Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your prings in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. Proverbs 5:15-19
Have you noticed the change happening at stores? Christmas is done, the decorations are coming down and as quickly as they come down, new decorations or at least new card selections are coming out…for Valentine’s Day of all holidays (If you know me, you’ll understand why I can’t stand the holiday…well, almost). For those of you V-day crazies, you should know that we have only 40 shopping days left until Valentine’s Day…and it falls on a Monday.
Personally, I firmly believe that Valentine’s Day shouldn’t just be reserved for one day out of the year. Love should be in action daily. Take it from the Master of Romance.
I may not be an expert in the love department, but I do know and am continuing to get to know the One who is: God.
Romance, according to Merriam-Webster, means relating to. A romantic is someone who says, “I want to be with you more than I want to be with anyone else.”
To avoid a disaster in love, the best place to start is to learn from the world’s greatest romantic—God. Now, perhaps you don’t think of God this way. After all, we’ve been brainwashed to think of romance as kind of a light-weight-sappy-love-song-filled-Hollywood-kind-of-thing. But that’s just not true—after all, if romance is someone who says, I want to be with you, and I’m going to put on a show to make it clear just much I want to be with you, and the truth is if I had to marry you all over again, I’d do it with joy.
God’s Word is full of prime examples. God is consistently wooing His people, His bride. He has since Creation. He did so through Christ and will continue until the day of His return.
God not only says that He loves his bride, He puts on a show of it. He shows it before the marriage, He shows it at the marriage ceremony and in the years to come, He continues to let it be known that He loves His bride. He feeds His bride, fights for His bride, weeps when His bride is unfaithful, calls His bride back to Himself and finally He sends his Son to die so that a new covenant can begin; a new marriage contract that will mean more: Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. Ephesians 5.25-27 MSG
Putting on a show, everything He does, Christ does to bring out the best in His bride, to make Her dazzling, radiant.
We, the body of Christ, are that bride.
God is the great romantic, He is a God who romances His bride, who says “I want to be with you and if I had to do it all over again, I’d say ‘I do’ with joy.’”
God is the great romantic. He leads the way in romance. He is the one we look to for how to do romance right. Seeking in Him what true romance is all about. Only He holds the perfect recipe; a recipe that is important for us to discover and pursue, not just because valentines day is coming, but because we live in a day when building strong and lasting relationships is a tough thing. It’s tough because we expect so much more of our relationships than people used to expect. We expect our marriages to provide excellent companionship, a safe place to be loved and cared for, a place where we can be can be refreshed, a place where we can give expression to the physical desires that God has given us. And we expect all of these things in the context of a culture that sharply raises our expectations in all of these areas. You walk the mall and whether it is the pictures in Victoria’s Secret or Abercrombie—you get the sense that the bar for the physical relationship is being raised pretty high—your physical relationship is supposed to get a score of 10, if not better. You go to the movies and on the screen is Chris Evans, a Hollywood heartthrob. And he says his lines and the women melt and wonder, “why can’t my husband be more like him?” Well, the answer is—because Evans’ lines were written by five different people, memorized to say at just the right time. He was saying them to someone he doesn’t have any issues with. The whole thing is a set-up, but it makes us wonder why our relationship level can’t be like those in the best romantic movies.
We need God’s example because we live in a time of high expectations and in the face of those expectations; we have to know what true romance looks like. Now, while God has an entire book on romance, he also has a shorthand version. The version comes from the mouth of a father who is teaching his son the ways of wisdom. While the romance in this picture is decidedly from a male perspective, it can be pretty helpful for all of us on the romance path if we just net it out a bit. Proverbs 5:15-19 reads about a dad to son insight on romance: Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. NLT
Romance: at the beginning of romance is seeing the other person, treating the other person as being someone of extreme value. The dads says to his son, Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? In a land where water is scarce, where 70% of the land is desert, having a cistern of water is a very valuable thing. On a hot day to be able to get a drink of water, to be able to refresh yourself is a very valuable deal. A cistern is of great value. But of even greater value is to have a fountain, a spring. This dad says to his son, like a cistern, like a spring, a fountain in a dry weary land is your wife to you. In other words, she is of great value, she needs to be treated as a person of great value.
When you treat that person as a person of great value not only will they be getting what they deserves, they will also become the valuable person you are telling them they are. To God, no woman or man is worthless or ordinary. The lover sees through the beloved’s flaws to the image of God. The lover is not blind to pigeon toes and ill manners but, caught up in love, discerns the true creature, the one who, when perfected in heaven, “you would be strongly tempted to worship.” It is this truest and deepest self of the person—the person as created and potentially redeemed by God.
Romance, true romance comes when we value the other person, see the best in them. Romance true romance comes when we rejoice in the other person and we keep rejoicing in her, in him as the years go by. Rejoice in the wife of your youth, says the dad to his son. Rejoice: cheer, delight, celebrate, exult—you get the idea. Interesting things about this word “rejoice” it is used very often of rejoicing in God, rejoicing in his good gifts, rejoicing in who he is, it is in fact often used in the context of great worship celebrations. Gives us some sense for what God is expecting. How do you rejoice in the person that God has given you? How do you rejoice in your own soul? Recalling this person God has given you, recalling the things that made you first love and desire this person, bringing to mind the things that make her, make him someone who today brings a smile to your lips. This kind of internal rehearsal comes out in your day to day living, in your romancing. How do you rejoice out loud? How do you rejoice so others hear that rejoicing, including the one you are rejoicing over? To delight, exalt, cheer, is not something we keep to ourselves.
Romance… The God of romance gives us His example; gives us His recipe. Value the other person, rejoice over the other person, keep alive the joyful, playful intertwining, and get drunk on love.
Love doesn’t come in a minute; sometimes it doesn’t come at all. I only know that when I’m in it, it isn’t silly, love isn’t silly at all. Love isn’t silly at all. How can I tell you about my loved one?