Turn off CBN and rent The Notebook

Posted: September 20, 2011 by Josh Kwasny in Drama
Tags: , , , , ,

As you may have heard, Pat Robertson (founder and chairman of The Christian Broadcasting Network) recently encouraged a man to divorce his wife suffering with Alzheimer’s disease and “start all over again.”  His advice was based upon his perspective that Alzheimer’s disease is like “a walking death.”

While most will ignore this as another crazy statement from a TV preacher, the significance of such a view cannot be overlooked.  When I heard these cruel words, (crazy as it sounds) I thought about the 2004 film, The Notebook – based upon a novel by Nicholas Sparks.  I know, “Why is a grown man thinking about The Notebook?”  Good question.  If you have seen the film, you know the answer.

(Spoiler alert)

Even the most harsh critic of love stories (often called “chick flicks”) cannot watch The Notebook without being moved – even to tears.  The film depicts the relationship between Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams).  While early on the film may be written off as a typical “forbidden romance” tale of a country boy and high class girl, the real story breaks through in the end.  By the film’s conclusion, you understand that the aging Noah is reading “the notebook”  to elderly Allie, who is now suffering with memory loss (possibly Alzheimer’s).  During the early stages of her illness, Allie recorded the story of their life together and left the notebook with the instructions for Noah to, “Read this to me, and I’ll come back to you.”  The film concludes with the couple peacefully dying together – holding hands.

See, I told you there would be tears.

This story moves anyone with a pulse because it is a beautiful picture of true love and commitment.  The patient love of a man for his suffering wife – watching her memory daily slip away – enduring constant emotional pain in order to serve her with his life should move us!  While this picture of human love is powerful, it is but a shadow of the reality it is meant to display.  In Ephesians 5, we learn that marriage is meant to be a picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and his bride – the Church.  Marriage is a favorite image throughout the Bible.  Genesis begins with the wedding of Adam and Eve and according to Revelation, human history will conclude with a big wedding reception called “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19).

Marriage is a big deal, because what it depicts is a big deal.  Jesus Christ loves his bride.  He is faithful –  even when the Church is unresponsive.  His people regularly forget him – turn away from him – and ignore him.  But does Christ treat his bride as if she is basically dead?  No, he patiently pursues her – caring for her with a love that no human love story can match.

This is the good news of the gospel:  Jesus Christ gave his life for those who were “walking dead” to him!!  Praise God that he did not leave and “start all over again!”  The gospel is the story of a patient, committed husband who lays his life down for his wife.

Even The Notebook clearly points us to Jesus.

I think I may send Pat a copy.

(Russell Moore wrote a great response to Pat Robertson’s comments in a recent blog post.  Check it out here.)


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