I was robbed! When I found the man of my dreams, I envisioned a marriage proposal for the ages – with hearts and flowers, violins softly playing in the background as candles lit the scene. The fellow on his knees, professing his unending love for me, complete with a gorgeous wedding ring. We’d end the evening close to one another, two hearts beating as one, while we sipped sweet champagne and ate decadent chocolate covered strawberries.
Mine was the polar opposite. Richard and I were in the midst of an argument, so that night I almost didn’t let him into my apartment. I certainly didn’t expect a proposal, so when it came, I doubted his sincerity. There were no candles, no soft dreamy music, not even a flower – much less a ring. I didn’t believe Richard was serious until he called a friend who was mostly negative about our relationship to break the news of our engagement. Instead of champagne and strawberries, we celebrated with pie at Baker’s Square. Richard didn’t even get down on one knee until I requested that. Not a romantic proposal at all!
It isn’t how a man proposes that is romantic, rather how he tenderly lays his life down for his wife. Romance is how a man willingly lets his beloved bore a hole deep into his heart, so that his heart is forever seared by her. It sounds painful and in a way true love is. It will make you suffer because it grows only through service and faithfulness. For 25 years of marriage, Richard has been down on one knee.
Love isn’t about hearts and flowers, but about a mutual laying down one’s agenda for the other. Both husband and wife relinquish their own desires in order to strengthen another. Love is not passion; it becomes passionate only through sacrifice.
Dancing in the moonlight on a rainy beach is splendid, but true romance is about the tough task of taking two lives and molding them into one stronger than its distinct parts. It is about commitment that grows deeply sacred while fixing toilets, staying up all night in order to avoid going to bed angry and enjoying the mundane days simply because they include each other. The good, the bad and all the things in between are challenging, yet both husband and wife do them voluntarily for the sake of love.
Romantic men and women know how to treat their beloved with dedication, devotion and surrender. The courage to so only comes through the strength of Christ. While I may be disappointed about the proposal, I am ecstatic I have a man whose love is based on Christ’s.
Love is more than a feeling. Real romance is heartfelt sacrifice. And it is the only way two lives grow deeper in time, more firmly rooted in love with each passing moment.