Tuesday, March 17, 2015

True Love Waits...For What?

 I’ve never had a purity ring, and even if I did have one I wouldn’t wear it.

I have nothing against purity rings. It’s definitely a smart idea to save having sex until you know you’re going to be with a particular person for the rest of your life. The concept is great. What bothers me is the little slogan often engraved in the cheap silver: “True Love Waits.”

True Love Waits….for what?

I think the message goes far deeper than merely “true love waits until marriage for sex.” While that’s definitely part of it, the little ditty is often chanted in the minds of young girls who are desperately anticipating being pursued, courted, and eventually married to the man of their dreams. On those lonely Friday nights when everyone is out with their significant other, these girls watch Fireproof in their rooms while gently rubbing that ring, promising themselves that eventually they won’t have to wait anymore. 

A lot of us girls got a little prayer card from our parish youth programs that went something like this: “The reason you don’t have anyone yet is because you’re not fully satisfied in Me. You have to be satisfied with Me, and then, when you least expect it, I’ll bring you the person I meant for you.”

“OK, God,” we girls say, “we’re just not fully satisfied in You yet. We’ll just keep doing our part and wait for you to bring us a husband.”

And wait we do. And wait, and wait, and wait.

We girls get mighty tired of waiting. We watch our friends get married and make babies. We have six bridesmaid dresses in our closets. We’ve worn out our copies of Captivating. God is not keeping His end of the bargain, so why trust Him with this or anything else? We stop going to church, toss our Bible in the attic, and go out and make up for lost time at those ragers we’ve only heard about until now.

I’m pretty sure God didn’t write that little prayer card.

What are we waiting for, anyway? For some guy to sweep us off our feet? Maybe. To bedazzle us with incredible sex, passionate dancing, and crystal glasses of bubbly? Might be nice. To take away all our fears, desires, and longings for love and intimacy? Hmm…yeah.

Let’s face it—it’s a tough world out there for us ladies. We want to be pursued, coveted, cherished. We want to be told we are beautiful. We want to have a man explore our bodies and accept them as they are: cellulite, stretch marks, and all. We want to be protected. We want to never feel lonely again. We want someone who is willing to die for us. And until we find this special hombre, it’s a damn long wait. 
I could've had two families by now...
 But are we actually looking for a man—or a savior? 
Do we really think that one, fallible, human man will be able to satisfy our deepest desires, love us unconditionally, cater to every need of our heart and soul, and make us feel worthy of being loved?

If so, we are setting ourselves up for a devastating revelation on the day of the I Do.

Men are what they are—men. They are not our saviors. They are not God. The only person who can fully satisfy us, who can fulfill every desire of our hearts, who accepts and loves us just as we are, is Jesus. And we don’t have to wait for Him. We can have Him now, at this very moment.

We do not need a man in our lives to make us feel happy and loved. The love we are seeking is the kind that no earthly man can give. And Jesus is the most intimate, the most generous, the most tender lover a woman could ever ask for. If we cannot love Jesus, who never complains, gives us everything we have, and is constantly there for us, how can we expect to love a human man who makes terrible mistakes, forgets your anniversary, and leaves toothpaste all over the sink? 

I'm sorry, your Highness!

A woman’s heart aches to give her love to someone who will gratefully and respectfully receive it. The very essence of a woman’s soul is to trust someone enough to give them her body for his children, her life for his companionship, her sacrifice for their family. We women have so much love, and nowhere to pour it out, no one who wants to receive it!

Jesus is the same way. Imagine how painful it is for Him, Infinite Love, Infinite Tenderness, who sacrificed His life for the whole of ungrateful humanity and still burns to pour out His love and mercy on the world but cannot do it. He is a king begging for love, begging for receptive hearts which He can fill with His merciful tenderness and finding none—having a heart overflowing with loving goodness and finding no one who wants to receive it. Can we relate? Are we not perfect for each other?

Waiting is miserable, and Jesus does not want us to be miserable. Why wait for love, for satisfaction, for acceptance, when we can have it now, in Him?

Yes, having a husband is nice, but it will probably be a while before you’re at the altar. In the meantime, focus on loving Jesus, not in the hopes that He will bring you a husband if you keep your end of the bargain, but because you genuinely want to grow closer to Him and love Him. Like any of us, Jesus wants to be loved for who He is and not for what He gives. We women, like all of humanity, are broken and need a savior. No man but Jesus can do that job. 

This post isn’t so you can go around with an angelic smirk on your face and proclaim “Jesus is my boyfriend!” to anyone who inquires about your love life. The kind of love I’m talking about between you and Jesus is hardcore. Jesus has already laid down His life for you. He has given you everything. He has bled Himself dry, like the Coldplay song Yellow. This is not fluffy, feel-good, Sunday-school Jesus-loves-everybody crap. This is the real deal. How are you going to respond?

For me, as a Catholic, there is nothing more intimate than receiving Holy Communion as often as possible. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is not merely a symbol, but the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus. It is humbling and beautiful to know that, despite my brokenness, my sinfulness, my unfaithfulness, Jesus still wants—yes, even longs—to enter into me and make me one with Him.

I could not live without Holy Communion. It’s like having sex with a person you completely love and trust, only infinitely better because this person is God Himself, who made you and loves you unconditionally. There is no room for fear or shame or guilt; in those quiet moments when I am alone with Him resting in my body, there is nothing more intimate, nothing more loving. He is mine, and I am His.

Regardless of whether you are Catholic or not, respond to Jesus’s longing for receptive hearts. Satisfy His craving to be loved just as you crave to be loved. Seek a savior in God, not in the ripped blond guy in your art class.

Really, what are we waiting for?


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