“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”—I Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV)
Today, as I was doing my “What can we tackle *this week*?” research, I happened upon an article entitled, “Love Is What Americans Regret Most“. It was about a study that some psychologists held by asking 370 random Americans what their biggest regret in life was. Catch this, though: the answer was “romance”. Yet, the article is entitled that Americans regret *love*. Are they the same thing? Somehow, I doubt it.
When it comes to “love”, I Corinthians 13 has it nailed. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not jealous, does not brag, is not proud. Love is not rude, selfish and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up the wrongs that have been done. Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, always endures. Love never fails.
That is according to the New Century Version of the Bible. Now, the Dictionary.com definition of romance? Well…see…umm…
Romance: a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention; a love affair, esp an intense and happy but short-lived affair involving young people; a spirit of or inclination for adventure, excitement, or mystery
Big difference. BIG, BIG DIFFERENCE.
It kinda made me think of this other article that I checked out last week. You know, even in my *buckest of days*, I never really got the hype surrounding Cosmopolitan Magazine. I mean, how many things can one magazine publish on sex? And why does it seem like each issue is the same one with a new model on the cover? So when I peeped that they’ve now created an iPad application that makes sex noises (complete with grunts, swears and bleeped out cuss words—?!?), I thought about how, once again, sex is getting a bad rep because it’s not being cherished and treasured for what it was originally intended to do: make two people in marital covenant one (Genesis 2:24-25) *and* then create other people from that oneness (Malachi 2:15). To have such a wonderful, sacred and miraculous thing be reduced to moans on an iPad? How sad. How counterproductive. How *misdefined*.
Then, in a similar fashion, to have love be so ill-defined to the point that people are saying that it is what they regret most? THE DEVIL IS A LIAR. John 8:44 says so. Yeah. On the upswing, that article did get one thing right. What a lot of people believe is love, what it actually is, more times than not, is romance. Fanciful inventions that we conjure up in our own minds. Short-lived intense experiences between young people. Adventurous, and sometimes mysterious, flights of fancy that are filled with excitement. For a season. BUT NONE OF THAT DEFINES TRUE LOVE.
Now in fairness, I did happen upon another definition of “romance” and when it comes to *true love*, it was the closest one that I could find: “love, esp romantic love idealized for its purity or beauty”. But really…do you think if we all made it a point and purpose to base our romantic relationships on *purity* that it would garner 18.1% of a regret vote? *What would there be to regret?*
I recently penned in a devotional stating that my Baba (my mother’s husband) has a very profound statement on relationships…romantic ones: “The devil is not in the business of tearing marriages apart. He’s in the business of putting the wrong two people together.” I so dig it. Give credit to Sibusiso Victor Masondo for that gem!
And to piggyback off of that wisdom, maybe if we spent more time teaching people the “Garden of Eden Courtship Blueprint” (Genesis 2:18-25): *God* deciding it was time for man to have a helpmate, God creating a woman who was *right* for him, God bringing the woman to the man and the man then praising her for being apart of him…perhaps if we told everyone to wait for all of those steps to manifest, there would be a lot more celebrations and a whole lot less regrets. Perhaps if people knew the *real difference* between love and romance and sex and intimacy, we wouldn’t see headlines like the one I did today. *sigh*
I hate that love had to take that blow, though. I really do. But I get it. I used to blame it for things that it didn’t do too.
Until one day real love found me. That would be God, by the way (I John 4:16).
And truly. It is *the greatest*.