Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Twilight Tuesday 2

What is it about the Twilight series that is so intoxicating to girls and women alike?  God made woman, whether young or old, for his own purposes and with qualities to enable those purposes.  As I pointed out in Wooing Wisdom, romance creates a feeling of value in women.   Women, no matter what age, will equate pursuit of our time and attention with a feeling of safety.   Bella is pursued in a “loving” way by so many characters in the books that it would be impossible not to feel wanted, adored, and…safe.  God created us to be the moon to His sun; to reflect a need for relationship.  We need a relationship with God.  There is safety in that relationship.  We can name the craving (romance) but we forget the reason we have the craving in the first place (to lead us to God).
            There are also some great books out there on love languages and how we prefer to be told we are loved, but the fact that we are looking for that love is indisputable.  We know we should be sought after, but we might have forgotten that God was already putting great effort and time (thousands of years) into winning our hearts.  Do our daughters know that Jesus knew exactly what he was getting into when he went to Jerusalem?  As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem,” (Luke 9:51).  Jesus knowingly walked into a very painful death for them because he cared so much for their souls. 
            In a world of fast food and texting, God’s love and attention is not…as immediately satisfying.  With billboards, magazine covers, television ads, and internet gossip/news; romance is often confused with the flesh that is plastered all over.  To some of our daughters, romance might mean physical pleasure plus roses or jewelry.  It is a tragedy that we are inundated with images and music so whitewashed with sex and bling that we forget true love and romance.  It is so easy to pick up a bad habit but so hard to break one. 
            God loves our daughters.  He is the Lover of their souls.  God romances them by giving them his time and undivided attention.  I only have three children and this is impossible for me, but God does this for all of us every second of every day. God romances our daughters by giving them gifts; spiritual gifts, talents, ideas, sunsets, hot coco and a good book on a cold rainy day…the list goes on.  If this is a concept new to you, mom, that is okay.  Let your daughter see your delight as you discover all the ways that God is courting you. 
The gift of wisdom, or discernment, in romance is truly the gift that keeps on giving for the rest of our daughters’ lives.    The simple understanding that as women, young or old, we are typically drawn to fiction where characters share deep emotional relationships is a huge deal.  If our daughters can see that craving in themselves and understand why God put it there, perhaps it will make it easier for them to find healthy relationship with people who respect them for all the right reasons.
There are so many scripture passages that remind us to stay away from and even to flee from those people and things that would blind us to the truth of God’s desire to be a part of our lives.  It might not occur to your daughter that just because her boyfriend says he is a Christian that he would be up to the task of romancing her in the way that God intended.  There is a difference in being a Christian and acting like a Christian.  Do our daughters know the difference?
God is relational in nature and women are a reflection of this.  Look at the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10; God desires us to be in relationship with Him, not rushing around doing things in His name.  Men are just not quite the role model here.  God had Jesus interacting with women to demonstrate this principle of strong connection because women were made to reflect this aspect of God.  Your daughters will likely be drawn to fiction that shows strong emotional bonds, whether those are healthy relationships or not. 
As I said, I want my daughters to be exposed to this type of fiction at some point so that we can talk about whether the emotional connections in the stories are healthy or not.  I want them to experience plenty of healthy emotional connections now but at a certain point I want to give them room to experience setting boundaries against unhealthy relationships too.  Assuming we all do our best to expose our daughters to and to model healthy Godly relationships; how can we let our daughters practice setting boundaries with potentially unhealthy relationships?  The answer can be tricky.  How can we do this without putting them in harm’s way?  I don’t believe that dating is the only way for girls to experience this.  What do you think? 

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.      Romans 13:14

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an ever-lasting love; I have drawn you with loving –kindness.”     Jeremiah 31:3

“Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness.  I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine.”     Ezekiel 16:8 (grab your Bible and read down through verse 19 for how God romanced His people.)


  1. I love your ideas, Tamara! A couple of thoughts came to mind after reading this post.

    First of all, I agree completely that dating is not the only way for girls to learn to set boundaries. In the beautiful relationships I've seen that are the result of courtships, the girls' fathers have had the role of first deciding whether the man is the type of man that he professes to be. This is a huge part of protecting a daughter from harm.

    Second, one thing that we've done with our boys (my girls are still too young) is to talk with them about our own personal experiences. I dated several young men before meeting Alex, and in retrospect, I learned so much through that experience. Most of what I learned was through heartbreak. If I can prevent my children from suffering unnecessary heartbreak by openly sharing with them my experience, I've done what God intended and helped turn the heartbreak into something good.

    Finally, I love your idea of using fiction as a springboard for discussion with your daughters about relationships and whether the emotional connections involved are healthy. This year, my oldest son is reading some of the great ancient works of literature and is coming across some pretty mature stuff. I shuddered at first, but has turned out to be such a growing experience for him and a fantastic opportunity for us to talk with him about some real life issues that we probably wouldn't have had the occasion to discuss otherwise.

  2. Lark! It has been such a long time. Listen up ladies, I may not be able to use Lark’s girls as an example but I have seen how her boys are turning out and Lark is wiser than she will admit.
    The decision to allow our daughters to date, wait, or choose courtship is one I know that many parents are currently struggling over. I am so glad for some of the great books and even youth speakers out there now who are addressing this issue. My daughters love to listen to the music of the Barlow Girls; three sisters who have never even held a boy’s hand. Their music is so encouraging for my girls’ self-esteem compared to the love you/hate you songs that play on popular radio stations.
    Thank you for commenting, Lark! And please feel free to continue doing so. :)

  3. Reading this post and Lark's comments, I just want to say that I'm inspired to do these two things: 1. read good fiction that would address these "maturing" issues
    2. Increasingly internalize His love for me and guide my children through the wondrous discovery of how God romances us and how that bears upon her expectations and anticipations for her own future relationships.

    (Sorry for the delayed post.)