#ThinkingTuesday – Change your thinking; Change your life.
Stop and think, what exactly is romance? Is it:
A huge teddy bear
A gigantic bunch of flowers
A 24k diamond ring
A first class ticket to any destination of your choice
A fully paid spa day
A shopping spree using the limitless american express black card
(Oh yes, they exist.)
What is romance to you? Whatever you decide upon, hold on to it and continue reading.
Webster’s dictionary defines romance as ”seeking the favor of another person through gifts or flattery.”
In the 21st century, that’s what love is about: favor and flattery. We’ve lost our ability to do things without expecting something in return. We’re only romantic because the season demands it, because we know people expect it or because we’ve pissed someone off and are trying to make up for our mistakes.
We do this even with God. We do nice things for Him only when we want to make up for our mistakes, when we want His favour and blessings, we come to “flatter” Him, say things we don’t really mean etc. just to get His attention. It’s got to stop, really.
We need to learn, what true romance is about. Romance isn’t one off, only on valentine’s or birthdays or special occasions; romance should occur in all our daily relationships. We can keep the peace if we endeavour to be romantic to everyone, not just those we’re intimate with.
Romance can often be about seeking favour but it should never be about flattery, because flattery is a sin (
that’s a whole nother banter we’ll get in to someday); when we think of romance, many things come to mind. Personally, romance to me is – chemistry.
Scientifically, chemistry is about the connection (or composition) of matter. Connections can be of any kind, physical, spiritual, emotional, material, whatever. Romance is often a gesture; words just don’t cut it.
No matter what you see romance as, it eventually boils down to chemistry, it all comes down to seeing a connection between you and someone, through the actions or gestures being portrayed in that moment.
Romance must have chemistry.
Romance without chemistry is void. It’s an empty gesture if it means nothing, that’s why you can buy the whole world for someone and they’ll leave you for someone who they “love” – the latter person catered to their need for a connection aka. chemistry!
Romance is sharing and serving. This is where love sets in. Love can be defined as “an unconditional commitment of affection towards an imperfect person”. If we’re romantic in all our relationships, we’ll do away with the little quarrels and squabbles we often encounter in our relationships with others.
Now we generally know what kills other things but what in the world would kill romance? Let’s take a look at 2 Timothy 3:1-6 (NASB):
In the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The feminist in me is particularly pleased at how it says men come to lead away and captivate weak women yet Eve led Adam astray. Anyways— Ladies and Gents, romance was killed the minute Eve gave the fruit to Adam.
Difficult times have killed romance and the 21st century is one huge ball of difficult times. Difficult times are a result of the last days. It became the last days, the very minute Adam and Eve were sent out of Eden. Right from that minute mankind have been:
lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
There, Romance is dead.
If you find yourself in any one of those words, romance is dead.
If you know anyone who identifies with those words, romance is dead.
As long as we behave like those described in 2 Timothy 3, romance is dead.
Romance is dead, romance is dead, romance is dead
“Oh But, romance has to be spontaneous” — another 21st century sentiment. Spontaneity is often empty and doesn’t think of the meaning behind the gesture. Romance is intentional, it’s purposeful. True romance is and yet isn’t intentional. It isn’t intending flattery, yet it intentionally bestows gestures of lovingkindness that uplifts one’s spirit. Until mankind can demonstrate this, not just to those we are intimate with, but to everyone around us both stranger and family alike – then I put it to you that romance is dead.
From the start,
(though deceived) mankind never showed an unconditional commitment of affection towards the perfect God, so it baffles me how we expect to show to/receive from others an unconditional commitment of affection – except by the grace of this same perfect God, who we denied, lied against and crucified.
Now it’s not the end of the story. Can we resurrect true romance in the 21st century? Romance is a grand gesture of affection and isn’t it the grandest gesture of affection that someone would die for you? Jesus died that you could live, truly live how God intended, live the opposite of what’s described in 2 Timothy 3.
God desires we live a romantic kind of love life. Grand gestures of love and affection are there to tell you exactly how a person feels about you, they are not there to inflate your worth but to qualify it — grand gestures don’t always have to be big, small gestures can be grand because they carry deep meaning.
Let’s say I valued sand from a particular part India because I lost a parent there, and someone went through the trouble to get me some, then it would be a grand gesture even though many people would look at the sand and say really, of what worth is this?
On the other hand, someone could get me a very expensive vase from that same place in India and people would say “wow, such a beautiful vase”, but it would be meaningless to me – pretty and useful unlike the sand but meaningless still.
This is the same way God loves. God demonstrates His love, His romance is in that whilst we were separated, Christ died for us. It may look meaningless to many but to those who need it, Jesus’ death on the cross is everything they’re searching for. When you feel lonely, remember God’s grand gesture and retreat into His word, He’s there waiting.
Waiting to tell you what to put on and where to meet him at 8pm for a wonderful dinner.
Waiting to bring you breakfast in bed.
Waiting to send you flowers.
Waiting to give you joy and eternal life.
How about we as christians redefine our idea of romance and stop waiting on our spouses to shower us with grand gestures of affection while we neglect the grandest gesture of them all – Jesus on the cross.
There’s this expectation on men to always do something romantic for their ladies. By worldly standards, some men don’t have a romantic bone in their body and some, well they just can’t afford it.
Women should know better than to resent them for either; it’s immature and unbecoming. All men are capable of showing affection, one just has to realise it and appreciate their efforts – and where their efforts don’t satisfy, then by all means speak up in a gentle manner: Proverbs 15:1.
We often forget that all love is romantic. Yes, Eros, Storge, Phileo, Agape: all romantic. Marital love is romantic, Friendship love is romantic, God’s love is romantic and so is Parental love — Romance doesn’t have to mean sensual.
There’s this video of a (grand)daughter who made a blanket for her (grand)mother using her late grand(father)’s old shirts. The woman saw this gift, hugged it and started crying instantly – I thought this was extremely romantic.
Get lunch for that coworker who’s a busy mother and can’t find time for herself – that’s romantic
Stepping in to stop someone from being bullied or beaten up is romantic.
Get supplies for the homeless, that’s romantic
Take a widow(er) out to lunch or for a spa date, that’s romantic
Surprising your friend with a birthday party is romantic.
We need to awaken love in the 21st century by redefining our ideas of romance. Expand your ideas of romance past material things: doing the dishes in the sink is just as romantic as spontaneously flying to paris on a jet. Jesus said to Peter: the Devil wants to use you but i’ve prayed for you – Praying for someone is romantic, Casting out a demon from someone is romantic.
Establish a connection with someone through gestures of affection, that’s real romance.
Just like with other humans, embracing what God has done for you is the best thing you can do for Him.
This 2016, l et’s do away with unrealistic arguments about the price of a wedding ring, please. Don’t let the culture around, drag you down to its level of immaturity, by demanding unrealistic expectations; instead allow God to bring the best out of you, by letting you see His romance in all things.
Did you know, you can sow a seed of romance by doing something nice for strangers or family members today? God’s word says we will reap what we sow, so let’s sow seeds of romance. How can we in this depraved world, go about not showing romance to others but expect it in return?
We do our best to be romantic with God not just through worship or spending time with Him but by expressing our romance with God through grand gestures of affection to other people.
We make such gestures even more valuable when we keep them to ourselves and allow the Lord to bless our secret deeds of romance in public, rather than ruining such precious moments by parading them around for worldly reward.
Still think of romance the same way as when you started reading? I hope not. Let’s take our everyday, ordinary life: our eating, working, walking-around and place it before God as an offering, a living sacrifice, a seed of romance. Maybe then, romance won’t be so dead anymore.