I have an 8-year-old daughter who is in love with the idea of being a princess, having a prince come for her, romance and the fairy tale. She is a true romantic in every sense of the word. Fortunately she is an innocent romantic. I am constantly reminded that some day she will grow up and her romantic dreams and fairy tale stories may give way to broken hearts and strained understandings of love. But for now, she is her Daddy’s princess.
She has a new favorite song and I am responsible for her interest. I showed her the music video for Taylor Swift’s song “Love Story” not too long ago because I knew she would love it. The song is about a young romantic “Juliet” who is being kept away from her “Romeo” by her father. It plays out the drama and angst of young love derailed. Of course the song ends with the father giving Romeo permission to marry his little girl and all ends well. But the true story of Romeo and Juliet is not nearly as romantic in its ending.
If you recall Romeo and Juliet are from warring families. Their young love is forbidden and plots are hatched for an escape from the repressive parent’s control. Of course, in the end Romeo and Juliet both die. I have never been able to understand what was so romantic about that. But, I’m a man and I guess I am doomed to not understand such things.
Here’s my problem: I don’t want my two “princesses” or my “prince” to grow up with a warped view of love. I don’t want them to think that the prince on the white horse or the damsel in distress is what true love is all about. True love is so much deeper. True love is not about dying for one another, but about helping one another to live.
God created us as his sons and daughters. In romantic terms his princes and princesses. But we sought our own desires and our own fulfillment. And death occurred. The kingdom heirs were banished from the eternal presence of the king. So Jesus came to restore the throne. He came to allow us back into the palace. He played out the ultimate love story.
In our human views of romance and desire we all dream of some fantasy to be played out in our lives. It is human nature to dream and desire. But how do we make sure our dreams and desires don’t lead us down the road to death and destruction? How do we protect ourselves from the nightmares that are the flip side of the fantasy?
I believe it is in seeing ourselves the way the king sees us. We are a prince or a princess because of who the king is in relation to us. As we see him more clearly, we see ourselves more accurately.
I don’t ever want to crush the dreams of my children. I want them to dream big dreams, push hard to make their dreams become reality and live life to the fullest extent of God’s design for them. I also want them to know that no matter what, they are heirs to the true king. They are significant not because of the romance, but because of the Risen King.
Now that’s a Love Story!