By Chris Hernandez
“The Secret Life of the American Teenager” is a show on ABC Family that chronicles the life of Amy Juergens, portrayed by Shailene Woodley.
Amy, a teenager who gets pregnant in high school, must learn how to deal with being a mother at 16. Apart from the show’s main story line, the series is full of sub plots that revolve around teenagers dealing with sex.
One of these teenagers is Grace Bowman, played by Megan Parks. During the span of the show, Grace has gossiped about everyone, physically fought over guys, blamed her sexual sin for the death of her father and attempted to become an example for an abstinence club.
I forgot to mention the fact that Grace is the show’s token “Christian” character.
I find Grace to be a satire of Christian teenagers dealing with sex. Instead of creating a real character to whom Christians can relate, the creators of “Secret Life” have decided to make Grace extremely naïve, sexually frustrated all the time and burdened with the fact that God has made laws condemning her from having sex.
First John 5:3-4 says, “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.”
To nab an idea from “Bruce Almighty,” we are not ants under God’s magnifying glass ready to be fried for the first mistake we make. God is not a bully.
Laws in today’s world are put forth for the benefit of the people. The law against driving drunk, for example, was placed so people would be safe on the roads. When people are driving at 60 mph all around you, you expect people to remain focused so you don’t get hurt.
When someone is under the influence, the risk of you getting seriously injured increases.
Some of God’s laws are like laws against drunk driving; He knows what’s best for you and doesn’t want you placed into a situation where you are at risk.
God made laws so that his people could live life abundantly in relationship with him.
Even though the TV show tries to incorporate a Christian perspective, I feel that it misses the mark in representing a Christian relationship with God.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of Hosea. In Hosea 3: 1, the Lord says to Hosea, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
We, as God’s children, are to be his wife, yet we go against him; we commit adultery to God. Even though we mess up, God still wants to be in relationship with us.
Ironically, the character of Grace in “Secret Life” does not characterize God’s grace at all. When the character has sex, she spends three episodes believing God killed her father to punish her, then gets over it without even showing her feeling God’s forgiveness.
I find “Secret Life” an intriguing show to watch but feel that it’s just an hour of bubble gum.
By incorporating a character that professes to be Christian, the show had an opportunity to portray sexuality from a Christian lens and, with its current character arch for Grace, what God’s grace looks like, but falls short.