I’m back! and talking about love?

Sorry for the unannounced hiatus. Apparently between the summer school, the just over one year old, and the growing a baby, I needed a break. So, I took one. Next time I hope to at least actively decide instead of spending a month promising myself I will write tomorrow.

 
Something this week really caught my eye. Don Miller, a Christian writer and blogger, wrote a 2 part series about how to write your love story. I wasn’t a fan. Rachel Held Evans, a Christian writer and blogger disagreed with him, in a post I loved. Since then Don Miller has taken down his posts and issued an apology. I have always had a lot of respect for him as a writer, but never more than I do know. He really and truly exudes grace and truth….even when he gets it wrong. Rachel Held Evans is quickly becoming “my girl”. Everything she writes I love and I can’t wait till her new book is out!
 
Anyway, this whole dust up was about the incredibly controversial subject of….love stories. Right, not something I think of as controversial either. But it did get me thinking about love stories, how God writes them, why does he write them, who is the star etc. I was a teenager when the book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” came out. And suddenly, every youth group was doing a series on courting vs. dating, love, purity. And every Christian author had something to say about Godly love stories and also how to not have sex outside of marriage. In fact, one summer we talked so much about what the Bible has to say about sex I remember telling my youth group leader if we continued to talk about NOT having sex and NOT thinking about sex I would start having it because all this talk about not having it made me think about it a whole lot more than I normally did. I don’t know how well that went over, but really how much can possibly be said about how to keep your pants on?

But love, and love stories….I think there may be more to say on that. I have read more than one book on Christian dating that basically says the man needs to make all the moves, and the woman needs to wait…and wait… and don’t say anything and wait. It is the man’s adventure and he invites the woman to join him.

Surprise, surprise I never really followed those rules. I don’t know….I guess it was just the whole waiting thing. I wasn’t great at. Also, the not saying anything. I am terrible at that. Though I didn’t ascribe to this whole thing, I had an opportunity to watch this play out a lot in college. I was involved in a major campus ministry that supported this model. Plus, I had an absolutely adorable roommate who fit more easily into this romantic mold than I did. And quite a few boys wanted to date her. So….every once in a while (but DEFINITELY more than once a semester, usually more than twice) a boy would show up to our room and I would make myself scarce because the boy would want to DEFINE THE RELATIONSHIP, or DTR. One of two things would happen. Either my roommate would be totally taken off guard and have to let this poor boy down gently, or she would ask for the opportunity to get to know the boy better and his feeling would be all hurt because he had really wanted to date my roommate and she just didn’t know him well enough to say “Yes! I want to be your girlfriend.” The other thing it did was encourage girls to pine away for whichever random boy caught her eye. She would build this boy up in her head as her perfect guy and maybe just maybe he would show up at the door one day and “define the relationship.” On the occasion that the boy DID show up….the relationship was a disappointment because the girl was into the boy in her head and not the boy that actually existed.

It just all seemed so…confusing…cloak and dagger in a way. It also leaves the poor girl with no agency while the poor boy has to figure out if this could potentially be marriage material when he didn’t even know if he liked eating pizza with her. It seemed to confusing to me. Not that this method hasn’t worked for thousands of couples. I am just not a big fan.

Instead I have started to think that there is one great love story. The love story between God and man, creator and creation, Redeemer and me. A person who needed (and needs) desperately to be redeemed. And yes, God made the first move, but I responded. And love stories between two people are as unique as the love stories people have about how they met Jesus. Sometimes God shows up and says “I love you, love me” and you do. Sometimes God has been in your life forever, always being there for you until one day you wake up and realize He is who you have been looking for all along. Most times God shows up right when you are ready to be with Him.

However it starts, and at whatever pace. True Christian romances are all uniquely the same: God grows two people in a way that suits both the person and the partner. If you let Him, Christ uses all those imperfections you once thought of as impossible to get around to serve another person, sometimes it makes you uniquely qualified to love each other. God is a romantic and a pursuer of the church. And our love stories point to that.

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