Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The God of Romance

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ 
  ‘Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. 
   Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ 
   ’I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, 
   says the Lord Almighty.’

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (I Corinthians 6:14-7:1 NIV)

While I was in college, I knew a woman who was a faithful believer and very committed to the Lord.  Having not seen her for a few months, we got together to talk about our lives.  She told me she was dating a guy and, assuming he, too, was a believer, I ask her about his faith. “Well,” she said, “he really doesn’t like going to church, so I made a deal with him.  I will bake him cookies if he will go to church with me.”  She was completely serious.

Believers can very easily be led astray by romantic relationships, and can go to great extremes to justify them.  Particularly during the college years, it seems the god of romance can easily replace the Lord on the throne of our lives.  Reasons run from, “She’s a really nice girl,” to “He is really open to what I believe and goes to church with me,” and everything in between.  The reality is when this happens, the two are on very different paths and there is no guarantee they will ever intersect.  

Though Paul here is talking about idol worship and not dating (dating is not a biblical concept), what he says here applies.  As believers, we have been called to a different life with different values and priorities.   What, he asks, do the followers of Jesus have in common with unbelievers?  

Most people who involve themselves romantically with unbelievers would never deny their faith, would never, if it were someone else, condone the beliefs their “sweetie” holds.  Yet, in the midst of the opportunity to be loved by someone, they sacrifice one very precious relationship for one of much lesser value.  They just don’t realize it.  

Romance is one of the great gods of this age.  And many gladly bow down to it and sacrifice their lives upon its altar.  But it is a tragedy because in doing so, they sacrifice a more precious relationship—the one with their Lord.  He has called us out from unbelievers into life.  No matter how great the romance, leaving that is just too costly a sacrifice.  

Today, consider whether or not you have bowed down at the altar of romance.  The Lord most likely wants you to have a romantic relationship, but not at the cost of your relationship with Him.  

© Jim Musser 2013

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