5 Lessons to Learn (And Unlearn) From the Twilight Saga

I have a love-hate relationship with Twilight, in the sense that I love to hate it. The acting and dialogue are so awesomely bad that it entertains me greatly. I have watched it more than once. While none of them are stellar films, the fifth is by far the greatest because it’s pretty much the only one where every single move is not predictable (though it is telling that the most exciting thing to happen in the entire series was only a dream sequence). But, it’s pop-culture and a part of history and therefore I’ve spent way too much time indulging and analyzing them, and enjoying their amazing soundtracks (except for the 5th film. That soundtrack is a total let down. I’ve done so much analyzing that I’ve decided to write this post to justify all that time and energy spent.

But what do vampires — unholy, living dead things — have to do with Jesus? Well, nothing, on the surface, but we don’t have Christian entertainment (unless you count Madea or Fireproof) so we try to find the God in everything, or at least the lesson.

LEARN: You don’t have to be who you are. The Cullen vampire clan in the Twilight films are an interesting example of this. The clan recognizes that their nature is evil and destructive and they choose not to be that. They sacrifice their desires — to drink human blood — and instead choose to survive on a diet of animals that sustains them but doesn’t satisfy their feral wants. That’s what we as Christians have been called to do.
Many people are about that “love me the way I am” life, and I’m here to say boooo. If there’s something unholy about you, yes, the Lord will still love you, but He has called us to allow Him to change us and be different from who we were when we first met Him — be better because of a true relationship with Him. Our goal in life as Christians is holiness, and that’s what we should strive for, despite our unholy nature.

UNLEARN: Stalker Love is What’s Hot in These Streets. I hope I don’t really have to say this, but ladies, please, a man that is constantly battling his desire to have you and his desire to destroy you is clearly unhealthy and actually kind of scary, a tad and not at all desirable for a healthy person. While these actions spell L-O-V-E in the films, in real life, this is grounds for a restraining order.

LEARN: Travel in Packs. The Cullens have chosen a lifestyle that sets them apart from other vampires. They are consistently mocked by the vampires they come into contact with who find their choice to fight against their nature to be foolish. But, there is power in numbers! This family keeps each other accountable to the lifestyle they’ve chosen. They talk each other down when their lifestyle choices seem too hard to maintain. They encourage one another and defend one another and that is what enables them to continue on in the life that they’ve chosen.

Likewise, Christians must also travel in packs. Because we are called to be “set apart” from the world (Romans 12:1-2), we must also have a support system that can help us to remain set apart and encourage us in this life.

UNLEARN: Actions Don’t Have Consequences: I get it. I understand why Twilight is so appealing. Kirsten Dunst doesn’t have to do anything at all to get Edward to love her. He is drawn to the smell of her dern blood. That’s it. And in the fifth film we find out that Jacob is just attracted to her eggs (don’t ask. You won’t like the answer). Seriously. This girl has the undying devotion of two debatably hot guys through no action of her own. And she gets literally everything that she wants with little to no effort and basically no consequences. But in real life, actions have consequences. You tie yourself to a creepy guy for life, there are consequences. And most times, they’re not good.

LEARN: A Worthy Mate Should Be Concerned About the Condition of Your Soul. Through most of the series (I now hate the word “saga”), Edward refuses to turn Bella into a vampire because he is sure that her soul will become damned, like his. Any worthy mate will be driven in his actions toward you solely by how those actions will impact your soul. A mate like that will do everything not to hurt you and not to encourage or support you in hurting yourself. Of course, Edward’s concern for Bella’s soul lasts about a good 2.5 films and then he stops caring. Which leads us to:

UNLEARN: That Soul-Loving Person Looks Just Like Edward. Seriously, I know this is #6. I know. But I have to add this. Anything Stephanie Meyer says about what love looks like or acts like or feels like, it’s the opposite. Enjoy the awesomely bad entertainment it provides, but don’t take anything this picture paints as love as desirable in real life. There’s something wrong with sitting in your room for literal months, wearing the same clothes and not showering just because someone doesn’t want to be with you anymore. And there’s something wrong with a romantic situation that causes you to choose between a relationship with your family members and this person. That’s just not the way love goes.

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