Christianity is not prudery. On the other hand, it is not untempered revelry. Rather, it is a celebration. The people of the way celebrate all the Creator’s gifts. Included in those gifts is a little exeriential jewel we like to call romance. Romance is the cultivation and expression of love with a person of the opposite sex. It is made for marriage but is felt before it. In romance, God allows us to experience a taste of the love He showers upon us. Indeed, his love is not only transactional, given on the cross, but is communicated over time and through the duration of life. Christians both taste the love of the divine and give pieces of it to another.
Christians should celebrate romance. We should prize it, and be teachers to the culture of its beauty. We should not simply go about our business, but should be evangelists for romance. Men should, in their own way, be romantics. They should treat their wives with thoughtful sweetness. Flowers, notes, phone calls, dates—all this is the responsibility of a romance advocate. Romance is not optional. It is a mandate, albeit a joy-laden one. When one invests in one’s spouse through kindness and passion, one honors God and fulfills the duties of a man, who is responsible to love his wife as his own flesh. Women should have the same mindset and prize the romance given them. They ought also to live to awaken such an instinct in those they love. Both parties are to revel in the commitment they have made, the transactional act of love, and the daily expression of that commitment, seen in all kinds of small acts of love.
The current generation especially needs to see the beauty of romance. It has grown up with filthy movies and explicit songs and racy novels that together cut romance right out of the equation. Listen to top 40 radio some time. Go ahead, it won’t kill you. You’ll find a picture of “love” that has never met romance. Sex is all there is. Raw, raunchy, unattached to true love. Men don’t woo anymore. Women don’t “flirt” anymore. Romance is merely transactional. The world of twentysomethings, where transactions take place in steamy clubs and overheated dorm rooms, knows nothing of the pursuit of passion, the joy of relational buildup. We must see this reality and work to change it. Let us work to restore beauty in all of life. Let the sacred light return, and the culture understand. We are its teachers.