I was in my Cinderella dress. I’d just walked the aisle, married Prince Charming, and a beautiful coach and white horse waited to take us home. The day had been perfect.
That was almost twenty years ago, and many ladies of all ages have followed behind me, waiting and hoping for their perfect day. February is the season of love–but how often do we stop and really consider what that means. What is love?
- Is it thinking of someone all the time?
- Is it that giddy feeling when you get to talk with someone?
- Is it flowers and fancy dinners?
Or do we define love too narrowly? Is it more?
First Corinthians 13 is often held up as the standard of love, and it’s a good place to start our discussion. So our eyes don’t gloss over with familiarity, let’s read it in The Message version.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
When’s the last time you loved like that?
Dictionary.com says to romance someone is:
to court or woo; treat with ardor or chivalrousness; to court the favor of or make overtures to
That would not merely include long stemmed roses and dinner at my favorite restaurant but much more. To court my favor would incorporate basic relationship building techiniques, like talking about dreams and fears, doing what you say you’re going to do, and sharing the stresses of daily life. It’s about relationship.
While romance draws me in, it’s relationship that keeps me there. Romance makes me yearn for more, but relationship makes the effort behind the romance more meaningful. They work together, forming an ever-deepening circle.
But have you ever thought of romance outside of the dating or marriage relationship?
If romance is nothing more than courting someone’s favor, then romance could be used in broader terms–a theme I explored in Romancing Melody. I think we tend to limit its usage to dating and marriage because we understand that romance encourages, inspires, and strengthens intimacy.
And intimacy is scary.
- It means opening our hearts to those who will eventually let us down.
- It means sharing our fears with some who may belittle, negate, or dismiss them.
- It means discussing our dreams with those who may not grasp our vision or will tell us to be realistic.
- Or, as Melody discovered, it may mean that someone must share truth with us that we don’t want to see because languishing in our own self pity or apathy is easier than the path God’s laid before us.
No matter what comes to your mind as you read this, you should know that God waits nearby, quietly romancing you. Pursuing you. Wanting to draw you into a relationship with Him. Whether you currently feel close to Him or far away, He still wants to intensify your relationship.
It seems to be a unique perspective on this holiday about love, yet it’s all over the pages of history. God so loved, He created. He called a people to Him. He knew the law wasn’t enough, so He came to save.
And now, 2,000 years later, God still loves. He still calls, wanting to draw you into an ever closer relationship. He still comes, longing to inspire and strengthen intimacy with you. For you.
Do you see the romance?
Newlywed Melody Podell gives up everything she has ever known to follow her husband, a soldier in the US Army, across the country to his duty station at Fort Bragg, NC. Army life is not what she expected and she struggles to adapt to it and its constant call on her husband’s time.
Soon after giving birth to their first child and dealing with her husband’s deployment to a dangerous part of the world, tragedy strikes forcing Melody to travel back to home. Walking back into the lives of her old friends in Crossing, Oregon, is the last thing Melody wants to do, but could she be missing something?
Is God trustworthy even when she doesn’t like His plan. Is He really in control? Does He have a plan and a family for Melody in Fort Bragg?