Romance is often what we imagine to be the most thrilling part of being in a loving relationship. Pursuing and being pursued and all we imagine that entailing, is, in our minds what contributes greatly to falling and staying in love. Part of that for some of us, is the suspense of whether he or she will ultimately choose us.
The suspense of “He loves me, he loves me not” often drives us to do things, or try to be someone we think he or she would love.
As I lay in bed the other night nearly drifting off to sleep, I thought about how I often find myself trying to earn my husband’s appreciation. My mind wandered back to a situation earlier that day.
My husband had come away from his studying for some snuggles and chit chat, to which I impatiently responded with,
“…you should leave me alone so I can finish writing so I can fix you supper. I’m already feeling guilty that it’s getting so late.”
Yes, I feel sorry for him too sometimes, so no problem if you’re feeling sorry for him right now. But, it was true. I had been feeling guilty. My “guilt” was obviously misplaced at that moment though. And while worrying about his supper, I missed the chance to give what meant even more.
( His gracious reply by the way, was, “Don’t feel guilty! Just write, write, write little bird!” I’m not sure how he came by those characteristics of ‘little’ and ‘bird’….but it felt like he’d handed me wings.)
As I thought about it, lying in bed, now fully awake, I started to realize that responding that way to my husband, wasn’t all that of an uncommon way for me to deal with God.
Call it a misunderstanding, if you will, of the way God loves.
For me, I like to know at the end of the day, that I put in a good day’s work, or that whatever peace of mind I have, came from having done everything the way it oughta be done.
But how, in trying so hard to get it right, was I getting it so wrong? Why didn’t I sense God’s pleasure? Also, why was it so hard to believe my husband finds pleasure in me as just me?
In trying so hard, I’m too busy to remember that God’s love is the constant, not the reward.
My laboring and anxiety, no matter how well intentioned, is not something God demands of me as any sort of pre-requisite to His love. We know this. But we forget it. (Or am I the only one?) And as I thought about it, I couldn’t think of a time that my husband had asked me to prove my love to him either.
We never need to pursue His love for us. (period).
God wants us to pursue Him, and He pursues us, (or I wouldn’t be sitting here writing about Him as someone I personally know), and that’s romantic in the sense we often use the word. Not to be earned or won, His love is simply ours. Okay, we did “win” the love jackpot, that’s what we won. But in that case, so did everybody else. It’s not a competition.
Sometimes the romance we secretly long for is the very worst kind for us. Like a greasy cheeseburger, or the most unhealthy thing you can think of, we binge on it, fully knowing we may regret it. We dance to “he loves me, he loves me not” thinking that whatever sacrifice we make to will it to be true, will be worth it in the end just to have his love.
Dance the dance if you feel you must, but never forget that God’s love does not require those moves.
In my opinion, God’s style of romance is way underrated. On those days I can’t dance anymore, He still loves me. There’s never a time He loves me not. This steady kind of love however isn’t suspenseful. In fact, it’s 100% predictable. God loves to surprise us with good gifts, YES. But not because we finally earned his appreciation.
God takes romance to whole new levels we humans can’t even go apart from Him.
Thank God we don’t have to pursue His love. If we did, it would be like a child playing tag with an adult, or another child with really long legs. There would be no way we could ever catch up to it! Our love for Him and others ebbs and flows, and yet, God CAN NOT do anything more to pursue our love than what He has already done. “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down one’s life for a friend.”
So just one question left, and it’s for you.
Did you know you’ve been chosen?
Maybe you found yourself in an earthly romance and found it was not as satisfying as you imagined.
Maybe you’re bored with the same Jesus-died-on-the-cross John 3:16 love story you’ve heard your whole life. “He loves me. But I don’t feel it. He loves me. But I don’t feel it.”
Then maybe you haven’t heard this yet.
God chose YOU.
He chose you and loves you, and there is not a shadow of a doubt in His mind that you are His beloved.
How spectacular of a gift–how romantic– to be chosen by someone who then offers unconditional , eternal love and proves it through ultimate sacrifice.
For me it’s not like the spectacular fireworks bursting in the air and then fading away, but more like a beautiful bud slowly unfolding to a beautiful blossom. As time goes on it’s just more and more beautiful.
It’s not the way we humans romance each other, because it’s even better.
When something or someone new tantalizes you by the suspense or challenge of it or the sparkly newness of it, meditate on the value of God’s ancient, enduring perfect love, and remember that true love is that love. Maybe we’d all be (whether single or married) a little more content, more settled, more peaceful if we allowed God to romance us. Because God SO loved the world, that He gave His son. Because He loves YOU so. John 3:16
“For God SO LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life.”