Sunday, April 26, 2009

But Kim...

Twilight Part 5
(Previous Posts: Wall-E, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

I'm going to use this post to answer some questions and some concerns that y'all've been so gracious to send to me (if you're not from the south that would read...that you have all been so gracious...). I'll give a sample comment or question and then provide a brief response (Hey. I heard that.).

So, if I read the book and liked it, I'm in sin.
I have no idea. I'm very, very clear that all I could look at is the outside. It's God that would have to see into your heart to know it. You probably do, too. Let's say you were reading along and thought...Seriously, around here we call sneaking into someone's house to watch her sleep, stalking. Or you thought...Okay. Come on, Bella. Enough about his breath. Or perhaps it passed through your mind...if my daughter thinks this is what it's going to be like when she's 17, she's in for a huge disappointment. But the story's fun. Or even...She's in love with another. Good grief, that's bad. Then you may not have swallowed it whole and put up posters inside your closet door so your friends don't see it. If you keep justifying everything they do in the books as right? You find yourself wanting to be in their world rather than yours? It's a problem you should consider.

And if in reading them, you keep thinking that I'm going a little far and you really don't think this is such a big deal? Well, if we live near each other then I hope to see you soon, give you a big hug, and ask how everything's going. I hope to love you well, and that you'll do the same while we both keep in mind that God is faithful to us both to bring us to completion. He'll get it right in us both eventually. I can be 'bout you?

What about the good stuff that's in it...the way Edward keeps her from giving in...the fact that he loves her for who she is not what she does...that he delights in her...etc.?
I'm right there with you. Good stuff. Call good, good. Call evil, evil. (Isaiah 5:20)

Shouldn't we let our girls read it so they see those good things?
How discerning is your daughter? How settled in Christ? How content with the way God made her? Struggling to awaken love before it's time? (Song of Solomon 2:7) Content with the way God made her and firm on how God instituted marriage and why it exists?

Do you talk with as much passion about the Word to her? Have you read the Bible with her...talked about it the way you talked about the book?

That's more what's on my mind than whether or not she's read this specific book. But shouldn't we show her good models of values we're looking for? Sure. But can't you pick a better book that doesn't need as much explaining and filtering and searching the Word??

On a side note, one mom commented that Bella does nothing to attract Edward and wanted her girls to see that. I looked again at Twilight and read a ton of quotes from the other books (haven't read them), and I've got to say I strongly disagree. If I'm watching Cassie and guy and she says and does what Bella does, I'd...well, she knows what I'd do...and it won't be pretty. I find out she's got journal entries like this? We've got so much work to do in understanding what responding looks like. One wise woman said it like this...Guard your heart. Some courtships advance all the way to the altar. Some don’t. Keep your heart at the same level as the commitment. Don’t let your heart race ahead. Sound like Bella??

Okay, Kim, but what about Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, etc.? Or Christian books like Redeeming Love? If we take this tack, should we ban all romance movies, TV and books?
Maybe. I have no idea how they're affecting you or how poorly they reflect Christ. When it comes to a movie like Pride and Prejudice (and I'm thinking of the book and BBC good, by the way) which all my girls have seen several times, there were several places we've talked...Lydia and Mr. Wickham's relationship and the pushy aggressiveness she and her sister display...Elizabeth's tendency to jump to conclusions without getting to know what motivates people...her and Mr. Darcy's pride which stand in the way of communicating...willingness to wait and grieve deeply but reflectively like Jane...Mr. Darcy doing good quietly behind the scenes, not wanting applause from men...Elizabeth's admission that she was a fool and her willingness to say so to everyone.

Love that book. And there's some problems with it, when it calls good what is not reflective of Christ's marriage plan for us (e.g. whiny manipulation isn't seen as good, but not ever seen as anything but expected). We talk about those as well. But for me, the time spent talking and pondering those issues are worth the effort. Maybe you wouldn't think so or it would feed some desire within you that would make you weaker to temptation. You decide.

At least we could say that Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love was written with the Word in mind. You can read the book of Hosea to see what it portrays. I wouldn't let your jr. high daughter read that one either. Cassie has, but I'll wait a few years to even offer it to Aisley even though it's great. But the same holds true. Michael, the main character, is a strong leader, full of faith. And I remember when I was reading it that it moved me in good ways, but I know that I am also sometimes tempted to dream about what it might be like to married to a guy like him instead of Wayne, especially during football season! It is not good for me to read most fiction at night during the fall. I'm just more tempted toward discontentment. I have to know it and fight it by fleeing from these sorts of things. You decide how you might do right now.

I'm with you...but she's already read them. Now what?
Read them. Talk about them. If in reading them you feel the conviction that you shouldn't have allowed that to happen, at least without reading them together, please just tell her. Tell her that you're sorry. She'll probably brush it off a little...saying she really liked them. Just say it again and mean it. Tell her you'll try to do better next time. Then tell her you'd like to spend some conversations with her talking about some of the ideas, propositions and scenes and how they match up to or oppose Scripture. Then you gotta get busy in the Word, don't you??

Will I ever get to read a book or watch a TV show or movie if this challenge is true?
Sure. Do so without thought, discernment and a renewed mind? Hopefully not. Rejoice in what is darkness and bitterness in God's view? If He is so gracious, we'll all grow to approve only of what is excellent...and so be pure and blameless in the Day of Christ Jesus. I'm right there with you. Let's keep running together.

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