Category Archives: Children

Cultural Impact: Beauty and the Beast

g_beautyandthebeast2017_08_78bde778If you have a young daughter at home, then you have probably been asked, “Can I go see Beauty and the Beast?” I know that my 8-year-old daughter has been asking my wife and I this question since the day that she discovered Disney was sending this childhood movie remake to theatres! Starring such huge names as Emma Watson, Ian McKellen, and Ewan McGregor, Beauty and the Beast is scheduled to come out in theatres on March 17th. The movie is set to be a Box Office hit and will undoubtedly have numbers of parents standing in line with their daughters. However, my wife and I will not be parents standing in that line. Why, you ask? Is it because we are trying to deprive our little girl from the joys of childhood? Are we just simply anti-Disney? The answer to both of those questions is NO! So, what is the big deal?

On Wednesday, March 1st, 2017,  Elahe Izadi of The Washington Post wrote an article entitled, “Beauty and the Beast to Have Disney’s First-Ever Exclusively Gay Moment” (Izadi, 2017). Yes, you read that right! As if our children have not been confused by our sex-crazed culture enough, Disney has decided to take the long-anticipated opportunity to create its first openly gay scene in one of the most anticipated children’s movies of the year. According to Izadi, the scene involves one of the movie’s openly gay characters named LeFou and another male character name Gaston as LeFou begins to discover that he has “feelings” for Gaston that go beyond friendship. The director of the movie, Bill Condon, states, “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston…. He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie” (Izadi, 2017). With that simple statement, Mr. Condon treats the scene as a “nice and delicious” moment that should be anticipated with excitement by all. It should be a moment that gives us all hope and promise, right? The problem is, through incorporating this character and scene into The Beauty and the Beast, Disney has not brought hope or promise at all. Instead, Disney has shown to us the depraved spiritual and sexual condition of a culture that has turned away from the God in whose image we are made. This is the same condition that the Apostle Paul described in Romans 1:26 when he wrote, “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were confused with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

This will not be “politically correct”, but Scripture is clear in its condemnation of the practice of homosexuality. Paul clearly said that homosexuality is dishonorable and contrary to nature. Not only in Romans, but 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 are additional examples. Now, I do want to address this very important point that we as Christians so often get wrong: Homosexuality is sin just as lust is sin and just as greed is sin. We so often put homosexuality in a category all its own and we act as if those that struggle with it are irreparably condemned. This is not the case! God is more than willing to forgive all sin when we come to him in true repentance (1 John 1:9). We are to love those that struggle with homosexuality as we would love anyone else with struggles of the flesh and we are to lead them to repentance. At the same time, saying that homosexuality is an innate form of love that should be accepted by all is completely against the Truth of Scripture. But that is where we are in our world today. We live in an era in which the lines are so blurred that everything we believe is relative and there really is no moral truth. That is why it is so vital that we as Christians take a stand and say, “I will not be forced to accept what I know is against Scripture!” Be prepared! We will be called intolerant, judgmental, intellectually primitive, and more. But didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” When we stand up for the Truth, we are going to be ridiculed and rejected but that should not detour us. If we don’t teach our children to take a stance that aligns with Scripture, then we will find them taking a stance that aligns with the world.

Works Cited

Izadi, Elahe. “Beauty and the Beast to Have Disney’s First-Ever Exclusively Gay Moment”. (1 March 2017) The Washington Post. Web. Accessed on 6 March 2017. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/03/01/beauty-and-the-beast-to-have-disneys-first-ever-exclusively-gay-moment/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.df6b0d13060a


“Have I Prepared My Child for Life?”

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. – Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV

  

Think about this for a moment: If parents were to spend 30 minutes each day, 5 days a week teaching their children the Word of God beginning at age 6, those children would spend 1,560 hours with their parents in the Bible by the age of 18! That number may seem huge, but when placed in comparison to the number of hours our children spend involved in social media, sports, and academics, it is relatively small. As parents, it is so easy to focus on these seemingly important things when our kids are young. However, parents across the U.S. will be celebrating with joy and tears the graduations of their children this month and most will ask themselves the question,

“Did I prepare them for life?”

Before we can answer that question, however, it is important that we as parents understand what it truly means to prepare our children for life after leaving home. Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” It is so tempting to be manipulated by our world into using their standards of preparation for the future such as academics, school involvement, and social and athletic prowess. Parents so often spend hours upon hours involving their children in activity after activity hoping for a bright and successful future for them. The statement is often made, “I want a better chance given to them than what I had.” However, using any of these preparatory measures is like building a straw house if the Word of God is not at the foundation. It does not take a very long look at our world today to see that the vast majority of the “successful” find themselves unhappy, unloved, and unstable. Why is this the case? For this very reason:

To train up a child in the way he should go is not to train up a child in the avenue of success and power but to train up a child in the way he should go is to train up that child in the Way of Life!

We as Christian parents must refuse to neglect the most important ministry that God has given us and that is the ministry to our own children. This responsibility was given to Israel in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 which says, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” The magnitude of this command was not small but was meant to consume the daily lives of families throughout the nation of Israel! The commands of God were to be the first things coming from the mouths of parents to their children in the mornings, throughout their daily responsibilities, and the last things before resting at night. The New American Commentary states, “Sitting suggests inactivity; and walking, of course, activity. Together they encompass all of human effort. Likewise, to retire at night and rise up in the morning speaks of the totality of time. So important is covenant truth that it must be at the very center of all one’s labor and life.”[1] It is often the reasoning of parents that it is the responsibility of the church to instill Truth into their children. However, what a child gains from parental instruction in the Word of God grossly out measures the effect of the church. While the church is a wonderful source of spiritual growth, it is the parent that is the role model, the disciplinarian, the counselor, and the shelter for their child. We must take those responsibilities and use them wisely by instilling the Word of God in our children.

So, as we plan our schedules and prepare for the days and years ahead, we must ask ourselves the question, “Have I placed the Word of God at the forefront of my child’s life?” It will be the best question you will ever ask yourself.

[1] Merrill, E. H. (1994). Deuteronomy (Vol. 4, p. 167). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.