Published on March 22nd, 2015 | by Jeff Price0
Is God A Romance Novelist?
We are all aware of the endearing and enduring pursuit of true love that serves as the staple of every romance novel. Unfortunately, this highly romanticized, over-dramatized depiction of love in all it’s wondrous glory exists only between the bindings of the novels, themselves. Or does it?
The romance novel has for many years served as a highly popular and deeply entrancing means of entertainment. Along with the romance novel’s offer of escape from reality also comes the promise of vicariously experiencing a love far more tantalizing and exciting than any in real life. For a lot of people, it is a welcomed respite from the failed relationship they are currently in.
Yes, no one is immune from the disillusionment of love in the “real world”. Hopes of a romance novel-like love are quickly shattered as reality pollutes and dilutes expectations of years of happiness and contentment spent with a spouse. And for some less fortunate individuals, including Christians, life with their spouse includes little to no love at all.
So, what does a Christian do if they find themselves in a loveless relationship? Aren’t we supposed to be able to enjoy a life with someone we love? Marriage is supposed to be a blessing, right? I mean, Proverbs tells us to “rejoice” in our wives and that a wife is “a good thing” that is “more precious than jewels” and Ecclesiastes 9:9 tells us to “enjoy life” with our wives. We must also remember, however that, while Proverbs 12:4 tells us that an excellent wife is the crown of her husband, it also says the wife who brings shame is like rot to a husband’s bones. In Proverbs 25:24 it says that “It is better to live in a corner of a house top than to live in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife”. So we see that the possibility of a bad marriage is something that even Christians face. Some would ask, “Well, surely God wants us to be happy. Would He want us to have to endure a lifetime of pain and emptiness experienced by not only the married couple, but also by the children in the relationship? Wouldn’t divorce be alright in this situation?” Christ tells us, however, that adultery is the only acceptable reason for divorce in God’s eyes according to Matthew 19:9. So, if leaving isn’t the answer, what is?
While it is true that God wants the best for us, we have to realize that, what that means is that He wants us to live in obedience to His ways. For some, this may mean that God put us with a spouse not to experience a joyous life with that person, but to help shape and mold us into the person we must become in order to live in obedience to His ways. God doesn’t guarantee our happiness. This is undoubtedly hard to accept, but the bible is replete with example after example of individuals and whole nations suffering for many, many years as God fashioned them into obedient followers of His word. God’s plan for marriage does not come with a permanently refillable prescription for thrills and warm, fuzzy feelings. It is not a plan designed to produce “soul mates” whose main objective is our personal fulfillment and happiness as we have been led to believe by not only the romance novels, but modern culture in general. God’s plan is based on His goal, which is to transform His people into the likeness of Christ. Sometimes this means suffering – and yes suffering that can last a lifetime. Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean our lives will be good – sorry Mr. Osteen.
However, some people often discover that once they choose to stay with God’s plan through the difficulties of life, personal fulfillment and happiness often come as by-products of obedience and willingness to fit into God’ plan. For those individuals, the only way to be content without a spouse’s love is to seek an expression of God’s love. After all, we know from Scripture that the Lord is our spiritual husband, Isaiah 54:5, Revelation 19:7-9, and that He loves us all immensely.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” – 1John 4:9-10
When we enter a marriage expecting our need for love to be filled through another person and find ourselves disappointed instead, we may find that we become even more desperate for God’s love. God presented evidence of His love for us – in Scripture.
- God loved us so much He sent His Son to die in our place, John 3:16
- There is nowhere we can go where His presence is not with us, Jeremiah 23:23-24, Matthew 28:20
- Nothing we do will make Him love us less. His love is unconditional, Ephesians 1:4-5
On top of all of this, the Bible says “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. – Romans 8:38-39
So, there is no doubt that God loves us. But, what can we do if we find ourselves in a loveless relationship with another individual? First of all, I would be remiss if I were to fail to mention that, as with any other point of contention in this life, we should employ prayer and fasting as a means to succor our grief – especially the desolation felt in a unhappy relationship. These are highly effective tools by any measure in affecting God’s help in our lives.
Another effective avenue would be to seek to pattern our marital lives after the rubrics set forth by God, Himself. Here are some examples: In Ephesians 5:22-24 –We are told that wives should submit in everything to their husbands just as if they were doing it to the Lord. Wives are also called to respect their husbands in Ephesians 5:33. In 1Peter 3:1-6 Wives are instructed to be respectful and pure in conduct with a gentle, quiet spirit. All this sounds great if you are the husband. But, husbands are not exempt from God’s rules either. In Ephesians 5:25-33 – husbands are told to love their wives as much as Christ loves His own bride (the church) and as much as he (the man) loves himself. And in Colossians 3:19 we see that husbands are also not to be harsh with their wives. In 1Peter 3:7 – husbands are instructed to be understanding toward their wives and to honor them.
So yes, it can be said that God is a romance novelist of sorts. He wrote the most beautiful love story that was ever written – and He wrote it with His own blood. Our Heavenly Father loves us more than we can comprehend. And nothing can diminish, take away or keep us from the love of God no matter how much some of us may feel unloved by anyone else. So, when you begin to doubt your spouse’s love, you should turn to the love found in God’s romance novel. And you will find you are one loved individual!