“Blasphemy!” you say. “Sacrilege! Heresy!”
In the words of Inigo Montoya[i], “Let me ‘splain.”
In Hollywood, they’re called chick-flicks. In the publishing world, the genre is affectionately called chick-lit. What is it? Romance. And it’s been popular since Homer wrote The Odyssey.
But there’s another wildly popular book that was on the Bestseller List long before Guttenberg put it to press—The Bible. The Bible as a romantic novel? If you can ask that, you’ve never read it. Not really.
Even without the erotic poetry of Song of Solomon, the overwhelming theme of the scriptures is love.
Why should we be surprised? God orchestrated the greatest love story of all time. He arranged the greatest marriage of all mankind—the union of his son, Jesus, to his stunning bride.
Now I know you non-Bible readers are scratching your head and thinking I’ve been reading too much Dan Brown (DaVinci Code), and that you don’t ever recall from your childhood Sunday school lessons Jesus ever taking a wife.
I beg to differ. Actually Isaiah, Paul, and John the Apostle all proclaimed Jesus’ bridegroom/husband status as did the groom himself[ii]. And who is the blushing bride? We are, if we are part of his church, i.e., “married” him as a consenting adult, pledging to love, honor, and obey as long as we both shall live, which just happens to be forever. In fact, God the Father went to great lengths to arrange this whole thing.
An arranged marriage?
Yes, it sounds downright archaic in a feminist world where Aretha Franklin belts songs like “Respect” and “Sister are Doing in For Themselves” (I know I’m dating myself with the music references, but it’s my blog).
Modern women never want to admit (submit) to someone else controlling our love life. Therefore we scoff at needing a man to fulfill us…and then we power up Netflix and watch movies like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Pirates of the Caribbean, Prince of Persia, Lord of the Rings, The Three Musketeers, Gladiator, Braveheart, and Avatar. Because if they are honest, all men long to be the Ultimate Hero who laid down his life for his fair lady (Ephesians 5:25) and every woman swoons to be the one for which he goes to battle.
Don’t believe it? When the economy collapsed in 2008, can you guess which genre in the publishing industry actually increased in sales when all the others tanked? Yep, romance. That’s because when all the distractions (externals) are stripped away—jobs, money, fame, sex, entertainment, and prestige—love is what we all default to. It’s our north star. Our touchstone.
In truth, no (hu)man can fulfill us. Take it from a co-dependent. But God knew who our perfect partner would be. He prepared him (Jesus) and He prepared/is preparing the bride (us) to perfectly complement one another.
People fall in love and get married because we inherited the desire from our Father who put us here for two reasons: so He could have someone to love and so He could be loved in return.
If that’s not a romantic, I need to go back and read some more Jane Austen.
Have you ever read the Bible as a love letter from God?
[i] Main character from the 1987 film The Princess Bride.
[ii] Isaiah 62:5; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelations 19:7, 21:2; Matthew 9:15; John 3:29