Friday, March 6, 2015

Encouragement to Avoid Erotica by Melinda Viergever Inman

Melinda Viergever Inman
Fifty Shades of Grey makes it plain that many people who write erotica are becoming rich. As Christian authors, we write for a higher purpose; consequently, there are significant reasons not to aim our keyboards toward erotica. 

Prepare to be shocked. I’m going to be transparent.

I read erotica in my teens and twenties. This genre works like pornography in my mind, but in a more powerful way. This could be because I was exposed to porn at a young age, because I have a writer’s brain and am drawn into stories, or because I'm a woman. I don't know. I’m still impacted by what I read decades ago.

The mental images of the sexual acts portrayed in erotica are one reason I now avoid it. By reading erotica I vividly implanted these images in my mind. As a sinner, it's difficult enough to keep pure thoughts. By adding these, I have made it more so.

Do I want to read Fifty Shades of Grey? Yes, I'll admit I do, not only because I love the "bad boy turned good” theme, but also because I’m a writer. I’m curious to see what this author did that made the story so appealing. Is it only the sex?

But, if I’m truly honest, the main reason I’m interested is my aforementioned polluted mind. I’m a sinner, and it is tempting. However, if I read this book or see the movie, new illicit sexual images will join the old, thus adding more temptation.

“God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NLT).

As a follower of Christ, I desire to grow in purity, so reading erotica would be counter-productive. By the grace of God, I resist. I am transparent, because I know what the Bible says. Many people reading my words today face the same struggle.

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13a NLT).

We are all closer to falling than we think. That means if erotica has this effect on me, it affects my readers in a similar fashion. Therefore, I decided long ago not to write it. I don’t want to be culpable for tempting others to sin. Even though I could get rich, I won't do it. I know how powerful the mind is for dragging us into sexual sin in thought or deed. This is where the battle is fought.

In all my fiction, I have tried to keep the intimate scenes safely away from that line. My early readers include several people who proofread my love scenes specifically for that purpose. I want to write realistically to show human failings, temptations, and intimacy, but in a way that is God-honoring.

If this has also been a struggle for you, trust this promise: “God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out” (1 Corinthians 10:13b NLT).

Please, place this before the Lord. What does the Holy Spirit say to you as a writer and as a reader?

Nudged toward evil by Satan, Cain 's hard-hearted hubris results in Abel's murder and Lilith's broken heart when he is banished, splitting the family and propelling mankind toward ever-increasing violence as their siblings seek revenge. Crushed by what he's done, Cain runs, certain he's destroyed Lilith, his parents, and the entire family. With Satan hounding his every move and no idea of the forces arrayed against him, can Cain ever find God after he's committed a sin of such magnitude? Can he ever be forgiven?

Melinda Viergever Inman was raised in the tornado capital of the U.S.—Wakita, Oklahoma, of "Twister" fame. There her parents met. There her roots were sunk in a storytelling family. During years of relocation, tragedy struck. Wounded and heartbroken, Melinda forsook her roots and ran from herself and from God. A journey of trial and heartache brought her home again. A prodigal now returned to her secure foundation, she writes with passion, illustrating God's love for wounded people as he makes beauty from ashes. Refuge is her first novel. Melinda shepherds women in church and in prison ministry. She writes inspirational material and Bible studies. Her six precocious offspring, all grown, teach and inspire her. With her husband and family, she is involved in a church-planting ministry in India: Reaching Indians Ministries International.

You can learn more and connect with Melinda here:


  1. Thanks so much for sharing with such honesty and openness! I'm glad to hear another Christian speak on this. As wives, we don't want our husbands viewing images of other women because we know what that does to their brains — so why are we so willing to subject our own minds to the same sins through what we read (and now, watch on film)?

    If it makes you feel any better, I've not read the books either, but everything I've seen about them says they are atrociously-written... so other than the sinful imagery you're trying to avoid, you're likely not missing much! :)

  2. Thank you, Jessica, for sharing that! I've heard the same about the writing. :) No need for personal analysis of it. :)

    I agree with you so strongly. Husbands AND wives are both called to purity and to keeping the marriage bed undefiled. In thought and in action, we are to enjoy only one another. That's difficult to do if we're both feeding our polluted minds with images and word pictures that inspire lust for others.

  3. Thanks for your transparency, Melinda! As a much younger person - and a Christian - I was also drawn to erotica, but the Holy Spirit made it clear that it wasn't healthy for me. I avoid it because I know how tempting and powerful it can be. It can suck a person in faster than quicksand.

  4. That's for sure, Dawn! I agree wholeheartedly. I was also a Christian when I read it, a young one, but still a Christian.

  5. Thank you, Melinda, for your transparency. I was also exposed at a young age and am drawn to it. I liken it Paul's thorn in the side. I know if I give in, I'll become focused on it, and that won't please God or me. I also know the temptation to get rich is one of the enemy's most effective tools. It diverts our attention from heavenly rewards. So thanks for being brave enough to confront the issue head on, knowing there are "believers" who will judge you harshly. God bless you.

    1. Thank you for your equal transparency, Bruce. Christ Jesus came to save sinners. We are forgiven. Hopefully, our words can encourage others.

  6. Melinda - thanks for your transparency and for being committed to writing books that glorify God.

    1. Terri, thank you for commenting. I love telling stories that illustrate God's mercy. Novels are the parables of our day.

  7. Go Melinda! I echo all the comments here already, especially that it took a mountain of courage and boldness to share your struggle. Stay strong! Hugs, my friend.

  8. Thanks, Dora! God bless! Jesus came to save sinners.


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