Romance Can’t Fulfill (it’s good, but it’s not God)

So, today I was rolling pennies (ah the joys of working retail), and watching a Gill Deacon rerun on the CBC (Yay, Public Broadcasting). This episode seemed to be focussed on the relationship thing, and despite the fact I wrote a bit on  it recently, I figured I should react openly to it (though now people may rightly call me “obsessed”)Probably the most objectionable part I found was the segment on the dating service for people already married (yes, you’re reading that correctly, a site dedicated to empowering philandering), called Ashley Madison. I feel bad giving the link there…

But when the interviewer asked its creator about the reason for the morality of it, he simply started to talk about feeling “unfulfilled” in marriage. Now, I’m not married, but I can guarantee that in any earthly relationship, at some point you’re going to feel unfulfilled because both members of any relationship besides the one with God are sinners.

The second segment, I believe, was a little more enlightening. It was about the Canadian documentary, lovable, which consists of interviews of several people who remain single/never marrieds in their 30s, 40s and 50s. It chronicles the sense of loss, and in some cases failure of being single at these ages and not wanting to be.

What was interesting to me was that the director seemed to hit the nail on the head when he alluded to the need for romance in relationships. He pointed out that there were often other things at play in most instances of romantic love, that can lead older singles to discount great people from the dating circle because they don’t give you the hormone charged high that you got in your teens and 20s. It’s an unrealistic high (that if you keep, will probably have you on Ashley Madison 10 years after successfully marrying).

To put it in religious terms, one of the most prevalent idols in modern times (and especially in my own life) seems to be the desire for romance rather than love and family. Romance is good and noble in its proper place, but it is not going to fulfill you (that’s Jesus’ job), and it isn’t even the center of a good marriage (Jesus is that too).

This is not to say that I don’t seek romance. Quite the opposite, I am even using online dating services like Plenty of Fish (free, but I don’t recommend it, there are a lot of nuts there….. like bloggers who talk to themselves in public), Christian Cafe (pay service that at least limits to self-described Christians, if you ever join it, send me a message, it’ll make me feel less like I’ve wasted my money), and eharmony (the cadillac of singles sites, but too rich for my blood beyond the trial period).

But in the end, as a single in my 30s (33 in 2 weeks), who desires a family greatly, it’s clear that Christ has to be the center, or I’ll end up following the world in placing too much on my wife and kids if God ever blesses me with them. It’s a hard struggle, but a necessary one, as no false gods will fill the role only the one true God can. In the end they are worthless in comparison to Him.

Author: Stephen Dawe

Steve is a part-time vocational elder Calvary Baptist Church, St. John's as well as a full-time student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in the Religious Studies Department.