The book “Redeeming Love” has been a favorite among Christian women for as long as I can remember. At the age of fifteen, I was shaken by the love and grace of God expressed in this book. It helped take the story of Hosea, and while it did fictionalize and hype up the romantic aspect of that story, it does so in a manner that, as a young woman, I was able to go, “Wow, that’s how God loves me.” Today we will be talking about Redeeming Love, the movie, and what I, a fan of the book, thought about its screen adaptation.
This movie is set during the Gold rush in California and has a distinctly “western” feel. We meet a young lady named Angel who works in a Brothel called The Palace. She is pretty popular with the clientele of the town “Pair A Dice,” so much so that the Madam who runs the Brothel holds a lottery to see who will get to “spend quality time” with Angel. Throughout the story, via flashbacks, we see how Angel came to be here and why she is in this particular line of work.
We are also introduced to a man named Michael Hosea. Michael is a man who is not following the gold rush but instead is working a farm in “the valley.” Michael begins to pray for a wife. He meets Angel while he is in Pair of Dice selling produce. Michael determines that Angel is the woman he wants to be his wife and stays in town to pay to see her. He spends the money and a bit extra to ensure that he gets in to see her and when he gets there, Angel is very confused because he legitimately only wants to talk, get to know Angel, and see the woman behind the pretty face.
The following storyline is of their relationship, Angel running away due to not understanding Michael’s love, Angel running away because she thinks she isn’t good enough. Then one final time, Angel runs away because she believes she can not have children and Michael deserves someone who can give him kids.
The overall story is not appropriate for some younger audiences, there are a few curse words, and then, of course, Angel is not shy with what she does or has done for a living. At one point, a character asks her how she and Michael met, and Angel goes,” We met at the Brothel I was working at, and he asked me to marry him.” There is violence and child prostitution, though both are shown in a light that paints them as wrong. There are a few sex scenes and some nudity, which, while more than you generally see in most Christian movies, is still less than we see in modern television.
I would recommend this film for pre-teen children. This film should be ok for anyone who is of the age of understanding fictional stories, the fact that this one is fictional, while still understanding that there are real women out there who have experienced these things. Finally, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys fictionalizing biblical stories or stories set in a “Western” genre. While “Redeeming Love” is not “Little House on the Prarie,” it can start conversations about Gods love and how He directed Hosea the prophet to:
“Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife, this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.”Hosea 1:2 (NIV)
The Christian community has been in heated conversations over this movie. It is natural for people to get a bit squeamish when you broach a subject matter such as human trafficking (which is what this movie is about, just not modern human trafficking). However, this movie does not hide the reality of the situations, and as a whole, that is not something you expect from a “Christian movie.”
I have seen on social media people saying that the movie “glorifies the abuse” that takes place in the film or that they went too far in showing the sex scenes. I am not here to tell you that you should or should not watch this movie. Everyone has different tolerances and convictions about what they can and cannot manage in film. If you are sensitive to more adult subjects, I would advise against you watching this movie. However, if that is not something you struggle with, or you do not mind it being in a film as long as it is not “a lot,” then this movie does a fantastic job in showing how even when we feel unworthy, in sin, and do not believe we are deserving of the Love of God; God still loves us. While He chases after us, it is, ultimately, our decision to love Him back.
Here at Geek Devotions, we give Redeeming love a 5 out of 5 Glixes.