My husband, Eric and I were delighted to find out that a wholesome love story, Old Fashioned, was recently released at our local AMC Theater. It was produced, in part, by Pure Flix. We are both huge Pure Flix fans; their movies support traditional values and are rivaling Hollywood for script and character development.
Speaking of rivaling Hollywood, Old Fashioned was released the same weekend as 50 Shades of Grey (No explanation needed!). Contrary to Mr. Grey, who apparently cannot keep his clothes on, Old Fashioned is about a guy named Clay, who won’t take his clothes off, at least not until his wedding night.
You see, Clay made a commitment nine years earlier to not be sexually active until his wedding night. His overall reasoning was that he felt horrible guilt from his sexual exploits with countless women during his college years, and in particular, was terribly distraught over his last conquest, a young virgin girl that he pressured into throwing away her values for a night of passion.
He now deeply desires to put his past behind him and respect and honor women rather than use them. Unfortunately, Clay has trouble with putting anything behind him because his guilt keeps dictating his future.
So, as the story unwinds on the screen, Clay, an antiques restoration business owner, rents an upstairs apartment to a young attractive woman. She becomes intrigued by his “lifestyle” and his motivation for his almost decade of chastity. They develop a fun and healthy relationship with plenty of twists and turns, confessions and regrets and some very touching moments.
In Old Fashioned, Clay states that one of his favorite Bible verses is “behold, all things are new.” However, he does not live like a new creature. He is still plagued by the guilt of his past which causes him to actually be afraid to fall in love; almost like his love is contaminated, too dirty to ever have been made new.
That part of the movie was disappointing for me because, twenty-four years ago, God brought Eric and me together in an “all things are new” way. Before we met each other Jesus had saved us and forgiven us from not-so-perfect pasts. We had both committed our lives to the Lord and were so grateful that He had made us new creatures in Christ.
Our relationship, too, started off as a friendship. We had so much fun together and really enjoyed each other’s company. We just really jelled together. I loved how he could make me laugh. After several months our friendship moved into more of a courtship. We had made the commitment that a kiss was as far as we would go until our wedding night. That commitment was made not out of guilt, but out of wanting to serve God and honor Him and to respect and honor each other.
But unlike Clay, we both understood that we were free from our pasts, and that God gives us boundaries for our good - not as a punishment or as a manipulative tool. Because sex was not a hindrance, we learned how to communicate in a way that was well beyond our earthly understanding, the way God designed it to be.
I do recommend this film. It’s awesome to see a modern-day movie depicting a wholesome, respectful premarital relationship; and it’s important to support film-makers who are providing an alternative to Hollywood’s decadence. I just wish that instead of focusing so much on the torture of Clay’s guilt, they could have portrayed how exciting and gratifying a real Christ-centered courtship can be! It was clear to me that Clay didn’t fully grasp “all things are made new,” Christ’s salvation from our past, and ultimately His limitless forgiveness. Instead, it was like combining a Hallmark movie with an American Hero’s Channel documentary on surviving waterboarding.
To the producers’ credit, Clay was finally able to break free, but his on-screen journey was torturous and very sad, and never completely pointed to how “all things are made new”. I am so blessed that Eric and I have our “new life” testimony to share with other young couples. I give all the glory to God for helping us overcome temptation and hold fast to His word during that time. I am fully convinced that because Christ was the center of our relationship, and we did our best to love Him with our obedience, that He put us on a solid foundation that is still strong today.
God’s love is the answer, not only for our family relationships, but for all of our society’s problems. As a nation, we need to depend on Him and obey Him. I pray that we will join together and do that!