interpretation.
Orthodox Jews view the Song as a love story between Jehovah and His people, Israel, and is read every Sabbath and every year at Passover.
But, because of its graphically sensual literal interpretation—it was at one time forbidden reading until the age of thirty.
This was an attempt to lessen the chances of the Song’s poetic prose being read through carnal, rather than spiritual, eyes.
Another allegorical view of the Song—the one I strongly adhere to—is that it vividly illustrates the epic love story between Christ, the eternal Spiritual Bridegroom, and His bride, the church.
Its intent is to launch Christ’s bride into the depths of His fiery love for her as she meditates on it.
This symbolic view has nothing to do with physical gender, but everything to do with holy, spiritual union with the Perfect Lover of our heart (1 Cor. 3:17; 6:17).
In my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love: An intimate, interactive study of the Song of Solomon, chapters 1 & 2, I share my journey in coming to know Christ as my Spiritual Bridegroom and His greatest longing for His bride, the church: to experience wondrous delight in intimacy with Him.
Now, you might be wondering, What in the world does your book have in common with Fifty Shades?
I’ll tell you how in closing:
His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love spotlights Christ’s Bridegroom love as the ultimate, eternal fulfillment of humanity’s longing to be passionately pursued by perfect, no-strings-attached love.
The Fifty Shades Trilogy, on the other hand, is a temporary, destructive counterfeit of that ultimate fulfillment.
Dear reader, do you realize that your longing to be passionately pursued by perfect, no-strings-attached love was put there by God so that you would allow His love and His life to be your ultimate fulfillment?
Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!
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Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070