I am not a bandwagon Twilight enthusiast. I enjoy a good book, and had the opportunity to read these books due to the generosity of my sister-in-law. I had seen the first two movies and knew the plot line was developed well enough that the books were probably worth the read. But to be considered a 'good read' I have to be able to draw something from them besides mere entertainment. Spending precious time reading for the sake of entertainment, is not a high priority for me at this juncture in my life. Between motherhood, being a wife, city-leauge basketball coach, home-schooling and normal household duties I did not want to waste time for personal gratification.
I was 3/4 of the way through the fourth book when it was laid out for me why these books appeal to the female gender. My sister-in-law had shared with me that she felt the reason women and young girls were drawn to the books was because of the 'perfect' love Edward held for Bella. He would go to the ends of earth and time to provide for her every need and want. He would sacrifice himself and his own personal desires for her happiness. He wanted nothing more than to be with her and share in her joy and comfort her in her sorrow. But if he could withhold the sorrow from her life, then he would go to any extreme, including befriending his worst enemy, to keep Bella happy. He was the embodiment of the 'perfect' man.
There were other parallels to 'perfect' love as well; as with Jacob and the other werewolves. When they 'imprinted' or saw their mate for the first time, it was as if the sun had never really shone for them. For Jacob in Breaking Dawn he said, "It was as if a million steel cables were all tying me to the very center of the universe." He had found 'the one' for him.
The main reason these books appeal to so many women, is the exact reason I did not want to read them. I did not want to take my focus off my true love, my passion, the one who has a perfect love for me, the one who has been seeking me (a part of His bride) from eternity. I am part of the bride of Christ and He is the perfect groom. He is not a fictional character to be twisted with words and imagination. He is the creator of the universe and He wants a bride to share it with.
My fear was that I would give into the enemies ever so slight ploy of taking my focus off of my true love and focus on one that was not obtainable, but very appealing to my flesh. It is easy to get caught up in the rush and excitement of these books, and months later realize how many nights were lost dreaming about someone or something that is not real. Spending days fantasizing what it would be like to have a man love me so incredibly unselfishly that other women would envy me.
My other apprehension was directed more towards the other reality of now; that I am married, and all of the false pretenses that could/would be placed upon my husband by me based off a fictional character. We all desire more. But would I place undo expectations on my mate? I have heard many women swoon over Edward and wish that their husbands could be a little more like him. It is easy to deny that I would never be such a wife, but the truth is, if it was not something of a desire within me, then the books would hold no appeal.
So why is it that the desire burns within our hearts, so much so, that we have countless stories throughout time that bend our hearts toward a perfect love? Why do books such as Twilight hold such an appeal over mankind? I believe Frank Viola sums it up best in his book From Eternity To Here.
Every love story that the minds of mortal men and women construct, every
love story that has made an appearance in the pages of human history-whether
fiction or nonfiction-is but a reflection, a pale image, a faint portrait, a scrambled
version of the sacred romance of the ages.
God has authored the most incredible love story ever written. It is a story that has
set the standard for all romantic literature to follow. Every great saga follows the
story line of the hidden romance contained in scripture. But none can trump it.
The greatest part of this, the part that gives hope instead of dread, that leaves you knowing there is a romance out there more significant than Twilight, more timeless than Romeo and Juliet, is that you and I were born into such a romance, the romance of the ages.