It seems like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. A romantic movie that portrays a young man and woman overcoming whatever it is that they need to overcome in order to end up together. Maybe their struggle is as trivial as a quirk in the other person, or maybe it’s huge, like a war or a cultural difference. Either way, it’s easy to get caught up in any love story.
The problem is when you get so caught up in the way movies portray love, you find yourself longing for the type of love that you see on screen, versus the type of love that God offers a man and a woman. This happened to me not too long ago. Despite the fact that I have an incredible marriage (all glory to God), I went to see a love story at the theater because I heard the movie was excellent. Well, it took me in. I felt emotionally connected to the character’s love that I wanted so badly for them to end up together. I watched their romance and it left me longing. I started to question when the last time my husband did something romantic for me. It made me want to be in that movie, experiencing love at the beautiful locations where the film was shot. At the very end, I just sat there and bawled. I cried and cried and I left the theater looking like someone had punched me in the face.
Hmm…what happened? It’s easy to explain: I bought the lies. The first lie was to think that any relationship without God as the center could ever be better than one where He is. It’s not possible. It’s like saying that life without God is better. If you’ve been a believer for any amount of time, you understand how ridiculous that is. The second lie is believing that love is long gazes and romantic boat rides. Sure, those things are romantic, but what God does when you get married is He bonds you in a way that movies can never portray. Movies in fact, often portray the opposite of what God has set up for relationships. For one, almost every time the couple has premarital sex. Not romantic, healthy, or ever worth it. Secondly, characters in movies for some reason are always giving and serving the other person. They will do anything for love. Let me ask you this: In all your experience watching human behavior and being a human yourself, does it seem like the natural response to always give of yourself? Or is it hard? I tell you what, without the Lord’s constant reminder of who I am to be in Him, I would be all about me and nobody else. I’d be measuring my marriage by how well my husband loves me. I’d live only to please myself. In fact, even as a believer, I struggle to die to myself and shoulder my cross. So, remember that characters in movies are acting. It is not likely that without the Lord in their life, they would act so selfless and giving. You just have to be realistic about these things.
I’ve not written this with the intent of ruining romantic movies for you. I will still watch them. They are entertaining and “nice.” However, I want you to watch them with the right filter, remembering that no love void of God could ever be better than love with God. Keep that as your focus as moviemakers try to get you to long for what they’ve spent countless hours perfecting. Stay grounded and you’ll find that God will bless you and any relationship He gives you because you’ve chosen to believe the creator of love, rather than a screenwriter.