Family Matters: A Good Book
By Amy Gentry
Both of my daughters have begged me for years to let them watch two of the popular teenage epic movies that were based on a series of novels, Harry Potter and Twilight. As tweens and middle school girls, I thought that they were just too young to be watching movies of that caliber. I had a host of very justifiable and noble reasons: an immature spiritual walk might cause them question what they believe, the story lines are not consistent with scripture, and a love dramas so intense they develop a preconceived (but wrong) idea of what a loving relationship should look like. I wanted my daughters to become obsessed with loving God and being loved by Him before they became obsessed with boys and being loved by them.
As my girls reached high school, they were very obedient for years by not watching any of these movies while at friends’ houses. They endured great peer pressure and a hoard of questions “why, what’s wrong with them, I watch them” and statements like, “Your mom is a crazy Christian.”
When my oldest daughter was approaching high school, I spoke with her and told her that I was confident she was maturing in her faith and she had a firm foundation in scripture. We discussed praying for the Lord to guard her heart until God brings her a man that would become her husband and guard their heart. I let her know that she could now watch the “forbidden” movies. There was one stipulation- “YOU HAVE TO READ THE BOOKS FIRST!” I would buy the books and rent the movies, but she had to do the work.
I then had the same conversation with my younger daughter as well when she was approaching high school. This was particularly challenging for her because she is not a natural born reader and this first book of the series was amazingly thick. She did it. She read the gigantic book in a week. She was so proud of herself and reveled in the knowledge that she knew all of the other details of the movie that were left on the cutting room floor.