Wednesday, June 24, 2009
My dad sent me a link to this article
This wasn't a new idea to me but something good to reflect on, especially since we are having a little girl (who will probably dream of love and romance). To summarize, the author speaks about women today being infatuated with romance novels and movies and how this can lead to sin and discontentment in our lives.
In college I was an English Literature major and thus I have read and loved every classic book out there, for the most part. My favorites were definitely those by Jane Austin, the Bronte sisters and Christina Rossetti. In most, if not all of these books, characters are looking for and sometimes finding love and marriage. This article compares this type of reading to basically "girl-porn". I thought the argument was well laid out and thought out but I'm not totally on board (though I think the author herself was very balanced in her view as well). I do think that chick flicks and even some drama depict life to all people, but especially women, in an unrealistic way. I refuse to see most movies that involve a lot of sex or even romantic trauma because I have enough of that in real life and because it often makes me yearn for a different life than the simple one I already have. Example A.... PS. I Love You. I really don't understand why any one would want to see this movie. Since we live in the dark ages with out tv and commercials (which I am so thankful for) I had not heard of this movie until my sister mentioned it to me. I asked her what it was about and gave her permission to "ruin it" for me. She told me that it was about this newly married couple and how the husband dies....wait...stop... no thank you. Did I mention that at the time I was a newlywed girl myself, often overcome by fear and anxiety that this very thing would happen to my beloved? So why on earth would I go and torture myself like that? There is so much real pain in life, I don't need to be crying for this actress and her fake man. And, PS. if you are a husband to a young wife... it is a really sweet idea to set things up for her in advance to remind her that you loved her but there is also a point where you need to let her move on... I mean was she ever going to find normalcy with letters randomly appearing from her dead husband!?
Oh, I digress.
So, about the novels. Yes, I think that often times these novels make us women discontent with the men that we do have in our lives and we often make our standards different from God's standards. But I would argue that most women do not even need these books to deviate from God's standards. I remember in middle school, long before my reading days began in earnest, we had to list characteristics we would like to see in a husband and I really remember some of the stuff we said and it stuck with me and some things, shallow though they were, were really hard to get over since we had held on to them for so long. Things that were on my group's list: big hands, short nails, long hair, dark hair, tall, blue eyes, strong, play guitar, play sports, tan.... gag. Why did our teachers even let us write these things down?!?! I don't even remember being encouraged to know what godly characteristics in a spouse might be (until I was much older at least... any my parents did teach me at home).
SO, while I do think that women who find themselves obsessed with these books and discontent with life should refocus... I also think that it can be good to read the classics and redeem the good in them. (For instance, a dislike for pride and a love for honesty and charity).
On a different note, it's important for those of us who are married or just older and wiser (I'm the married but not the wiser) to inform the next generation about God's standards for marriage. It is important for women to teach other women what it looks like to be a godly wife. It is important we let others learn from our mistakes and triumphs in dating and marriage so that they can become wise women to teach the generation after them. It wasn't until college that I heard that I wasn't supposed to be hunting a spouse or that the man of my dreams might be some one I least expected (and it was!).
So, to begin this endeavor myself, I am going to post installments of my love story. I think that the story of how Drew and I became husband and wife is just as intense and thrilling as any book on the shelves and so I am going to share it, in detail, with all of you and hope that through it I can convey the ways God changed both of our hearts and how those changes made a foundation (on Christ) that has not failed us in marriage.