Everyone loves a good love story right? We love to open up our novels and get swallowed up into the fairy tale romance.
As a girl, I have often felt it my duty to defend romance. When my guy friends talk about how "unrealistic" romance movies are, I have to say something in defense of them. Like the boy who defends his little brother against the bully and says "No one can push him around except me!" It took me a while to realize you can love something, and still admit that it has flaws. I realized how distorted the idea of romance has become, and it saddens me.
Don't get me wrong, I love romance.
But it saddens me that romance has become less about love and more about lust. You only have to look at the cover of a "romance" novel to know that.
Whatever happened to the beautiful romance where the brave knight sacrifices himself for the one he loved? Now people applaud explicit stories of men abusing women, and they say that is love? Like love is all about wanting something for yourself, instead of sacrificing of yourself.
That is most definitely not love. That is lust, selfishness and hatred wrapped up into a disturbing package and presented to the world as "romance." Somewhere along the line we lost the idea of what love and romance are.
Romance has become embodied as lust, but is labeled as love. Lust is the opposite of love. Therefore romance cannot be both, it has to be one or the other.
Maybe the reason we have changed what romance is, is because we are confused by thinking that love is lust. I wondered if anyone even knew what love was anymore. So I asked some people what love is to them.
A 20 year old guy told me: "Love is a personal commitment to look out for, or act in the interest of something. To always do what is best for the recipient regardless of possible consequences on yourself. I also think that appreciation is a part of it. People tend not to love what they don't appreciate, but that is not a requirement. It's possible to love someone you don't like, but it's not easy. There are many things that love can be, but it generally boils down to that. It's not an emotion or feeling, though it is emotional sometimes in it's communication."
He is exactly right. Love is not a feeling, but we can feel love.
Romance can be an outward expression of love. But if you don't have real love already, then romance is just a cheap imitation of love. Romance will only lead to hurt, unless its built on a firm foundation of love, trust, and faith.
1 Corinthians 13 tells us exactly what love is: Kind, envieth not; vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up(vs.4.) Beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things(vs.7.) never faileth(vs.8.)
We don't have to search any further than that.
If the romance doesn't match up to what God's word tells us love is, then maybe we need to ask ourselves what the point of it is. If it doesn't make me a better person, then it is pointless.
My challenge to you is that next time you read a novel or watch a movie. Ask yourself if this is a picture of love, or lust.
Together lets bring the love back into romance!