A Lesson From a Movie: Is "Tradition" Outdated?

31 October 2010

Today my post is going to be a bit different. I am starting a personal event titled A Lesson From a Movie. No, this is not a weekly or even a monthly event. This is simply whenever I find good values (or bad ones) in a movie, and I wish to share my thoughts on it, why I agree/disagree, etc. Being that Jo's fiesta for this week is book- and movie-centered, and we are allowed to post about our favorite movie(s)/book(s) for extra entries, I thought today would be a good day to start.

Theme: Tradition


Question: Is tradition outdated?

Song used to assist in proving of point: Tradition, Fiddler on the Roof movie soundtrack

Take a look at the "classic" American family: 2 parents, 2 children, and a dog. The children go to public school, the dad is a doctor, and the mom is an accountant. Maybe she works from her home. Maybe there's only a dad or a mom--not both--because the parents were divorced. (Keep in mind that this is just a stereotype--it is not always the case.)

Let us go even deeper than that. Let's say that the mom drives the car, while the dad sits in the passenger seat, because the mom "doesn't trust him." Let's also add that the children are constantly bickering and fighting, because they are so worn-out from being driven from school to soccer to ballet, and then home to eat a quick dinner, stay up a few more hours completing homework, and then roll into bed, only to wake up the next morning and start the process over again.

What's wrong with this picture?

To help you see what is wrong, I am going to pair each of my arguments with a verse from Tradition (key words are bolded):


Who, day and night, must scramble for a living,
Feed a wife and children, say his daily prayers?

And who has the right, as master of the house,
To have the final word at home?

The Papa, the Papa! Tradition.
The Papa, the Papa! Tradition.

Does the "classic" American family regard the father as the master of the house? Sadly, most don't. The father is just a space-filler, so to speak--it is the mother who drives the car, who manages the checkbook, who orders the appliances needed for the household. Where are the strong men of God who lead their families?

When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. ~Proverbs 16:7


Who must know the way to make a proper home,
A quiet home, a kosher home? Who must raise the family and run the home,

So Papa's free to read the holy books?

The Mama, the Mama! Tradition!
The Mama, the Mama! Tradition!

The mother is the maker of the home. She is not the leader, nor should she be. Many feminists today have planted this seed in our hearts that staying at home and raising a family is somehow "not good enough." Woman now have to go out and have jobs to be thought "good enough." "Women should be able to do everything that men can do," they  claim. But women and men have different roles! Of course we can't do everything that men can do! They are the leaders, and we (as women) are their helpmeets. 

In many circumstances, such a the wife driving the car, it is not just because she wants to "prove her abilities." Rather, women are made wanting leaders--that's how we work. If the husband is weak and not willing to be a strong leader, the woman naturally steps in and becomes the leader herself. 

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. ~1 Timothy 2:11-15


At three, I started Hebrew school. At ten, I learned a trade.
I hear they've picked a bride for me. I hope she's pretty.

The son, the son! Tradition!
The son, the son! Tradition!

I don't believe that we should have arranged marriages--the husband is to love his wife, and vice versa, and so marriages should not be arranged by the parents of the couple--but the line that I bolded has a good point. "At ten, I learned a trade." Children are told today that they should be children for as long as they can--that being an adult is "no fun." Just take the Toys 'R Us jingle: "I don't wanna grow up--I wanna be a Toys 'R Us kid." What kind of message is that sending to all the children who see those ads? Children who think that they don't want to grow up grow into adults who are constantly complaining about their lot in life. When children are raised to bear responsibility at a young age, they become men and women who do not complain as much, for they already have experience. 

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him. ~Psalm 127:3

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. ~Proverbs 2:1-6


And who does Mama teach to mend and tend and fix,
Preparing them to marry whoever Papa picks?

The daughters, the daughters! Tradition!
The daughters, the daughters! Tradition!

Again, I do not believe in arranged marriage. But let's look past the line that says "whoever Papa picks," and focus on the "preparing them to marry." Women are the caretakers of the home. But how can a young girl learn to be a good caretaker of her own home someday, if her mother never takes the time to teach her? The tasks that were considered extremely important just a century ago--sewing well, cooking adequately, managing a household--are thrown to the wind in favor of others, such as dance, soccer, volleyball, or cheerleading practice. No wonder woman are not prepared to be mothers when they are married! They are simply not receiving the right training. And the right training begins--not in public school--but at home.

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them sup from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. ~Deuteronomy 4:9

This concluded my first A Lesson From a Movie post. I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you truly take to heart what I have said. And to answer my question: no, tradition is most certainly NOT outdated!!

Remember to click on over to Jo's blog and view her fiesta for the week--this is the last day, so be sure to join in before it's too late! Also, remember to join her Movie Quotes Quiz --it's the last day for that, too! 

P.S. Here is the full video for the song "Tradition," so you can hear the music. :)

7 epistles:

  1. This is amazing Elizabeth! I completely agree with this. The senario you show here, of a woman staying at home, a father being the bread winner and teaching the children what their roles will be in life is exactly what I hope for in the future!

  2. Interesting post... I haven't watched that movie in forever, so it was fun to see a lesson from it. :) And I'll look forward to seeing more like it in the future! :D

    I was wondering though, do you really think it is wrong for a dad to sit in the passenger seat while the mom drives?

  3. A very thought provoking post, Elizabeth Rose. Gives me something to think about, because I feel that, while I am all for tradition, it's become...'out dated' to most.


  4. Amazing post, dear. I love this movie and I love the deeper meanings in it!

    I was just trying to send you an email but it bounced back...so I tried sending it to your personal email and that bounced back too. Did you change your emails or is it a problem on my end?

    Love ya!

  5. Ha! I never realized how contradictory to my beliefs I was being when I wrote that last comment a while back.

    To many people tradition is "out-dated", vintage, and shouldn't be practiced because "modern" is in, and tradition...at least the traditions our parent's parents knew...is so not cool anymore.

    I am all for tradition. It's a wonderful way to connect with the past, while still remaining expressive, adventurous, and modern in the 21st century. But, it's sad to think that so many are eager to ditch the old ways for something new.

    Whatever happened to keeping family traditions sacred and alive? No wonder we've lost so much originality, creativity, and memories. No one is willing to pass on the traditions.

    Good post, Elizabeth Rose.


  6. I agree! :)On another note, I don't know if it's just my computer, but you have the design set so when somebody goes to click on a link the words expand a bit. When I go to click on the comment link, the text tries to expand, but can't, therefore making the link expand, the 'deflate' etc, making it really hard to click. You might want to check that out...
    - Ellie


"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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