1. a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or imaginary setting.
2. the colorful world, life, or conditions depicted in such tales.
3. a medieval narrative, originally one in verse and in some Romance dialect, treating of heroic, fantastic, or supernatural events, often in the form of allegory.
4. a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention.
5. a romantic spirit, sentiment, emotion, or desire.
Do you notice that MOST of this definition has to do with make believe? It’s all about setting and contrived situations and actions. It is comprised mostly of the bigger than life imaginings of our minds.
Romance novels or plays from the distant past were all about instant attraction, false perceptions, jumped to conclusions, money and rank, and listening to gossip and slander to determine the course of the relationships.
Romance novels or movies from the recent past are all about the imagination and pretend. They show bigger than life settings and personalities. They show daring-do, perfect bodies, near misses and eventual perfect resolutions.
Romance movies and novels in recent years show co-dependence, stalkers, obsessively controlling personalities, unhealthy relationships, attaining what you want at the expense of all else.
God’s view of romance is: sacrifice, considering other’s needs as more important than your own, dying to yourself, bearing another’s burdens, selflessness, respect, nurturing, cherishing, being willing to lay down your life for the love of another.
As I’ve said before, I’m all for romance and I believe romance was created in the mind of God. BUT the romance we see in all the media around does not focus on truth and caring for the other person more than our own desires. Our young girls are encouraged to find lies and manipulation flattering, to devalue their own worth, and to throw away their own goals and vision in favor of someone else’s passing fancy and lust.
Real romance – that which stems from the heart of God – is life-giving and victorious. It builds us not flatters us. It gives us strength to love others, to serve others and to reach beyond ourselves to fill others with more of God’s love. Yes, it warms the cockles of our hearts but it encourages us to think more of the other person and to work for THEIR best more than think about our own wants.
The truth about romance is that there is a REAL romance and a counterfeit. Let’s encourage our daughters (and ourselves) to wait for the real and not settle for the counterfeit. It is WORTH THE WAIT!
Other posts in this series: