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I cannot even count the number of young women I have met who’s favorite movie was the 2004 “chick flick” The Notebook. The movie portrays a beautiful romance; showcasing a sweet older couple at the end of their lives who are still passionately in love. It paints a vivid picture of the lifelong love story that we all desire, and shows us a man who is so devoted to the love of his life that he stays by her side, tenderly cherishing her, even when she is struck with Alzheimer’s and can’t remember who he is. What girl wouldn’t get teary-eyed at such a display? And yet, as the movie flashes back to this couple’s younger days, it implies that this kind of beautiful, lifelong love story can be discovered through shallow, sensual attraction, animalistic pre-marital sex, rebellion against parents, breaking of promises, and betrayal of trust.
Not only are the sex scenes in this movie lengthy and graphic, they portray a patently false and dangerous message. There is no way to discover Christ-like, lasting love without following Christ’s pattern. Build a relationship the way that couple did, and I guarantee you are going to end up with heartache, bitterness, and misery, not the “happily ever after” ending you see in the movie. But The Notebook makes sin seem so right, so good, and so noble. When sin is so beautifully and artistically portrayed, it is easy to allow Hollywood movie makers to subtly shape our thinking, even on a subconscious level. Look at how well their love story turned out, we start reasoning, and they had sex before marriage. It was so sweet and beautiful; I can’t imagine that it was wrong. They were just following their hearts! Maybe I should not be so uptight about this whole purity thing after all.
One young woman I talked to, after seeing a handful of movies that portrayed affairs as beautiful and right (rather than selfish and sinful) became convinced that it was okay for people to leave their marriage partner for someone else if they found their “soul mate.”
I cannot help but wonder why we as Christ-professing young women are so willing to submit our minds and emotions to an industry that openly mocks the purity and righteousness of our Heavenly Prince. Most of us are far more influenced by pop culture than we are by the Word of God. We can quote our favorite lines from 100 different chick flicks, but the only Scripture we know is John 3:16.
It is time that we allow the Word of God, not the glamorized lies of Hollywood to become the cornerstone of our convictions, thoughts, and attitudes. It is time we trade the emptiness of pop culture entertainment for the real-life adventure of a Christ-built existence. Only then will truth reign and rule in our lives. Only then will our lives make an eternal impact for His glory.*