(Photo by Kimberly Loidolt)
Beyond the Screen
By Ashley Scriven
It’s February 14th. You and your best gal pals are snuggled together, cozy in your pajamas. You’ve got plenty of popcorn; you’ve got some chocolate. There are tons of tissues and pillows within reach. The scene is all set; perfect for a chick flick marathon. And there are so many to choose from. There are popular ones like The Notebook, How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days, The Proposal, Crazy, Stupid Love, and The Perfect Man to name a few that are at the top of list for many. As cheesy as they are, chick flicks heavily influence our ideas of love and romance. When we watch them we might picture ourselves in place of the heroine or hope we will find ourselves cast in a real life production. We often create expectations for the real men in our lives based on what we have seen modeled by the hero in our favorite chick flick. We are more drawn to what is scripted and rehearsed than that which is real and lasting. We idolize those movies which last a couple of hours and become tired with real relationships which should last a lifetime. We become discouraged watching chick flicks because we know that could never happen in our actual lives. Watching fictional men woo their ladies on screen makes us forget that we have a relentless lover pursuing us.
We don’t automatically think of God as a “lover.” Maybe you have seen Him as a Father, a Judge, a Savior, and while He is all those things, He is also our Lover. First John says that we love because He first loved us. God is the ultimate lover. He has completed His own “labor of love” and built us a home in heaven. He has spelled out His love for us in more than a notebook; He gave us a volume of 66 books to remind us that He loves us like no other. As human women, we were made to love and be loved. However, we often turn to the world and each other to be fulfilled. We go on the hunt for “the perfect man” basing our standards on what we have seen in film. When we don’t find him, we let that “failure” determine how we see ourselves. Human relationships are not going to be perfect but we cannot allow that to shake us. We have to realize that we cannot let another human being to define who we are. As Christian women, we know that we do not need a man to make us happy. In fact, no human could ever completely fulfill us. Prince Charming will not make our dreams come true. The men we date will be very much human. They will have no scripted lines to charm us, no perfectly airbrushed smile to sweep us off our feet. Is it wise to allow yourself to be swept off your feet anyway? Our identity should be grounded in our relationship with Christ, the solid rock, not our relationships with fickle men.
No doubt about it, God created relationships between humans as a good thing. However, we should never become so caught up in pursuing earthly men that we forget to pursue the divine romance. If we allow ourselves to love God and be loved by Him, we will find peace in knowing that He has our best interests at heart. His timing is always the best and He has you exactly where He wants you to be.
Next time you watch a chick flick, enjoy it! Giggle and sigh and feel all the emotions. However, do not allow it to shape your expectations for your love life. Do not forget that your goal on earth is not to find a boyfriend. Your goal is to get to know the relentless Lover as He pursues your heart. If you trust Him, He will write you a love story far more satisfying and romantic than the best actors could portray.