We watched Tyler Perry's 'Daddy's Little Girls' with the girls Friday evening. I should first warn you that it is rated PG-13. But I would still highly recommend it for family viewing. It does contain some mild language that my children are not normally exposed to. And it does contain some thematic material that is questionable (mostly confrontations between a main character and a drug dealer and a changed ex-wife). So why will I allow my children (5 and 8) to watch it with us?
Because at the center of all Tyler Perry's films is a scriptural message that overcomes all the other little situations. In this film it was Galations 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. We were shown images of a preacher delivering this message, and we were shown images of the characters believing the message, and grabbing ahold of it, and claiming it as their own. We were shown that faith in the Word of God, not what you hear or see in the world, controls your situation. We were shown community unity. And we were shown real people encounter trials, and make mistakes, but still cling to faith in Jesus Christ, and not grow weary, and witness a miracle.
I do understand that the message can come across without the need for a PG-13 rating. Normally I prefer a cleaner movie. But I also understand Tyler Perry's motive. He is not writing these movies for entertainment for the 'saved'. He is trying to reach the 'unsaved'. By writing a story that will attract your average non-Christian viewer, and putting a biblical message at the center of the story, he becomes a much more powerful evangelist. He reaches people that would avoid a movie that they believe is 'churchy', but he still plants a scriptural seed. I have recommended Tyler Perry's 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman' to several non-believers, and they all watched it and loved it. And, most of all, they got the biblical message it portrayed.
So, I will share all the Tyler Perry PG-13 movies with my children, and just be prepared with some explanations for some of the situations. And we will, as a family, talk about the message it portrays. And I will continue to strive to set a positive example for them to follow, never a 'do as I say, not as I do'. After all, it has been proven that children learn more from the example we, as parents set, then from outside exposures.