Because, this can’t be it.
According to the rom com, That Awkward Moment (2013), starring swoon-worthy actors Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller, love is simply posting a funny-cute video on a girl’s Facebook wall as an apology.
…aaaaand, that’s when I finally turned off the TV.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve already seen the movie once before, so I knew what to expect in terms of utter cheesiness. But after watching it a second time around, I sincerely hoped that this wasn’t actually the sort of love that my generation – or any generation, really – was banking on or hoping for.
No, seriously. This guy (Zac Efron’s character, Jason) literally did not go to his girlfriend’s father’s funeral because he didn’t want to be labeled as her actual significant other (aka boyfriend). I was in disbelief. And I’ve already seen the movie!
What a (insert any appropriately insulting name here).
I mean, really?
And like I said, I didn’t watch the end of the movie this time around (and correct me if I’m wrong), but I’m pretty sure he ends up winning her over through some grandiose and cheesily-romantic gesture, despite it all.
Oh, honey. Is that all it takes? More importantly…
Is that all you want?
A little while ago, I was talking with God about my future. In this particular conversation – and let’s face it, as in many of our conversations – I talked to Him about my love life. More specifically, I talked to Him about my future husband and family. I told Him about the list (c’mon guys, don’t tell me you don’t have one) and what I was looking for in a spouse: somewhat of a mixture of life-partner and best friend. Sounds good to me!
I thought I was pretty set on what I wanted. It all sounded pretty solid to me. Then I heard God ask me: “Is that all you want?”
I don’t think it was that God didn’t approve of my list – although, I probably could have skipped the 6’5″ and dreamy brown eyes requirements.
What God put on my heart was to truly ponder by what standard I was measuring my future husband. As the world would measure him, or how God would? To me, it sounded like He didn’t want me to settle for what I was asking.
Yes, it’s all well and good for me to pray that my husband has a taller-than-me frame, or that I melt into his eyes when I look at him (though, maybe that’s going too far), or even that he’s an overall good guy.
But is that all?
Nowadays, it seems like it is. It’s easy to fall into the way of thinking that oh, it’s good enough.
She doesn’t like going to church with me unless I force her, but she’s going so that’s good enough. Or, he’s a Christian like me, even though he likes to push my boundaries, I can’t expect him to be perfect and wait for me – he’s a guy. Or, he’s not a Christian, but he’s a really nice guy and he’s nicer to me than those church-y type of guys. Maybe I can change him/her.
I mean, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, right?
I get it, nobody’s perfect.
Including Especially believers in Christ. But we can’t keep settling for good enough.
God doesn’t want us to settle for good enough. He’s set the bar, y’all. High as it might be, that’s what we’re reaching for. Just because we might struggle to reach it, doesn’t mean we should stop trying, or keep letting those who have stopped get in the way of our reach.
Dare to ask for and expect more.
Back to the question: what is love?
According to That Awkward Moment, it’s not equated to much more than a couple of hours over coffee and witty banter, and then sleeping with another woman – because you’re afraid of being labeled, mind you – only to realize that it’s not what you wanted and then going to their book reading to profess your undying (and probably momentary) love and endearment to the person you’ve been playing games with whole time. And that’s just one storyline, folks.
No, love is much more than that. And I sincerely hope we believe love is more than that.
Love is self-sacrifice.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 14:13 (NIV) This means, love isn’t just about me. How this person makes me feel. What this person does to or for me. What can I get out of this? No. It’s laying down our selfish desires and ambitions for each others’ sake. It’s saying to one another that before myself, I will put you first.
Love is persistent and bears long-suffering.
“…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) Love doesn’t just quit when it’s down. No way. Love fights. It battles. It does its best to win at any and all costs. Love never gives up hope. And it doesn’t just disappear.
Love is NOT just a feeling you get when you’re with someone that makes you feel good.
Because one day, that same person will turn around and probably make you feel a completely different feeling than love. Believe it or not, love is more than just that four-letter-word girls are dying to hear from their boyfriends, or even that intense feeling of care and devotion you get when you’re snuggled up close to bae. Because that kind of love fades. And it fades fast.
Love is enduring and full of joy and never ending and always aiming to do better and it’s faithful and generous and peacemaking and brave and…