(This has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but I updated my About Me page last night, because it needed some help. Check it out after you read this!)
I’m just going to come out and say it.
I’m a hopeless romantic.
I cry over chick flicks. And books. And songs. And I watch, read, and play them over and over and OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
Do you want to know why?
Yes, before you say it first, I’ll tell you that for one reason, I’m a girl. A girl who asks her mom and dad over and over again the story of their friendship, dating relationship, engagement, and marriage. A girl who has a Pinterest board of wedding dresses, engagement rings, wedding themes, favors, locations, photo ideas and all that.
But the fact that I’m a girl is really beside the point.
The fact that I value romance is more where I’m going with this.
I value True Love. Not the cheap Disney love that has the prince and princess meeting eyes, and getting butterflies, and getting married the next day.
Because I’m so so sorry…
But that love does not exist. It’s an emotion.
I don’t value that fairytale emotion like I value love.
I value selfless love. I value love that chooses to wait and not settle for second-best. I value love that puts another one’s interests above their own. I value the courage that it takes to love, even when it isn’t easy. I value the promise of love, even when the other person doesn’t seem lovable. I value generous love; love given to one who does not deserve it and can not pay it back.
And I value marriage, which is a commitment for life to love the other person.
The thing that I love about this thing called marriage is that when the “magic fairydust stage” (or, “honeymoon phase”) fades away, the promise still stands.
And each person has committed to stick together, in the toughest of times.
There is no, “I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife, as long as you make me happy, I don’t get tired of it, and things go our way. And then when I have decided that I’m not happy anymore, I’ll leave.”
Because as much as love can be expressed in a feeling, love is a choice.
Ask anyone, the fairydust stage of a marriage doesn’t last for very long. But that cannot be an excuse to move on.
Because like I said, love is a promise.
I value love. Real love.
And I can’t WAIT to get married someday. (Emphasis on someday, but nevertheless I’m really excited.)
So as I was brainstorming for this article, something popped into my mind.
What if my desire for human love is just the tip of the iceberg?
What if I crave something even deeper than that?
I do, as a matter of fact.
And it’s not like I didn’t know this before, it’s just hitting me harder and harder as I get older.
You know how I said that I value selfless love?
I’ve been given that selfless love by my Creator.
And before you stop reading and dismiss this as another one of those cliché articles about how being single really isn’t that bad, listen up for just another minute.
Through God’s AMAZING love for us, we see some really cool things.
He is selfless. He loved us enough to let His Only Son die for our sins.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
He lavishes His love on us when we can not pay Him back and do not deserve it.
He loves us even when we are unlovable. (AKA constantly.)
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
What I’m learning daily is that the yearning in my heart for love can only be truly and deeply satisfied by the love of God.
AND IT IS! I AM SO COMPLETELY SATISFIED!
I can rest in the security of His amazing grace and love because that love will never fail.
So, here’s where you probably say something like, “Wait, Amanda, where does marriage come into all of this?”
That’s a good question, and I hope to answer it well.
When I said that perhaps marriage is just the tip of the iceberg, that’s really true.
Because as amazing as marriage and human love truly is, it’s only a reflection of God’s love for us. His love for His people existed long before the first marriage took place.
Which is kind of mind blowing, seeing how prominent “love” is in our culture.
If love is so big in this world, how much more great and beautiful is the love of God, who Himself is infinite?
One thing that I always need to remind myself of is that marriage is not the loneliness cure, or the meaning of life.
Sure, it can be beautiful! And I can’t wait for it myself.
But it cannot be the standalone thing that we seek. My heart yearns for love. But deep down, I need to be loved more than just by my (future) husband.
If I don’t accept the amazing sacrifice for my soul, and the crazy amazing love shown in that, I can’t possibly accept another human’s love.
To reject that would be to reject satisfaction. To reject true love. To reject completeness.
Because whether we are married or not, we can all experience True Love on this deep level.
Selfless love. The choice of love. The courage to love. The promise of love. The generosity of love, especially when we do not deserve it.
1 John 4:9-12
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.