I’ve always been a romantic. As a teenager, I used to walk along sandy beaches and wooded trails and dream of the day I would share those experiences with my one true love.
But then I met him. And romantic walks on the beach were more about him wanting me to watch him skip rocks than gazing into each other’s eyes.
And there was that time that our romantic stroll through the forest came to an abrupt halt when he found a dead animal carcass in the woods and picked it up with a stick, releasing the most putrid smell that had ever assaulted my senses.
Romance wasn’t quite turning out the way I thought it would. It wasn’t like it was in the movies.
Just as Hollywood has done a good job of making us believe that ‘beautiful’ is narrowly defined as a tall, thin bikini body, it has influenced our idea of romance as well.
Popular culture tells us romance is flowers, gifts, and elaborately planned dates.
Although those gestures are romantic, romance boils down to something much more profound than that. According to C. S. Lewis,
“EROS [romantic love] makes a man really want, not a woman, but one particular woman. In some mysterious but quite indisputable fashion the lover desires the Beloved herself, not the pleasure she can give.”
By that definition, romantic gestures are more plentiful than we think and suddenly grass cutting and car repairs can start to look a whole lot more romantic than they did before.
As I sit here writing this, my husband is sitting across the table from me working on our household budget. He’s doing that because he knows I don’t like doing it. He doesn’t like doing it either, but he’s doing it as part of his commitment to me – to my comfort and happiness. It’s part of our romance.
So are the occasional gifts and dates and bouquets of flowers. (He’s come a long way from his youthful, carcass-slinging days.)
When we look beyond our traditional ideas about romance, we discover the truth, that:
Jana is a wife, mother, writer, love of adventures and all things creative. She lives in daily awe of the grace that deems her complete in Christ.