Saturday, December 8, 2007

Waitress: Defeating Love for Sin With a Greater Love

I just saw the movie Waitress moments ago, and I was struck by an apt object lesson which I'm sure the filmmakers had no intention of conveying.

In the film, Jenna (played by Keri Russell) is a waitress who is in a marriage to a horrible human being named Earl. On top of that, she is having his baby. Throughout the movie, he is physically abusive, verbally abusive, emotionally abusive, and clearly a degenerate, selfish human being. Anyway, on to the object lesson...

Jenna is never able to muster the courage to tell him that she doesn't love him and that she wants to leave him and have a fresh start (I will decline a commentary on the ethics of divorce). The film follows her through the ups and downs of her pregnancy. Finally, when her daughter is born, she is completely fixated with the child and is utterly captivated by the child's beauty. She realizes that she loves this child. At this moment of perfect rapture, Earl reminds Jenna that she promised never to love the baby more than she loves him.

This time, Jenna now has the courage to tell Earl that she hasn't loved him for years and that she wants a divorce. It is because of her newfound love for the child that she is able to say no to her controlling and wicked husband.

The object lesson here can be applied to sin, I think: The only way to stop loving sin is to replace it with a love for something greater. At this point, in our spiritual life specifically, we need effectual grace to overcome our love for sin and replace it with a greater love. In the same way that Jenna needed a greater love for her child to say no to her old way of life, so we too as human beings need to be captivated with a love for God if we are to stop loving sin.

I will still resist the urge to comment on whether Jenna was justified in leaving her husband. Maybe I'll follow this up with such a post. The important thing here is the object lesson: love for sin must be squelched by a love for God. It's as simple as that. Really! (We can make it complicated if we want, of course.)

My 30 second review of the actual movie (here goes): The movie was too sugary sweet for me. The pie-making imagery got on my nerves. The character's marriage may have been horrible, but that never justifies an affair (which to her credit she does end). Again, the film was not nearly sour enough for my tastes. I like to see people learn their lessons in movies, and I just don't think happy endings are the way for that to happen. Clearly all my favorite movies end in death. Now that I think of it, that's true. 2 out of 5 Stars, but chicks would probably give it a 4 or 5. My wife loved it, anyway.

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