By Hayley Lovitt
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
Have you ever seen the movie about the guy that has prepared romantic dates for his special girl, the weather always happens to be perfect, and even when it’s raining, they have a super sexy make-out-in-the-rain scene? They go some struggles, but by the end they fall madly in love and live happily ever after.
You’ve seen that one, right? Yes you have, because it’s every romantic-comedy and Disney Princess movie ever made. This romantic-plot-focus infiltrates many other genres as well. Our culture is obsessed with romance. Obsessed. It shows up in every form of media imaginable. Our brains are overloaded with sex and romance!
It’s no surprise that so many relationships and marriages fail for lack of romance. People are expecting fireworks every time they kiss someone, because that is what is ingrained in our minds. Women, especially, expect men to deliver elaborately romantic and original dating situations worthy of a movie.
Besides the fact that none of this is realistic, it is also tearing Christians away from the love and romance that should be their focus: their love for, and relationship with Christ. We must stop looking to find fulfillment in a fairy-tale view of romance!
I recently read a book entitled gods at War by Kyle Idleman. I highly recommend this book to all Christians. The difference between the one true God and idol gods fighting for our attention is of great importance. The book discusses how many things in our lives become idols when we place them before God. Relevant to the point of this article is that which Idleman calls the “god of Romance.”
Being that I am still single and in my late twenties, I catch no break from the onslaught of people in my life asking the “are you dating anyone?” questions …repeatedly. It makes me wonder, since He was single, if Jesus got those kinds of questions? One might argue this is because He had much more important things to worry about. I would respond with a question of my own: Don’t we have more important things to worry about in our own lives? Namely: our relationship with God!
At times, I feel the loneliness of being without a significant other, but how one deals with that emotion can help define one’s relationship with God. Christianity is not about being free from real human emotion; it’s about turning to God during those times – relying on Him, loving Him, knowing that He is ALL we truly need.
One of the most popular Christian writers of all time, C.S. Lewis, once said “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” This quote sums up a lesson that needs to be in the heart of every Christian. It’s all or nothing. We must live and breathe Christianity; there is no other way. (Or, for those Star Wars fans out there: “Do or do not. There is no try.” -Yoda)
When romance – and even marriage – is the goal for which we strive, we lose track of what is really important. Of course, romance and marriage are not bad things. The Bible speaks often about marriage, and shows us examples of Christian marriage.
I heard a story once of a man who quoted Psalm 34:3 during a marriage proposal: “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” WOW! There could be no better desire for a marriage than that – to come together to praise God. The problem comes when the desire for self-satisfying romance trumps one’s desire for God.
In our culture, sex is so important that most cannot imagine being in a romantic relationship without it. Sexual abstinence before marriage is a joke among non-Christians, and even among some who claim to be Christian. It is one of the most difficult sins to escape in our society. It is so intertwined with this grandiose idea of romance and what is expected in dating; it is more than a little challenging to date and still maintain sexual abstinence.
So how then should we date as Christians? As a woman, I love the quote from Max Lucado, “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.” If I don’t fall in love with someone, does that make me less of a Christian? Absolutely not. We must stop looking for romance to fulfill our lives, and start looking to Christ Jesus.
Hayley Lovitt is a Christian living in North Carolina trying her hardest to exemplify Romans 12:2.