This is the trailer for NBC’s new reality dating show, “Ready for Love“. The premise (in case you don’t watch the video- I don’t blame you, I never watch videos) is that three eligible and super hot bachelors are ready to fall in love, so they get set up with 12 girls a piece, hand chosen by matchmakers.
Originally, I felt literally no desire to watch this show. Probably because dating shows are stupid, but mostly because it doesn’t really hold any appeal to me. In my world, all unmarried people are ready for love and those who are married already have it… So a dating show with this whole premise is confusing.
In some way, aren’t we ALL ready for love?
As I’ve mentioned a few times, my relationship of 2+ years ended two months ago. Here’s a little more about that story.
My ex and I started dating at the end of my first semester of college. We spent a few months before that hanging out, getting to know each other, and finding ourselves on the same page about just about everything. We were attracted to each other beyond the physical (though that was a major piece!). We were attracted to each other’s hearts.
As our relationship developed, we realized that a life together was something we both wanted. We shared a church, friends, our families. Our desires for the future were aligned. We were both incredibly emotionally invested in the relationship.
When my family moved away in August of 2012 (20ish months into the relationship), things changed. I grew more dependent on him, and he recognized that he couldn’t carry me. I was refusing to seek the Lord– I was seeking comfort only in tangible love and I was not getting my fill. He had carried me as far as he could– but he forced me to see that he couldn’t find Jesus for me. I had to do it myself. And on my own.
Writing this down is incredibly painful. He was not wrong- he was so correct that it still hurts me to think about how far I let myself get from God. I’m still working on repairing my relationship with Jesus.
I’m absolutely ready for love. But am I ready for love from the truest source?
Authentic love can only originate from God, because He IS love. Love cannot exist apart from Him or it isn’t love– it is lust, attraction, intense like… It is not love. When I refused to allow God’s love to penetrate my heart, I did not love anyone else. How could I? I wasn’t outsourcing. I was merely trying to turn my feelings of attraction into love because that was what I wanted.
I was taught that pursuit of love and marriage is equal to pursuit of God. Imagine an isosceles triangle. You and your future spouse start in the bottom corners, with God at the peak. As you both move towards God at the same pace, you reach Him together. You look to the side and see this person; you may have taken the journey separately but you arrived at the same time. My ex and I were running at different paces. We were not seeking Jesus together- mostly because I had refused to move and he couldn’t drag me. It wasn’t fair to either of us.
The triangle is a pretty great symbol. We can apply it beyond a dating relationship and transpose it to marriage, and then match it to the Trinity. Let’s begin.
When one gets married to another one, the two become one, with each other and with God. They form a triangle: three pieces that comprise one shape. Without one piece, they become lines that lead to nowhere. (note: this doesn’t mean that one needs to be married to be complete. this example can be applied to vocations outside of marriage also). The Trinity can be explained the same way. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all God, they are necessary components of God, but they are distinctly different. Just as the husband, the wife, and the Lord all serve different purposes in a marriage, so, too, does the Godhead fulfill different things in our lives.
Marriage, therefore, is more than sharing a name, a house, a bank account. It is about sharing your soul with another person and seeking God with that person. It is about giving fully and completely of your entire self to someone else.
And we are supposed to do that, or believe that other people are doing that, on a dating show?
There are several Christian girls on this show (there always are) but it’s hard for me to believe that a woman who is truly seeking a man of God would end up on a show like this. I have my fair share of trust issues, but that’s a step too far I think.
Before we are ready to love another, we must first love and accept the love of our Father in Heaven. He is the true source of Love and Life. He will bring us to the person He created for us if we allow our hearts to be consumed by His.
Men- pursue a woman who is being pursued by Jesus. Women- allow yourself to be pursued.
Love is beyond us. It is eternal, it is rooted in God.