Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Sin of Romance-centeredness



If we are to consider the statistics, we can notice the high rate on teen sex, teen pregnancy, and early marriage. This is true in the Western world and, sadly, here in the Philippines. But is this just the problem of the government? Or of the moralists? Has this nothing to do with the church, theology and spirituality? I dare say no. If God must be the center of our lives, this increasing romance-centeredness among mankind must be of the Devil. And it must have been diminishing the glory of God! Therefore, Christians ought to be careful about their views and practices when it comes to eros love.

I write this short post to note some theological truths behind this sin of romance-centeredness (which we often don't recognize):

1. Idolatry is valuing anything else (including romance) more than the Lord.
How often do we think of our crushes, partners, or future partners? Is it more often than God? Than the church? Than our ministry? Every time our heads meditate more and our hearts delight more in romance than in God, we are idolizing romance. We are worshiping romance. Consequently, we diminish the glory of Christ, who is far more beautiful than anyone or anything.

2. Satan still works in the world-system and that includes unbiblical romance.
How often do we meditate on the truth that Satan is still "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2), "the prince of this world" (Jn. 14:0; 16:11)? How often do we evaluate ourselves if we are already loving the world (1 Jn. 2:15) or being "conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2)? Or, to be more practical: are we indifferent to what the TV portrays about love in some romantic shows? Or, are we even delighting in it? Are we imitating them?

3. Marriage itself must not put romance as priority.
We know that the most intimate stage of romance is marriage (the only legitimate place for sex). But although there are biblical passages pertaining to marital relationship and marital sex (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-19; Heb. 13:4), they were mentioned in the context of spirituality and worship (see Eph.5:1-2; Col. 3:17; Heb. 13:15). Moreover, couples mentioned in the bible are not commended chiefly because of their sweet romance but because of their passion for the cause of Christ. Prisca and Aquila, for example, are commended for risking "their necks" for the apostle Paul and their influence to the churches (Rom. 16:3-5).

Young ones, do you prioritize courtship over ministry? Married ones, do you value your relationship over missions? Without diminishing the beauty of gender design and of marriage, we must not put romance as the priority. Let it be God's glory.

4. Marriage is not an inevitable part of life.
Though the Bible says that "it is not good than a man should be alone" (Gen. 2:18), in another passage it also says that "to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them to remain single" (1 Cor. 7:8). What to prefer between marriage and singleness depends on our gift and calling (1 Cor. 7:7,17). And in fact, the single life has many advantages (see 1 Cor. 7:26-40). And, though the gift of marriage is bestowed more often than the gift of celibacy, it is still not an inevitable part of life. We must remove the thinking that our lives will be miserable if we wouldn't marry. That idea is foreign to Christianity.

5. Romance is temporal.
Finally, we should remember Christ rebuking the Sadducees. 
(Mt. 22:30) Marriage, the lifelong romantic commitment, is not eternal. The only eternal "romance" is not for man and woman but for Christ and His people. (see Rev.19) It follows then that if we are romance-centered, we are valuing temporal pleasure than the infinite bliss in the glory of Christ.

I pray that the youth (as well as adults) will kill this sin of romance-centeredness by focusing on the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

1 comments:

Thank-you for this post. I have struggled with romance-centeredness and agree with you. More people need to think about and discuss this topic.

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