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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Ultimate Romance

We all long to form deep connections. To be seen and known and loved for who we really are. We get a taste of it when our spouse brings home our favorite chocolate bar from the store--that hint they really "get us". We may be filled with it when our man actually expresses in words how he feels toward us. But we will only be swallowed up whole by it when we enter into the greatest romance in history.


It's a romance that has been unfolding since the universe was spoken. The one on which every other love relationship is based. And it's the romance which we authors are trying to recreate on paper, whether we know it or not. That romance is the one between the Creator and mankind. You.


You're either nodding your head or recoiling. You may feel offended that I equate God with a word which, for many, is synonymous with sex. Stick with me.


One of my favorite definitions:

  • Romance (verb): to court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness.

This is exactly what the Lord does! He courts us, He woos us, He pursues us with His love. In Jeremiah 31:3 the Lord says "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you."


WOW.


Almighty God loves ME with an everlasting (never-ending, continuous, nonstop) love! And He draws me, woos me, with that patient, gracious, gentle love. Has anyone else ever loved you that way?


The other thing I see here is His persistence, no matter how hard we resist Him. He waits for us to turn to Him, never forcing a relationship to happen. That's where His chivalry comes in. We read in Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."


He knocks and knocks and knocks—never willing to lose a single one of us—but He waits for us to open the door. And notice, He doesn't sit in the car and honk the horn. He approaches and knocks. (Guys—especially those waiting to date our daughters—you taking notes?) He is a gentleman.


Another dictionary entry that caught my eye:

  • Romantic (adj): displaying or expressing love or strong affection. ardent; passionate; fervent.

John 15:13 tells us "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends."

We see this theme played out in our romantic books and movies. The hero gives up his life for the woman he loves, or vice versa. It is a tragic end, but proof of their love. Take the recent Disney movie Tangled for example. (spoiler alert) Flynn cuts off Rapunzel's hair to save her, knowing it means his own certain death. His love proven, Rapunzel's tears bring him back to life and they live happily ever after. That kind of love takes fervency and passion and an emptying of self. And what woman wouldn't want a man to love her with such abandon?

But even those love stories can't touch what Christ has done. Nothing could keep Him from rescuing His beloved, even when His beloved hadn't returned that love. He didn't just lay down His life for His friends. He died for us while we were still sinners. While we wanted nothing to do with Him, He passionately pursued and expressed His love on Calvary. Tell me—is there a fulfillment of the above definition any more complete and profound as this? Has love ever been displayed or expressed more ardently, passionately or fervently than on the cross?
And one last simple entry:


  • Romance (noun): a love affair

As much as I enjoy going all tingly over a good romance in a movie or book (and believe me, I do!), the story of the Divine Love Affair surpasses them all. It's a story of betrayal (ours), a broken Heart (His), separation—followed by passion, zeal, and sacrifice. And it's an ongoing story, one we all experience uniquely and personally, whose ending is up to each of us.

My prayer is that every one of you reading this today will allow the God of the universe to woo you; that you will open the door of your heart to Him; that you will see the depth of love He has for you and swoon in His embrace.

After that, human romance—both real and fictional—will serve to compliment what is already overflowing in your heart. You'll come to see that the best romantic stories are those that most closely depict the eternal truths found in knowing Christ. With Jesus as your first love, every other human relationship will become deeper and more meaningful.

Do you know Him? Is He pursuing you? Has He wooed you? I would love to hear about it!


1 comment:

Shawn said...

Loved the article! What an awesome reminder of the ultimate romance........... Christ's love for us and His passionate pursuit to draw us to Himself. Thank you for your wonderful insights into the true Lover of our souls!