I am always happy to share writings from people I know. This one is from a very favorite person, my daughter. Jana is married to a police officer, they live in northern Washington, and she is the worship leader in her church. She is on the board of Blossom Ministries [http://www.blossomministries.com/] and this is what she wrote in their latest newsletter:
Groan. I know, I know. Some of you may ask why I would want to watch that show? Well, call it a guilty pleasure or just spending time with a friend who was watching it but I actually walked away from the final episode with a lot more on my mind than just who ended up getting a ring and a proposal.
The first thing I learned from watching The Bachelor is that everyone desires to be loved. Why else would an presumably sane person actually chose to subject themselves to the scrutiny and competition of finding love played out on national television? What some people might call an act of desperation, I call an honest desire to find someone, anyone, to truly love them. People do crazy things for love! That being said, how often do I go on autopilot in my world, ignoring the silent cries of people around me to feel loved? The simplest gesture can be enough to change someone’s day for the sake of feeling loved. I need to open my eyes and see all my “neighbors” as people in search of love remembering that I know how to introduce them to the ultimate lover of their soul.
Second, I noticed that sometimes people don’t recognize love when it is being shown right to them! The 2nd runner up this season lost her chance with the Bachelor because she was too self conscious to accept the love he was trying to offer her. She came to mind when I was in a Bible study going through the book of Romans recently. The entire book of Romans points out that Jesus is CONSTANTLY showing his love for me and I constantly miss it! Sometimes the overwhelming awareness of my sin keeps me from accepting the unconditional love offered by my savior. Ultimately, his love is a free gift that is always available to me but I must accept it. I must take it. That might feel that I must risk rejection to get that love. I think the young woman had been hurt so many times in previous relationships that she had a hard time believing the Bachelor when he said he wanted to be with her. She was unwilling to risk her heart again for fear that she might be wounded yet again. But Jesus NEVER wounds. He ONLY heals. What feels like possible rejection is always the enemy lying to me and helping convince me that Jesus might not be trustworthy after all. I cannot make this eternal mistake! I HAVE to risk my heart in order to receive the love of Christ but in the end it is really never a risk. It’s a guarantee if I will just believe that Jesus wants ME!
Finally, watching the Bachelor teaches me a lot about how selfless love must be to last. Between the Bachelor and the Bachelorette there have been something like 17 seasons of match-making and as of today I think only two matchups have actually lasted. Gosh I wonder why! You throw a bunch of people together to compete for the attention of one person and what you get is a reality-show competition not unlike the Amazing Race or The Apprentice. Potential suitors (contestants) are eliminated based on looks, whether or not there is a “spark” of feeling or for no reason at all. Love has nothing to do with a situation like that!
At a marriage conference Ken and I attended last year I heard several times that over the course of a life together you are inevitably going to have moments when you don’t really “like” your spouse but the marriages that last are the ones that simply chose to stick it out no matter what. Hmm, so feelings don’t always tell us the truth? Imagine that. After only two months of the most unusual dating the world has ever known there is no way that those two people who propose to one another on the finale can really selflessly give themselves to one another for a lifetime! Instead they have merely whittled down a list of 20 potentials to one” winner”.
Romans 5:8 says But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Christ loved us so selflessly that he actually DIED to get our attention! He says in John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
And finally 1 Corinthians 13 teaches us most about love in verses 4-8: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. This does not sound like a reality TV show to me. This sounds like the spiritual, sacred thing we call love that could only come from a superior being like an Almighty God.
Love is a choice and it is a verb. It’s not a feeling. And universally, everyone is looking for it. It is my goal in writing this little tongue-in-cheek article to get us all to remember to view those around us as individuals looking for the acceptance that only a relationship with God can bring. And the best part is that he offers it to us freely with no strings attached and THAT is something we can always rely on!