by Noval S September 2005

I took Sheryl to see “Must Love Dogs” last night. We both enjoyed it, although the behavior of the principal parties certainly wasn’t always righteous. I like Chick Flicks. There, I said it. Maybe I have a testosterone deficit. Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, even Steel Magnolias, which I thought was a hoot.

I got to thinking about it- why is that? Is it just because I’m an incurable romantic? Romance and passion don’t necessarily seem like front-burner issues after 35 years of marriage. Oh, I’m as crazy in love with the girl as when we were starry-eyed teenagers, stealing moonlit kisses at football games and surreptitiously holding hands in the hall when the teachers weren’t looking ( no, it wasn’t allowed back then!!). But there’s something about aging bodies and aches and pains and the demands and responsibilities of life, the challenges of dealing with aging (and dying) parents, the adjustment of developing adult friendships with our own offspring, and yeah, the battle scars that my sexual foolishness have left on both our hearts- something that makes the moments of genuine passion fewer and further between.

Maybe I should just accept it graciously as part of the season of life we’re in. But I go to these chick flicks and it stirs up this hunger in me, this longing the recapture the ache and longing and mystery and, yeah, passion of young love. Is that being foolish?

Another confession: I think one reason I like Chick Flicks is that, not so many moons ago, they used to make Sheryl horny. They were kind of an aphrodisiac if you will. That’s not so true any more, I guess, but I’m sure that’s one reason I’m still fond of the genre. Guess my motives for taking my wife on movie dates aren’t so pure, huh? Kinda manipulative, maybe?

I know this- there’s something about the “longing and ache” that God wants to use in my life. He designed marriage to point to something even deeper, more mysterious and powerful than young love in bloom- the passion that Christ has for His bride, His people. Talk about a romance!! The husband-to-be longs for his intended with such passion, such ardor that He spills His own blood to ransom her from captivity to a Dark Lord to whom she do foolishly betrothed herself. What a love story!! And it’s about us!!

So maybe my longing, my ache is a good thing. And maybe it’s not really about reliving the experience of a horny 15-year-old discovering his life’s partner in Spanish class- as cool as that was and as precious as the memories are. Maybe it really is about that passionate heart cry John recorded in the Apocalypse- the Spirit and the Bride cry, “Even so, Come Lord Jesus!”

Caught up in the romance,Noval