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Rethinking Hollywood’s Bogus Version of Love and Romance

By: Bethany Beal

I pulled into the coffee shop parking lot and headed inside to quickly order my latte. Early mornings and I do not go well together.

After a few sips of coffee, my brain slowly started creeping towards a somewhat functioning mode.

Why I decided to lead an early morning Bible study…I’m not sure.

I guess I assumed the girls I invited wouldn’t want to get up that early. Wrong assumption! They loved the idea. With perky little smiles and energy beyond my understanding, the girls slowly started trickling in and gathering around for our weekly girl talk and Bible time.

The girls and I were having great conversations when somehow, someway, our topic took a sharp right turn. Out of nowhere one of the girls dropped the name of a super popular chick flick. I think she was trying to connect something from the movie to the topic at hand… maybe…I’m not really sure.

The girls didn’t care what the connection was.

They were like a pack of dogs that had instantly spotted a big furry squirrel. Their focus had totally shifted to the movie and our conversation was now completely consumed with talk of this chick flick.

“Oh my goodness. Can you believe He ended up with her? I think they’re an awful pair. I was so disappointed.” One girl commented.

“Are you kidding me? I love them together. They are so cute.” Another responded.

The chatter continued for a solid fifteen minutes straight.

Instead of refocusing the girls, I decided to let them chat to their heart’s content. I was curious what they, a group of young Christian women, thought about this movie. Without having to pry, I was getting a sneak peak inside their thoughts and got to hear them talk about something they loved.

The conversation did eventually end.

Despite the fact that the movie (from what I know of it) is filled with all sorts of language, major sexual content, and just straight up garbage, the girls only had good things to say about it.

There was no talk of how we, as Christian girls, should view a movie like that.

No talk of a Biblical perspective.
No talk of how far off this movie was from God’s design for love.
No talk of how wrong sex outside of marriage is.
No talk of how painful adultery is.
No talk of consequences.

There were only sighs and squeals as they talked about the movie.

Movies like that only encourage the idea that we can completely ignore God’s design for love, sex, and romance, and still have lasting satisfying results. It’s this idea that Hollywood can define love however they want and always achieve a happily-ever-after.

Sex before marriage? Absolutely.
Love based on sparks and chemistry? Of course.
The blurring of gender distinctions? Yes, please.
Following my heart wherever it leads? Duh.

The list goes on.

Instead of buying into this idea that Hollywood’s version of romance actually satisfies and works long term, we need to begin asking some probing questions. We need to look beyond the movie credits and seriously look at the results of Hollywood-defined relationships.

Not what the perfectly edited, beautifully portrayed, two-hour movie says works. We need something more concrete. Something with proven results.

Think through these questions with me.

If Hollywood’s script for love and romance works so well, why is lasting love so hard to find?
If sex outside of marriage satisfies, why does it always leave us empty and needing more?
If adultery is cute and romantic in the movies, why is it so incredibly painful in real life?
If lasting relationships are the goal, why is divorce rampant?
If having a healthy, stable family is desirable, why are families more broken than ever?
If one night stands are so fun and thrilling, why does it leave us so miserable?

When those questions are answered in movies, they can be answered in a way that makes us believe culture-defined love actually works. But, when we dig deeper and look at the results in real life, with real people, and real families, we see something completely different.

Instead of blindly watching whatever garbage Hollywood drops our way, we as Christian girls, need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

We need to carefully evaluate the shows and movies we are putting in front of our eyes. We need to make wise decisions. We need to consider what we’re sticking into our minds (Phil. 4:8-9).

I love how Jerry Bridges so wisely warns us:

“The sin of worldliness is a preoccupation with the things of this temporal life. It’s accepting and going along with the views and practices of society around us without discerning if they are biblical. I believe that the key to our tendencies toward worldliness lies primarily in the two words ‘going along’. We simply go along with the values and practices of society.”

Let’s choose to be girls who don’t just “go along” with whatever movies Hollywood throws at us. Let’s use wisdom and carefully discern what we are sticking before our eyes. Let’s be intentional to choose movies that are honoring to God and helpful in our walk with Him.

Making it personal…

  • What changes do you need to make with your movie choices?
  • Are you willing to “sacrifice” your movie intake for the sake of honoring God?


girl at coffee shop

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