Ok - I admit it - I am a sentimental romantic sap! I love the classic musicals and love stories where there's love at first sight, those that fight for love, and the happily-ever-afters. Love 'em!
My birthday was Saturday, and it wasn't as I would have normally planned, but my friends remembered and that made it special! And that night I watched one of my favorite stories - Cinderella (while knitting with a cat in my lap - how much more relaxing can it get). And I not only watched the first Cinderella, but Cinderella III too.
There's so much I love about these stories. Love at first sight for them both, rags-to-riches for Cinderella, justice to the evil stepmother/sisters, and the value of friendship and standing up for those you love.
Now, for those of you who don't know -- I was married once. Yes, I am divorced - almost 8 years now. God forgave me long ago and so did I. Currently, I am under divine protection in the area of a relationship with a man because I asked God to protect me when I started back to college - didn't need the distraction at that time (and I didn't have a good track record). It's been 6 years since I was asked out on a date (not even from the weird ones). 6 years. Talk about having a low self-esteem in this area sometimes. But I know that God is preparing me for my future love that will be Jesus for me while on this earth. I also know that God is preparing that man to be a real man for me. I'm sure he's getting put through plenty of trials to be able to handle me! :-) And he's going to have to ask my FATHER's permission.. But I digress...
When I watch these stories, there's always the kiss. "True Love's Kiss." And in some stories like Cinderella III and Sleepless in Seattle it was the touching of the hands -- it was something they just "knew." For our very own Steve Meredith - he saw Vicki on the dance floor and just KNEW that was the girl he was going to marry. (Everybody together now...."AHHhhhhhhhHHH").
Plus, I'm a history buff. I love to know where people, cultures, traditions come from. And I thought about that whole "You may now kiss the bride" deal. Wouldn't they have already kissed normally? What makes THAT kiss so special? And how did that start? So I did some research and found that today's wedding kiss is a testament to the newlywed's devotion and love for each other but it had a more practical meaning during the Roman Times when it was used to seal the legal bond or marriage contract. This may be the origin of the expression "sealed with a kiss" and that does not only refer to a wedding. It seems that the Romans are known for their fascination to the ancient art of kissing. They started the passionate betrothal kiss which is said to be the origin of the kiss which was done at the end of the ceremony. That kiss between the new husband and wife serves as a public agreement that they willingly enter into a life-long contract called marriage. The more superstitious ones believe that the wedding kiss paves the way for the mingling of the couples' souls.
Wow - do we really see it that way now? That the kiss is sealing the contract per se. It's binding. Meaningful. It's not just sharing spit all you youngins! How amazingly awesome would it be if two people saved their "first kiss" to be the kiss that "seals the deal" for marriage?
And I love Jane Austen stories - back when being in love was done in its proper form. There was no sex on the first meeting...there was barely looking at each other the first time you met! And to have touched each others' hands...wow...there was real meaning in that. When everything you did for each other had meaning and was not to be taken for granted. Believing in each other, lifting each other up, loving and taking care of each other in the small things (like killing the spiders or sewing a button or even caring for a sprained ankle after falling off a horse). Where just looking at each other from across the room filled your love jar all night! And the dance! To be chosen as the dance partner of the one you are in love with - you would be floating on air all night like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady! Whatever happened to all that?!?!?!?
All I've seen lately is people (young and old) that are quick to jump right to sex. Like THAT means anything. That's just destructive. Not only does it not glorify God, but it destroys you...it hardens you to be able to truly love someone. Your perception of what love IS becomes skewed to only the physical. Love is not sex. "Making love" has been turned into a free-for-all with anyone. That's not good. "Making love" is what a married man & woman do -- not only in the physical union, but in the everyday things...little notes, picking up after each other, reaching stuff on the top shelf, fixing favorite foods, listening, interacting, etc. For me, making love is a package deal. I don't want just the temporary physical feelings - but the whole experience! Anything less than that and I short-change myself and my husband (to-be, hopefully).
And to have a husband willing to fight for me - to die for me...that would be imitating Jesus. Just as He loved the church so husbands should love their wives. Another interesting tidbit about a wedding ceremony: The brides placement to the left— When a bridegroom secured his bride and prepared to marry her, she was placed to his left in order to protect her, leaving his right hand free for swordplay if need be. There was in ancient times when brides were literally fought for!
Needless to say, I love the true romantic ways - not the over-done PDA of today. I love to see true love that shines the love of Jesus to others. Call me a sentimental fool and I will agree!