Falling in Love: Literary Style

What does it mean to fall in love?  Inquiring minds want to know.

It would be a challenge to hold all the books written about love in any one place. Libraries would run out of shelves. In the Fiction aisles, you would find all the books based on movies from our Hollywood Style post . . . A complete floor or more would be needed to hold all the smoldering tales. There would be a complete department of romance books, all professing undying devotion and true love.

Within the genre, there are historical perspectives, regaling readers of times long past; thrillers that emphasize manly men and distressed damsels, steamy varieties long on the physical aspects and short on plot . . . angst driven teenage drama, classics that are more about societal commentary than the love story itself, stories about mistaken identities, ready made families, rebellious maidens, and rugged men folk.

Tales are not limited to this world. They delve into the supernatural, mystical, fairy tale, and fantasy. They involve werewolves, vampires, people with extra sensory abilities, super powers, alternate realities, aliens, in fact. . . the more extraordinary the story the more popular or beloved the character.

Crossing the aisle to the non-fiction section, you have the how-to versions, providing the top ten sure fire methods to identify the real thing, tell you what women want, how men are wired, which planet you’re from, how to live together, how to be who you were meant to be, interpret and speak in love languages, break out of unhealthy patterns, start new traditions . . . there’s no end to advice. Contradictory statements, buildup one position, tear down another. In fact, you can probably find a book to support your opinion of love, whatever that opinion might be.

With that many voices, it’s difficult to decipher the essence, the meaning . . .  but it’s clear that it’s significant. 

What do you think is vital or important to understanding love; to experiencing it? Would you recognize it when you see it? Can it be seen? What does it look like?

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Falling in Love: Old World Style

What does it mean to fall in love? There are so many nuances to this topic.

If we believe what we’re told, then love is a choice. It’s something we do, just because it’s the thing to do. It’s not necessarily a choice we make for ourselves. It’s a decision to be made. It can be arranged. It’s not always done by sight or directly. It can involve en exchange of a promise or a binding contract. It sometimes involves money or cows . . . it’s a bartering system.

It is full of tradition. It is not easily dissolved, at least not without someone losing face and damaging reputations. It is a decision that must be acted on and followed through with, especially if children are involved. In fact, sometimes children are a requirement.

It can be for the sake of family, land, convenience, title, stature, power, obligation, citizenship, or appearance. It crosses boundaries, cultures, continents, and can even be handled through technology or an intermediary.

Partners are sought out for their abilities as much as or in place of their beauty or attractiveness. There’s a sense of obligation that keeps people together. It rarely involves emotions or attraction, at least initially, though both can develop over time.

With proximity and familiarity, the relationship that is forged ban be as strong as or stronger than relationships based on other circumstances. The bonds created are often based on character qualities rather than physical ones, and since it is a decision that is agreed upon in advance, there are fewer surprises to derail the relationship.

What do you think of the Old World style? Do you know anyone who met and or married someone this way? What was their experience?

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Falling in Love: Hollywood Style

What does it mean to fall in love?
We’ll look at this question over the next few days from different perspectives and see if we can come up with a good working definition, with all due respect to Webster’s, sometimes the dictionary is insufficient to capture all the nuances for an adequate definition.

If we believe what we see, it seems to involve attraction, usually between extremely attractive people, perfect on the 10 scale. One doesn’t have to actually be perfect, so long as one looks perfect.

You don’t have to be honest. . .in fact there is a certain amount of deceit necessary. At times, you don’t even have to actually like the person you end up in a relationship with. . . .sometimes you have a better shot at getting the girl or guy if you at least pretend that you don’t like them.

You don’t have to be pure . . . in fact no one even considers it. If you really like the guy or girl or think you might, physical intimacy is expected. You don’t have to start out as friends, you might have benefits, and you might not. It might involve a bet, or a dare. It might even happen by accident, while someone is sleeping.

Past relationships tend to trump new relationships, as things are usually better the second time around. There is at least one major misunderstanding that requires someone to take an insane risk or make a declaration. Small towns generally win over major metropolitan areas and there is always a homely sidekick who just can’t help but offer advice to their lovelorn friend.

You know the type of movies I’m talking about . . . especially around the Holidays. People fall in love in a matter of hours it appears, but not without some effort. It doesn’t have to be a mushy sort of movie though . . . intense emotional peril seems to create a ripe atmosphere for love to take place, springing up overnight amidst car chances and flying bullets.

One other key ingredient is proximity. No matter how intense the dislike, or how diverse the couple, the longer they spend together or more conversations they have, the easier it is for them to see past the things that initially caused the rejection, and the faster they realize their true love for one another . . . sometimes after friendly or even sometimes otherworldly intervention.

What do you think of the Hollywood style? Pro’s? Con’s? Are there things it can teach us?

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Why Study?

Before we ‘officially’ begin, it’s worth asking the question, why study? This question is two-fold.

1) There’s the intentional question – why do this thing called study? This is kind of the easy question, at least for me. For example: You see someone that you want to get to know better. You imagine what it might be like, you dream up ways to strike up a conversation or be noticed, you fantasize about how spectacular it could be and then . . . . what? You must act in order for it to be real. At the very least, you need to friend them on facebook or its equivalent otherwise what you have isn’t a relationship, but a fantasy.

I ask myself, why would God have put all the effort into moving in the hearts and minds of His creation, to record His very thoughts and actions, to transcribe His heart – in a love letter to us, if He didn’t want us to read it? (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:21) How can we begin to know and understand the mind of God, which we are encouraged to do, if we don’t open it? (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Peter 1:3-8) This is all the motivation I need. This tells me, it’s not a one-sided, unreciprocated attraction, to carry on the relationship analogy above. There’s no fear of rejection so why not dive in and receive the benefits of that yearning.

2) Then, there’s the semantic question – Why call this thing you do study? This is a harder question. Wouldn’t it be easier if we called it reflection. . . sounds lovely right? Or what about, review? Consider? think about?  It distances us from it, and makes it sound as if we can pick and choose the parts we like. Few people like to Study. Studying is difficult, time consuming. It carries with it a bad connotation left over from years of school. It implies homework, effort, burden. . . . and yet, that’s not all. Study also implies knowledge, understanding, value.

In a recent conversation with one of Scio’s college students, we reflected on the other benefits to education, the things that you get by being in a place of study. There’s the social aspect of being with other like-minded individuals, the power of being challenged to think and to change or reinforce long held behaviors or ideas. There’s the chance to redefine your beliefs or ideas as you look at them through different lenses. The opportunity to see the consequences of your own behavior as, in some cases, for the first time you are making your own choices and decisions or you see the results of the choices made by others. You can learn by not only your own mistakes, but the mistakes of those around you. There were so many things, when we were done, that made the experience worthwhile and beneficial.

I believe it is the same with the study of Scripture. Study moves us beyond passivity into actively applying content. It brings with it others that come alongside and rub shoulders with you, challenging and encouraging, and even admonishing. The accountability and assurance that you get from joining alongside someone, sharing the journey, not focusing on the destination, but on the steps to get there . . . and then the joy and closeness of a shared experience.

May we be like the Berean Jews that Luke spoke of in Acts 17:11, who received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what was said was true.

May our study result in Wisdom and New Life.

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welcome to Falling, Living, Forever in Love with Jesus

We are planning to begin a Women’s Bible Study focusing on the material put together by Author Dee Brestin and Singer Kathy Troccoli. I hope that you will join us on this journey.

Getting to know our Saviour and Bridegroom, Jesus, may sound a little odd at first, but as we study the Scriptures we see this idea unfold. From the earliest pages of Genesis through the final pages of Revelation, God pursues a love relationship with His creation. We are that creation.

Throughout the Bible, His love story propels history as He reaches out to a people, then a nation, then the World. John 3:16 is one of the most quoted verses. Verse 17 is as important.

 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes  in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

It wasn’t  Judgement or Condemnation, but Love, that drove our Father to send His Son for our redemption. All who choose to accept that love begin a fantastic, overwhelming, delightful, challenging, exciting, and worthwhile journey.

The offer is made, the invitation extended. I hope you join us.

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