Have you or your friends picked up the hefty new novel of The Twilight Series – Breaking Dawn? The series, with sales topping 8 million books, has blazed its own unique trail through the teen world in the eclectic genre of Horror/Thriller/Romance and Sci-Fi. The mysterious thriller that launched the popular series reads like a young adult love story. The plot line unfolded as a result of author Stephanie Meyer’s vivid dream. In six months time, she wrote, edited and published her first novel ever – Twilight – and has intrigued readers worldwide ever since.
The new girl at school, 17 year-old Isabella (“Bella” for short), finds herself powerfully attracted to an intriguingly gorgeous boy at her new school. The boy’s name is Edward and he can’t help but be dangerously drawn to the sweet, innocent blood running through Bella because…he is a vampire. Edward and Bella soon find themselves falling madly in love with each other, despite the obvious barriers. Fortunately for Bella, Edward is part of a reformed group of vampires who has sworn off human blood and only drinks animal blood instead. Even so, Edward has to exercise extreme self-control when in the presence of Bella, because he is not only attracted to her romantically, but also lustfully desires a taste of her pure, innocent blood.
This unusual romance saga is pumped full of the push and pull of a desire for true love and the sexual tension that fuels the romance. And in that respect there are some striking similarities to the real world teens find themselves confronted with every day, surrounded by a culture that is saturated with sexual connotations, innuendos, and a warped view of human sexuality, yet longing for true love and respect. The temptation to view others as sexual ‘objects’ is everywhere: as you are waiting in line at the checkout line, you have magazines adorned with barely-clothed woman and men; driving down the street, massive billboard hang above your head advertising something by way of sexual implication; in movies we watch as characters fulfill their lustful desires in a sexual experience; in songs, we listen to the lustful lyrics and then repeat them as we go through our day; you can’t even walk down the hall at school without having to dodge the flying hormones as they whiz by. Let’s face it. We live in a sex-saturated culture. And still we long for true love deep down inside.
So as Christians, how do we handle the push and pull of sex that permeates our own lives, and our social networks? Well, here’s what God has to say on His blueprint for sexuality.
And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. (Colossians 3:5).
You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity. Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God. Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns, and he will take care of them. We’ve warned you about this before. God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful–as beautiful on the inside as the outside. (1 Thess. 4:2-7).
Every human, Christians and non-Christians alike, have struggled with lust in one form or another. But as God’s Word says, sexual lust destroys both our relationships and our self-esteem. Lust only devalues the person and objectifies them. Each of us has been created in His image and deserves to be treated in a respectful and honoring way. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to come along side us and be our strength in time of our weakness. We need His help in fleeing lustful temptations (2 Timothy 2:2).
While we may not fall for a vampire, we can likely identify with Edward and Bella’s struggle with how to handle the desire for true love and the sexual tension in their relationship. So use the popular Twilight series as a springboard in conversation with your friends to talk about God’s plan for our lives! Here are some questions to help you get started:
- If your friends have read Twilight, ask them who in the books they think show true love. How? Why?
- Ask your friends how they would define lust. Listen, and then share what God’s perspective of lust is.
- If it seems appropriate, consider asking your friends how they deal with sexual temptation (lust, pornography, premarital sex, masturbation).
- Explain how our Heavenly Father wants to protect us from later harm by giving us His blue print for sexuality.
- Share how Jesus came to this earth and died and then rose again so we can have His strength and power here on earth to overcome the struggles of this world.
Real and lasting self-control can only come from the Holy Spirit’s divine guidance. So, step out with His power and share with your friends how they too can step into God’s loving direction for dealing with the challenges of this dimension of life.
Jeannae Flageolle serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries International (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.