Recently, I read a journal post written by a woman (whom I don't know) named Ann about Romance that communicated so much of what I've wanted to say about romantic love. I encourage you to travel to her post via this link and read what SHE had to say as well. She has articulated the message much more eloquently and creatively than I ever could. She has one of those beautiful and cool looking blogs. Her gifting as a writer and designer far exceeds my measly attempts. So click on the link but don't forget to come back and pray along with me for our kids.
The culture we live in today defines romance for our sons and daughters with princes & princesses.
To our daughters: If you look beautiful enough, your prince will fight for you, be strong for you, and save you. This is romance. This is love.
To our sons: If you find a girl who looks beautiful enough, fight for her, be strong for her, and save her. This is romance. This is love.
Yet the love communicated in these fairy tales is shallow and temporary.
This kind of love would never survive the real life trials and tribulations of marriage.
Because when beauty fades (sooner than one thinks) and the white horse tires, there will be nothing left to cling to but disappointment and unmet expectations.
Romantic love isn't like the movies.
Romantic love isn't roses, chocolates, long walks on the beach, and poetry. It isn't even saying, "I love you" in candlelight. It isn't heroism. It isn't beautiful clothes. It isn't a passionate kiss.
Romantic love is sacrifice.
Christ Jesus sacrificed His life out of love for you and I. [John 3:16] His is romantic love.
Romantic love is laying down (sometimes giving up completely) our interests,
our time,our agenda,
and our expectations over and over again.
Romantic love sacrifices being right and offers peace.
Romantic love sacrifices being angry and offers forgiveness.
Romantic love sacrifices one's own needs for the needs of another.
Romantic love is also service.
Having the mind of Christ and His same love, romantic love is taking the form of a servant. Like Christ, romantic love is humbling oneself and honoring our lover through acts of service...especially the acts that we hate doing. [Philippians 2:1-11]
Romantic love says, "Less of me."
Keith isn't exceptionally romantic in how the world defines romantic. He doesn't ride a white horse and try to save me because he knows that's God's job. Instead, every day for the past 11 years he sacrifices himself and humbly serves me. This is what makes my heart flutter. This is romantic love.
So let's not let movies teach our children about romantic love. Let's demonstrate Christ's romantic love on a daily basis so they believe it to be true. Let's show them romantic love through sacrifice and service to our spouse. And let's tell them about the greatest romantic lover of all, Jesus!
You've got romantic love in the bag. It's your specialty. It's your flavor of the month EVERY month. Your sacrifice and service to us on the cross is hands down THE greatest communication of romantic love there is. By the guidance and counsel of Your Spirit, teach my children (and me) to love like you. Secure in their minds the rightful image and definition of romantic love. May they never be satisfied with the shallow and temporal love this world has to offer. I pray they would never settle for love like the movies. I pray they would choose and commit to someone who will love them as You loved us...as a humble servant. And may they in turn, love their future spouses with this same sacrificial love.
Don't forget to go back and read Ann's journal post! You won't regret it.