Vol. 2 Issue 47 | November 23, 2016
We hope you enjoy your family as you give thanks for your work, community, and God! We pray that this holiday is a time of healthy togetherness, reconciliation, relaxation, and meditation on God’s goodness, as well as a time to be intentional in building new life-giving habits and traditions.
Bonus: The Edge of Seventeen Review
Hindsight is 20/20. And as I watched one of the year’s biggest and highest-rated teen films of the year, I cringed in regretful remembrance of all the things I now wish I hadn’t cared about, shed tears over, and given my heart to at the age of 17.
Touted as a coming-of-age comedy, The Edge of Seventeen (rated R) follows awkward high school junior Nadine as she tries to navigate life after the early death of her beloved father. Though clever, humorous, and heartfelt, the film makes all the typical assumptions: teens drink/party, have sex, look to romantic relationships for fulfillment, rebel against authority/parents, etc., etc. All the things my angsty teen self saw in similar movies and longed for, since it was so much more romantic and exciting than my life as I perceived it.
Granted, by the age of 17, I had remarkably different experiences than Nadine, but like her, I was the product of a culture that relegates teens to the most vapid, self-centered, asinine, unmotivated, and near-sighted corners of society, waiting until they “grow up” before expecting anything meaningful or worthwhile of them. Very few people held me to a higher standard, so that’s the standard I stooped to. And in so doing, my culture deprived me (and I willingly deprived myself) for years of the abundant life God was just waiting to give me. I can never get those years back.
That’s all I could think about as I watched this film. Though there were some bright spots (Nadine eventually recognizes her self-centeredness; her brother, her mom, and she make progress toward understanding one another; she stops lashing out in frustration), the movie only deepens the rift between teens’ potential and culture’s standard for them, offering a cheap approximation of what it means to truly live. How many teens will see the film and be further indoctrinated with the lie that being a teen means getting away with anything and everything except actually doing something that matters?
Your teens, unlike Nadine and me, don’t have to be products of our culture. Through intentional discipleship and by God’s grace, let’s raise a generation of whom much is expected, whose foresight is 20/20, and who refuse to settle for less than abundant.
Another Bonus: This music video is just cool.