Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ROMANCE VS. WISDOM // Made For Each Other

[posting a few things from my old blog!]


1. Romance says, "I want it now!" Wisdom urges patience.

Proverbs 19:11 says, "A man's wisdom gives him patience." Patience is important not only in waiting for the right time to start a relationship, but also in allowing it to unfold at a healthy pace. Impatience rushes everything. It urges us to skip the time and attention a healthy friendship requires and to jump right into emotional and physical intimacy.

2. Romance says, "Let feelings decide what happens." Wisdom leads us to pursue a purposeful relationship.

The Bible exalts the virtues of "love and faithfulness" (Proverbs 3:5). In God's plan the personal benefits of an intimate relationship- emotional or sexual - are always inseparably linked to a commitment to another person's long term good within the covenant of marriage. The most beautiful blooms of love can open only in a protected environment.

In Proverbs, foolishness is portrayed as a wicked seductress who lures her victim with the offer of romantic and sexual pleasures devoid of responsibility. "Come, let's drink deep of love till morning," she says, "let us enjoy our selves with love!" (Proverbs 7:18) This is how foolishness works. It calls us to enjoy ourselves without concern for the good of others. It seeks intimacy without obligation.

3. Romance says "Enjoy the fantasy." Wisdom calls us to base our emotions and perceptions in reality.

Proverbs 19:2 says, "It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way."

That verse could stand as a one line summary of Shakespeare’s tragic play, Romeo and Juliet and for many misguided romances in real life. To be passion about something if our passion is based on ignorance  or mistaken information invites disaster. Yet the very intensity of a romance can set us up for exactly that.

In the season of courtship, we have to fight the tendency to fill what's lacking in our knowledge of the other person with emotion based on fantasy, If we don't know something about him or her, we need to talk, ask probing questions, and discover who they really are; their values, their motivations, their goals. We need to move beyond typical, artificial dating activities and observe each other in real life settings- in families, in church life, with friends, handling pressure at work. Courtship is a time to see the good, the bad and the ugly in the one we love. Then our emotions and decisions about the relationship can be based on fact.
[from josh harris' book, boy meets girl]

Living to glorify God means doing everything...
for Him,
His way,
to point to His greatness,
and reflect His goodness.

Made for Each Other

How many times was Adam asked to retell the story? How many of his grandchildren (particularly his granddaughters), begged him to recount every detail of his first glimpse of Eve? Can we blame them? Wouldn't you love to hear the story from his lips? Surely Adam's single descendents couldn't resist pestering him for information. How could they help it? Who would be more qualified to answer their questions about love than a participant in the original "boy meets girl"? 

This is how I imagine one such conversation unfolding...

"When you saw her, what did you say?"

The old man's eyes danced. "I didn't say anything, not at first," he answered. "I think I tripped on a root and she laughed at me. She loved to laugh at me."

He let go of his young companion's hand to stoop and to pick up a smooth stone in the path. When he straightened he smiled. It was a far away smile. He was remembering.

The girl tugged gently on his arm. Her name was Elanna. She was a favorite out of his countless great, great grand-children. But now she was a young woman full of life and questions. "But eventually you spoke to her," Elanna said, determined to coax the story from him.

"I was flustered," he answered shaking his head. "My mind was on fire with curiosity and a new kind of happiness. Here stood a creature after my own kind. Her every feature comforted my senses and invited me nearer. Her eyes looked back into mine with soul-depth."

The old man paused his narrative. Elanna was wide-eyed. "You'll understand that moment better when you have it yourself," he continued. "When you meet your soul's match, what words are adequate?
Sometimes joy can almost choke you. When we first met I wanted to whisper and shout and laugh and dance all in one moment." "But instead you gave a speech," Elanna said playfully. Her grandfather or "First One" as people respectfully called him was known for his speeches. "Well, yes, you could call it a speech. I suppose it was. My first words in her presence must have sounded out of place. But the occasion demanded formality. It was momentous. The animals were gathering, and The Maker was waiting for my response."

Elanna slid her arm into her Grandfather's as they walked into a clearing, a natural cathedral in the forest that siphoned the sunlight and painted speckles on the moss-covered ground. "Well, when you describe it that way your first words are understandable," she said. "It was an inauguration." "Yes. It was a dedication of her, of us, to The Maker. I named her just as I named the animals but her name was an acknowledgment that the Maker had once again, and more beautifully than ever, done what was good-we were made for each other."

Then he stopped walking and stood straighter. His voice deepened as he recited the words spoken on that day so long ago:

"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man."
When he finished, neither the old man nor the girl spoke for what seemed a long time. The woodland sounds filled the silence. "That's beautiful," she finally said in an awed whisper.


"Yes, Grandfather?"

"You ask these questions because you yourself long to meet your soul's match. Don't pretend I don't know you, child. You have your First Mother's eyes. They looked just like yours do now when she was longing for the Garden. But you miss someone you've never met. You want to run through time and glimpse that first meeting. You want to know how you'll know him. But you need not fret."

"But it doesn't seem fair to me," Elanna said, the words born of frustration tumbling out. "It was so easy for you. The Maker brought Grandmother to you. She was the only woman for you. She was the only woman!"



"But here, now, it's so different-so, so confusing."

"It's not more confusing," he said gently. "It only seems that way. Our meeting was 'easy' as you put it, not because we were the only humankind, but because in those sweet days before we disobeyed we implicitly trusted The Maker to bring what was good." He reached out and with both hands lifted her head so her eyes looked into his. "My dear child what you must try to see is that nothing has changed. When the Maker brings you your husband, you'll be aware that it was the Maker who made you for each other and He who planned your meeting. And in that moment, just as we did, you'll want to sing a song of praise to Him."
 --preface taken from "Boy Meets Girl" by Joshua Harris

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