Let’s face it, Disney is all about the romance and the magic. I mean, seriously, they’ve built an empire on princesses for goodness sake. Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamt of the day when I would be rescued by a knight in shining armor and finally get to have the perfect fairytale wedding and live happily ever after. I think a lot of little girls have that fantasy. We search for a prince to fulfill a longing given to us since our fall in the Garden of Eden.
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 NIV
When our just God found his creation sinfully disobeying Him, He punished them. He cursed Eve, and by extension us, with painful childbirth and a desire to have a husband and follow him.So really, when I long for a man to love me and lead me, I’m really longing for the love and direction that only Jesus can extend.
In my life I have had a handful of boyfriends and being that I am currently single, they haven’t ended in the “happily ever after” that I pictured in my head as a little girl. When I pictured myself at age 24 years ago, I always envisioned that I’d be married with at least one kid by this age (Ha!), but I’m not. And that’s okay, because God has other plans for me.
Frankly, I’m glad that the relationships in my past didn’t work. When I look back on them, humanity’s brokenness asserts itself. It’s in those moments of shame, self-doubt, and distrust that I am thankful for a God who gives His whole heart to us and doesn’t hold anything back when loving us.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
God’s love for us is big and bold. It is true and unashamed. It is pure and holy. It isn’t irritable or restless. It’s ever-present and faithful. It isn’t insecure or selfish. It’s unreserved and unrestrained.
I think part of what makes relationships hard is that we give ourselves to each other throughout the relationship, it’s never a clean break when it ends. I once had a mentor glue a pink piece of paper and blue paper together and leave them stuck together. Later, she pulled the two pieces apart. The visual was stunning; pieces of the pink paper stayed glued to the blue paper and vice-versa. The point is, we lose bits and pieces of ourselves in relationship to the other person in the relationship. The pink is never 100% just pink again, and the blue is never 100% just blue.
God’s love for us is different; the parts of ourselves we give to Him are safe. There is no risking of losing ourselves because he loves us no matter what happens and no matter what we do. (Romans 5:8) With God, there is no pink on blue and there is no blue on pink. There is only Jesus. From the start of creation, Jesus was plan A, not plan B. He is the last Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:45) His love for us is so whole that he willingly took the death we deserve, even death on a cross. His love for us is so crazy deep that when He took our place on the cross, He proclaimed our death finished and gave us a “paid in full” notice.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
Disney got it wrong, the rescuer that my heart seeks after is not a man, it is Jesus.
The thing that is so astounding about Jesus, is that He gives His love freely and He gives his love fully. No other relationship on Earth can compare to Jesus’ fullness of love for us. He is the only one who can fully satisfy the longing in our hearts, whether (like me) it’s the longing for a husband to love and follow, or something else that captivates your desires and longing. He satisfies completely and fully and He never stops romancing our souls.
Not only is our God a loving God, but our God is also a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). He seeks after our hearts deeply and wants to reign them. In the moments when we stray, in my moments of self-doubt and fear and desire for a husband, God seeks after my heart and draws me near. He romances us, even in the little things. It’s the way a sunrise can draw me back to the basics of what matters, or the little moments when I can just feel His Presence surrounding me when I look up at the stars against the pitch-black sky. We experience God in His kavod. Kavod is the Hebrew word for glory, which means weighty and heavy. To me this means the things that most glorify Him are the very things drawing us near to Him. It’s His way of saying, “Here I am, my daughter. Choose me.” He is near when we think He is far. He is waiting for us to turn, abandoning everything, and fall into His loving arms.