Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Making the Most of Melodrama

(Note: We're so sorry for the delay in posting! I admit, it's my fault--yes, Abigail's being a slow poke again! What else is new? Ha! Anyway, we will get back into the swing of posting just as soon as we can--school starting and vacation has gotten in the way of posting recently, so thanks for being patient!)

As females, I’m sure we all (at least to a certain extent) appreciate the idea of snuggling up in a comfy chair with a blanket and a cup of coffee to watch our favorite romantic film. I love the memorable “meet cutes”. I get frustrated with the characters during the complication. I adore the chill that goes down my spine and gives me goosebumps when everything turns out just the way I want it to. I can’t live without the contented sigh I feel inclined to utter at the end of every viewing. In a word, the idea of the “sweep you off your feet” kind of love is simply perfect.

There are so many amazing things about these moments— since we’re girls, we can definitely enjoy getting into a good love story! However, it’s also easy to get pulled too far into these romances and think about these imaginary scenarios too often. There are some mental exercises that I put myself through regularly to make absolutely certain that I don’t get too caught up in something that isn’t really happening and become discontent with where God currently has me.

What is probably the most common occurrence in my life is that I see these theatrical romances, and they make me think about my relationship with my future husband. This doesn’t seem wrong at first glance, but the times when I don’t hold myself in check, I find that I start thinking of my future love as that kind of fun, flirty, and romantic love, when in reality, there might be some of that, but it certainly won’t all be fairy tale—it will take a selfless heart and diligent effort. In the correct context, the extra details of love that they pack into movies are completely innocent and in fact would be a blessing in a marriage, but if it’s taken too far, the lightweight love will take over the deep commitment that love involves. I want that deep commitment more than anything, so I work hard to hold onto that priority.

Another issue which I find to be completely rampant in our day and age is falling in love with the male leads. These men are created to be appealing to females for obvious reasons—I mean, what would a love story be without the proverbial knight in shining armor?! There’s nothing wrong with recognizing good qualities in these characters, but it is easy to become so attached to those qualities that the imperfections in the men that make up the world around us start to look absolutely intolerable, and discontentment arises within our hearts. What is the meaning of true love if not to love people with all of their quirks and imperfections? We can have love like in the movies—beautiful, fairy tale love—but only for a moment—real life holds even more beauty, because clinging to each other through thick and thin, and living with those things that drive you insane while still absolutely adoring one another is what defines unconditional love; a concept formed from the deepest part of God’s perfection!

Among the more vividly harmful problems is the temptation to indulge in love stories that focus too much on physical attraction. Keeping ourselves pure is just as much a mentality as it is an action. In order to remain pure for my future spouse, I need to guard against any kind of physical attraction and the best way to do that is to simply avoid anything that could stimulate that temptation. Where to draw the line is different with each person—we need to search our hearts, examine ourselves, and ask God for guidance. If we’re sincere and have a real desire to do what’s right, He will lead us and protect our hearts.

In conclusion; romance is beautiful, and it can have an incredibly positive effect on how we view life and love. God wants us to have enough joy to see our future love stories with the same exuberance as we feel when we watch these films. Keeping both excitement of what is to come and contentment with the here and now is difficult, but with patience and perseverance we can come out victorious and with our own Godly, quirky, imperfect, manly men to sweep us off our feet! (Lord willing.)

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