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In 2008 TIME magazine ran an article titled “Are Romantic Movies Bad For You?”
The article covered what researchers at Heriot Watt University’s Family and Personal Relationships Laboratory in Edinburgh, Scotland, found when they completed a study of 40 Hollywood romantic comedies released between 1995-2005. They found that problems typically reported by couples in relationship counseling at their center reflect misconceptions about love and romance depicted in Hollywood films.
The idea was that what Hollywood sells as typical love relationships and romance are actually fictitious, embellished, airbrushed and presented as reality. The researchers cautioned against watching too many movies of this genre, warning that a slow desensitization occurs in the minds of those who are looking for meaning and how love works.
While I believe this is correct, what they didn’t address as problematic is even more dangerous, namely that the majority of romance movies present romance on the basis of one thing: lust. Pre-marital or extra-marital sex is presented as the basis of the relationship, which is seen as the culmination of the courting, enticing and pursuing, when in reality such behavior actually drives us further from our creator and his design for human romance and relationships.
The reason for this misconception is because the world is, at its heart, sinful in its affections. This is why scripture commands us not to love the world or the things of the world (1 John 2:15). This is not referring to people but worldly possessions and principles. We are to love our neighbors, our enemies and our brothers more than ourselves. We are to love Jesus supremely above all.
The Bible does teach that the world is a place that is passing away, whose inhabitants do not know God, and they even hate those who follow God. The world is a place that contains many people who teach contrary to the Word of God, and are even the antithesis of the person and work of Christ. Those who are of this world listen to its teachers and is under the power and influence of Satan himself.
This affects, everything – including our relationships. This is why so many marriages end in divorce, and why many of our young people are forsaking marriage altogether. This is the root of all sexual sin – whether heterosexual or homosexual – that seeks to snub God’s standard of sexuality which is the one flesh relationship between one man and one woman within the covenant of marriage for life.
God is the standard of love (1 John 4:8) that cannot be improved upon. It was this love that sent His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth to live a perfect life and die a substitutionary death on the cross, securing salvation for all who trust Him by faith (1 John 4:9-10). It is God’s love that brings us into a relationship with Him, thus improving our relationships with others. Call out to Christ and know the love of God for yourself today!
Brian Owens is an associate pastor with youth and children emphasis at Farmdale Baptist Church. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.