I am going to deviate a little from my usual format and delve into a topic that is somewhat off base for me. Dating is something that an old married man like myself does not think about much, except that is, in the context of married life.
Keeping romance alive is very important to any married couple that wants love to remain in their marriage. So what does romance look like? What is it suppose to look like? For the answers to these questions let us understand that it is not good for the Christian to take his P’s and Q’s from the world.
So then, let us consider what the world thinks. For some in the world, romance is a nice arrangement of flowers, a dimly lit restaurant with all the proper ambiance that wreaks of passion. It’s a picnic at night with twinkling lights and a basket of good food and a bottle of wine. It’s a setting sun on a calm ocean with a cool breeze on a summer day, with two people looking into each others eyes with feelings of desire. Is there one thing wrong with any of these situations? I would have to say apart from the possibility of getting drunk, no!
Do any of these previous situations apart from true love equal romance? For that answer I will have to say no also. So now for the real important question; what is true love? It is a great thing to go to dinner with a date or a spouse and share love. What does that look like? When God expressed His love for the world that hated Him, He died for it. There in lies the love principle.
When my wife sits across the table and tells me about her day, some pressing concern that could cause anxiety or fear for her or some joy she’s recently experienced, and I listen as though it were me – that is love. When I carry her concerns and make them my own – that is love. Remove that element from any romantic situation and such “romance” is empty and worthless.
Many young couples go into a new relationship with the primary motive of what they can get out of it. Let’s be clear, there is nothing Christian about that approach to a relationship with a possible future spouse. Selflessness is the greatest element for romance among any two people seeking a relationship with a prospective suitor.
I read Piper’s book, and I am not talking about selfless hedonism or unselfish desire for another. Selfless desire is only cultivated over time, the work of the Holy Spirit, and it should never be presumed to exist within us. Selflessness for a people of a fallen race is about as natural as a fish walking.
So in conclusion, if you consistently make time for “date night” as it is called, and you don’t focus on the one main element that makes for true love and romance, you may want to reconsider your reason for getting together. Are you going through the motions or is your entire heart and soul engaged? This of course can be applied to any part of life, even ministry.
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing …This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:5, 12 & 13