Monday, April 20, 2009

Romance and Beauty

Yesterday’s message made me think about romance. It is obviously involved in a relationship between a man and a woman. The question is, why does it seem to decrease inside marriage?

In a dating relationship, the man is generally trying to woo the woman and makes gestures to prove his interest in her. He pays attention to what she says and likes and demonstrates his recall in things like acquiring concert tickets or bringing her her favorite variety of flowers. This is definitely what helps increase the interest on her part. It lets her know that he cares about what she likes and that she is important to him. The man knows that he needs to continue to express his interest in her in order for the relationship to progress. Yes, a woman must also do the same, but she tends to have more of a natural inclination for nurturing relationships.

However, it seems that, in many relationships, once the ultimate romantic gesture is given, in the form of a marriage proposal, the man does not seem to deem romance as being as important in the relationship as it once was. However, the problem is that the woman generally still sees romance as evidence that she is desirable to the man. It can be a hit to her self-esteem when it feels like the husband sees no need in continuing to pursue his wife and continue to deepen their relationship. Does the husband feel that since he has “won” her, he’s done? Perhaps he is overwhelmed and busy due to all of the changes and new responsibilities. Maybe he thinks that she should know how much he loves her because he did marry her, after all. I don’t know the reasoning because I am not a man. And I want to say that this does not mean that all men do this. There certainly are men that continue to be romantic throughout their relationship with their wives. I also want to say that there are also women that stop doing the things they did when they were dating – be it dressing less attractively and more frumpy, wearing less makeup, whatever. This is also not right or beneficial for the marriage relationship.

People need to realize that marriage takes continuous effort and work to be the best it can be. We know that all things that are worth it take work. Paychecks require work. Children require work. A close walk with God requires work. Good health requires work. Successful relationships take work.

I’m really not trying to blast men. I know that I don’t always do what I ought to do in my relationship. I can be selfish with my time and motives. But, I don’t want to be and I pray about it often. I want a great, godly marriage and want to do whatever is needed for it to remain that way.

On a related note, it is interesting how romance and beauty are related. In Song of Songs 1:10-11, Solomon says “Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.” Jeff said that passage indicates that Solomon knew that every kiss beings with Kay. But it is interesting to think about grand gestures of romance. They tend to involve jewelry, flowers, fancy dinners, etc.

Jewelry is considered pretty and is designed to enhance beauty. It also is meant to convey value or worth. Not just anyone is given expensive adornments, right? It says, I value you and want to express your value by giving you something of value that esteems your worth to me.

Flowers are beautiful and fragrant and are sort of symbolic of a woman. They are a gift of beauty to a beauty. To me they also are a reminder of all of the beauty God has placed in this world. That’s probably why I love spring and fall because I get to see all of the different varieties of beauty. I take pictures of creation because I am in awe of it. Unfortunately, the photos rarely do it justice. A gift of flowers is a reflection of the beauty a husband sees in his wife.

Fancy dinners are another example of expressing someone’s worth. It also usually involves dressing up which speaks to beauty. In this scenario, it is sort of a desire to show off the one in whom you find beauty and value.

I think this is why romance is so important. It helps to convey to the woman that the man finds them beautiful and of great value. We all like to know that we are desired, wanted and accepted. That’s what I love about God. He knows just what makes me feel special and hasn’t stopped showing his love for me since the day I became his. He certainly wooed me before I chose him, but he has not stopped and I know that he won’t. Sometimes I do feel a great need to experience his love for me, but I am not afraid to ask him. I know that he is willing and able. Sometimes my lack of feeling God's love is because I am unable to see his loving gestures even though they are there.

God’s word is such a comfort to me. I love these verses found in the second chapter of the book of Hosea.

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” v. 14,16,19,20,23

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