For Valentine’s Week, we’re going to do something fun but also valuable. Perhaps you know of the famous conversation that C. S. Lewis had with J. R. R. Tolkien before Lewis trusted Christ. Lewis had always loved myths and fairy tales as a child, but he said to Tolkien: “But they are lies — though breathed through silver.”
Tolkein said “They are not lies.”
Tolkien’s point is that there is a truth deeper than the dawn of time, the truth of the Gospel, and because God has set eternity in the hearts of men, those writers have a sense of that truth, and the longing to be loved as we are, and the longing to be rescued by someone amazing comes through these stories. In the same way, wonderful love stories do the same thing. I love watching these movies and then talking to my girlfriends about the spiritual messages they glimmer. So let’s look at some of our favorite love stories and see what we can discover. I’ll help and jump in, but would love your thoughts on any of the following with which you are familiar — and I’ll give you a place to add your own recommendations. . I realize there are those who will be offended by this post, for there are elements in these movies that are not edifying. (You can read my explanation on my movie recommendations by clicking here) I do think it is a wise parent that teaches her children to watch movies critically, looking for the Christian and non-Christian messages, and teaches them to find beauty in secular sources. I also realize some of you will disagree, and do not watch secular movies, and do that to the glory of God. Romans 14 tells us each to realize we will stand before God and not judge our brother on these gray issues.
The following video is simply meant to quicken that longing in your heart to be loved — and to see if you can see a deeper story, a story older than the dawn of time.
1. How does the above video make you feel? Even if God never gives you a Prince Charming or turns your husband into one, how has Jesus been this to you?
2. In what ways is the Gospel a Cinderella story?
3. Can you think of any scenes in Ever After that have a spiritual parallel to our relationship with Christ?
(Here’s mine: When she comes to the ball and she doesn’t know how he will respond to her, she tells herself: “Breathe, just breathe.” One day, when I am about to meet Jesus face to face, though I know I’m saved by grace, I think I will say, “Breathe, Dee, just breathe.” to myself. And yet He promises He will come running for me, turning me into a beautiful bride.)
3. Pride and Prejudice
What spiritual parallels do you see from either the book or the movie?
If you have any particular lines from the book or the movie that you want to share, please do! I will too.
4. Sleepless in Seattle
What spiritual parallels do you see? What non-Christian messages do you see?
5. Gone with the Wind
What spiritual parallels do you see in the book or movie?
What Christian messages? What non-Christian messages?
7. I see parallels in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Miss Potter, Camelot, South Pacific, Jane Eyre, and so many others. Do any of you? If so, what?
8. What movie or love story touches your heart and makes you think about something concerning your relationship with Jesus?
Keller will sometimes do this with a love story. I must admit I envy his congregations who get to watch a production of a musical and then hear him preach on it. Here is the link to his sermon on Porgy and Bess: