Thursday, February 13, 2014

Love & Romance

Almost every woman likes to read a good romance novel.  Boy meets girl - boy romances girl - girl falls in love - they encounter a little relational turmoil - boy gets girl and they live happily ever after! 
 We love to get lost in the fantasy of that, don't we - the perfect man who always says and does everything right and we sure do love the happy ending!

There's nothing wrong with a good romance novel as long as we remember it is simply a fantasy - there is no perfect relationship and there is no perfect romance.  The problem with reading romance novels is we may then become very discontent with our own lives or we come to expect too much from our own relationships - we want to live the fantasy.

The biggest detriment, as I see it, is our definition of romance.   We think romance is flowers, chocolates, a knight in shining armor, candlelight dinners, jewelry, etc.  We all have our own secret fantasies of what romance is.  All those things are wonderful, but I think romance is something so different. 

Romance to me is caring, really caring, doing what you can to serve the other person to show them you are thinking of them; they're in your heart and thoughts all the time.

The dictionary defines it as "a love affair; romantic involvement; love; woo; to carry on a love affair; imaginative but impractical; a dream of adventure, heroism or love."
Sometimes we think romance is a day - Valentine's Day - and we set all out hopes, desires and dreams on this one day, and we hope to experience the ultimate experience of love and romance!

You want romance?  You really want romance?  Let me tell you where you can find real romance!!
"He brought me to the banqueting table, and his banner over me was love."
"My lover spoke and said to me, 'Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me."
"How beautiful you are, my darling!  Oh, how beautiful!"
"You are all fair, my love; there is no flaw in you."
"Many water cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.  If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned."
Song of Songs 2:4, 2:10, 4:1, 4:7, 8:7
"He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me."
Psalm 18:19
"Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her."
"I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.  I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord."
Hosea 2:14, 19, 20
"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17
This, ladies, is romance.  This is the relentless pursuit of One who loves us so, that He will continue to pursue and woo us until we turn our hearts and affection towards Him.
He is the author of romance; he defined romance.  His romance of us is continual, imaginative and so very, very personal.  His love is unconditional and His pursuit doesn't waver depending on our response or lack thereof. 
His romance of us is more than hearts and flowers, more than precious jewelry and candlelight dinners, more than teddy bears or chocolate.......

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16
Romance, true romance gives, sacrifices, gives and then gives some more.  It is unconditional, forgiving, unchanging, everlasting and self-sacrificing.  It loves and woos and continues to reach out to us even when we are defiant, rebellious and even contemptuous.  It continues to reach out to us especially when we are fearful to give our hearts in return.
Romance (Jesus) says to us, "When are you going to understand I love you?  I want you to love me.  I want you to trust me enough to let me love you."
Not one of us deserves this kind of love.  But it has nothing to do with whether we deserve it or not.  It is a blessing that comes down to us directly from the Father.  It is a gift!
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
James 1:17
He has chosen you!  With all your past, all your faults, all your frailties, everything!  He knows where you came from and where you are now and where you are going!
Jesus - the Great Romancer!
He brings to our lives adventure and love.
Several weeks ago, I was caring for 5 of my grandchildren while my daughter, her husband and the other 2 children were away for the weekend.  Because of the weather that Sunday morning, we were not able to go to church.  I decided we would have our own church service, so we sang some hymns from the hymnal, prayed and read Scripture.  The Scripture reading I picked was one I had been reading and pondering on - Matthew 8:24-27.  For the sake of time and space, I'm just going to zero in on the question I posed to the kids - "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!" (vs 27)  I asked them, what manner of man do you think He is.  We had a little discussion and then I asked them, what manner of man is He to you personally? 
My 8 yr-old granddaughter said, "He's my hero!"
May He be your adventure, your hero and your love!!


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