If I Stay and True love

I took my wife out on a date tonight. Yes, I believe in continual courtship, but that’s a topic for an upcoming volume in the From Dude to Dad series. We had a babysitter so it could just be the two of us, went to dinner to celebrate changes in my day job, and my wife picked the movie, If I Stay.
I’ll say this upfront, I won my wife over by enjoying chick-flicks. So I was willing to take her to this movie, especially given how many movies I’ve picked lately. I’m not going to give a full rundown of the movie for anyone, it’s not the purpose of this blog. However, as I did last week with the Doctor Who premiere, I’m going to focus my thoughts on some messages I took from the movie.
If I Stay had moments I enjoyed, and those I didn’t. While the characters are teenagers, I did appreciate that they didn’t find each other because they were the attractive one and the nerd who stumbled into each other or any of the other clichés used in teen romances. I really liked how he notices her because she’s playing the cello. That’s cool, and different. I enjoy showing a relationship built on something of substance. While I don’t care for the puppy love aspects at the beginning of their relationship, we are able to see their growth and failings in their relationship all the way until the very final moment on the screen. In the end, I feel the message is about True Love.
So what is True Love? I’m not distinguishing between romantic or family true love, just the concept in general. As my wife and I dissected the movie on the drive home, we came to the definition that true love is about sacrifice. Think about it, Mia’s dad says parents sacrifice for their children. You can’t really show any more love than that, can you. The characters sacrifice plans, dreams, money, love, and personal definitions of happiness and give it all up for someone else. That’s what True Love is all about. As a religious individual, a quote comes to mind. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. The scripture is referring to Christ and his sacrifice for mankind, but it’s clearly a lesson for the rest of us. I believe it is true love. Why else would two individuals change their personal goals they may have held from childhood and focus on having children and helping them grow? Why else did Mia’s father in If I Stay quit the band if it wasn’t because he loved his daughter?
I’m glad there is a film which shows this by the end of the film. All romantic relationships have their puppy love stage, but what made this film interesting, is the blend of young adult issues with very grown up decisions. And in the end, learning to sacrifice for the happiness of someone you love.

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