As you may or may not know from my previous post I gave up Rom-Coms for lent. This has stretched to films which generally have at their core a message of the ultimate fairytale relationship, or a message that makes me hunger for that relationship. Elizabeth: The Golden Age was ruled out last night. I know, right? So far the actual giving up of Romantic films has been really helpful. It has made me realise how much my view of relationships was shaped by Hollywood and how I was so discontented after watching said films.
But it hasn’t solved the problem. Why? Because the problem was always my heart, not Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it hasn’t been helpful to give up Rom-Coms, I’m just saying it hasn’t been the cure. Because I can just as easily look at the people around me and feel exactly the same way. I can just as easily look at my married siblings and begrudge God for his generosity. I can just as easily long for the perfect husband who is never going to exist. I can just as easily let bitterness grow in my heart by not being grateful for the gifts God HAS given me. My heart’s default is to run after a mirage that turns out to be another sand dune, rather than the oasis I was hoping for. Hear me straight, I’m not saying marriage is not a good thing – it is a great and wonderful thing! It is a good gift given by a good Heavenly Father to an unworthy people. It is a sure picture of His grace and love. But that is all it is – a picture. Its not the actual ultimate love we are after.
A twilight analogy would be helpful I feel. Bear with. At the end of the twilight saga, Bella and Edward are in each others arms contented revelling in the ‘forever and forever and forever’ that they get to share. But real life isn’t like that. People die. And people are unfaithful. And marriages don’t last forever. But there is one that does…
The very last line of the book is ‘And then we continued blissfully into our small but perfect piece of our forever’. Newsflash – people are rubbish! Relationships are NOT perfect. People mess up, they don’t put each other first. If I get married my husband will not love me with an all sacrificial love. It will be imperfect and flawed, at times selfish and at times inconsiderate. Am I just being negative? Or am I being honestly realistic? Marriage is meant to be a picture of something better, a relationship that does last forever, a relationship that will satisfy my deepest needs, a husband who will love me perfectly and lay down all that He has, even His life, to keep me safe. If I am not getting my value from my identity as HIS bride, I will always be putting my hope in the mirage of earthly relationships. There IS a marriage waiting for me that will be better than anything this earth could hold.
This is what lent has taught me so far. And its been brutal. It has been exhausting and draining. And it has made me more thankful for a God who gave up His son for me than ever before.
Quote of the day: Am I a part of the cure, or am I a part of the disease?