Ultimate Romance
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I’m embarrassed to admit that I have always been a hopeless romantic. I spent several years reading anything I could find that involved a love story.  I loved fairy tales long after they were considered age appropriate.  Then I would watch and re-watch those sappy old romantic movies.1

I think that most of us (guys, you too) are looking for the ultimate romance – someone who will love us totally, who will never betray us or hurt us, who loves us without reservation. Someone who would rather die than live without us.

Hmmm … does that sound like Anyone you know?

“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.'” Jeremiah 31:3

Through the Holy Spirit, the writers of the Bible have included some really amazing love stories:  Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Rebecca and, of course, the Song of Solomon. In some way, they all point to Jesus’ relationship with us and  His church. That relationship is described in the most romantic terms available – a Groom coming to claim His bride.

You might have heard of Joni Eareckson Tada.  She was paralyzed in a diving accident when she was still a teenager. She draws parallels between her wedding day, and Christ’s love for his church.

“I felt awkward as my girlfriends strained to shift my paralyzed body into a cumbersome wedding gown. No amount of corseting and binding my body gave me a perfect shape. The dress just didn’t fit well. Then, as I was wheeling into the church, I glanced down and noticed that I’d accidentally run over the hem of my dress, leaving a greasy tire mark. My paralyzed hands couldn’t hold the bouquet of daisies that lay off-center on my lap. And my chair, though decorated for the wedding, was still a big, clunky gray machine with belts, gears, and ball bearings. I certainly didn’t feel like the picture-perfect bride in a bridal magazine.

“I inched my chair closer to the last pew to catch a glimpse of Ken in front. There he was, standing tall and stately in his formal attire. I saw him looking for me, craning his neck to look up the aisle. My face flushed, and I suddenly couldn’t wait to be with him. I had seen my beloved. The love in Ken’s face had washed away all my feelings of unworthiness. I was his pure and perfect bride.

“How easy it is for us to think that we’re utterly unlovely—especially to someone as lovely as Christ. But he loves us with the bright eyes of a Bridegroom’s love and cannot wait for the day we are united with him forever.” (This We Believe: The Good News of Jesus Christ for the World, (Zondervan) p. 222)

Do you ever feel like you just can’t wait to be with Jesus? Do you spend time imagining how you’ll feel when you see Him for the first time?

I just learned about some Jewish wedding customs that Jesus would have been familiar with when He was here on earth.

Marriage in Jesus’ time looked a little bit like it does today; there was an engagement period and then the wedding. The engagement part was called the Kiddushin, and it was much more strict than what we consider an engagement. During the Kiddushin, they were actually considered legally bound to one another, just like they were already married.

The couple wasn’t just hanging out during this time. The man was supposed to be spending his time preparing a place for his bride.

Then, when everything was ready, it would be time for the Nisuin. That’s when the husband would come and claim his wife, take her to the home he had made for them and they would begin their lives together. (Judaism 101, “Marriage,” http://www.jewfaq.org/marriage.htm (accessed January 10, 2011))

Doesn’t that sound familiar?

“‘Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.'” John 14:1-4

I see people all the time who are so afraid of being alone that they will submit to terrible, hurtful and abusive relationships. In an attempt to make themselves happy, they have condemned themselves to misery. But Jesus wants us to know that no matter how perfect we believe our relationship is, that other person will let us down.  The honeymoon will end in all our earthly relationships. But when our first relationship is with Jesus, that honeymoon will never end. Jesus will never let us down.

“You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name. You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God You shall no longer be termed Forsaken … And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.”  Isaiah 62:2-5

Try to picture that for a minute. God rejoices over you like a bridegroom does his bride. Can you really imagine that?  I mean, we can see ourselves rejoicing because we’re with God, but He’s rejoicing over us! Each individual one of us is so important to God that, for Him, Heaven won’t be the same without even one of His children.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Fictitious romances are but a poor substitute for what the Lord offers each of us — an intimate relationship that starts now and lasts forever.

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Comments

Ultimate Romance — 21 Comments

  1. Wau, God's wonderful love is our hope because its everlasting.
    Though human beings disappoint you, our God does not disappoint. It's us who disappoint ourselves by our bad decision.
    May God bless you as read this comment.
    Let us proclaim God's wonderful love in the whole world.

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  2. Indeed this was a wonderful inspiration and would love to have many more posted on my e-mail address.

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  3. You have put it in a most basic and concise way for me to understand that my relationship with God is not of a master and servant.

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  4. This is very thought provoking and inspiring. I do believe its a great compliment to the lesson. It is a great and practical application of the commonly used analogy of christ love for His church.Please continue to allow the Lord to use you as I was blessed and inspired to look for more by this message.

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  5. I found your message so powerful that it clicked a message in my head; Love is so beautiful but our human nature full of flaws has grimaced it as dirt and worthless. Thank you.

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  6. We are worthy in our Father's eyes not because we have the capability to love but because God is LOVE.

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  7. What a wonderful message of hope! I find these words very encouraging and I will definitely share it with others. Thank You for allowing God to use you. God bless!

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  8. I like this analogy, very good. Andrew Khanganya the Lord is still our Master we are his servants, that's another analogy. He is both and more. Lillian brought one aspect so that we understand that part of the relationship. When we tell others about him we are working for him out of love. There is a story told of a woman married to a man who was Type A person, he wanted dinner at the table at 6pm when he gets home. He wanted her to cook a certain way, wanted breakfast in bed, iron his shirts a certain way. She was always on the run trying to get things done before he gets home. On top of that if she did not do any of her chores the right way, she was punished mostly by beatings that became worse each day. She never felt loved, appreciated and felt she was his servant. Well, the husband got sick and died. Emotionally, verbally and physically abused, she was a widow now. After some time she fell in love with another man and got married. She continued to do the same thing she was doing for the late husband. She surprised the husband all the time by getting things done and ready at a particular time. She was surprised that when he came home he was always appreciative and loved what she was doing. She also realized that when she was doing this she did not have the stress she had before. She was doing it out of love, the husband loved her so much that her doing was out of love not fear.

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    • Thank you so much for your comment. Isn't it wonderful to know that God accepts and rejoices over even our smallest attempts to honor Him. And as we learn more about His love for us, we are able to offer Him more. What a great God we serve!

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  9. Praise God for His matchless love for us. And thank you Lilliane for sharing a bit of your praises to the Heavenly Father with us.

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  10. What a wonderful article.
    I never thought of God in this way but it is a real eyeopener.
    How inspirational!
    Thank you so much

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  11. I am currently separated from my husband, but we are still on talking terms, he beleives man has come from monkeys, but I keep him in my prayers as God can change man to his glory. I have more time with God on my own now and do not intend to devorce.

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  12. Dear Lillianne,

    I love that you are a hopeless romantic as its origin is of God our Creator who made us with Love, gave Himself selflessly out of love and offered to save us if we believe in Him, because He loves us!

    I am hopelessly in Love with my wife and family and I always think about God’s ultimate love as He proclaimed it in John 3:16, for me and mine! It is deeply penetrating, all-encompassing and compellingly incomprehensible, this love of His, our God. I eagerly and impatiently await that moment when we finally come face to face with Him, Jesus our Lord and Saviour, the origin of LOVE.

    As a man to other men, I also take from your message the sacredness of God’s inspired responsibility as (co-head!) of my household and home, to show the fruits of God’s Ultimate love, every moment of each day! Especially with my wife! I encapsulate this intimate feeling from God’s Word in:

    Micah 6:8
    He has shown you, O man, what is good;
    And what does the LORD require of you
    But to do justly,
    To love mercy,
    And to walk humbly with your God?

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  13. This is amazing love. Just by realising this love of God, most of our disheartening feelings of being neglected are met. How comforting it is to realise.

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  14. How beautiful and thank you fit the reminder...The Song of Solomon Series indeed is a wonderful reminder and with The Bible our guide we have much to be grateful for and look forward to !!!!!!!!!!!

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