Friday, March 23, 2012
Romance in Reality
I am a huge fan of period dramas. You know - Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell; those sort of authors. The kind of weepy, sappy, romantic stories that the BBC love to dramatize and men everywhere love to roll their eyes at!
And growing up, all my dreams of the "perfect guy" looked a lot like Mr Darcy, Mr Knightly, Mr Wentworth & Mr Thornton. I was always fantasizing of the day that I would meet my ideal knight-in-shining-armour, complete with perfect manners & poetic declarations of undying devotion.
But like all girlhood daydreams, it wasn't long before that dream was forced to fade in the harsh light of reality.
Have you been in that place before? When you suddenly wake up and realise that life is NOT like the movies?! Did you feel tricked? Betrayed? I'm sure girls everywhere have asked at one stage or another "Why did they get our hopes up that such men exist in the modern world when I see no evidence of it?" It can be very disheartening, and if you're not careful, can lead to despair and hopelessness.
If you feel like this sometimes, I wish you were sitting right next to me now, armed with some tissues and a mochacchino (!), so I could share some truths with you...
When we believe in and base all our hopes on the romance portrayed in the media, we are settling for a very distorted half-truth. While qualities like honour, chivalry, selflessness and affection are real and relevant expectations for us to desire in a man, those qualities can only exist in a real, flawed man - not a Hollywood-painted version of a man with no faults and sin. Anytime we are lucky enough to meet a man who displays some of the character traits we dream about, chances are they will be equally coupled with other less favourable traits that we're not so fond of. That special someone might be the kind of guy who buys you flowers "just because", but at the same time would rather watch the footy with his mates instead of taking you out to a romantic date. This situation doesn't have to dash your hopes of ever finding "The One". You might just have to revise your expectations of what The One looks like.
So when you're thinking about your future partner and dreaming of the day you'll live Happily Ever After, remind your heart of what the Lord says to desire in love. Not a fairytale dream of white horses and golden carriages, but someone who will put your needs ahead of his in the big things and not sweat the little things. Someone who will stick by you regardless of how much you weigh or cry. Someone who will encourage you to grow closer to God, not him. And someone who is constantly seeking to be a better man, for you.
Because true romance (according to the Creator of Love) looks like this:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
Now that's something to hold out for!