*Revised from March 3, 2016
Women, as well as some men, love the idea of an impossible romance; where the heroine, despite the circumstances, is still found to be worth winning, worth pursuing, worth redeeming by her unforeseen love, until against all odds he wins her heart and heals its brokenness.
The recipe for most romance novels tends to stay upon that common thread. Women want to read about redemptive love.
I believe this is why women are more open to accepting the grace, truth, and love of Christ.
He comes as the Hero of the ultimate, impossible, love story, sacrificing Himself for a bride who doesn’t know how to love Him in return, doesn’t see her own brokenness, or His value upon first glance.
But when she, the bride, the heroine, does come to herself and allows His redemptive love, she finds her home in His heart where she thrives magnificently.
Romance novels offer this balm to the unspoken ache that all women carry. The bible says that we are not meant to be alone, that He created them, Male and Female (Genesis 1:26-28) and the two become one flesh (Genesis 2:23-25, Matthew 19:4-5.)
It’s the purest romance. Adam loved Eve in his nurturing cover of her and she responded in her care and creation for him. They were equal sides to a solid whole, made in the image of God. Things only crumbled when fear leads them to betray their own hearts and God’s.
Jane Austen, the inventor of the modern-day romance novel, captured the glory of this theme and centuries after her passing her stories still resonate with her audiences even to the point of obsession. The woman’s heart, her inherent need for this kind of love seems to not be readily met today outside of printed pages.
Few women, it seems, encounter the man who is willing to redeem them with nurturing covering, who will gently care for her even though she has a grand and glorious strength all her own in her pure femininity. But she can find this ‘romance’ or ‘fulfillment’ in a well-written romance.
Her need is met within the pages of a make-believe tale that she can live vicariously through.
Women struggle to identify this need for what it is, let alone express it to their mates. Men, too, struggle to see their inherent need as well, to pursue, to win, and to cover. Maybe his unmet need leads into realms of certain addictions (that are not exclusive to men) but like romance novels, ease a wounded void with each taste they take, but never really satisfy, but only leave them hungrier for more.
I, too, love a good romance. I’m even trying my hand at writing several series within that genre. Being single, I long for the day my ‘romance’ will step out from the pages of my imagination and become a walking manifestation.
But in all of this, in the role-playing, and vicarious living that only spritzes a need rather than fully satisfying its thirst is the call to step out of the realms of ‘make-believe,’ and aim to ‘make’ yourself be believable; the hero, the heroine of a true impossible romance.
Can you, as a woman, allow Christ to awaken your truest femininity to be the pursuable one, strong in all you are created to be, to be gentle enough to allow yourself to be protected and covered by masculine strength? Can you be vulnerable enough to allow his strength to nurture you?
Can you, as a man, trust Christ enough to allow Him to pursue your heart, not only for your own redemption but to show you how to properly pursue and redeem the woman you’ve prayed for?
Can you trust Him to strengthen you to a place to be able to give your heart the blessing of being vulnerable in the care of her hands while she creates new life within her?
For both, can we allow Christ to make us the ‘right one’ for the ‘one’ we are longing and praying for?
The art of it seems impossible. Our culture says it cannot be done. To me, this is the making of the perfect impossible romance. Through Christ, all is possible to them that believe. And I believe…I pray you do too.