I have a confession to make.
I am a huge believer in romance.
I love to read classic, well written tales of how two people fall in love. I love to watch it play out in front of me on the big screen.
I don’t believe I am alone, for who doesn’t want to meet that one perfect person meant just for them, have him ride in to rescue you like the knights of old, fall head over heels in love and ride into the sunset?
At least, that’s way the books & movies see it. The boy or girl from the wrong side of the tracks falling for the upperclass girl or boy, and a happily ever after in their future.
Life isn’t really like that.
I learned that the hard way at 16 years of age. My first breakup was a head smacking fall back to earth and reality. Love doesn’t work the way I believed it did from the Disney movies or the fairy tales.
But I still clung to the standard of Mr. Darcy, and believed my hero would come to my rescue one day.
Five years later He did.
What i realized in the weeks that built up to our meeting, this face to face falling deeply & madly love, was how people will always let us down. And how I needed rescuing, from my beliefs and my actions.
And when I got down on my knees and admitted my need, my Knight quickly rode in to rescue me.
He knocked out the enemy guards, broke my chains and burst me from my cell into wide open spaces of love, grace, mercy and His Presence.
His name is Jesus.
He is my Beloved, and I am His.
Woah there girl, you may be thinking. You were talking romance and now you are asking me to believe Jesus is the one you were waiting for?
He loves me with a fervour I can barely grasp. Died for me in a beautiful bloody exchange that cemented my freedom & released His power in a declaring blaze across all known space & time.
Jesus was and is indeed the white knight who swooped in to rescue me from the dark knight’s clutches, claiming me as His bride. Restoring me and adoring me along the way as I get to know Him more each day. He was the rescuer I needed, unlike any other.
What does that mean about romance? Is it dead here on earth?
No. Whenever someone lays down their wants & desires to put another’s first, true Love is seen.
We tend to think of romance as the falling in love part of the relationship. The getting to know one another, beginning of the story.
Real romance is the day in day out staying together as you walk out your love.
Its what happens after the wedding and honeymoon. The courtship is only the first part of the story.
The same with our relationship with Jesus.
When we meet, He courts us, showing us His love, freedom and promises. Once we accept His love, the real romance begins.
Wooing may get you to the door,
real love waits for the owner to hand over the key so they can enter with permission, and put both your names on the deed. Proud to merge together after making the promises to be exclusively each other’s forever.
Marriage on earth is to be a reflection of the love God has for us when He comes knocking at our door. He waits for the invitation to come in once we have accepted His forever offer of love, and He gives us our new name as His beloved. We becomes His.
So do I believe in romance?
But from the changed perspective of the One who designed it, and reveals it to each one seeking real love.
I realized when I met my husband that I didn’t need rescuing any longer. My Knight had already come.
I have been given my husband to love and cherish, to try to walk out & show His love towards him on a daily basis as long as we both shall live. A living demonstration of the love God expresses to us as He loves us.
Passionately. Ardently. With abandon. Totally. Devotedly. Eternally.
So when I watch a movie or read a book about romance (or any other theme), it needs to fit into a few must have categories:
1. Keep it pure:
No smut, no swearing, no explicit scenes, no gore or horror for horror’s sake. No excuses. We have a turn it off policy after one incident, no exceptions. I have walked out of a movie theater or two and always gotten a refund when I was offended by the content. I try to get a sense of the movie through online reviews & word of mouth.
2. Keep it holy:
God must be in the story, either directly or in the belief systems in place. There must be a clear sense of right from wrong. I don’t watch movies based upon adultery, hurting one another as your relationship disintegrates, or free love being spread around. Those aren’t influences I want to share my headspace.
3. Keep it real:
I love Jane Austen, CS Lewis, Lucy Maude Montgomery and many of the classic writers because they wrote about real life within a framework of stability. Faith, marriage, community. There were hard times and difficult situations, but also forgiveness and real life consequences. Real people have flaws, a real God can restore them.
4. Keep it in perspective:
God is love, and shared that love with us- first to know Him, then to share within the appropriate relationship boundaries to make Him known as we love one another.
5. Keep in prayer:
A few times, God has warned me to stop watching, or to get rid of a movie as it doesn’t have a good influence woven within. Not always one I can see or sense myself.
There would not be such a high demand for romance novels or movies if people just wanted sex. People are crying out for more. For true love.
I want to be able to meet my White Knight, my Groom, my Beloved face to face when the time comes, and known I have maintained my romance with Him before all others. That I have loved my husband in a way that brought God glory. That I have loved my children, family, friends, church, coworkers in a way that helps reveal Him through my care for them.
The real romance worth fighting for is the one that will last forever.
With Him at your side, you can battle for your marriage knowing the Lover of your souls is with you, helping and encouraging you to stay true to one another, and live out a sharing of love others are desperate for.
God will continue to come to our rescue when we need Him as we seek Him first.
And Mr Darcy? He’s only a small echo of the amazing God striding towards us to offer His unswerving devotion & unconditional love.
Just thinking about how He loves me makes me swoon with joy 🙂