by the Night Writer
Where is it written in the Bible that guys have to be romantic? I mean, really, give me a scripture. I checked, and my concordance must be the Strong’s Silent Type, because the word “romantic” doesn’t appear once. Yet our culture tells us that women want men to be “r
omantic”, which usually means tender, sensitive and – oh yeah – dead.
In so many romantic movie by the time the credits are rolling over the last rays of poignant lighting, the guy is dead. As they might say in the Romance languages: Finito. Morte. Cold as a mackerel (like the guy in Titanic).
Why does it have to be like that? Well, I put down my Strong’s and picked up my Funk & Wagnall. It lists the definition of romance as “the character or nature of that which appears strange and fascinating, heroic, chivalrous…” and “a form of idealistic prose fiction distinguished from the novel or tale because it does not bind itself to reality…”
Well, there you have it: Romance is a fiction. The guy has to die at the end or otherwise ride off into the sunset or else reality will set in and the whole thing ultimately falls apart. You think women will pay to see a movie 17 times if turns out the knight leaves his shining armor laying around on the floor, or likes to spend his afternoons watching the jousts and scratching himself? ‘Tis a far, far better thing that he die nobly than live on and spoil the fantasy. That’s why most of what is considered “romantic” in our culture is really just a bunch of manipulative fluff that’s meant to sell something (or some philosophy).
There is an essential truth in all that, however: you really do have to die.
Earlier I challenged you to give me a scripture that mentions romance. I don’t think you’ll find one, but you will find an example of someone laying down his life for his bride. Ephesians 5:25 commands us to “love our wives as Christ loves the church.” He gave himself up, and we are to do the same.
Now I’d guess most of us, if it came right down to it, would be willing to take a bullet for our wives. The real question is, “But will you let her have the last doughnut?” It’s one thing to lay down your life in a blaze of glory like in the movies, but it’s a lot more difficult (and even more romantic) to do it day in, day out by putting someone else’s needs ahead of our own. Perhaps at some time or another you’ve heard the phrase, “C’mon, would it kill you to show a little consideration?” And the answer to that, honestly, is “yes.” It does kill us in so much as we lay aside our will, our pride, our way of doing things in order to reach out to her in a way that is meaningful to her.
We die a little when we put down the newspaper to ask her about her day; when we go out of our way to do something to make her day or her life easier; when we take her concerns and input into consideration in making a joint decision. Is it one-sided? Well, it can be, but it’s been my experience and observation that these activities are very much included in the laws of sowing and reaping, and the harvest usually comes pretty fast. Furthermore, if we are to take Christ as our model, we see that he laid down his life for us first without concern for what he would get back (in fact, even knowing that there would be many who would not accept his sacrifice).
He did it, the scripture says, to make us (the church) holy. One of the definitions of “holy” is “to be set apart.” We demonstrate that our wives are holy to us by treating them in a way that shows we value them more than any relationship in our lives other than God. Instead of taking them for granted because we’re around them so much, we put extra effort into their well-being precisely because we are around them so much. Yes, it will cost us everything – and it will pay back more than we can ever imagine.