We went to see Beauty and the Beast and why we’re planning to take our kids too!

This isn’t intended to be political or controversial or even edgy… but after going to watch Beauty and the Beast with my “Beauty” (and yes that makes me the beast!), I just had to write something. Maybe you too have heard rumblings of controversy for Christians surrounding this Disney classic. Kelli and I talked a little about whether or not to go watch the movie. In the end, we had been looking forward enough to the movie that we decided we were going to go… and we did.

I’m sure some will disagree with our position (like I said, the goal isn’t meant to be political or controversial), but after seeing the movie, it feels a little embarrassing to admit that there was controversy. In fairness, I don’t think Christians started the controversy. I’m not sure if it was a PR ploy by Disney or just preparing people “in case”.

You can ask my kids, I hate when people who have seen a movie, give away anything… I mean anything, if I haven’t seen it! So I promise to not ruin the outing for you, in case you are planning to see it. But I am going to say, if you go, try to forget that you heard there is a “gay moment” in the movie. Because if you don’t, you’ll spend the whole movie asking, “Was that it?”… “Wait, was that it?”.

In the end, from this father’s perspective, the movie was amazing. In my opinion, if a parent were watching Beauty and the Beast with young children, the parent would have the ability to:

  1. Not say anything – nothing happens, that looks remarkably different from cartoons that have been shown for decades.
  2. Use it to have a discussion about the LGBTQ issue – whether you agree with them or not, Disney was intentional enough with their handling of the topic to create the ability to ask your kids some simple but helpful questions.
  3. Use it to reinforce your own worldview on the LGBTQ issue – We believe parents are the first and best disciplers of their own children. Beauty and the Beast leaves plenty of room and options for each parent to have a healthy discussion with their child.

But here are three reasons why I’m going to take my own kids to see the movie and why I would take them even if they were younger (my kids are middle school and high school).

  1. This is no small movie – in other words, all of their friends and classmates will have seen the movie. If my child is going to have questions, I want them directed at me.
  2. This is not a topic that is going to go away (nor should it) – the movie is a good launching pad for healthy conversation.
  3. The movie is so well done and fun to watch – look, at the end of the day, I’m going to a movie to be entertained. Regardless of any of the arguments above, if the movie isn’t any good, I’m probably not going to go watch.

Remember, I’m not saying you need to go watch the movie. In fact, I can make a good argument against going to any Disney movie, based on a Christian worldview. What I am saying is, if you want to see a fantastic movie that also speaks of the character qualities of courage, humility, kindness, inner beauty, family, friendship, and more, then you might want to consider going to see Beauty and the Beast. And if you want to spark some interesting conversation with your children, you should consider taking your children along as well… that’s what we’re going to do.

Now it’s your turn. Have you watched the movie? Are you going to? Are you going to take your kids? I’d love to see some healthy and FRIENDLY conversation about this.

10 thoughts on “We went to see Beauty and the Beast and why we’re planning to take our kids too!

  1. Hey Dave and Kelli
    You don’t have to post this- its just a pondering between friends-
    I struggle with I guess what I call being in the middle-not politically- but Biblically. We talk about LBGTQ and it not going away- Well part of it is God’s plan for the end of our world as we know it someday and a new heaven and earth. I think sometimes it is not going away or it grew to be so socially acceptable because as Christians we did nothing. Almost all TV shows have someone that is gay. A huge portion of movies have gay overtones, movies like the Dutch girl come out and want us to believe that way back in the 30’s 40’s this was common and ok. The world wants us to believe that children are gender confused and don’t even know what sex they WANT to be until they are at least 5 years old. That we need to allow boys and girls, young men and women to share bathrooms, shower rooms and even hotel rooms for school activities because they are confused. When does a person as a Christian stand up and say, this isn’t going to be popular and people on FB aren’t going to like me anymore, But this is wrong. Yes sin is sin. Yes we love the person and not the sin, however to the best of my knowledge homosexuality is called out as an abomination to God and the destroyed Sodom and Gomorra for their sexual deviancies and sin nature. When do we draw a line that we stand for and yes, we have to talk to our children about these issues, but not because Hollywood forced our hand to have to do so. Now they want Elsa from Frozen to have a girl friend. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t but why do they need to? Has the Church as a body become gray? Have we settled into an oh well what can we do about it anyway, so, well whatever as long as it isn’t affecting me directly, or I don’t have to pay to go see that or whatever. I am certainly not a legalistic person and I understand truth and grace, but when does it call to the Church to stand and be counted? I wasn’t a fan of Harry Potter and sorcery either. Nice friendly way to draw children into magic, sorcery and evilness that can come from that.- Love you guys

    • Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for your thoughtful response. I considered just having this conversation with you in private, but I’m going to take the chance and assume that anyone else reading will keep this dialogue in a really healthy place. First, you need to know that fundamentally I would agree with most everything you express. There is an incredible tension we are called into when living out this Christian faith. Where I would push back and maybe encourage others to consider isn’t so much what do we believe to be truth… but rather, based on what we believe to be true, what then shall we do. So for instance, if someone were to say to me, I believe homosexuality, according to the bible is a sin, and based on how Disney is handling the subject, I am not going to go see the movie. I would say, “That’s great. I get it.” When I point out that this subject isn’t going away, that by no means is a statement of lessening my stance on biblical truth.

      Rather it’s a statement of reality. Our culture has more and more adopted a different view of sexuality than you or me. I know some say we need to stand up and fight in response to movies or sitcoms portraying things that are unbiblical. My response is simply, we’ve tried that… how’s it working? Now, there is an element of speaking truth regardless of the results and I understand that. But in the case of Christians and the LGBTQ community, even without talking about how ineffective our approach has been, the miss of not loving those who don’t believe in the sames things we believe in, is striking. I want all people to look at my life and know without a shadow of a doubt that I loved all people. I hope it’s not at the expense of me standing for the things I believe (and I don’t think it has to be)… but I for sure want to be characterized by love. I don’t think calling out their sin is very often the most effective strategy. Showing them love… living truth before a watching world… letting our lives do the talking (I do think that’s why Paul likens marriage to Christ and His church. We have the opportunity to model what Christ vision for relationships is).

      So if out of love for Christ, and in a heart of love for the LBGTQ community someone wants to skip out of Beauty and the Beast, then I have no argument. For parents, I will say that unless your kids are not involved with other kids in your community, they will have friends talking about this movie (it’s that big). Now this is just my opinion, so please don’t take offense… I don’t want their only response to be, “We didn’t go see it because we don’t agree with some of the scenes”. Certainly there is some ground this side of that stance, but hopefully you get my point. Instead, if I had a 10, 11, 12 year old child, I’d take them to the movie (based on what I saw with my own eyes) and then ask them some questions… Several generic ones to begin with… What did you think? What was your favorite part? But then I would ask things like… “What did you think of Gaston?” “What about his friend?” “Do you think his friend should have spoken up more?” “Why didn’t he?” “Have you ever really liked a guy/girl like that… I mean admired them so much.” “How did that feel?” “Could you have stood up to your friend or would your feelings have made it too hard?”

      So this is the closest I’ll get to being controversial… I believe that too often kids wrestle with feelings, and if they had an opportunity early on to express them, instead of trying to hide them, it would make a difference in their life. The enemy loves to take our feelings and use them against us with shame and guilt. I’m not suggesting if we did this, then it would solve everything, but how much healthier would it be for our kids to be able to talk about those things. I believe this movie does open the door to have those conversations if as a parent you think it’s time. If not, the movie doesn’t force the conversation to happen. I agree as parents we must be diligent in our role of protecting our kids. At the same time, discipling them means courageously entering into some hard conversations. Honestly, in hindsight, I wish I would have had done more of that, not less.

      Again, thanks for your response. Sorry for such a long reply back. I think this will continue to be an important topic for Christians to consider… again, not what they believe to be true, but what based on that belief we are to do. I’m suggesting we find more and more ways to love those that we disagree with, while living out the truth to the best of our ability.

  2. Thank you for your wisdom, I watch and listen to you and Kelly every chance I get. I know that you are lead by the spirit because I can feel it. I just want to say that many times you have touched my life with your words and thoughts. I know ministry at times can be hard but be encouraged, the Lord sees your love for people and his work. Thank you for making a difference in the lives you touch, God Bless from Texas.

  3. Hi David & Kelli. I love that you guys are willing to engage with others as you teach. I especially love that you have a heart for families, especially those still raising young children. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the movie, and your encouragement to parents. Personally, I really loved the movie, and if I hadn’t read the Christian criticisms of it, I would not have even noticed what they were so outraged about. Our children, and in my case, our grandchildren, are surrounded by other worldly influences. We have the opportunity to be light in this world, And boycotting those who are different than us won’t show them the light… or the love that Jesus showed those who were different than Him. As he walked along the road with them… as He sat at the table and dined with them… as He defended them in front of their persecuters… those are the actions that drew people who did not know God… to the God who loved them even in their darkness. Thank you both for loving people enough to speak truth to them with so much grace and love!

    • Thanks Dartha, I will say, we completely understand and even defend those that decide to not go to the movie because of their own convictions… we get it. In fact, as I mentioned in the article, the whole drama surrounding the scenes in the movie came from Disney, not from the Christian community. Unfortunately, like so many of us can find ourselves doing, some reacted without first finding out the full extent of the truth. Hopefully we’ll learn. My strong lean and desire is to push Christians in a direction of speaking more and more about the things we love and support, and less and less about the things we are against. I know there are times when we have to speak out against things, but I never want to be characterized just as the guy who was against everything! Thanks again for your comment and for visiting our site.

  4. So glad to read this! We’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie as a family for a long time. We don’t do this often so its a treat. THEN I read all the hype about it and wondered is it really that big a deal and put seeing it aside a bit.
    The points you bring up are so good and remind me that so often we have the opportunity to bring the right information about perhaps tough topics/culture views to our children before others do it in a way we have no influence on.
    I feel comfortable now to just take my kids and enjoy this time and not need to go preview it before taking them. Thank you for foing this and given us all such helpful input.

  5. Thank you for your great response David. Much love to you my friend. I do want to say clearly that I agree that we are called as Christians to love all men(mankind) to serve and live as Christ’s example. I think of the foot washing of the disciples by Christ as a shining example of humility and servitude that God calls us to have for our fellow man. By no means would I have you think that I would feel anything less for anyone in the LBGTQ community. Jesus showed us so many examples of visits with the tax collectors that were hated, teaching love for the “fallen” woman and many others. I just feel frustrated sometimes as a parent and grandparent that the world pushes so hard to trend our children in worldly directions.It feels sometimes that we become desensitized by the daily bombardment of hey- this is normal. I really appreciate your take on it and the time I know it took to pen a response.I know God has all of us in his hand and in His plan. So we live by grace daily. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of the Lord. God Bless

    • Thanks Michelle and I appreciate your comments. This is a great conversation that we will need to continue to have. Blessings to you my friend.

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