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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Chick-Flicks...are we affected?

Emma, Jax, Matt & Erin and I went to see Enchanted yesterday.
It was pretty good. We liked it.
But I have to tell you...the affect it had on my daughter was startling...almost disturbing.
If you don't know Emma, I'll give you a brief summary. Tomboy. She adores climbing trees. She loves animals maybe more than people. She rides horses. She runs around on all fours like a horse most of the time (at a freakishly amazing speed, I might add. It's pretty remarkable.) She plays well with boys and girls, but she plays with brothers all day, and is like a kindred spirit to Hayden Hendrick. Oh, and she hates dresses.
So my Emma is watching this movie, with every Disney princess rolled into one personified in this character. (Played very well too!) It starts out as animated, but becomes real life. It's almost completely about finding true love, "true love's kiss" which is said about 100 times, dating, and marriage.
I noticed during the movie, Emma was swooning, for lack of a better word.
She was intent on the "true love kisses" and this started the barrage of questions.
During the movie, and after, she is asking us,
Can I go on a date before I get married?
How many dates? 1? 5? 364?
Daddy, do you like kissing?
Will God give me a husband?
Can I kiss him?
Will he be my one true love?
Can we go home so I can put on a dress?
That's when I stopped in my tracks. A dress? What?
I was saying before we ever left the movie, let's talk about this later with your Daddy.
There were so many things to address after this movie!
This well-made chick-flick combined with Disney princess fairytale had a powerful affect on my little girl's mind!
First, as soon as we got in the car, I let her know that she didn't have to find a husband to have the "Happily Ever After" (another frequent phrase in the movie.) She could have that with the Lord without ever getting married. I know she doesn't understand that yet, but she needs to hear it.
She said she really hopes God gives her a husband.
Then we talked about True Love's kiss could be on her wedding day. Those people going around kissing people before they're married is not the best idea.
I know this sounds crazy to some, or totally unrealistic, but you can go back to some of my dating posts to see a lot of thought and consideration of scripture goes into that idea. We are going to teach our children from a young age what it means to flee from sexual immorality. It's going to seem extreme to the world, but if they truly choose this way, I'm 100% positive they'll never regret it. I can garuntee heartache if they don't, however.
Then we talked about how Daddy is my one true love, and yes we really like kissing, as MARRIED people, but that first our joy and contentment is in the Lord. People are searching for something that only God can give them.
But she could wear a pretty dress, and dance around, and kiss on her wedding day, if God plans that for her. But God's plans would be the best for her, we can rest assured.
To see my seven-year-old daughter so affected by this chick-flick, it reiterates to me how we as women are all affected by them.
I like chick-flicks a lot! Maybe not some of the super, super cheesy ones, but the semi-cheesy ones I enjoy.
But as a married woman, I have to keep in perspective that my amazing husband and our relationship does not have to be like a movie. In fact, I think these movies could easily breed discontentment in relationships if a woman let it. I'm incredibly blessed to have a beautiful love story of my own! And I'm not kidding! I have an amazing husband that I am still completely enamored with after 10 years! He's everything I could hope for and more!!! But our day to day interactions don't look like the closing 10 minutes of Notting Hill, ya know? More like Cheaper by the Dozen.
For single women, I've heard some say they have to avoid the chick-flicks. They can't fight the urge to fixate on those things they don't have yet. Again, discontentment could easily set in. I think it's wise to assess your heart first and make sure your contentment, joy, and thankfulness is not obliterated in a 2 hour span.
I will honestly be a little more careful about these movies for my daughter. I like this movie. I think I would just rather my Emma watch movies about animals and horses and silly kid stuff than kissy face, adult relationships that are not in her reach for another 15 years (let's hope.)
Oh, one proud moment during the movie was when the Princess was wearing a wedding dress showing cleavage, and Jax leaned over and told me she wasn't dressed modestly! Wow! Hey girls, if we ever wonder what is modest, ask my kids. They recognize it immediately.
Thoughts on the chick flicks?


Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

100%...Grade A...Absolutely...Soapbox we are affected!!!

I do believe Chick flicks breed uncontentment. God has brought me to a place in my life where I am completely content, but if I watch these films, satan can rear his ugly head and make me doubt what God has done in my heart.

I do not believe that it is weird or far fetched to believe that our children can remain pure until they are married. We as parents just have to work very hard at ingraining that in their minds and pray that God would make that the desire of THEIR hearts.

I will tell you teaching our children (boys and girls) at an early age does pay off...Michael came home one day when he was in kindergarten and asked me "mom, when do I get to kiss a girl", I told him mater of factly that one day God would bring him a wife and he could kiss her.

I still hear him say if he sees people on TV or movie kiss "they must be married, or that is not ok, they are not married"

Fortunately Alex says when the girls chase him, he runs...I tell him to keep running!!!

The Roberts' said...

i think you have done an amazing job of protecting your children from things that will affect them & attempt to make them think like the world. those things are so hard to avoid when its all around us!! i definitely think talking through those questions & issues is the best way to teach your kids to recognize that the things the world does are not necessarily what we should do, & why!

Meg said...

Okay, so I'm 21, recently married, and here's what I have to say about the kissing issue:

I regret EVERY romantic kiss I gave or received before I was married. Even the ones from my now-husband, because more often than not they led to places we should never have gone.

Love your daughters like Jenn loves hers! I wish someone had given me that advice when I still ran around on all fours pretending to be a horse.