Should you let your children watch the new movie out in theaters, Noah? My Facebook feed is filled with opinions about whether or not to go see the movie. I’ve noticed two things from those opinions that all seem to agree:
- Noah is not a Biblically-accurate narrative, nor was it designed to be one.
- Noah does convey messages of love, mercy, and judgement.
Regardless of your thoughts on the movie itself, I would like to address the question of letting children see this movie. First of all, we have to consider the developmental stages of life that the children are at:
- If your children are elementary-age or younger, they will typically not understand how God displays mercy in the Noah story.
- Elementary-age children will understand how mankind’s sins were very bad, and they will understand how bad they were because of the significant punishment given to them by God. To them, the seriousness of the sin is determined by the level of punishment given, so this story will obviously demonstrate how people were very messed up and God punished them severely.
- Children in preschool and younger will simply have a difficult time understanding most of the major messages of this story, especially the part about the Flood happening as a consequence for man’s sins.
Should you let your children see Noah? While this decision is for parents alone, I would suggest a few thoughts to consider before going to see the movie in theaters with children:
- Most children do not have a solid understanding of the entire Biblical story of Noah, so this movie may have a serious impact on their understanding of the story (a.k.a. they will learn things that aren’t true).
- The age-level of your child will determine what they understand in the movie. A teenager will grasp the necessary abstract concepts presented, children will not.
- I’ve seen many adults talking about this movie, and the potential it has to be a conversation starter about the real story of Noah. Great! (Seriously, this is a great reason to actually go see the movie yourself!) My guess is that most of the younger children won’t see those kind of opportunities to talk about the deeper messages with friends, because they won’t quite understand it.
- The fact that the movie is coming out may be a great chance to bring up the story to your children and explain what the Bible says about Noah. If you decide to go to the movie, make sure they know the real story first, then be prepared to process it with them afterwards.
My intent isn’t to persuade you one way or the other regarding actually seeing the movie. My hope is that you will consider from a child’s perspective what they will learn from this movie. Will it be a helpful and thought-provoking movie? Great. Or will it be over their heads, with made-up storylines hurting their understanding of Scripture, and the major themes (mercy, judgement, and love) not being understood at all? It’s your call, I only hope that this article helps you process your decision.
For a more detailed review of the movie itself (positive, negative, sexual, and violent themes, etc), please see this Plugged In review.