Friday, 13 July 2012

Where Have All the Flowers Gone

A group named Peter, Paul and Mary,  because the artists names were Peter, Paul and Mary, popularized a version of a song entitled “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”.  It was kind of a sad song, lamenting the passage of life.  It could almost be the theme song for many couples in our culture who hold the belief that romantic love is all important to have a full life but that it almost never lasts.  A second and related belief is that marriage should be based on romantic love.  As Tim Keller, author of The Meaning of Marriage says, “Taken together, these convictions lead to the conclusion that marriage and romance are essentially incompatible, that it is cruel to commit people to a lifelong connection after the inevitable fading of romantic joy…”

It seems as though if you start out with a faulty premise it is highly unlikely that the resultant answer will be correct.  Equating romance with love leads to some very unhealthy conclusions.  It is the consumer’s view of love which says, “Make me happy, fulfill me, make me complete, help me to realize my full potential as a self-actualizing individual.”  In a consumer relationship the individual’s needs are more important than the relationship. Get real!

My wife would probably be the first to tell you that I am not very romantic, but if you asked her if I loved her I think you would get a resounding yes!  Love is described in first Corinthians, chapter 13.  Love is patient, love is kind, it keeps no record of wrongs, etc.  Love is sacrificial giving.  Love is putting your partner’s needs and desires first.  To be truly loved is to be truly known with all the wrinkles, blemishes and flaws, and still loved.

It is easy to conjure up romantic ideas; all you need is a computer.  I’m sure there is a romantic ideas website for starters.  This is not to say that romance and passion aren’t part of a marriage that would glorify God, it’s just that they are by-products that often naturally flow out of a relationship that is more concerned about giving than receiving.

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