Monday, March 19, 2012

Princes and Prizes

I was thinking today about romance and the desire for romance. What a mess the world is in today. I've mentioned before how I think that society views love in a totally warped way. This isn't to undermine romance--I am, at heart, a romantic, but as any of my friends can tell you, this has been buried. It took me a long time to acknowledge my longing for love and romance.

The desire for romance has a strangely double-sided view by the world. On the one hand, there's the 'all you need is love' philosophy, the belief that finding that one true soulmate is the one thing you need to complete you. It's an easy trap to fall into.

On the other hand, it's mocked, especially when this desire is seen in women. Women who wish for a Prince Charming are seen at the best of times as idealists. At the worst of times, they're viewed as hopelessly naive. We are told to settle. Settle for the nice guy who does not inspire adventure within our hearts. Settle for the bad boy who is exciting but beats us--emotionally or physically. Settle for whatever comes along, hush up your desires, carry on with your life. But when we long for the idea of a prince--someone immeasurably kind, who understands us but who has the strength to fight for us and slay our dragons--we're immediately scorned.

Not to say that we can't fight our own dragons. Women are powerful creatures. We were made that way. Sure, we were made as the manifestations of God's beauty--created in His own image, you know--but there is a ferocity in women. You don't want to mess with us. We are tigresses in our battles. Think of the movie Mean Girls--women fight in ugly, terribly powerful ways. If you don't believe me, go to a woman you know and insult her best friends or her children.

But I think there's a desire in every woman that someone might want to fight for us. That someone might want to take the burden of fighting alone from us. Someone who will be our comrade on the battlefield and when the world gets to be too much, someone who take up arms and slay the dragon that feasts on our insecurities.

What the world tells men is no better. There is an underlying message of settling told to them as well, but worse still there is this--treat your women as prizes. Collect, capture, lure, entrap women and after all of your effort, be done with it. You're a free agent after all. You can't be tied down, you're a real man. Going through an avalanche of women, no strings attached, is an easy way to get through life. A string of broken hearts behind you? Good for you. Pat yourself on the back. Get yourself a beer. The world will celebrate your success at being an asshole.

If this kind of thing sounds familiar, it's probably because a lot of these thoughts come from John and Stasi Eldredge's books. They wrote the books "Captivating", "Wild at Heart", "Love and War", etc. Books that celebrate femininity and masculinity to their fullest extent, as seen through the eyes of Christ. I recommend them to anyone.

Basically what I'm getting at is to fight the lie that romance is weakness. To tell my fellow sisters that it's okay to want a prince. It's okay to long for love and hope to be romanced. To my brothers, I want to tell them that emotion does not make them weak and that each and every one of them has the strength to fight for the ones they love. Christ fought for us. Christ wept for us. He is the most perfect example of love--and possibly the only true example of love--that we will ever have. Let's learn to follow in that.

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