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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?


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26 Responses to Rethinking Hollywood’s Bogus Version of Love and Romance

  1. Rachel M. says:

    Good job girls! This is a very true post. I am amazed at how many Christians seem to support all the sinfulness that Hollywood paints in a good light. It is hard to get away from secular, inappropriate movies these days, but that does not give us an excuse to watch them. Thank you for standing up for truth. Keep up the good work!

    Also, I asked this in another comment thread, and saw it in some other comments, but what do y’all think about Christians going to see the live action Beauty and the Beast? There is a gay scene in the movie, and I think that going to see that promotes that lifestyle. What are your thoughts on the issue?

    • Brooke M. says:

      Thanks! I was thinking the same thing about Beauty and the Beast! So many people are compromising to see it, including Christians, and I wanted to see their thoughts on it.

      I hope to see a response soon!

      This was a wonderful post! Thanks Bethany!

      • Katie says:

        Here are my thoughts.

        Inside Out has a married woman fantasizing about another man.
        The Toy Story movies have an implied divorced mother and sexual jokes throughout the films
        Brave has pagan beliefs that are evil unto God
        ALL Disney princess movies have occultic magic and sexual jokes
        Moana has rebellion against parental authority and nudity
        Mulan has ancestor worship, nudity, and parental rebellion
        The Hunchback of Notre Dame has so many vile things I can’t even cover them all. A decent message does not give this movie a pass.
        The Lion King has mystical and spiritual elements not caused by God
        Zootopia has parental rebellion, interspecies relationships (a stand-in for LGBTQ relationships), and many sexualized animals
        Fantasia has magic
        The Sword in the Stone has sorcery
        Brother Bear has mysticism and pagan beliefs
        Pinocchio has magic, fairies, drinking, and bad language
        Alice in Wonderland has occultic imagery and parental rebellion
        101 Dalmatians has bad language and smoking
        Lilo and Stitch has men dressing as women and nudity
        Peter Pan has magic, nudity, racism, and parental rebellion
        Hercules is promoting pagan beliefs
        Pocahontas promotes pagan beliefs and has nudity
        The Black Cauldron- it’s in the title for crying out loud
        Finding Dory has an implied lesbian couple and transgender stingray

        If people are going to get mad over something like this, then they best get rid of anything in their life that goes against the word of God.

        • ameera says:

          So what do you mean (just wondering) do you think that people are overreacting?

          • Katie says:

            I definitely think that people are overreacting. My personal opinion on LGBTQ rights aside, why get so mad about a short scene being in a movie? People who profess to be Christians don’t seem to get mad about the other things I listed, so why get mad about this? It makes no sense.

          • ameera says:

            Exactly hypercrits!!!! The director himselfadmitted that he exaggerated when he told the press about that one scene

          • Katie says:

            I think Christianity is inherently hypocritical, but that’s just me.

    • Gabriela says:

      First I want to congratulate you for being a young Christian girl that strives to honor God in every area, even such a small one like movies.

      About Beauty and the Beast, I did some research and found that this scene is between [SPOILER ALERT] Gaston and Le Fou. Le Fou is portrayed as being the “gay character” of the movie, as he continually follows Gaston around and does everything to keep Gaston happy. This shouldn’t be news to anyone that watched the cartoon version as a child. In the original film Le Fou was there to show how greedy and self- absorbed Gaston is, never to directly show himself as having homosexual behaviors. I haven’t watched the movie yet -it’s not out where I live- but from what I understand at one point Gaston and Le Fou seem to kiss.

      I would like to point out that those LGBT people who are going to watch this half-a-second moment will feel like they were honored and praised and all that stuff. But the movie is aimed for young children and older teens who want to relive a classic. I personally doubt any child would purposefully watch Beauty and the Beast for the gay part. Let’s be honest: a young child is there for Belle’s pretty dress and the music. We as Christian teens will be there with the intentions of watching our favorite characters come to life. You see, it’s all about the heart and our motivations.

      I think everyone -both Christians and non-Christians- is making a big deal out of this one little scene, as if it were the first time Disney promotes homosexuality or sends subliminal messages. Sorry to break a bubble, but the cartoon Disney we all watched as kids was PACKED with straight-out not-so-subliminal messages: and we all survived! I was raised Christian -I am a Christian- and I remember my mom would always talk to me about the good and the bad of movies after I watched them, and I am grateful for that because now I am able to make my own convictions by thinking critically.

      So, if you want to watch Belle in this new version of the old-time favorite, ask yourself, What Would Jesus Do? Cliche, I know, but relevant. As for me, I will be watching it and enjoying every moment of it -except that one scene that we went over- because I loved Belle as a child.

      I know I’m not Bethany or Kirsten, but I hope that I was still able to bring the matter into perspective.

      Have a wonderful day!

      • Rachel M. says:

        Thanks for the reply Gabriela! I appreciate you putting in time to type out such a well though out response. I totally understand what you are saying. I completely agree with you. I probably should have worded my last comment differently. What I mean is that going to see that movie and totally disregarding that part as wrong is not the correct way to approach it. How should we as Christians approach seeing that movie while not promoting that lifestyle as correct? And I think you answered that question as well in your comment. So thank you for replying!

    • ameera says:

      Its no different from the carto a blogger went to see the screening and he said it is heavily exaggerated!!!!!!! If you blink you’ll miss it!!! now look I’m not saying that it makes it right I’m just saying if you are an active Disney movie watcher then keep your mouth shut (not you other people) because Disney movies ALWAYS had stuff like this in their movies so if they didn’t have a problem with it before why show off now?? I mean its hypercritical!!!! The director admitted himself that he exaggerated (when he mentioned it in interviews) about the “scene”. The actor from the cartoon version said that the character was always gay (but Ike I said people didn’t trip then) it was implied like Timone and Pumba.

    • ameera says:

      I’m sorry I messed up on the last post the scene Isn’t exaggerated (the director exaggerated when he talked about the “scene” you know that scene Disney movies always have the one where you’ll blink you’ll miss it)

    • GirlDefined says:

      Hey Rachel,
      Great questions and thoughts. We would definitely encourage you to read the Plugged In online review ( before going to see any movie. It’s so important to make a wise decision about the movies we choose to support and watch. Philippians 4:8 is a great “grid” to put any movie through. Ask yourself “is it pure? Is it right? etc.” If you have any doubts or questions about Beauty and the Beast, just don’t watch it. It’s better to sacrifice a little fun for the sake of honoring Christ 🙂 Keep on the straight and narrow!
      Bethany Baird

  2. Bianca says:

    So true, thank you!

  3. Hannah B says:

    Such a good post!!

  4. Brianne says:

    Great post!❤

  5. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I have been thinking a lot about this lately, and I am so thankful for your wise words on the topic! We all get SO distracted and drawn in by the world. My pastor was just talking on Sunday about how we are to test EVERYTHING against scripture! That’s certainly needed in the area of movies too! Thanks again!

  6. Reigha Sunshine says:

    Hey so I have friends that talk about movies, tv shows and all the attractive guys in them ALL THE TIME. How can I redirect the conversation/even be friends with them when they are so hard to have a meaningful conversation with? I would love a post on how to tastefully re-direct a conversation gone down hill about popular movies or actors without hurting friend’s feelings. Thanks!

  7. This comes at a perfect time, just before the new Beauty &a the Beast comes out this weekend…a lot to think on ladies!!

  8. Ellyana says:

    This is so totally true! Matthew 7:16 instantly pops into my head: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”
    As Christian girls what we watch tends to reflect what’s in our hearts and our desires. So if our hearts desire the worldly-type love, then that’s what we’ll want to see and enjoy!

    Great post!! <3

  9. Amanda says:

    I admit that we as Christian girls can get caught up in the flair and fluff of Hollywood romance- mostly because it’s a nice distraction from how lonely we are- but I feel like a better way to deal with Hollywood is to not “sacrifice” or “abstain” but to educate, which is why I’m usually disappointed by Girl Defined posts- especially the article on La La Land. I understand that this ministry mostly aims to warn preteen and young adult girls from making mistakes, but your posts tend to be very vague. Nitpicky without construction advice on how to move forward. I think a better way to tackle movies is to watch them with the Bible heavy on your mind, so that you can be fully aware of what’s not Biblical. In order to connect with the world, we need to have a foothold in society, so we can relate and make conversation easier with nonbelievers. We’ll never have opportunities to minister when we’re seen as the stuck up Christians. We have to go into the world. Infiltrate it, but armed with the knowledge of God’s truths and promises. We should be able to view Hollywood as a tool we can use to relate with other girls without buying into the lies ourselves. I’m sure most of us know that we don’t possess superpowers to fly around and save people, so why don’t we assume that Hollywood romances are any less unrealistic? Think about how little your parents knew about your interests or hobbies and how that made them harder to talk to. That’s exactly what we do as Christians when we alienate ourselves from pop culture. There’s a fine balance and I think the right thing is to teach young Christians how to use Hollywood as a platform of ministry, rather than a pitfall into sin and foolish gossip.

  10. Lugin Dormido says:

    Christian ladies enjoying the movies this world offers is sadly true. That is why it has always been a challenge for someone like me, an aspiring Christian writer and filmmaker, to produce films that are wholesome, edifying and most of all glorifying God’s name.

    • Katie says:

      Here is some advice, from one writer to another. Don’t write a Christian story, wrote a human story with Christian values. The Shack and To Save a Life are Christian films that exemplify this.

  11. Maombi Joselyne Kuderha says:

    So true. Thank you for the post.

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