The Nativity Story: Romance 101 For Teens

If you haven't yet taken your teens to see The Nativity Story, you're missing a superb teachable opportunity. We dragged our boys to the theater on Friday, even though they didn't really want to go (negotiations included their choice of restaurant afterwards), and I was so grateful that we'd chosen to fight this particular parent-offspring battle.

The character of Joseph provides a role model of nobility and character rarely seen in today's teen boy culture. In contrast to the mooks, geeks, and sex-obsessed studs in other movies, director Catherine Hardwicke's Joseph serves, protects, provides for, encourages, and honors the object of his affection. And the movie's strong and courageous Mary comes to love, respect, and admire him, along with most of the teen and tween girls watching, I'm sure.

As he portrayed Joseph in the movie, talented Guatemalan-born actor Oscar Isaac came to realize the importance of humility in both romantic love and in the love of God, as he revealed in an interview with Rebecca Murray:
...(The movie) is this big epic journey with this kind of little intimate love story. It's kind of the story of how these two people that are forced together — I guess one more than the other — how they ultimately become a family. I think that in itself is a fantastic story. Also, the fact that it's about humility and it's about love ... that God decides to come to earth to the most ostracized and oppressed of people — particularly two people who are ostracized by their own community in the little hick town of Bethlehem — in a cave, I think that's what the message is. It's not the powerful and the rich and the proud that are exalted, but the humble and those that act out of love that God exalts.
As I watched the love story of Joseph and Mary unfold, I was reminded that the feminine heart is still hungry to be cherished, and the masculine heart designed to offer sacrificial love, despite what the culture teaches about male-female relationships. And God continues to call young men and women to great things, serving side by side to play key roles in an epic, dangerous, world-changing Story. This movie will help our teens to see where their instincts are right, and where the culture, as they might put it, is just plain "messed up."

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